Last week my husband and I were having a discussion. I mentioned to him that I was thinking about going back to school to pursue an advanced degree. His immediate response was ‘how are we going to pay for that’? Now my husband is always super supportive of me and all my endeavors, so I knew his question was not meant to deter me. But rather a real life concern for our financial security. I have not been in college for a decade and I’ve been working full time and earning a full-time paycheck the entire time. My husband also works very hard, but we are definitely a two income household. So the potential loss of income is understandably a concern for him – for both of us. What he didn’t know was that I had already done my due diligence. I spent quite a bit of time researching the program I was interested in and the options that existed for financing it without incurring a lot of debt.
It occurred to me, that for a lot of people, this type of information is not always readily available. There are lots of young men and women of color who may be entertaining the idea of continuing their education but quickly shut the idea down due to a lack of viable options to finance it. That got me to wondering: how many bright young minds are not getting the foundation they need and will forgo the opportunity to go on and do great things due to a simple lack of information?
Paying for a college degree is often more difficult for some students than actually passing classes. Particularly for those students from lower socio-economic classes. These are the same students who are less likely to access information on the number of ways that the burden of college tuition can be lessened, like little known grants and scholarships from third party institutions, work study programs and loan forgiveness programs. Not to mention, good old fashioned planning ahead and saving. It is possible!
It is so critically important in this day and age for us to avail ourselves of all resources. At this moment in time, the world is literally at our fingertips. All the information that we could ever need lives on the internet and so many of us are accessing the internet all day long right from our phones. If you’re not actively moving ahead, then you are passively falling behind. I mean, how many young people are online checking out worldstarhiphop.com all day long but aren’t even putting in a few moments worth of time to find out in what ways they could be bettering themselves and their futures?
It has been said when you know better you do better. It has also been said that to whom much is given much is required. So for those of us who know the ropes and have traveled down the road toward higher education, the onus is on us to actively lift as we climb. Teach, show, educate young people about the importance of being prepared for their futures. That includes important practical advice, like how to finance an education.
Frugalistas, have you used any unconventional methods to finance an education?
If you’re waiting for a sign that it’s time to make a change, consider this it. Money Therapy may be just what you need to break through your financial blocks and release your money guilt and shame.