In College? Do This and Slash Your Student Loan Debt

If you’re currently in college—or if you’re a parent who’s taken out dreaded Parent PLUS loans—you’d love for a hero in a red cape to swoop down and tell you how to slash your student loan debt.

The hero is here.

slash your student loan debt

1. Slash your student loan debt by applying for scholarships while you’re in college.

Oh—you thought that students could only apply for scholarships during high school?

It’s not true. Sorry—you’ve been given bad information that could cost you and whoever you marry massive amounts of unnecessary debt. Bad information that could compound your parents’ grief if you die unexpectedly.

Here’s the truth. Students can apply for scholarships while they’re in college, and while they’re in grad school.

2. Apply for 10 scholarships every single year during college and grad school.

Knocking out 10 scholarship applications each year is actually easy.

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12 Ways to Get Grad School Paid For

So, your kid just got into graduate school or medical school. That’s great! Now you’re wondering, “What can students do to get their grad school paid for?” Here are the 12 ways to get grad school paid for that I give to my clients at GetIntoMedSchool.com.

Share this article with a student whose financial future you care about!

get your grad school paid for

1. Try to become an employee of the school you got into.

Call 10 different numbers at the school you got into, and try to become an employee of that institution. Keep trying. Maybe you become a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course, or maybe you serve food, or maybe you work in the university’s daycare center, as my friend Susie did years ago at the University of Minnesota. One of your employee benefits may very likely be reduced tuition. Ask the school you got into if this is ever done. If you want to get your grad school paid for, this should be one of the first strategies you try.

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STARTING POINT: All the Basics You Need to Know Right Now (AUDIO)

For Parents of Kids Ages 12–26

If you’re a parent and you’ve just found this, you’re probably thinking:

“Oh, wow—seriously? There’s help for getting my kids through college debt-free, and into great jobs after college? I had no idea this kind of help was available! Am I late starting this? Yikes, I don’t have any spare time! If I work on this, how much time is it going to take me?”

Rest easy, Mom and Dad. You’re not late.

And getting your kids through college debt-free takes only minutes per week.

Right now, at this moment, you’re standing at the perfect starting point.

Listen to episode 1 of my podcast, below. It takes only 23 minutes. (Listen while you’re commuting, loading the dishwasher, or getting ready in the morning.) When you finish listening, you’ll feel hope and confidence, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do next to get your kids to the most exciting academic and career destinations—even if they don’t get a single scholarship.

If you’re parenting kids ages 12–26, listen to just the first 8 minutes below, and you’ll be hooked.

debt-free college podcast

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Becoming a Veterinarian—is it a Sound Financial Decision?

Most of my articles are for parents of students age 12—26. This article is for parents, yes, but it’s also for any student thinking of becoming a veterinarian.

One of my clients at GetIntoMedSchool.com wrote me this week, asking my advice for a friend who’s thinking of becoming a veterinarian. My client wanted to know if I thought that right now, in 2018, vet school would be a good idea.

becoming a veterinarian

My thoughts on becoming a veterinarian might surprise you.

“My grave worry,” I told my client, “is that that vet school is so expensive—some veterinary students run up so much debt that they can’t repay it on a veterinarian’s salary. Anyone hoping to become a vet needs to use superstar strategies for doing it debt-free.”

Here are the steps to take.

Considering becoming a veterinarian? Do a quick salary study first.

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Grisham NAILS IT in this Novel About Law School Debt

In March of 2018, I spent 12 days on vacation with my family. On the plane and on the beach, I read a fantastic John Grisham novel that contained a surprise for me that made my hair stand on end. What was it? The principal characters were all coping with horrific law school debt.

I’ve spent my entire professional life getting college students and grad students to careers they excel at and love with zero student loan debt. I spent years researching and writing a book on this subject. I can tell you, Grisham’s research on this topic is right on the money. He nails it.

law school debt

BEWARE. Law school debt has the potential to destroy your kid’s life.

I am not overstating this. Students who attend law school are at frightening risk of not being able to earn enough afterward to pay even the required minimums on their law school debt and interest. Law students from elite law schools who land the “big time” jobs will still struggle to pay—many times while working grueling 80+ hour workweeks that can feel more like indentured servitude than a great, fulfilling career.

