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My One Year Student Loan Payoff Update

  January 28, 2022 marked my one year anniversary of paying off my student loans . Reflecting back on choosing to pay off my student loans leaves me with several take a ways that I want to share with you! In September 2020 I decided to become debt free by utilizing the debt snowball method to pay off all my debt. Before this I had struggled to save and really understand basic financial principles. As a first-generation college student, I received a scholarship to attend undergrad for free, but the scholarship did not cover summers. During the summers I took out student loans to cover costs without paying interest rates or how much I was taking out. By the end of undergrad I had amassed a little under $17K. Fast forward to graduate school I received another scholarship that covered my education. At the time I was a teacher in a new very expensive city and I had missed the cutoff to have my paycheck last me throughout the summer. So, I decided to take out a loan for two summers to keep

High School vs College What’s the Difference?

 

(This a photo of me with my hand propped up on my chin while smiling at my desk used as a thumbnail for my YouTube video on High School vs College What's the Difference?)

The differences between high school and college are vast and they don’t quite hit most people until they arrive on campus. I remember being a first generation college student and feeling so defeated at times. There were just so many things that I did not know and was not expecting. As someone who works on a college campus, I see this over and over again from parents and students. 


I‘ve especially noticed this among students with disabilities who received services through an IEP or 504. Many times students are amazed when they don’t get the same services listed on their IEP because they fundamentally alter or change a course. Any accommodation that modifies the curriculum will not be used in college. For example, an accommodation where a student can only be given multiple choice exams while all the other students are doing an essay format would not be appropriate. Even with accommodations, students must meet the same standards and rigor.



Also, a student’s 504 or IEP does not “automatically transfer” you must put these services in place through each office’s application process. You can do this by calling the office and asking how this process works. This brings me to my next point of organization. For every course in college, you are doing at least 2-3hours of homework. This is a drastic change from high school. To stay on top of things you will have to be organized! I typically help students do this by utilizing a planner, printing off your syllabus, and organizing everything in a binder with dividers.



Now here is my favorite part...parents (not really). Most students are used to their parents doing everything from scheduling appointments to asking simple questions. In college you will need to get used to doing this on your own as different laws are in place regarding what information can be shared. College is where your independent and advocacy skills come into place. If your unsure of something feel free to consult your parents but you should be the one in the driver seat. 



One of the great things about attending college are the services. Things like tutoring, counseling, financial aid, and health services are so important. You want to be sure to take advantage of all of these things especially since you’ve already paid for them through your student fees. Check out the video below for more information on the differences between high school and college

 

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