How to Beat the College Debt Trap Plus a GIVEAWAY!

Over the holidays, I was chatting with my sister-in-law, a financial advisor with a highly respected Fortune 100 financial services organization. We were talking about the value of a college education as weighed against the outrageously high cost to go to college these days.

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She asked me to recommend a book or resource that she could offer to her clients that would help them navigate the whole topic of student loans, college educations, savings, scholarships, savings programs—everything in one, neat package that would also be easy to read and even easier to understand. Sadly, I couldn’t give her even one resource to consider.

But that was last fall, and this is now. I am very excited that now there is such a source—a brand new book, Beating the College Debt Trap: Getting a Degree Without Going Broke, by Alex Chediak.

I was hopeful when the publisher asked me to read the manuscript—hopeful that finally someone would nail this difficult topic, offering realistic solutions for ordinary people.

Once I got into the manuscript, I was doing the happy dance. Chediak spares no punches, coming at the subject both as a student and college professor. He knows his stuff. He dives right into the nitty-gritty of how to pay less for college, get meaningful work during college (while setting yourself up for success after college); how to pay off any loans quickly (he recommends never taking on more than a total of $10,000 in student debt, which I agree is reasonable); spend less, save more and stay out of debt for good. Honestly, reading this book is like hearing myself talking. 

Written to both students and parents, this is a resource that answers the most pressing questions I get every day regarding financial aid, student loans; choosing the right school, selecting the right major and most of all graduating—all the while steering us away from the most deadly traps that trip up so many students these days.

If you’re worried that college may no longer be worth the cost (as so many parents and students are these days), let’s just put that worry to rest: Yes, it’s worth it—and it’s not even close. A four-year degree has possibly never been more valuable. But going headlong into debilitating debt is not worth it. The solution? Read this book. It is motivating, inspiring and an easy read.

Parents, give it to your kids. Kids, leave a copy on the kitchen table—maybe your parents will pick it up and learn something.

I am excited to let you know that Zondervan, the publisher of Beating the College Debt Trap, has furnished us with five copies to give away! To enter this giveaway, simply follow the prompts below.

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158 replies
  1. Lori Robinson says:

    I have a 15-year-old who is beginning to look at colleges. We plan on taking advantage of our state’s running start program where she will attend the community college during her junior and senior years, tuition free, earning credits toward an AA or to transfer to a 4-year college. Would love to have this book for both of us to read.

    Reply
  2. diane says:

    College applications, costs, etc, have changed SO much since I went. It’s hard to navigate any of it without professional help. I’ll take whatever help I can get to figure it all out to get the best bang for my buck and best future for my kids.

    Reply
  3. brown369 says:

    I’m interested in this book because I have twins going to college this fall, and my daughter wants to leave the state. Though she wants to be a doctor, my husband and I are very afraid of her undergrad debt. We don’t want to discourage her, but the debt potential is huge. The public college she’s been wanting to go to for years only offered her just over $6,000/year, but the nonresident tuition is $25,000 more than resident. Horrible.

    Reply
    • lisette says:

      if she is willing to serve in a rural or underserved area, or a reservation, as an MD she can get loan forgiveness. if she joins the military and goes to med school that way, she can have a career as an army doc, retire at 20 years, then go into civiloan practice, all debt free.

      Reply
  4. Jonathan H. says:

    My younger brother is a college freshman, and I working closely with him to help him get through college without student loan debt. He’s as committed to that as I am, and has been very frugal and industrious so far. I’d like to give him this book as an extra tool to help him succeed.

    Reply
  5. Shonda Tombrello says:

    When my first daughter went out of state to a college, we incurred a lot of debt. I now have a freshman in high school and would like to handle things with college a lot better. I think this book is just what I need.

    Reply
  6. Kim Hawkinberry-Moats says:

    I need this book!! My first son will begin college this coming fall. Need all the help I can get. Great book!! Finally, someone has written us an instruction manual for the complicated college process…

    Reply
  7. Triplfun says:

    I have triplets in high school. All three want to attend college. We can use all the help we can get. I love Everyday Cheapskate!

    Reply
  8. Teri French says:

    I hope to win a copy of this book as I have one child currently in college and another soon to follow. This will help me to help them avoid the student loan nightmare that I am STILL paying off.

