Kylee Martin graduates in May 2020 and feels prepared for her future. She has secured her first job and even purchased her first house several months before graduation. Kylee is applying the knowledge and resources she gained from The Student Debt Project to manage her finances well after graduating.
“The things I learn in The Student Debt Project help me budget my money to the dollar and help me be more independent,” she said. “The skills I’ve learned will help me transition into the ‘real world.’”
The Student Debt Project wasn’t available Kylee’s freshman year. Even with a late start, she was able to cut her student debt by half and anticipates paying it off in three to four years. Kylee worked throughout high school and knew she would have to work in college. She also knew that despite the scholarships she qualified for, she would still need to take out student loans. The Student Debt Project taught her how to build healthy money habits and the college matched a portion of her earnings to help pay down her tuition debt.
“Working throughout my four years at college hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been worth it when I realize that I won’t have a big student loan payment to make each month after I graduate,” Kylee said.
Learning how to set up a budget and sticking to it are a couple of things that Kylee appreciates about the program. The support she received while at college makes her confident that she will be able to manage her finances and enjoy life after college.
“Knowing that I will be able to pay my student debt quicker than many of friends who went to other colleges takes a lot of stress off,” she said.
Mentorship and working in a small group with other students in the program has also been a benefit for Kylee. Talking about personal finances can be uncomfortable, she said, but working with others in similar situations has made it easier for her seek advice.
“We are all in different situations but we can help each other,” she said. “Teaching somebody else defines what you have learned.”