The phrase "paying for college" makes me cringe. Throughout my entire college search process I never thought of the price of the colleges I was looking at. I always assumed some magical thing would happen where I would win a full scholarship or my parents would miraculously win the lottery. But when that May 1st decision deadline rolled around I had an important decision to make that would literally impact me both mentally, socially, and financially for the rest of my life. (scary to think that making the right decision relies on a naive 18 year old)
I had to chose between going to Fordham's Lincoln Center Campus and fulfilling my dream of living and learning in Manhattan, or going to UMass Amherst (my parent's alma mater) in the middle of nowhere and having less financial debt.
The hardest decision of my life ultimately ended in me choosing the slightly cheaper state school in order to save future Alex from surviving off of Ramen and living in her parents basement when she's 28. I thought that was the last decision I had to make, but I was wrong.
I was born to teen-parents, so I had no large college fund waiting for me, and no financial security blanket holding me up. This made loans my only option as state schools don't typically offer academic scholarships. My parents told me to start researching loans, and to start building my credit and stuff about interest rates and budget plans; and all of it made me want to scream!!
For my last two years of high school I worked as the office manager for a bankruptcy attorney and thought I knew everything, but I was wrong. The words made my head spin, all I wanted to do was go to the mall, and thinking about my future made me want to crawl under a rock and sit in the fetal position. No one had ever taught me about how to pay for college.
Recently a company called College Ave reached out to me about this problem. No one in college understands how to pay for college. High schools think that learning about chemical compounds on the moon are more important then teaching us how checking accounts work, and College Ave has set out to help fix this problem.
Whenever I visit the most common sites for loans I get an instant headache just trying to figure out what all of the words mean and how it impacts me, but after 5 minutes on the College Ave site I feel so much better. They easily break down what everything means in terms you understand. They show you all of your options and payment methods without distraction. And they're completely transparent about the whole process.
Paying for college sucks. Signing a loan and knowing you'll be owing upwards of $100,000 or even $200,000 from just signing that paper is scary. But with College Ave you'll be able to confidently pay for your college without signing away your soul.
It's time to start talking about paying for college, and it's time that students learn what about their loans really mean.
How have your experiences been with getting a loan?
Thank you College Ave for sponsoring this post!