    Reply
  9. Melanie Greene says:

    Would love to win a copy of this book. I’m still paying off student loans and would like to set my child up with a future with less student loan debt.

    Reply
  10. Bonnie says:

    Hi. I made the mistake of going to Everest college owned by Corinthian, one of the many schools that closed due to fraudulent activity. I was 6 months in and have been researching my best options for finishing my education. I really want to make the best choice moving forward and I would love to include this book in my research. I am only considering junior colleges in my area and trying to figure out the best way to financially to handle my education. Thanks for your consideration and great life advice. You continue to create a better world with all your great advice. Sincerely, Bonnie

    Reply
  11. Leslie says:

    I’m interested in this book for several reasons. I am a high school teacher and I talk to kids about college nearly every day. I went back to school a few years and got my master’s, and even working full time, I took on some debt to pay for the degree. I think I could have done better. I may go back to school for another degree, and this could help me immensely. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

    Reply
  12. Danell Underwood says:

    My son is a senior this year and my daughter a sophomore in high school. I’ve saved money in a 529 for both since they were very little, but it has not grown the way I wish it had. Since I never took out any student loans myself, I really don’t want them to have to, nor do I want to take out a parent loan. Unfortunately, I was laid off last year and am now self employed so I had to stop contributing to their 529 and I’m worried if we will be able to cover it all.

    Reply
  13. Misty Sells says:

    My son is a Senior this year and he wants to get a college education. He has also been offered to play baseball at a private university. We need to know exactly how to pay for this and he does not want to have a lot of student loans when he is done!! We really need to read this book. Thanks!!

    Reply
  14. Robin Carter says:

    One more college hopeful left at home, and we do NOT want any more college debt. We’ve been learning about what not to do and reading about all that we should do differently one last time. =0)

    Reply
  15. Tammie Alexander Herbert says:

    I need this book NOW. My son is a high school senior and I don’t want him to fall into the same trap I did. I still have not paid off my college loans and am not working in the field I trained for, due to caring for my elderly parents.

    Reply
  16. Marilyn H says:

    I have three children and although my oldest is only in 8th grade, she is already talking about going to college to be a nurse. It’s never too early to start trying to figure it all out.

    Reply
  17. nelly24u says:

    As a 1 income family with tons of medical bills, I have one graduating this year, who can’t seem to get it together on where to fill out for scholarships or what he needs to do for financial aid, or how to begin this process. Hopefully this book will help him and us out, as I’ve never had the parental guidance it’s hard to know what to tell him.

    Reply
  18. Sheila says:

    I can not overstate the importance of investing in your state’s 529 college plan when your kids are very young. We did and we have paid nothing for tuition, books, housing for the first three years of our daughter’s college..and have plenty more money for her senior year.

    Reply
  19. Michelle McGlynn says:

    I’ve got two children and one is only 3 years away from going off to college. My husband and I are still paying off our student loans and I really don’t want my children to be in debt for years to get an education like we have been. This book sounds like it would be the best resource for all of us to get the kids an education and not saddle them with huge debt for the rest of their lives.

    Reply
  20. jdp says:

    I am a parent of a college sophomore with 2 other children coming up right behind who needs lots of guidance right now! We live in Louisiana and Higher Education is taking a beating from our state government. HELP!

    Reply
  21. jja196722 says:

    As a private university employee, working directly with freshmen, I would like to be able to have this book available to students visiting my office.

    Reply
  22. Darla Schroeder says:

    My daughter is a senior in high school so we are busy looking at college expenses right now! Having a potential major that isn’t offered at most universities is limiting our search for an affordable college, but I would look forward to checking out this resource to see how to make the most of our decision making process!

    Reply
  23. Holly says:

    I have a son who is a senior in college but will take another year to finish his undergrad and ultimately plans to obtain his doctorate. So needless to say, he has A LOT of college left and potential for A LOT of debt. My husband and I have struggled under the weight of debilitating debt for many years and we do not want to see our son – or our other children – start off their adult life in debt. This book sounds like just what the doctor ordered!

