As of 2020, the total amount of student loan debt in the United States is an astounding $1.6 trillion.
Source: Kurt, D. (2020, December 16). Student Loan Debt: 2020 Statistics and Outlook. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/student-loan-debt-2019-statistics-and-outlook-4772007
A native of the West Side of Chicago, Nia grew up in a low-income, single-parent household. As a first-generation college student, she did not have any knowledge of applying to college or scholarships. However, through her participation in Chicago Scholars, she started to obtain the tools and skills necessary to graduate without any student loan debt.
Although she did have the desire to graduate debt-free, she got that desire a bit late - while she was applying to colleges as a high school senior. Nonetheless, she put her mind to it and convinced Howard University to award her tuition and fees, as well as put in enough work to win over $100,000 in external scholarships. As a result, she was able to graduate Summa Cum Laude and debt-free! Additionally, she was able to earn a full-ride to Columbia University School of Professional Studies where she pursued a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management as an HBCU Fellow.
After completing her studies at Columbia in August 2021, Nia started her career as a Government and Public Services Management Consultant at Deloitte Consulting.
Angel Stallings is a native of the eastside of Detroit. As high school valedictorian, she believed her ticket to college was set. However, as a first-generation college student, there was a lot she was unaware of in navigating the preparation, application, and financial aid process. She is now passionate about helping others bypass her mistakes and build on her successes.
Angel graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors from Central Michigan University in 2020. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting with a minor in Information Systems. Although she did take out loans, after winning over $100,000 in individual scholarships, securing several internships, and working on campus, she was able to pay off her loans and the remainder of her college expenses. This is otherwise known as the untraditional route to a full-ride and graduating debt-free!
Angel is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Michigan. She is currently in her career as the Accounting Coordinator for the Detroit Pistons and was previously with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in their Private Company Services practice. She also stays heavily involved in her community while running her business, Jesus and Justice Apparel.
On September 30th, Nia Hill and Angel Stallings hosted an hour-long webinar in which they went over some useful information and advice that can help a college student graduate debt-free. Yes, you read that right. Debt. Free.
Both of the scholars covered some crucial topics, including having the right mindset while applying for scholarships, how to search for scholarships, writing award-winning essays (literally), and more.
You are so deserving of financial freedom! Invest in yourself (or in your loved ones) by taking the time to learn from two individuals who were able to graduate from college without having to think about ways to pay off the debt!
NOTE: the replay will be sent to the email used for the payment method.
It's time to Graduate to Freedom!
Book Available Now!
Take this journey with us as we share our best tips and tools to graduate without any student loan debt. This book provides the unique perspective of the HBCU and PWI financial experiences in one source! You will learn from two young Black women from the inner cities of Chicago and Detroit that graduated from college debt-free as first-generation students.
Hint: it wasn't with just one large full-ride check. We weren’t athletes or brainiacs! This book tells you how to get access to the excess so you can pay off debt and/or stay out of debt completely.
“The total amount of outstanding student loans reached an all-time high in 2020, at $1.57 trillion… Based on the current rate of growth, aggregate student loan debt could reach $2 trillion by 2024 and $3 trillion by 2038.” This statistic, along with many others, confirms that there are not many resources out there that provide practical steps on how to obtain a debt-free degree. We live in a society where it has been normalized to carry the burden of debt at a young age, and that is NOT ok. Let us help you make your dreams a reality. It’s time to GRADUATE TO FREEDOM!
- Nia Hill and Angel Stallings
Who We Are