Debt Free College -- We Did It!
Five college students
Fifteen years of college between them
One plan: No debt
It can be done
Debt free college? The odds are against it. The average college graduate exits the halls of higher learning with not only a diploma, but also a $20,000 debt.
The statistics are staggering. Student loan debt increases every year. Students are carrying credit cards in record numbers. Average annual income upon graduation is only about half the amount needed to comfortably manage repayment. Millions of dollars are owed. Defaulted student loans have cost taxpayers billions. The words national crisis come to mind.
But if today's student has no full-ride scholarship and no rich uncle about to take a turn for the worse . . . well, how can a family avoid student loans?
The author of Debt Free College?We Did It! asked the same question. Her family had returned from the Japan mission field with "no home, no car, no possessions and no job." They were still in the process of climbing up to zero when the oldest child was ready for college. Loans seemed to be the only solution. Yet the family made a determined ? and radical ? decision. They would not go into debt for college, no matter what. There was enough financial stress without that.
The family moved forward with some misgivings. What if the kids had to work too hard and became discouraged? What if it took ten years to graduate? What if they couldn't afford to participate in outside activities, and the fun years of college turned into drudgery? But none of those scenarios occurred.
The student stories in this book detail great adventures . . . adventures that smack of heavenly help. Karis's classmates wore the designer clothes, but she wore the homecoming queen crown. Cason's buddies had the electronic gadgets and spending money, but he backpacked through Europe one summer. Though Clinton shared large sums of money with his friends, his checkbook balance only increased . . . .
In her book, author Lynn Lusby Pratt candidly shares the formula that brought her family success: old-fashioned values like hard work, honesty, perseverance and generosity; savvy-but-simple ways to generate money from the family's own limited assets; and the occasional miracle, which she refers to as "The God Factor."
With this plan, graduation may take a little longer. The student may have to sacrifice some things. But, in the end, he'll have no regrets, because he'll be entering the real world with something that will give him even more of an edge than a college diploma: financial freedom.
We shouldn't have to prove this plan works,
but we have proved it.