    Reply
  24. Judith Brake says:

    My family and I were happy to celebrate being debt free in November of 2014 and we have remained debt free. We thanked Mary at that time for all her great tools to help us achieve the debt free challenge. As our journey continues we follow Mary to this day. We have two younger daughters (12yrs and 8 yrs old) and want to start early creating a plan to pay for college. We do not want to face debt again!!! We would be happy to receive this book and prepare now for the college tuition road.

    Reply
  25. Beth says:

    More than a decade out of college, I’m under about $13K in student loans, and after nearly five years, my hubby is still under a little more than $30K. With two little girls, 5 and 8, I want to avoid putting them into the same financial manacles my hubby & I gleefully locked onto our lives. We both assumed we’d get high-powered jobs & pay it off lickety-split, but after only six months of marriage with nearly $80K in income that we spent recklessly, I had massive health issues. When finally stabilized, DH went to college, but he graduated just as the state closed 17 schools and laid off all but the tenured teachers, so he has yet to work in his field. We took loans on expected future income, and life mocked us. NEVER assume, never sign away future anything, never enslave yourself to anyone.

    Reply
    • Sheila says:

      Research your state’s 529 college plan whole your girls are young. One year from now we will have paid nothing out of pocket for 4 years at NCSU. The plan covers housing and meal plans too. We even skipped 6 years of investing when money was tight.

      Reply
  26. Sharon Madison says:

    Information about careers goes obsolete so quickly, that this book ought to be invaluable because it is current. I’d like to see trade schools and apprenticeships being well-respected as well. College is not for everybody, but if it’s for our kids, let’s make it affordable!

    Reply
  27. teachinmom says:

    We have been trying to get my daughter through college with as little debt as possible. but opportunities abound, which only raises the cost or limits her available time to work. Weighing the benefits of the opportunities against the further financial strain has become quite a challenge.

    Reply
  28. A Mazza says:

    Winning this book would be great as I have numerous nieces and nephews of school age who could certainly benefit (as well as their parents) by having all of this information in one convenient spot. Thanks!

    Reply
  29. Lori Bennett says:

    There needs to be some sanity brought to the table when parents and kids start talking about college and what they can afford and where they should go. I have friends who could have used this book! I feel very sorry for the students coming out of school with outrageous amounts of debt.

    Reply
  30. Jrsharpe says:

    I was so blessed to have my parents pay for my schooling and my husband was able to come into the marriage with very little dept that we were able to pay off quickly but I would love this book for our future children!

    Reply
  31. EriGee says:

    Although I’m long out of college & have no kids, I still have nieces, nephews, and know many college-age kids who REALLY need help. Having been caught in this trap myself – as so many hundreds of thousands have been – I know how horrible it is to be tormented by creditors, loan servicing people, and so forth. I was so depressed by the harassment that I often thought of suicide! I’d love to have a copy of this to use as a reference when people need help. The only help I ever really had was the internet – and that took forever (YEARS) to help me finally get things straightened out!

    Reply
  32. Kimberly Curington says:

    Our daughter is in her first year of college, and worrying about paying for it has wound her father and I into knots. We could use any help we can get.

    Reply
  33. Rhonda Fosbinder says:

    My daughter is graduating high school in two years, and wants to go to medical school. I think we fall into the “gap group”, i.e. although my husband is on disability, my income is high enough to bar “needs based” programs but way too low to pay for college. So we are scrambling for options! She is an A+ student, but I’m not sure that alone with pay her way. We need help!

    Reply
  34. Denise Conway says:

    My grandson has just started college and is really trying to find ways to keep his costs low so he doesn’t have a lot of student loans at the end. He is making some very wise decisions so far but would love to learn tested ways he can make smart decisions.

    Reply
  35. Joanne says:

    Would love to have a book for my great-niece. She is currently 13 yo and we talk about preparation for college. However, we are finding it much more difficult to impart out values around debt, because although she lives with us and has for 98% of her life, there is the “noise” from parents and other family that doesn’t coincide with what we live by and were able to impart to our children.

    Reply
  36. Janet says:

    Our twin daughters are sophomores in high school. Whammy! The college discussions have begun. Our heads are spinning! This book could be another great resource for us. Thank you for recommending it!

