Guest Post: Elijah Oyenuga is one of the Summer Jobs Student working at the Boston Bar Association. He recently graduated from Another Course to College in Brighton and will be attending Lesley University next year.
Yesterday’s enrichment seminar on Student Loans, taught by Daniel Forster, Assistant Vice President of Admission and Student Financial Services at Simmons College, was very memorable. After eating bagels and sipping orange juice, we all settled in for an interesting discussion on student loans.
The most important thing that I learned was the importance of access to information on student loans. At first, I wasn’t sure why we needed to have an entire seminar pertaining to this topic. In my high school experience, we routinely learned about the FASFA and different methods of paying for our college education. But the minute Mr. Forster asked “who knows what the FASFA is?” and only a handful of students, including myself, thought to raise our hands, I understood.
At the end of the seminar, something quite evident yet shocking dawned on me. Despite being seventeen years old, within the course of this year, I accumulated a pending debt of over twenty five thousand dollars, all of which I retained in my name. For me it was a necessary evil. My education was and is important to me, and at the time, it felt as if I was investing in my future, and I was. However, the majority of this debt could have all been avoided if I had listened and applied what I knew when applying for colleges and filling out my FASFA.
Most twelfth grade students are too busy to sit down and genuinely think of the cost that goes into getting a college education. We have to make sure our grades are up to par and to keep up with the course load that comes with being a twelfth grade student. That is why a seminar on student loans, such as the one we had today, is an absolute necessity. Yet despite having programs like uAspire, many still don’t have access to this information. I would like to express my gratitude to Daniel Forster for coming in this Wednesday and teaching the BBA Summer Program participants and me about student loans. I think that the best thing to keep in mind is that student debt doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it is something that we must routinely be aware of.