I Graduated Debt Free & Got Back $10,000.
Entering high school at age fourteen, I had no idea what financial obstacles lay ahead. I knew that I wanted to go to college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and career – I debated going into graphic design, computer science, accounting – just about everything under the sun. And in high school, many well meaning people will give bad advice based on preconceived notions about college.
Adding to my stress was watching my cousin struggle to find work after college. She was four years ahead of me, and took out loans to pay for her education. While she kept her loans low by today’s standards (around $10,000), my cousin graduated into a recession. Even with a degree, she was at the whims of the job market. Month after month, she stressed about her student loans while going on interview after interview.
Watching my cousin made me afraid to take on debt – but many of my friends funded their education through loans. Two of my close friends took out more than $20,000 in loans for undergraduate. Other people in my class got into their dream college and were stuck holding $100,000 bills for undergraduate. And for people who may want to go on to graduate or law school, the amounts start looking like mortgages.
I spent my senior year of high school worried, scared, and confused. I started a scholarships and grants hunt, and found a lot of ways to finance my education. But knowledge isn’t just power – in the college tuition game, knowledge is money. And unfortunately, I made a few mistakes along the way that cost me thousands of dollars. Luckily for me, I recovered in spite of the misinformed advisors, confusing paperwork, and challenging financial aid requirements.
When I graduated from University of Maryland, Baltimore Dental School in 2011, tuition was $10,000 a semester for in-state tuition. If I hadn’t done my research, I could have shelled out more than $80,000 for my degree. But instead, I ended up paying nothing in tuition – and I actually got money back every semester! I am happy in my profession and able to move on with my life after college – I ended up buying my first home three months after graduation and I’m living a travel filled adult life.
But something still bothered me.
Many of my friends from high school and college couldn’t start their lives the way I could. They were saddled with so much debt. Most of my friends live with roommates or their parents. They had to take whatever jobs were paying, instead of having the financial freedom to take internships and take their time in finding their first job out of college. One of my friends is twenty-eight years old paying $400 a month in rent (with roommates) and pays more than $1,000 toward his student loan minimums each month. Despite having a good job with the government, he doesn’t think he will be able to move into his own place, get married, or buy a house.
I wrote “How to Graduate College Debt Free with Money in the Bank” and created this site to make sure that no one else has to worry about how to pay for college. No one should have to think about dropping out because they can’t afford tuition. No one should have to mortgage their present to pay for the future. And I want to help you achieve your dreams…debt free.
Shanice Miller graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore Dental School in 2011. With the high costs associated with attending a dental school, Shanice is no stranger to worrying about paying for college and wondering if she will be able to even afford to go to college. Knowing she wouldn’t have much help from her parents, Shanice was forced to figure out the solution to her problem.
Shanice’s intense passion for completing school led her to the scholarship world. She spent countless hours dedicating herself to researching, applying to, and winning scholarships so she could make her college dream come true. To her surprise, she won so many scholarships that she received thousands of dollars in the form of refund checks back from the college each semester. By the time she graduated, she was debt free and had enough money saved up from the refund checks to purchase her first home.
For years, Shanice has been encouraging and advising others to follow her simple steps to scholarship success.
Below is the proof of her refund check amounts for the last 2 years of her college career.
Hurry Up, This Code Won’t Last Long…