    Reply
  37. Carolyn says:

    Quite timely topic. We have a skimp-and-save daughter in college who is in a rigorous work-study program – but she had to take out a loan to cover some costs, regardless. We have a son who dropped out of college because he accrued too much debt and is now working to pay it off (he’s not sure now if he wants to return to college and face debt again). We have another daughter who is afraid of college period – because of the cost of tuition and related other expenses.

    Reply
  38. P Keenan says:

    I am always advising our students that student loans should be small. great to see a resource that also advises this. a beer put on a student loan can take more than a week to pay off afterwards.

    Reply
  39. lizanne says:

    My 18 y.o. son decided to live on his own & work f/t after he graduated last spring. He did want to attend college this past fall, but the cost of the school he was accepted to was way too expensive & he received no financial aid whatsoever. This past January he decided to sign up for a couple local community college classes this semester, but I know his ultimate goal is to go to college f/t & get a bachelor’s degree. Hoping this book might help him – thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

    Reply
  40. lizanne says:

    My son graduated last spring & chose to work because he couldn’t get financial aid at the school he was accepted at & it was too expensive. This January he decided to take a few classes at the local community college while he continues to work almost full-time (35 hrs/wk) in the IT field. He spends every cent he earns as soon as he gets it (mostly on games & music), which is disheartening. He moved out 4 months ago, too, renting a room from someone in town. We have no say in anything. I would love this book if it would get through to him & give him options. He felt the career counselors at his high school were pushy & so wouldn’t seek out their (free) help. It’s hard as a mom to see him making such poor choices…

    Reply
  41. Mrsslam824 says:

    This book would be so helpful for my family. My daughter is in college now, going on scholarships, grants and the dreaded student loan. I am also currently in college attempting to finish my bachelor’s degree. I have been able so far to pay as I go so no debt yet for my degree. In a couple of years my adult son plans to attend college, and with a good head on his shoulders, is trying to think of any way possible to not be in debt when he graduates. My husband has been wanting get to change professions and would need a bachelor’s degree to obtain his goals. I think the book would really help all of us not be in debt until we die ( or feel like it).

    Reply
  42. Maryne says:

    With a daughter planning for University we are realizing quite quickly how fast the bills can add up, but we are determined to get her through it as smartly and “cheaply” as possible. We’d love some help with this!!

    Reply
  43. Janice says:

    In reading all the comments, there are so many people who are more deserving/need of this book! I wish them all well!
    I will throw my hat into the ring for our son who went one year to college and didn’t return. After realizing rather than rack up more debt, he decided to take time to figure out what direction he wanted to go. His loans for that one year of school have come due (ouch) and is paying on them, while learning about being a responsible adult. He has figured out that his goal of being an entrepreneur will be more realized once he gets a business degree, as our oldest son will receive his this spring at the age of 29 after taking 5 years off and realizing that he would need more knowledge on being an entrepreneur and hopefully college would fulfill that need :^). He will only be about 9-10K dollars in debt for a 4 year business degree :^).
    The son to whom I am entering for the prize, wants to do it more wisely the next time around. We all have to learn about life and hopefully don’t repeat the same mistakes.
    Thank you for the valuable information you provide for all of us. Everyday I look forward to see what golden nuggets you pass along. God bless you and the work you do for us all!

    Reply
  44. Scott says:

    With a 28 yr old son who dropped out of college, two daughters doing college on-line, and my last 20 year old soon to be home from a church mission and starting college, I need a resource for the youngest to learn all he can to start and stay in school. Just saying it’s important to get a degree just isn’t enough anymore with the cost being such a deterrent. Thank goodness for this book!

    Reply
  45. Laura Alexander Riordan says:

    We were just discussing this topic last night! It was very depressing. My husband and I are still paying off graduate school debt – and taking on more – while also wondering how to pay for our son to start college next year. I hope that this book has some good ideas!

    Reply
  46. Penny says:

    I have a Junior in high school and have been absolutely overwhelmed as we look into the cost of college! This book sounds like an encouraging resource.

    Reply
  47. fancy says:

    This book would be great for my son and I! He’s soon turning 17 and we are starting all the college stuff now and any help to be able to send him to school for the lowest debt possible is my goal in life!! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy Mary!!!

