Every family faces its own challenges when considering college. For the Curtis family, it was the reality of having four children in college in the past five years. When it came time for the youngest members of the Curtis family to select a college, Jake and Jared Curtis knew they wanted to follow their two older sisters to McPherson College but also knew affording it might not be easy.
By taking advantage of scholarships and participating in the Student Debt Project, the twin brothers expect to graduate with no student debt.
“We haven’t taken out any loans and we don’t plan on it,” Jake said. “We are going to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and no debt. The Student Debt Project has helped tremendously.”
Both work at The Cedars, a retirement community in McPherson, and both juggle hectic academic and co-curricular schedules. Jared is studying environmental science and stewardship and hopes to find a hands-on job possibly with a governmental agency. Jake is in the health science program and plans to continue his education to become a physician assistant or physical therapist.
Having the support of a mentor and small group, provided to each participant in the Student Debt Project, helps them navigate through college not only financially but in other areas, according to Jared.
“Working with a mentor gives you a figure to look up to. A real person that helps with anything and everything,” Jared said.
Meeting regularly with a mentor, working in small groups with other students, and the college financial match are all aspects that help keep participants in the Student Debt Project motivated to succeed, according to the Curtis brothers.
“There’s a lot of weight lifted off our shoulders,” Jake said. “Paying back student loans is something we won’t have to worry about. Not having that debt is huge and will help us as we progress in our lives.”