OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Graduating Debt-Free

A personal story of a senior college student who is about to graduate with no student debt.

Photo of Andy Ly

Written by

I come from a family of six whose parents has little or no education and has an income of less than $30,000 a year. I have paid for my college education by obtaining some scholarships before entering as a college freshman, applying for federal grants, and working part time while studying as a full-time student taking more than 15 credit hours every semester. I avoided taking out any loans for fear of not being able to pay them back and took courses over the summer using the left over money from the grants and my part-time job to try and graduate as soon as possible.

It hasn’t been an easy journey and there were many times when I was barely living waiting on my paycheck to pay for food and rent. I had cut back on a lot of cost by making smart decision such as living off-campus, which helped reduced my monthly living expenses in half, but what really helped me the most was how the university continues to help me by providing increasing financial aids as I continued my education.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

College can be affordable for many low-income students, they just need to be able to find the necessary information to make smart financial decisions.

14 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Cyndi

Loved this post!

View all comments