    Reply
  48. Nicki-Brent Woodard says:

    With our oldest son, he started taking CLEPs in High School that went towards college credit. At this point he is a junior in college and still out of debt. He has worked with an organization called CollegePlus!. I don’t think our youngest son has the motivation to follow in his brother’s footsteps. Any info about staying out of debt is a great benefit to our society. Thank you for getting the word out about this book

    Reply
  49. Debi Beeuwsaert says:

    My niece is getting ready to head off to college this coming fall. My nephew graduated with a nursing degree but has oodles of debt even with the scholarships he received.

    Reply
  50. Katherine says:

    We need this book for our grandchildren who are currently college age and younger. Any information to help them stay debt free is awesome!

    Reply
  51. Shawna Shade says:

    We have 2 other books by this author – Thriving at College and Preparing Your Teens for College, both are an excellent reads and resources. I’m sure this one will not disappoint! Thanks Mary, for bringing this to our attention!

    Reply
  52. Ann carlton says:

    My grandson is approaching college. His mother is on dialysis and at Christmas had her lower leg removed. My son is trying to keep his family together and we need to know how to help with college in 2 years. He is a terrific, bright kid with sacral agenesis but is on the swim team and works hard to not show his disability.

    Reply
  53. Gina O'Connor says:

    My daughter is currently looking into college choices. She is trying her best to choose an affordable route, so I am excited that there is a book like this to help her make her choice!

    Reply
  54. Sally says:

    Mary, I look forward to your blog everyday. Very well written and thought provoking, it provides me with hints I use. I graduated 2 years ago at 57 so I am paying back my college. This book would be great if my youngest son decides to return to school as his mom did! Thank you for this opportunity Mary and continue to keep me inspired. Thanks Sally

    Reply
  55. Deb says:

    As an adult in a masters program this book would be great to read. I also have 2 in college and twin boys who will be heading to college in a year.

    Reply
  56. Aila Griffiths says:

    I love finding information and tips on how to reach our goals more wisely. My husband is planning to go back to school this year to complete his degree, and we’re determined to do it with no debt!! This book definitely looks interesting to me. 🙂

    Reply
  57. Ellie Hecht Wilder says:

    I have one son paying off $12,000 without even acquiring a degree and 2 daughters that will enter college as freshmen next fall. With decisions of where and what type of major this resource will be valuable!

    Reply
  58. Andrea Beth says:

    My daughter has no clue what she wants to do nor is she traditional college material. I want to emphasize why a credential (i.e. a 6 month to 12 year certificate with a built in internship that leads to a good paying job in our area) is more important than a four-year degree for someone with her interests.

    Reply
  59. Andrea Hall says:

    I have a HS Senior and a HS Freshman. The senior is all set and on the right path financially. However, when my Freshman is on her way to college, it may pose a challenge. As the HS Senior is planning on going to Grad school. I am not “low income” per the Federal Government’s definition. I have my own definition, though. LOL
    I want to read anything that you recommend will benefit me in this process.

    Reply
  60. Wendy Clarke says:

    I work for a non-profit as a Financial Coach and this is a hot topic for us right now. We are working with the local high schools and community college to talk to students about student loan debt. We are also working with local employers to help their employees deal with their student loan debt. This book would be a big help for us.

    Reply
  61. Jamie Mixon says:

    I am the parent of a college student! This book could certainly help both of us navigate the financial pitfalls of an expensive college education.

    Reply
  62. Julie Faughnan says:

    Oh Mary…of all of your hints and tips towards paving the road to a strong financial future, making this book available to your followers has got to be one of your top three. I have three sons currently in college…on working on his BA in Environmental Biology, one in Medical School and one working on a PhD in Pharmacology for cancer research. Although my heart bursts with pride, my pocketbook seems very empty these days. So far, all of the hard earned savings that we set aside since they were born has covered the costs with no student loans but the money is running out. Especially the cost of medical school is daunting. I don’t want them to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in school loans because in today’s economy…no matter how thrifty you are, you will always be in debt. This book comes at a critical time for us as we decide how to come up with the money to pay for the remainder of one son’s BA and 2 more years of medical school. Thank you so much for finding this valuable resource for us!!! Sending big hugs!

