When I was 18, my father sat me down at the computer and told me to click through a magical document called FAFSA. All I knew was that in order to go to college, I needed money. And in order to get the money, I needed to digitally complete this form.
Nearly six years later, I owe the federal government the equivalent of a new car.
No, money isn’t everything. But it’s pretty dang important. My generation is crippled by student loan debt. Many of us might never buy houses or have extra income to take vacations.
When my grandfather went to law school, his tuition was a few hundred dollars a semester, and he had a scholarship to pay for it. When I considered the same school for my graduate degree, I received a top scholarship, and it still would have cost me $20,000 in tuition alone.
We’re told we have to take out exorbitant amounts in loans to get a job, but then struggle to pay back what we borrowed.
Finances are important in every aspect of life, from where you live to who you marry. (Make sure to ask your significant other how much debt he or she is in before you get married, y’all. Seriously.) How much money you have and how much you pay in bills dictates your ability to do what you want in life.
Starting on page 22, you’ll find our feature package on debt. If the thought of filling out FAFSA gives you a headache, if you’re unsure whether to buy or lease your next car, or if you’re considering taking out a loan to pay for a wedding, we’ve got stories for you. From tools on how to get better at managing your money to what the heck a credit score does, we put together a bunch of information to help you with your finances.
Boy, do I wish I’d had this my first semester of college.