This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Graduating from College Debt-Free, Interview with Kara Walker. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
Graduating from College Debt-Free, Interview with Kara Walker
This has been a fun week because this week Vicki got to sit down with Kara Walker from Money and Mental Piece, who’s a homeschool grad and entrepreneur!
You and your homeschool high schooler may have thought about college, but have you thought much about the cost of college? Of course, you want your child to be whatever they want to be, but at what cost? Maybe it will be a lot cheaper than you fear! Because today we’re going to see exactly how your child can graduate debt free from college!
Kara’s Homeschool Story
Kara is a 20-something Christian entrepreneur who was homeschooled and transitioned to college after her homeschool journey. And, most significantly, she graduated from college debt free!
Because of this feat, Kara’s on a quest to help other students do the same through her Money and Mental Peace podcast as well as her upcoming course called The Debt Free College Blueprint.
She’s an amateur snowboarder and recovering overachiever – something that she is working on wrangling even to this day. She likes goal setting, budgeting, and living a debt-free lifestyle. And her goal is to help kids, parents, and families to do the same.
Kara’s mom is a public school teacher and was even a teacher back when Kara was homeschooling. During high school, she’d participate in co-ops and extracurriculars, which she believes was the foundation that set her up for college.
Kara and Financial Literacy
During high school, Kara took a Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, where she learned all about compound interest, investing, and making money. Through this course is when she realized just how impactful finances are and how much of a huge role they play in life. That’s when she fell in love with finances. (Shameless plug: take a look at 7SistersHomeschool’s interactive Financial Literacy course. Our teens find it life-guiding!)
As she was going through college, she learned ways to test out of courses with CLEP tests and SATs, among learning other neat tricks to save money, which helped her get the first two years of college free.
Savvy college credits and scholarships
She also got a full scholarship to her community college by simply calling the director and asking about scholarships. She says that initiating and bugging people politely is awesome in college when it comes to important decision makers of scholarships. Her friend ended up getting a full women’s scholarship, and he is a man – because no one else applied for that scholarship!
She also did an articulation agreement where she got to do two-thirds of her degree at her community college to transfer to a university. She ended up paying about $1,200 for her Associate’s degree in all because of her neat tricks that she’s going to share with us today!
When she did not know what she wanted to do next, she spent a gap year interning with the National Park Service, which got her an educational award scholarship.
When she graduated from college at Eastern Michigan University with a BA in Marketing and minor in Math, she left with $10,000 in her bank account because she did not have to use that money she had saved for college tuition.
After graduation, she immediately became a business owner to help students find scholarships for college and guide them through. Since her graduation, Kara has found so many more options to help kids through college debt-free and that is what she is going to share with us today!
Tips For Graduating College Debt Free
Take advantage of doing CLEP tests
There are study guides specifically made for CLEP tests that aren’t that expensive ($20 or less) that you can find on Amazon.
There’s also a website called Free-CLEP-prep.com to help kids study for these tests and probably a few other sites if you google.
The company, Modern States, has CLEP test study guide programs online. If you sign up for them, they will give you a voucher to reimburse you for taking the CLEP test, which will also save you money for taking the test!
Once you study for a few weeks, you can schedule to take the test at a local college campus. The test is pass or fail. If you pass, you use those credits for college.
Find which colleges accept the most transfer credits
There are a few colleges that accept more transfer credits than others. You can check to see which colleges take the most transfer credits (for instance, credits from community colleges) and then work towards gaining these transfer credits.
Some kids go to specific colleges just because they accept the most transfer colleges, which helps them graduate from college a lot earlier. For example, one friend John got his Bachelor’s degree at the age of 19, a year after he graduated high school, because he specifically went to a college that accepted the most transfer credits.
A few colleges that accept higher transfer credits than others are namely:
- Excelsior College
- Thomas Edison State University
You can also google which colleges accept higher CLEP transfer credits and then see which programs they have, so your high schooler can start having a plan!
Look for internships and volunteer opportunities
AmeriCorps has internship and volunteer opportunities you can apply for. You can take awesome opportunities and all these rich experiences to help save on tuition.
Several companies and internships have scholarship opportunities, so just do google searches for companies like these.
By doing internships, you can trade time for tuition!
Talk to Kara at Money and Mental Peace
Kara guarantees to find each child between $10,000 and $30,000 in opportunities and scholarships.
- Listen to Kara’s podcast called Money and Mental Peace, which is full of free information on saving money for college. You will discover scholarship and school hacks for Christian college girls to graduate debt free!
- Learn more about her upcoming course where she will reveal all of the in’s and out’s of graduating college debt free.
- Follow Kara on Instagram and Facebook to gain more knowledge about graduating college debt free.
On top of that, Kara will teach you how to go find scholarships, so you will be able to take this skill and use it for the rest of your life. (As in, the “teach a man how to fish” expression.)
It is completely possible to graduate debt free from college. It sets your child up for life where he or she can focus on other avenues of life and not worry about being in debt from college.
Connect with Kara
You can connect with Kara at Money and Mental Peace podcast, Instagram, and Facebook.
Join Vicki and Kara for practical tips on graduating from college debt-free.
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