Comments about ‘No loans: How to graduate from college debt free’

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Published: Thursday, May 1 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Kuna, ID

This article seems to be misleading. She graduated from college debt free, cause her dad for it. If I read this right, this is a pretty unusable read.

Upstate, NY

Everything Rachel Cruz says about college and debt is exactly right. However, for the Ramsey's to hold her up as an inspiring example of how it is possible to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and graduate with no debt (and I have heard them do this)... well they ought to be embarrassed. Yes, when you have a multi-millionaire father, graduating without debt should not be a problem. Again, the Ramsey's advice is very good and Rachel apparently did live within the limits set by her parents, but this is hardly a story of "I did it so you can too".

American Fork, UT

Get a trade. It's that simple.

Ed Grady
Idaho Falls, ID

More Dave Ramsey pie-in-the-sky fantasy talk. The cost for a Idaho resident to attend an Idaho university is estimated to be $20,346 per year (Boise State.) Name a part-time job and summer job that pays a college kid 20 grand a year. Sorry, but not everybody can fight fires in the summer. Oh sure, a kid can always sell DirecTV and pest control door-to-door and make a fortune, right. Granted, if you're a whiz kid, you can get scholarships to help. If you're poor, you can get Pell Grants to help. If you're a middle-class kid of average intelligence, you get student loans or you don't go to college. If a middle-class kid wants a college education, he/she needs student loans regardless of what out-of-touch "financial experts" say.

Bountiful, UT

I'm a college student with no student loans but about 2-3 years left of college. I have an Associate of Science in General Studies and am working on a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Graduating without debt is hard and in some cases honestly it may be better to just take out student loans. I've worked varying amounts of hours while attending college ranging from as few as 9 hours per week to as many as 38 all while attending school full-time(12-17 credit hours for me which is the same as a 36-51 hour workload). Working while attending school is hard and I don't really get to have a social life. Additionally my grades are lower than my counterparts who are focusing on school. People who take student loans out can focus on college 100% while someone like me who is working and attending school can honestly only devote about 1/3-1/2 my time MAX to college. Additionally it takes a lot longer to graduate from school. I'll be around 27-28 years old when I graduate college. There are pros and cons to graduating with or without student loans.

Happy Valley, UT

The National Guard is an excellent way to have school, room and board payed for and will most certainly set you apart from your classmates. No matter what field you choose.

Fresno, CA

If my dad were to pay for my school, I would be debt free too. Just saying. There are things 'worth' going into debt for and things that aren't. School is one of those things that is ultimately worth it.

The average monthly payment on a $30,000 student loan after the student graduated is about $300 a month for 10 years. Yes the time value of money adds up. Yes there are other things that I could spend that money on, but at the same time, I live in Fresno, Ca, in a single income house with a baby, working an average middle class job, paying $1K a month in rent, and we make it. Are there sacrifices, yes. Like we only have 1 car not 2. So I ride a bike 7 miles to work each day. Do we have a flashy tv? Iphones? No. But that's okay.

Ultimately, if a college graduate can't like on an average income, with a minimal $300 a month student loan payment, then that individual needs to look at how they are living their life. Or they should have gotten a degree in something with a greater ROI.

Just my two cents.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

I got through college with zero debt. Here's how I did it:

1. Worked two jobs at the same time, one of them always at the university so I could get tuition breaks.
2. Since I was always at school, at work, or studying, I didn't have a lot of time to waste money on other pursuits.
3. When I did have free time, I did things that were free (going to the gym that was covered by my tuition, playing intramural sports, etc.).
4. I didn't eat out.
5. I never ever under any circumstances took a class I didn't need to graduate.

Michael De Groote

Aggie5 is correct. Rachel Cruze did graduate from college with her family's help. This is not "misleading," however, because having help from parents is a major way that some people can graduate from college with no loans.

Also, the amount that she was given was not beyond the means of many families. Saving early for college is one way to help pay for college. But it is not the only way, and the article mentions several other ways people can go to college without debt.

But, as the article also says, even if a person can't quite go to college without debt, following the advice given will make the amount of loans much, much smaller.

As many comments are already coming in, it is possible to do this. Rachel Cruze was indeed helped, but she also had to adjust her own goals to do it.

My advice is to read the whole article and see what applies to your own situation. I couldn't cover everything when I wrote it, but it is a good starting point.

Michael De Groote

Ed Grady says this could never work at Boise State.

According to one online calculator, these are the current costs to attend Boise State University:
Total One Academic Year Cost
Idaho Residents: $14,564
Non Idaho Residents: $26,004

Notice first, how much a person saves by going instate. But, let's take a look at the cost itemization a moment.

