What Went Wrong?
Katie had never imagined she’d be living month to month, in constant fear that she wouldn’t have enough to pay her rent. After all, Katie had a college degree and a job.
When I met Katie, she was 23 years old and working her dream job at a non-profit. She didn’t have any credit card debt. What had gone wrong?
Katie had massive student loans from college, totaling more than $128,000. Katie’s salary was $32,000 and more than $12,000 of that went to pay the debt and interest.
I’ve met many students like Katie in my travels, and each time, their stories break my heart. Student loans are virtually impossible to get rid of, even if you declare bankruptcy. In fact, the government will take the money out of your Social Security payments if you still owe money!
Of course, to a 17 year old, loan repayment and Social Security payments getting garnished seem a lifetime away. So it’s up to us as parents and educators to help students think critically about their collegiate and career decisions.
That’s why Mawi Learning and Florida Virtual School now offer Career Research and Decision Making, a new course where we show students how to apply to and pay for college and make smart decisions about their futures.
One of my favorite tools we present in the course is a College Scorecard that ranks every college on key factors such as loan default rate, graduation rate, and costs. Armed with the right tools, our students can make better decisions and create brighter futures.
And while we cannot turn back the clock five years to help Katie, there are millions of Katies waiting for us to show them how to access greater opportunity.
Are you taking Career Research & Decision Making, Leadership Skills Development, or Peer Counseling at FLVS? Share your thoughts with Mawi Learning founder and creator on Twitter @MawiAsgedom using the hashtag #flvsmawi.
Post by: Mawi Asgedom, Founder of Mawi Learning
Mawi Asgedom has inspired more than 1 million students and educators in 40 states with his uplifting speeches and has written eight bestselling books that are read in thousands of classrooms. A former refugee from Ethiopia, Mawi is the founder of Mental Karate, a leadership system used across North America. Mawi Learning, a leadership training company that has worked with more than 1,000 schools across the world, partners with FLVS to help students succeed in high school, college, and beyond through our Leadership Skills Development course.