Plan ahead or don’t enroll


By Omari Mccoy-King

In the United States today, the total student loan debt is approximately $1.2 trillion. Student loan debt is 6% of the overall national debt. As a result there has been a lot of debate about what to do about the “student loan crisis.” However, this discussion should not be handled as an isolated situation separate from the general debt Americans are living under. As argued by people like Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, the student loan crisis is a manufactured situation that is a result of poor economic planning in the US, as such students and families should be responsible for financing college on their own in order to avoid future debt. If a student or their family cannot afford to shoulder the cost of college on their own or with scholarships, that student should not be attending school.


This graph ponders the question of “whether  college is worth it or not” and it gives different percentages from four categories such as what are the reasons to not attend college also what did your college education do for you. mainly what this graph displayed is that by attending college your not only furthering your knowledge but your maturity, family support and work ethic.

Ben Carson–a contender for the Republican Presidential nomination–stated, “there is a four letter word that works extremely well, it’s called W-O-R-K, work.” He went on to say, “Many people get into financial strife because they don’t understand the importance of work…there’s nothing wrong with working a few years before going to school.” When asked what his solution to the student debt crisis is, Carson responded; “How did we get into a big problem there? Somehow, people forgot that you don’t buy a house that costs more the 2 ½ times your annual salary…people have to use their brains. That’s why God gave you a brain…so you could understand what you can and cannot afford.” Carson is pointing out what is not done by a lot of people who want to attend college; by taking a year or two off to work and save up some money for your education instead of going in with no money and then accumulating debt.    

Dr. Carson thinks Americans don’t take the time to plan ahead for the future. No one is guaranteed to be enrolled or accepted into college, but there is nothing wrong with saving what you can for future endeavors such as purchasing a house or a car but your education should be priceless because it’s going to take you far and allow you to pursue the career you want.  


This chart displays various ways to make your college experience financially easier but giving such advice as getting a part-time job while in school, creating budgeting  habits and making connections with others who have been through the same and may know more information.  

Laura Donovan of ATTN quoted Ben Carson, “What ever happened to working and working your way through? Is  there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so. I think we need to start emphasizing these things again. It builds character. It builds experience.” Carson made this statement in the sense that you are not obligated to do anything but if you want a successful and feasible college experience then by thinking ahead financially and reasonably then you are giving yourself the great chance of not having a horrendous amount of debt.

Deacon Hayes of USNEWS stated  “Many employers will reimburse employees for part or all of their college tuition costs, especially if the courses are related to their current field. The IRS does set limits on how much money an employer can write off each year for college reimbursement. However, some employers may choose to go above and beyond those limits and pay for college classes for their employees even without the write off. Check with your employer today, and see if college tuition reimbursements are available. If you’re just starting college and not yet working, consider applying for a job at a company that offers tuition reimbursement”.

This excerpt explains tuition reimbursement and how it is a useful tool for students who are employed in a field of their study.

Deacon not only advises students to get a job while in school but to utilize  the benefit of college tuition reimbursement while employed. The best way to increase your chance of the reimbursement method working out is to find employment within your field of study.  

Stephanie Snyder, 44, graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Public Administration. She worked three jobs at one time to pay down her $38,000 student loan balance”. Although Stephanie planned for how to pay off her college tuition there were problems that she could have never foreseen like divorce, having to care for an ill parent, and financially helping relatives. It is impossible to expect someone to plan ahead with total success. She was forced to work three jobs to provide for her son solely because of the student debt. Also of her three jobs her BA degree wasn’t present which led her to enter the military to become financially stable and get VA benefits.
Stephanie’s story shows that even having a job while attending school won’t give the stability needed with the rising interest rates and the cost of student loans. Even those who have graduated five to eight years earlier  are still struggling to pay off outstanding student loans which proves that having going to work before, during, and after won’t take the problem away completely.

Ben Carson has the idea that by establishing the mindset of employment before you are ready to enroll in college. By planning ahead you get the upper hand whereas those who wait will be left in the dust (debt) and stuck with a life long problem that could have been  solved before it even happens. US citizens need to realize debt is not something that is guaranteed to happen unless you don’t plan ahead.


21 Comments Add yours

  1. Yesenia says:

    This is very interesting… and it’s agonizing to realize how expensive colleges can be leaving several people in debt with student loans.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tori says:

    This made me rethink everything. Here I am a Senior and have no money saved up for college


    1. mikaelaweidman says:

      yeah but don’t let that stop you


    2. stell4burke says:

      neither have I. I don’t think debt really sets in until you’re looking for loans and you realize the trouble you’re gonna be in. hope to get a 1.9 mill book deal like obama

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TrirojeRath says:

    I think I have to stop buying unnecessary stuff and save money for college right now T_T


    1. Omari King says:

      yeah i think you better have a plan B


      1. alexisggg10 says:

        Well the B plan should be look for a bunch of scholarships.


    2. yaretd says:

      yes i totally agree with you , who knew you would be in a lot of debt in college


  4. EnriqueLopez says:

    This makes me feel afraid of what’s gonna happen in my not far future, it makes me think al lot on what I wanna do, but I did not really affect my deception.


    1. alexisggg10 says:

      Yeah I definitely agree it makes me think that I am going to work my whole life to pay debt.


  5. Nyah says:

    I feel like this lightweight changed my mind about college -_-


  6. Sachi Moran says:

    1.2 trillion in students loans that’s a lot…do you know how that compares to the amount of money the government pays towards public FAFSA / other ways the gov’t pays for education?


    1. Gemma says:

      In the 2011 fiscal year the government appropriated $41.5 billion on Pell Grants.


  7. Amanda Levin says:

    I am all for planning ahead and living within one’s means. But I feel like putting all the responsibility on students and their families would further separate the haves and the have nots in the US.


  8. alexisggg10 says:

    Education should not be a debt sentence !!


  9. gisellbc says:

    makes me think that I should of started saving money sooner…


  10. Juan says:

    This exactly what i was first thinking about when i heard college, the word Debt. My sister chose the most expensive college to go to out of all her choices and i kept telling her that she was going to be in a huge debt. In my opinion i would say go to the school you would like to go to, get as many scholarships as you can and get a good job. Now that i am more informed i feel like i can plan ahead on my next steps


  11. Ramona says:

    I agree, this is a super relevant issue! I’ve been reading an article on students who have moved to Europe to avoid debt (and it seems to work?), very interesting, but also terrifying…


  12. Nikolasi Niumeitolu says:

    Uggh… Debt gives me headaches. I wish we had free college education. Well I guess we all better start applying for scholarships.


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