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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

Get Your College Textbooks for Little to No Cost!

 So it’s the first week of classes and you’ve seen your very long and expensive booklist. You don’t know how you’re going to afford your books and you’re pressed for time! What do you do next? With the start of classes for my university beginning this past Monday I have had multiple students reach out to me inquiring on how they should pay for their books. This is what led me to recording my latest YouTube video on this topic and creating a helpful list of where you can find your textbooks for little to no cost.


Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest Youtube video on “Get Your College Textbooks for Little to No Cost” of me in a yellow Black Girl Magic shirt smiling at the camera.

One part of my job as a Disability Services Case Manager is to provide students with alternate text formats or eversions of books when they are not readily available to the student. I typically do this by looking through several databases or by emailing the publishers. Bookshare, one of the databases that I use is completely free! While this database does not have every book it has a pretty good amount of eversions and the capability to have it read aloud to you! So before buying your books create a free account and check here first.

Figure 2: This is a photo of the logo for Bookshare.

My ultimate favoritresource for free books is my university’s library. Before I go to Amazon to buy a book I head over to my school’s library to see if it is already available. Sometimes there is even an eversion that you can check out for free and have access to immediately. They also have what is called the interlibrary loan system where you can check out materials that are miles away from you and pick them up right at your school.

Figure 3: This is a photo of a hallway filled with books.


TRIO Support Services is a federally funded program available to disadvantaged students. For example, you may qualify if you are a first generation college student, a minority, or a student with a disability. TRIO provides scholarships, 1:1 tutoring, out of state trips, and they even purchase students books! While you won’t be able to take the books with you in case another student needs to use them you will be able to make copies of pages or read them in their office. The populations I listed earlier are not all that qualify so be sure to locate your TRIO office on your campus and sign up for their many wonderful services. 

Figure 4: This is a photo that reads “TRIO”.


Now if you are a student with a disability Vocational Rehabilitation may be willing to pay for your schooling and many other needed materials. This is not a scholarship program and was put in place to help PWDs obtain their employment goals. If your employment goals require some training or schooling then VR may be willing to take on this cost. Contact your local VR office to inquire more about these services by Googling the office near you! 

Figure 5: This is a yellow sign that reads “Vocational Rehab”.


Lastly, while this is not a free resource I always recommend that students purchase the eversions of books since they are most cost effective. I know I know but you don’t like reading online! Well neither did I until I saw the hard copy of a textbook that I needed was $200 and the eversion was listed at $60! After that I learned to love etexts very quickly! It is an important skill to be able to take in information in numerous ways so give that etext a try! Do you plan on trying out any of these ways to obtain your textbooks for free? If so, drop down in the comments and let me know! Be sure to check out my latest video and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button!

Figure 6: This is a photo of a tablet with books in the background and the word ebooks at the top.


SUBSCRIBE: Get your Textbooks for Little to No Cost!


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