Rising student debt is one of the most difficult concerns confronting the American educational system. Many college students are affected by the student loan issue, but black students are disproportionately affected. Because of the escalating expense of college, they are more likely to take out student loans and struggle to repay them.
This situation has piqued the interest of President Joe Biden, who has regularly criticized debilitating student loan debt and how it affects the country’s college students. Despite this obstacle, an increasing percentage of black students are graduating debt-free.
Gabriella Carter, a 22-year-old lady from New York City, is one of them. She attended Princeton University debt-free and now teaches people how to attain financial success through scholarships and wise money management.
Carter was born in Jamaica and went to London before settling in Florida, USA. Education, including financial literacy, is a significant pillar in her family. She balanced her studies with extracurricular activities such as softball and track.
She wanted to go to college after high school, but the costs were staggering, ranging from $25,707 per year at a public in-state institution to $54,501 per year at a private university, according to the Education Data Initiative. She was initially terrified, according to her.
Carter stated that she was aware of many students throughout the country who were plagued by debt and did not want to be a victim. This prompted her to begin looking for and applying for scholarships.
“Once I figured out that there’s free money out there that other people could give to me because they believed in me and my dreams so that I could go to school for free, I jumped on it and applied to every opportunity that I saw,” she told CNBC.
The application process was not smooth sailing, nonetheless, she was persistent, applying to over 100 different programs, she said. “The more scholarships I applied to, the better applications I was able to submit and ultimately have more success down the line.”
Carter eventually received a $20,000 cheque from Coca-Cola after being refused twice. According to CNBC Make It, she won 35 different scholarship prizes totaling over $2 million during high school and college, and that was enough to graduate debt-free with over $100,000 in savings.
Carter chose to leverage her talent for finding scholarships into a business after graduating. Growing with Gabby was born as a result of this.
Growing with Gabby began offline and subsequently shifted to social media to reach a broader audience. She finally abandoned her day job to concentrate on her new venture.
She aspires to be financially responsible through her brand, emphasizing the need of saving and investing for the future. She also wishes to maintain a financially viable lifestyle. Her long-term objectives include investing in real estate and retiring early while continuing to pursue her passion.
“For me, abundance is having financial freedom,” she said. “That doesn’t mean I have to be a billionaire or the richest person, but it means that I don’t have to wake up and work every day or do something I don’t want to do for the sake of having enough money.”