    Reply
  63. Teresa says:

    Great timing on this book, my oldest is a junior in high school. I am very concerned about her not graduating with student debt and that she obtains a degree that will provide the opportunity for a decent job. It seems that recently I am seeing a lot of young adults graduating with degree’s that do not increase their ability to find decent paying jobs. Yet, the college’s they attended assured them that they would have no problems finding jobs in their chosen professions. I also feel strongly that too many people fall into the trap of feeling like they have to go to the top school for their degree. While this can have some benefits, the cost is usually much higher. In the end you will still have the same degree. I did this with graduate school and ended up in a lot more debt because of my poor decision. After I graduated I quickly realized the school didn’t matter as much, rather it was who I knew in the profession. Saying you go to a certain school may sound great, but does not necessarily translate into any better job opportunities in the end.

    Reply
  64. Stephanie H says:

    I have this book on my Amazon wishlist. My eldest will be heading off to college in the fall. I’ve just completed our taxes so I can get our FAFSA submitted in the next couple of weeks. I’ve also been having our son apply for as many scholarships as possible – anything to lighten his potential debt load long term.

    Reply
  65. Holly says:

    Well, I have one daughter who is a Freshman in college, and another who will be heading off in a couple of years. Any advice we can get would be really helpful! For their future, and ours! 🙂

    Reply
  66. Doris says:

    Our oldest son accumulated a lot of student loan debt. We want a better alternative for our two other kids! Thanks for offering this.

    Reply
  67. bonnieprincecharlie says:

    Thanks for the book suggestion. It’ll be a while before we have to start delving into this issue (children 6 and 10); perhaps the author will write updates from time to time?

    Reply
  68. Michelle Niska says:

    We have a junior in high school that is starting to look at colleges, majors, etc and we NEED to get some good advice on navigating this new journey. She really wants to attend a 4 yr university out of state, but how in the world can it be done? We really don’t want to have to take out a lot of loans that will be a burden for her after she graduates. She has aspirations to go as far as a doctorate. I’m thrilled with her hard work and drive, but worried about the finances involved.

    Reply
  69. Kent Slocum says:

    As a college student, I am very concerned about debt, employment and financial security. If I were to win this book, I am sure it would become my go-to resource.

    Reply
  70. Eileen says:

    My grandson is looking to college. He is a remarkable young man, I am amazed at how mature he is. I think this would be a good book for him to show how he can afford to go to college. He will have to support himself. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    Reply
  71. Elaine Riley says:

    I am interested in having my HS Junior and myself read this book before he gets to the point of actually attending college.

    Reply
  72. Chris Granda says:

    I have a daughter with 4 sons who are close to college age. She and her husband have many medical issues and can’t work full time, but do their best to make a living and care for their boys, plus they have guardianship of a niece and nephew. The oldest is trying to get a scholarship through wrestling, but if they have any chance of going to college at all, they need all the help and advice they can get. I know that my daughter, who is a Cheapskate by necessity, would get a lot out of this information.

    Reply
  73. shorman says:

    I have been following EC for many many years. I graduated from college with the whopping debt of ~$4000. My son is now 13 and I am hoping that he can do the same. That is why I want a copy of this book. I am sure college won’t be any cheaper in 4 or 5 years.

    Reply
  74. Melissa Jouett says:

    I would love to win the book. I have one in college already and she got a full tuition scholarship, but I have a 13 year old I need to start planning for. We also have a 4 yr old with Down syndrome who we would like to have a college experience but we aren’t sure how to go about getting funding for her. I am hoping this book will have some options for us.

    Reply
  75. Jennifer says:

    I need to prepare for this as two of my children are a few years away from entering college. I have appreciated Alex Chediak’s books and have given them to grads as gifts.

    Reply
  76. Elizabeth (N.C.) says:

    My husband and I have 2 daughters that we have been saving $50/month each in their 529 plans since they were born. We just met with a free financial adviser at our State Employees Credit Union and we got the results of our college finances for our girls. At the rate we are saving and if our girls go to a state school we are still only going to be able to fund about 15-20% of the overall cost of their college tuition. We would love to help them any way we can to come out of college with as little debt as possible and at the same time figure out a way we can save more for them so that maybe we can at least pay for 50%. Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  77. Becca Seroogy says:

    Is this book helpful for an adult contemplating returning to college? Or is it just for high school graduates going straight into college?

