Skip to main content

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

Tips for First Year Doctoral Students

 Figure 1This is a picture of a black doctoral cap 

Well my first year as a doctoral student has come to an end. I turned in my last assignment of the semester earlier this week and man did it feel good! I still plan to take summer courses but I have about a month break until then. This first year has taught me so much about my major of higher education and myself. This past semester I took on History of Higher Education and Introduction to Quantitative Statistics. While the history course wasn’t so bad the stats course was a whole other ball game! Especially for someone who has always struggled with numbers. This course took a lot of getting used to and reminded me of somethings that all first year doctoral students should know.


Figure 2: This is a picture of pink balloon letters that spell the word "friends".

First things first make friends with the people in your program. This may be hard due to COVID and if you are in an online program like myself but don’t let this stop you. Use your discussion boards to introduce yourself to people or send an email to the entire class asking if anyone would be interested in a study group. If it would not have been for a friend in my program to help through my Intro to Stats course, I am not sure if I would have done so well.

 


Figure 3: This is a picture of a $100 dollar bill.

Next, apply for scholarships. I always hear that scholarships for doctoral students are basically nonexistent.  Don’t fall into this trap.  I recently received over $1300 just last week! Now I do agree that scholarships are harder to find for doctoral students but they are out there so don’t give up. I would recommend starting at your universities scholarship website or office for leads.


Figure 4: This is a photo of a planner.

Organize your time. I live by my planner it tells me what, when, and how. I also review my course schedule and course modules on a weekly basis so I don’t miss anything. For us online folks it is imperative that we check these things on a daily basis as things do change. My personal motto with assignments is to be early is to be on time. So, I typically turn in things at least one week early. While I recognize that life happens and we are all busy this may be hard to do, so whenever you can turn in something early DO IT!
Figure 5: This is a purple sign that says, “Keep calm and see your academic advisor"

Just because you’re in a doctoral program does not mean you shouldn’t meet with your advisor. I typically meet with my advisor at least twice a semester. My adviser was actually the person who told me about the scholarship that I recently received. So shouts out to him! Advisers have extremely helpful information that you could miss if you do not engage with them so don’t let that be you.


Lastly, ask questions. There is no question too big or too small. I asked LOT’S of questions this entire year and I did not feel bad for it. I actually got all of the information and more that I needed. So don’t feel like you have to know everything because you won’t and that is okay. Are you a doctoral student? Drop down in the comments and let me know your experience or any helpful advice that you may have. Be sure to check out my latest video on how I tackled this year below. Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog for weekly newsletters from me!

SUBSCRIBE: Tips for First Year Doctoral Students


Figure 6: This is a picture of a thumbnail for my YouTube video “Tips for First Year Doctoral Students"





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

How to Get a Free Doctoral Degree

Hey Guys! It’s been awhile right?! I know but I am back and ready to give you all the information you need! If you missed it last week on my channel , I discussed how you can get a free doctorate degree. If you’ve been following my doctoral journey, then you know that I am currently working towards my doctoral degree in higher education. I recently finished all of my coursework and I am officially working on my dissertation proposal this semester. I chose to work at a university so that I could not only work with students but so that I could also receive a discounted education. In the beginning of my journey, I received a $1,600 stipend towards my courses, and I paid fees out of pocket. I also received several scholarships along the way that helped to cover most of my fees. Last year my university decided to cover doctoral degrees at 100% for all professional staff which was a major benefit. While I understand that most folks do not want to join the education world don’t let this s

The Department of Education Changed the rules for student loan forgiveness

 The Department of Education has "silently" changed the rules to student loan forgiveness that will affect at least 800,000 borrowers. On September 29, 2022 the Department of Education made a few changes for those who obtained the Perkin's and Federal Family Education loan.  Here is the language directly from the Dept of Education "As of September 29, 2022 borrowers with federal student loans not held by ED cannot obtain one time debt relief by consolidating those loans into direct loans". Previously individuals who did obtain theses loans were able to receive loan forgiveness. Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest YouTube video "Student loan forgiveness guidelines have changed" where I am sitting in my office while looking at the camera with a suspicious look.  Many speculate that potential lawsuits could be the reason why the Dept of Ed has changed it's language recently. Long story short the banks who insured these loans will not receive an