Don't risk accumulating debt.
Accumulating debt in college is risky and many times dangerous. Realizing the importance of budgeting and saving money is invaluable, yet many students fail to do this. Coming from a family of eight children, I personally know what it means to be frugal. However, by simply buying only the necessities and avoiding shopping splurges, we still live quite comfortably. Several of my brothers have gone to college without paying very much, and they graduated without any debt. I aim to follow suit by taking advantage of the Hope Scholarship, and other grants and scholarships. Keeping the Hope Scholarship is mandatory for me, so studying and making good grades in college is of the utmost importance. Contrary to what many students think, you do not have to study all the time and never leave your room. Rather, you only need to study enough to make the right grades and do well on tests. I plan on getting as much out of the college experience as I possibly can. Even though I will have to study a lot, there will still be ample time for having fun. Being aware of your financial status is also very important. There are many unforeseen costs in college, and when you add it all up, it can be daunting. Planning and expecting the unexpected are crucial if you want to avoid debt. It is also extremely important to avoid student loans. After you graduate, these loans have very high interest rates and can send anyone into mountains of debt. In short, I plan to avoid student loans, using credit cards too much, and spending money on unnecessary items. With all of this mind, I think I have a good chance of graduating from college on the right foot financially.
Joseph Sandlin, 2012 graduate of Oakland High School