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It doesn't have to cost $100,000

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Writer Ted Smith says student school debt doesn't have to overwhelm you.
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NORMAN, Okla. -- It seems that everywhere I look there is the constant complaint of all of these young people that owe $100,000 in school loans.

I thought it might be important to explain how you go to school and get a good college education without owing $100,000.00 dollars in school debt.

The first thing that you do is get a job when you are 16-years old and save half of what you make.

If you work 20 hours a week and make $8.00 per hour you would make $160.00 per week. In the three summer months, you would make $320.00 per week. If you saved half of what you made at the end of the summer when you were ready to go to college you would have about $9,000.00 saved.

So when you start college at a local junior college you tuition would be for 24 hour $2,376.

While you are taking those twelve hours per semester, you continue working twenty hours a week and you live at home. Transportation is available by bus. So you would still be saving $80.00 per week.

Two years at the junior college would cost $4, 752. You have saved from your work another $9,000.00. So you now have 13,000. Now you transfer your two years of credit to a four year college and apply for your college loans. $5, 500 is available your first year.

Tuition and all cost for a four year school in Oklahoma is about $18,000. So you use your loan and the money you saved to pay the third year of your school, you still continue to work the whole time you are going to school. The next year you borrow the whole amount of $18,000.

So by working, saving and being smart in buying your college education you come away with a college degree and about $23,000 in college loans.

Granted, you had to work all the time you were in collage. You did not get to belong to a Greek association. You did not get to party your first two years of college. You did not get to live like a middle-income person while you went to college, but you did not have $100,000 in college debt when you finished school.

More important than that is the fact that you learned how to work. You learned responsibility and how to defer gratification. You developed discipline and are now ready to find your place in the world.

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About the Author

Ted H. Smith

Ted H. Smith is a 1966 graduate of Texas A&M University. He received his Master Degree in...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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