In the Latino community, working and studying is practically a first-class skill. While our grandparents did not enjoy the opportunities we have today, our parents taught us to work twice as hard to achieve our dreams.
For many of us, first-generation and, in many cases, first to go to college, the obstacle is not in our ability to work hard but in navigating the financial hurdles.
Getting the proper funding at the college we want, and within the range of what is possible, affects not only our pocketbook but also our ability to socialize and enjoy the best years of our lives.
Among the class of 2020, 55 percent of U.S. bachelor’s degree recipients took out student loans, graduating with an average of $28,400 in federal and private debt.
Similarly, 14 percent of parents with students in the class of 2019 took out an average of $37,200 in federal PLUS loans for parents.
In total, Americans owe nearly $1.75 trillion in student loan debt, spread across some 46 million borrowers. That’s about $440 billion more than the total auto loan debt in the United States.
According to figures from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in the 2010-2011 academic year, the average tuition for a four-year student at a public university was $6,752. The average tuition for an out-of-state student at a four-year public school for an undergraduate student was $15,742. This means that, on average, it costs students $8,990 more to attend a college in a state where they are not a resident.
All of this is without taking into account the price of housing, books, supplies, transportation, and general monthly expenses.
Hence, being resourceful can change our future.
For many Latino students, financial aid, scholarships, and libraries make the difference between finishing or abandoning their studies and career dreams.
Lessening Financial Burdens Bring Success All Over
While discussions around financial issues are often conducted in broad strokes and in terms of one-time expenses (such as tuition, for example), the reality is that the impact of financial burdens is felt in all spheres of life.
From free time to exercise, meeting new people, attending family events, and even cultivating hobbies, there’s a lot we give up when we’re in survival mode.
But if there’s one thing Latinos know, it’s how to survive the storms.
We’re the first to organize events, volunteer, and share our passwords with those who don’t have access to tools, and we always have a couch at home for when someone needs it.
Plus, we’re experts at cutting costs.
You often see us with our homemade cafecito on the way to class, we know the best used-book deals, and we avoid the window displays of our favorite stores at all costs.
And how life changes when we have allies!
The Chispa app, for example, knows how to help us meet new people, build support networks, and keep us on the road to success.
Chispa is the #1 dating app made for the Latino community and creates a meeting space for U.S.-based Latinos to connect over their shared backgrounds, values, and bicultural experience.
Imagine that! With Chispa, it will be easier to meet someone to share coffee with, who to vent to, and, perhaps, find that ideal study partner.
How Chispa can help
It’s as simple as logging into the free Chispa app and seizing the moment to win a sweepstake.
Chispa is giving three lucky winners the chance to win $500 for college textbooks. Who knows, it could be you!
Winning these $500 can help you lessen some of your financial burdens and, in turn, free up your time to meet more people.
Chispa is where you can connect with others like you while being your authentic self and celebrating your Latino culture. Surely, explaining your inside jokes or cultural references will be a thing of the past after meeting someone from Chispa.
May this next college semester be one to remember! You deserve to enjoy yourself and succeed at the same time.
To meet people who, like you, celebrate their roots and to enter the giveaway, log on to your Chispa account.