Cost Itemization
Tution for Idaho Residents: $3,991
Tution for non-Idaho Residents: $15,431
Room and Board or estimated off campus living expense: $7,438
Books and Supplies: $1,242
Other Fees: $1,893

Tuition is $3,991 ?
Sounds affordable for just about anybody. If somebody can live at home, that will eat up a lot of the other expenses. Books and Supplies? There are plenty of ways to save there as well. Are there no community colleges in Idaho to start out at?

Ed Grady
Idaho Falls, ID

"How to graduate from college debt-free"

Now I get it - you just have to win the prestigious "Rich Daddy Scholarship."

Sanpete, UT

Here's how I did/am doing it.

Got a scholarship to Snow College for two years.
Paid one extra semester to take some GPA builders (one semester was $1,200).
Got into my program at Weber State.
Applied for a department scholarship and got $1,000.
Graduated with honors in all of my classes from beginning to end.

I worked hard, spent what I needed and saved like a mad man. I don't have a smart phone, new car, or even for that--a great looking car. My wife has worked hard as well.

Many people think that a college like Snow is dumb. However, the biggest class I had was 25 students. I was able to go to my teachers' offices and ask for any additional insight and not count on "tutors". I knew what they expected and I tried my best to do it.
Any school in Utah is double if not more in cost. And do you think I got half the education than the people who went to Universities right off? Absolutely not. I think I got better because of my class sizes and personal time that a university would not have given me.

Orem, UT

I agree with many of the comments on here. While a student, you certainly don't need a new TV, a new gaming system, a new car, the best phone, subscriptions to entertainment, eat out, and not have a job at the same time. And work experience beats out which school you went to and your GPA in most fields.

By the time my kids reach college-age, I think the college education system will be radically different (or at least, I hope so). I think it is unfair to kids, no matter what socio-economic status they are in, to have to pay for the inefficiencies of universities. Inflationary costs are to be expected, but the rate that tuition increases each year is wrong and that is why so many kids live with their parents and graduate with so much debt now.

If things remain the same in 14 years, I would tell my kids to go to a community college, get as many credits as they can, transfer to a state school or BYU, and graduate. If you can make it debt-free, great job. If not, pay it off ASAP.

Michael De Groote

It doesn't take a "Rich Daddy" to help a kid go to an in-state college.


For undergrad, there are tons of scholarships available. I worked hard in school and applied for nearly every scholarship I could find and ended up with quite a few. I saved up money before college and I worked part-time through college and worked on the breaks from school. At one time, I even worked 3 jobs. You can still do it and not have parents' help or sacrifice good grades just to be debt free. Now master's programs...that's a different story.

Okemos, MI

Best way to leave college debt free: be responsible in high school, get really good grades, score well on the ACT/SAT, get a full-ride scholarship, or close to it.

This method also works for graduate school. Anyone with decent grades can get a scholarship, even if it's only 25-50% tuition, if they don't insist on going to the best schools.

Upstate, NY

Black Attack,

You are correct! The really smart way to go to college is to start at a community college. You will have better professors (as opposed to graduate students or professors just starting out or professors who resent having to be diverted away from their research) and you will save a ton. Also, there are studies that have been done by some campuses of the State University of New York that indicate that students who started out at community colleges do better in their final two years than students who were there the full four years. Community colleges are a very wise choice.

Wasatch, UT

I'm sorry, but there is no way the professors at community colleges are "better" than at universities. The learning environment may be better with the smaller class sizes, but what is being taught and how it is being taught is not going to be the same quality. There is a reason professors at most community colleges are paid less, they are not as good. It is simple supply and demand.

Woods Cross, UT

Utah high school students who are willing to work hard, can earn an AS degree BEFORE they even graduate from high school by taking AP and CE classes. It really is NOT that difficult. Such students will have a couple hours of homework per night. But it makes the high school experience worth the time. Google "Utah New Century Scholarship" and find out how this pays for the next two years. It has nothing to do with being gifted. It has everything to do with work ethic.

Upstate, NY

Sorry Chris B, you are demonstrating your ignorance. University professors are hired for their research skills and the ability to publish. There is no correlation between the ability to research/publish and the ability to teach/communicate. Moreover, you are not being taught by senior professors in your first two years at a university. You are being taught by graduate assistants, many of whom are not only learning their subject matter and how to teach, but are also still learning English. If you are taught by a Professor, you are taught by a newby. Yes, there are reasons why community college students do better in their second two years at the university than those who started out there. They were taught by teaching professors instead of grad assistants.

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