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Adults returning to college face the same challenges as youngers. The cost of an education and all of the ways one can fall into the debt trap have no regard for age. So the answer is … yes. A very helpful resource for returners as well as first timers.

      Reply
  78. Josh N Kelly Conley says:

    We are a pastoral family and have one in college and another that is in the planning stages of decision. We are looking for any helpful advice.

    Reply
  79. Rev. Cathey Williams says:

    Having had children and now grandchildren struggle trying to pay to attend college, I’m interested in any help Ms. Hunt might recommend.

    Reply
  80. comom says:

    College education is almost essential these days. I know there is money available to help with the out with the costs associated with this. I am hoping this book shows us more avenues to accomplish this.

    Reply
  81. Heatherlee Trujillo says:

    My son is getting ready for his senior year and I don’t want him to go to college in the same traditional way that too many students are going, in debt. I did it that way and it took too long to pay off. I know his grades won’t qualify him for scholarships and he is too shy to have any extra curricular activities. I believe this book will help us both to get him through college and life without debt.

    Reply
  82. Pam Williams says:

    Thank you for the chances. My daughter and stepson are both attending their first year of college. Any financial help is welcomed!

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Oh, it would be perfect, Anna. Hope you win … and if not, that someone purchases a copy for your library. Alex Chediak is a professor at California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif.

      Reply
  83. Jule barta says:

    In your post you asked “Is college worth it”. The correct answer is, it depends. Before going off to college, make sure to research what jobs are available for your major. There are many college graduates who have a ton of student loans, but their degree is not in a field that does not have many job opportunities. There are also many other great jobs out there that don’t require a degree. My husband is a welding teacher and there is a huge need across the country for welders. Last year 3 of his students got hired at a local company straight out of high school and are making over $20/hour. In a few years these students can potentially make 80-100K per year all without incurring debt for student loans. College is great, but be smart. Research where the jobs are, what is available in your area, and the potential salary before you spend all that time and money.

    Reply
  84. Traci Petersen says:

    My third child is going to college next fall. She has been using PSEO to take college courses for dual credit, so by the time she graduates from high school, she should be a second-semester sophomore! We can always use more tips, though!

    Reply
  85. Kathryn says:

    I need three copies of this book! I’m in college, as well as my two daughters! They’re picking up some things for me, but both of them have taken out loans, whereas I have not. Help me help them!

    Reply
  86. Stephanie Tompkins says:

    I have a high school senior and an eighth grader, I could use a good resource to help make decisions and teach them about not going into debt for an education.

    Reply
  87. Dana says:

    We have a senior and sophomore in high school. We’ve been having discussions lately on college expense vs benefits depending on the work you plan to do. We know many college graduates who are deep in debt and not using their degrees. This book would help us! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    Reply
  88. Rick Box says:

    I have a kid in 12th grade, and am about to marry a woman with kids ages 17, 14, and 10. I could really use some ideas. Also, I regularly review books on goodreads.com – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/504424-bup . The great thing about goodreads is that people there actually read and buy books. And they run giveaways too – great way to get more publicity.

    Reply
  89. Mary Hess says:

    Wish we had this book available before our six children went to college, but maybe it could help us pay off our debt and also help our grandchildren. Sure would like a copy!

    Reply
  90. SewMoomz says:

    We managed to get our kids through college without debt but sadly didn’t have any resources to help us! I work with women at our church who have kids facing this issue soon. How great to have a resource to safeguard them from this huge trap!

    Reply
  91. Amy Spencer says:

    I have 3 sons, the oldest of whom is entering high school next fall. This sounds like a very helpful book, especially since we’re still paying off my husband’s college (including graduate school) loans.

    Reply
  92. Kate Sosinska says:

    I have a 9yr old and as a single parent his college education financing is always on my mind. Would really appreciate a copy of this book to help with planning.

