College debt can be a scary notion, especially for student borrowers of color who are either first-gen or come from low-income families that have a hard time supporting them financially. In fact, student loan debt was so high back in 2022 that 40 million Americans shared $1.75 trillion in student debt. ScholarPrep Nation, your Afrocentric college access program, is here to educate you on the topic of student debt.
Similarly to the college admission and scholarship application processes, student debt can be a confusing and intimidating subject. Many students and families are not aware of the financial implications of college success. Research showed that only 44% of students were aware of the importance of saving money for college.
Financial literacy is an underrated yet vital piece of the college success puzzle. The pandemic-era student loan payment pause was indeed helpful, but how do we proceed moving forward? Read on and discover our 3 tips for reducing or eliminating college costs.
#1: Learn the Basics About College Debt
Academic achievement and financial literacy are just as important in the grand scheme of things. Before you start stressing out about the college admission and scholarship application processes, make sure that you also have a clear vision of how you’re going to fund your education.
Teaching kids about federal student loans, student debt relief, or monthly payments is something that most schools won’t cover. In fact, it is up to the families to explain the importance of knowing the basics about college debt.
Regardless of whether the kids secure a scholarship or not, it is still crucial for them to not only focus on their college education, but also on their financial future. This will help them make informed decisions that will ultimately benefit them in their careers.
Statistically, it’s a verified fact that Black students took out more federal loans than any other race/ethnicity. With time, student loan repayment becomes harder, especially during world crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. That is when the Biden administration stepped in and balanced the socioeconomic scales with the help of loan forgiveness.
#2: Understand College Funding Solutions
Before you decide on your college major, make sure that you also take all possible funding solutions into consideration. According to the Department of Education, loans, Pell Grants, and some scholarships will require you to create a FAS ID and fill out the FAFSA.
A federal student loan debt can be paid back in three different ways. Keep in mind that you can change your repayment plan as needed with the help of your loan servicer.
Standard Repayment Plan
The standard repayment plan is usually paid for in under 10 years. The way to achieve this is by paying a fixed amount. A shorter repayment plan means less paid interest. However, this repayment plan necessitates a solid budgeting plan.
Income-Driven Repayment Plan
Most income-driven repayment plans go on for a minimum of 20 years. The monthly payments will consist of 10% to 20% of your discretionary income. If you do meet the criteria, you could qualify for a program designed to forgive student loan debt.
Extended Repayment Plan
If you have a large loan balance, the extended repayment plan is the one for you. The repayment period is up to 25 years. Please note that the longer you pay for your loan, the more interest you’ll end up paying.
#3: Secure a Full, Non-Refundable Scholarship with ScholarPrep Nation
Securing a scholarship can limit your debt and help you become financially independent. Therefore, what if we told you that you can secure a full, non-refundable scholarship with the help of ScholarPrep Nation’s team of educational experts? It all comes down to your academic achievement level and drive to succeed.
Taking full ownership of your academic journey, learning more about financial literacy, and mastering the college admission and scholarship application processes should be at the very top of your priority list. ScholarPrep Nation gives the whole process a culturally affirming and Afrocentric twist that helps young scholars of color secure college success.
Instead of stressing out about how you’re going to pay your student debt, you could find the right scholarship for you with tools such as FastWeb. Keep in mind that ideally, you should start to diligently prepare for the path ahead as early on as eighth grade. To do this efficiently, you’ll need ScholarPrep Nation’s expertise to guide your steps.
Here’s what ScholarPrep Nation provides:
- Unlimited access to an online, nationwide network
- On-demand academic mentorship
- Expert advice from certified educational consultants
- Personalized scholarship search & college essay writing
- Being paired with a ScholarPrep Navigator (coach)
- Completion of a personality assessment
- ACT/SAT prep & tutoring
- Monthly webinars
- Accountability Meetings
- …and much more!
Avoid Student Debt with ScholarPrep Nation!
Whether you secure a scholarship, apply for federal student aid, a Pell Grant, or a regular loan, chances are that you will need experts to guide your steps in the correct direction. ScholarPrep Nation is your trusted ally. We care about your academic achievement and financial well-being.
Don’t hesitate to contact us now and learn much more about what we do, why we do it, and how it can benefit you academically and financially. We hope to hear from you soon!