Don’t fool yourself. It’s possible to get a great, fulfilling, high-paying professional career while avoiding law school.

Pages 133–151 of my book explains exactly how parents can use three career assessments to figure out what that great, fulfilling, well-paying career might be for their teen or 20something.

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My Best Debt-Free College Interview Yet

Listen On Your Drive to Work Today

To listen to my best debt-free college interview yet, click here.

Listen while you’re driving or getting ready in the morning, and you just might change the life of a student you love.

free college

In March of 2018 I was interviewed by Andy Earle, a Loyola Marymount University researcher who focuses on parent-teen communication and teen thriving and flourishing. I’ve been interviewed many times since my book LAUNCH came out in 2017, but this interview is by far the best. It’s the best produced, the most in-depth, the most inspiring, and the most informative.

To listen to the entire interview, click here.

You’ll feel a growing sense of hope for the teens and 20somethings you love.

I love what Andy Earle says about the debt-free college strategies I provide in LAUNCH.

After reading LAUNCH cover to cover, Andy says:

LAUNCH has become one of the most well-respected books on this subject (it’s the go-to reference book for financial planners and college consultants and coaches) because Jeannie isn’t just about doing college cheap, she’s about doing it debt-free and so effectively that it results in a great, satisfying career after college is over.”

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Oh, No — I’m MARRIED to Student Loan Debt

What to Know When Your "I do" Includes "I Do Intend to Pay."

If your spouse has student loan debt, what does that mean for you and for your financial future?

What can you do now that will keep you safe throughout the decades ahead, even if something bad happens?

Immediately address the biggest thing you must worry about when your spouse has student loan debt.

spouse has student loan debt

Think, for just a minute, of the unthinkable. What if your spouse dies, leaving you with a mountain of student loan debt that you have to pay off? Are you doomed? Or is there something you can do now to get out of paying thousands back all by yourself later?

To understand what your risks are and what you can do now to protect yourself and your family, be sure you’ve read the article I’ve written entitled “What Happens to Student Loan Debt When You Die?

Take all the safe, legal steps you can to free yourself from your spouse’s student loan debt now.

You don’t have to get a divorce in order to accomplish this. Just do the following six things as soon as you can:

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What Happens to Student Loan Debt After You Die?

No parent wants to consider this — but what happens if one of your children runs up $80,000 in student loan debt, and then perishes in a car accident or dies of cancer? Will your grief be compounded by having to make years (decades!) of student loan payments, until the student loan obligation is paid in full? Every parent needs to be clear on the answer to this question: “What happens to student loan debt after you die?”

The answer is scary, but — there’s great hope for those who can plan ahead just a bit.

What happens to student loan debt after you die?

First, the good news, then the bad news.

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4 Amazingly Easy Steps To Get Out Of Debt

If you as a parent are out of debt by the day your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to help with college bills. If you start the process of getting out of debt years before your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to save for college.

Either way, you’ll dramatically increase the chances that your child will graduate from college and begin adult life debt-free.

Today I’m featuring four amazingly easy steps to get out of debt, from best-selling author Dave Ramsey. These steps to get out of debt are so easy, you can fit them on a post-it note.

get out of debt

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Can College Debt Hurt Academic Performance?

What Does the Research Say?

 

debt affects academic performance

There’s no question about it; the ability to focus and concentrate for extended periods is absolutely critical to college academic success.

In his outstanding book Deep Work, author Cal Newport says this about extended periods of focus and concentration: “Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. It’s like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy.”

Can student loan debt interfere with the focus and concentration necessary for doing “deep work”?

College students say yes.

In this article by college student Ashley Bulchandani on dailytarheel.com, she tells adults exactly how she feels. “As a current college student, I am personally struggling with college debt and paying off my loans.” She worries that, “debt accumulation can stress out students and lead to negative behaviors such as drinking, smoking, working a lot, and not focusing in class.” She points to research showing that, “excessive college debt results in overall low academic performance in college and low graduate school attendance.”

The happy news is that parents can help. A lot.

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