EUGENE, Ore. – Graduation is Saturday at Northwest Christian University. It’s an exciting time, but for many it means the beginning of paying off debt.
Unlike many students leaving a private university, one graduate is leaving with a debt amount lower than the cost of a new car.
Sherry Reeder had a dream of going to Northwest Christian University to pursue a career in education, but there was one thing standing in her way – the cost of tuition.
“Tuition for this coming fall is $28,500 and room and board is about $8,800 for the year. So it’s kind of in the mid-30s total,” said Jocelyn Hubbs,
“It was a little hard to see a number that was a little abstract and seemed out of my budget range,” Reeder said. “But I didn’t want money to be a reason that I didn’t go to the school of my dreams.”
Reeder said she and her family didn’t have much money to pay for college.
“So I knew that if I wanted to go to college, which I did, I knew I was going to have to do all I could to get here,” Reeder said.
So, near the end of her high school career, Reeder got to work.
“My best friend, she did a thing called scholarship Monday where every Monday she applied for one scholarship from $100 to $1,000, whatever the limit was just to start bringing in the money if she could,” Reeder said.
But it wasn’t easy.
“There were a lot of times I applied for a scholarship and didn’t get it. Or applied for something and wasn’t awarded it and I didn’t let that be the reason that I didn’t keep trying,” she said.
“A lot of students don’t do that. The follow through is hard and we get that and we understand that it’s a lot of work, but there is a benefit to it,” Hubbs said.
Reeder started to see that benefit and her dream became a reality.
“Slowly but surely those scholarships started coming in and over time it quantified to being enough to graduate,” she said.
Reeder said her education would have cost her around $130,000. But she’ll walk on graduation day Saturday with a college debt less than $10,000.
Her advice to high school students and incoming college students is don’t let the price tag scare you.
“I would say the money is out there if you’re dedicated look for it – scholarship Monday or whatever your influence on how you get the money,” Reeder said. “Just don’t give up and keep going and don’t let money be the reason you don’t go to your dream school.”
Reeder said she looks forward to beginning her career in education soon without the worry of extensive student debt.
NCU officials say there are plenty of opportunities for scholarships and grants. Students can find more information at workshops the school holds every week.
Source: ‘I was going to have to do all I could to get here’: NCU student’s scholarships pay off as broadcast and posted by KMTR News Channel 16.
Broadcast May 4, 2016 By Jessica Waite