College and post college students are coming together this week to raise awareness about the serious financial trouble in which vast numbers of young people are increasingly inured. Hopeful and enthusiastic about the possibility of change in student loan policy, they’ve created National College Affordability Week as an opportunity to stand up and be heard. Colleges and student aid groups across the country are invited to join forces with the Young Invincibles to sponsor rallies, informational meetings, Facebook and Twitter discussion forums, online chats and video challenges. One video contest winner kicked off the week by reporting: “I’ll have my loans paid off when I’m in my fifties. At that point I’ll have the financial security to buy a car, buy a house, settle down, start a family. When I’m in my fifties. I am the future of our country.”
What’s Been Going Down This Week
- Monday: Tuition’s Too Damn High
A number of video challenges saturated this Monday’s effort to raise awareness of just how profoundly young people’s lives and futures are being affected by the burdens of student debt. The contest winner quoted above responded to a challenge to tell the story of how he “Majored In Debt.” In one video challenge, students were asked to answer the question “What is the one thing you wish your school knew about the rising cost of college?”
- Tuesday: Fixing Financial Aid
One of the biggest problems with financial aid is that students and their parents are poorly informed about what they’re getting themselves into when they sign on to student loans. Tuesday’s focus was on spreading information about how to navigate the complexities of the financial aid system via tutorials and meetings. Students nationwide were encouraged to Tweet their campuses about unmet needs for assistance with financial aid.
- Wednesday: Facing The Music
Yesterday fostered a Twitter discussion about the challenges of finishing school once you’ve taken out all those student loans. Far too often we hear stories of students who are deeply indebted due to the tuition costs of a degree program they never finished. The lowered earning potential of that lack of a degree coupled with student loans makes those loans pretty impossible to pay off. Students were invited to Tweet their questions in order to partake in the discussion.
- Thursday: Get ‘R Done
How in the name of heaven do you get a handle on your student debt!?! Today’s Google+ Hangout session with the experts at Young Invincibles offers answers to many questions. To join in, simply ask questions via Twitter through #YoungAmerChat or Tweet questions to @YI_Care. It may seem overwhelming now, but the advent of this national youth crisis has brought with it a slew of socially responsible student advocates who are devoted to helping you make your student debt more manageable.
- Friday: Can You Hear Me Now
The week wraps up tomorrow with a nationwide commitment to discussing action we can take to foster change. You are invited engage in this pressing issue by tweeting local policymakers, media outlets and schools with information on how they can help solve student debt.
There’s plenty to do this October: studying your butt off, starting a new job, letting your voice be heard amidst of chorus of other young people, and of course, kicking it at Oktoberfest. No matter what you’re up to this month, there are always ways to channel your life-force towards bettering yourself personally as well as the space we share; that choice belongs to each of us and the future is in our hands.