    Reply
  93. Jennifer Stanley says:

    This would make such a great gift for my friend and her son. He’s approaching college age quickly and I think there’s an excellent lesson taught in this book that he needs to know BEFORE rather than learn the hard way.

    Reply
  94. Kim Plath O'Heron says:

    We have a college freshman, a high school senior, and a high school sophomore. The cost of college, even regional state universities, has knocked the wind out of us! We are launching into this very expensive phase in life in rapid-fire style, and we are finding that financial aid and scholarship money are very difficult to come by, even for great students with great test scores. Equally difficult to find are comprehensive resources to help parents and students figure out how to economically obtain a college degree. It is my hope we will find that in this book. I can’t wait to read it with my family!

    Reply
  95. Jeanettel says:

    Being an everyday cheapskate myself, I already requested this book from our public library. Sounds like this resource belongs in every high school library or guidance counsellor desk! If I win, I will donate the book to my kids’ high school, so that other students can navigate how to pay less for college and avoid the debt trap! College debt is an critical issue affecting the Millennials, even determining when they will marry, buy their first house, and other critical choices. This book could not have been written at a better time.

    Reply
  96. Cathy says:

    Learning how to put our son through college without acquiring massive amounts of debt is very valuable. My husband and I still have student loans to pay off ourselves so we really don’t want our son to face the same situation. Reading a book like this would be very helpful and worth my while. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  97. Marianne says:

    Four of our children have graduated from college. Two more are currently in college. You’d think we know all the ins and outs but we don’t. We’re now on the threshold of retirement and putting these last two through college is hurting financially.

    Reply
  98. Christy H says:

    This book could not have come at a better time. My son is graduating this year and we have been on the college tours the past 6 months. He has gotten into the 2 of his top 3 schools but now to figure out how to pay for it. I was shocked at the sticker price of some of the schools we have checked in to

    Reply
  99. Jennifer Kelly says:

    Thank you! I have a 17 year old, 15 year old and 13 year old. Over the next 6 years I will have three looking at and entering college. Needless to say I don’t sleep much worrying about them finding the right school, getting in and more than anything paying for it!

    Reply
  100. jegrover says:

    I’ve got twins entering high school next year. any way that I can figure to save money on college is great. I managed to graduate with a masters degree and no debt, so know that it can be done. Things have changed since I went to school so any new advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
  101. Laurin says:

    My daughter is a high school senior and my son is an eighth grader. The college acceptance letters are rolling in, but we are still at a loss how we are going to pay for it all. Help!

    Reply
  102. Kaley Keith says:

    My kids are 6 and 3 and we have college savings accounts started for them. I am just starting the dissertation phase for my doctorate and am guessing I will wish I had read this before I took this degree on! I am hoping to teach college students someday, and this will be a good read to help them navigate finances for their degree.

    Reply
  103. Alice Crabb says:

    I would like this book to help my kids go to college without incurring a large debt load. My oldest child enters high school next year and I want him to read this book in order to gain a vision and plan to stay out of debt. Thanks, Mary, for all your wonderful advice. I have been reading your tips and advice for around 15 years.

    Reply
  104. Jenn says:

    I have an 8th grader that dreams of attending CMU but I have nightmares about the cost and how we are going to make it happen. Hoping that this book can help.

    Reply
  105. Susan B says:

    I have a High School Freshman. Now is a great time to be collecting information. Debt free is the best way (or as close to that as possible). 🙂

    Reply
  106. Connie says:

    I love this to give to my 3 grandkids. One in college now, a senior & a junior in high school. Thank you for a chance to win this book.

    Reply
  107. Janet says:

    Mary, Love your great ideas for making life a bit better!

    College… our awesome son, (one of five awesome children) is attending a wonderful school. Last year hubby received a one time bonus that has wrecked son’s FA. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Reply
  108. Stephanie Knoeppel Caruthers says:

    I have 5 children, the oldest of which is 13 right now. I would like to have this book to be prepared for what is to come in the next 5 years and beyond. I feel like I made good financial decisions while in college, but I know there are more traps AND more options now. I want to make sure we are going down the correct path. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Reply
  109. Tony Bauer says:

    I have two kids starting college in the next three years. I’m not going into debt and I don’t want them to, either. Knowledge is power..thanks Mary!

    Reply

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