When the author of “Don’t Get Suckered – How to Survive College Debt Free And With Your Shirt”, Josh Lawson, asked our Financial Literacy group if anyone would be interested in reading a copy of his upcoming booked, I did not hesitate to raise my hand. Passionate about teaching financial education to students, I was interested in what he had to say.
“Don’t Get Suckered” is a quick and straightforward read on how to prepare pre college students financially, from the student’s perspective. The book is a great primer for high school juniors and seniors on what to do and what not to do before entering college. You know the drill; apply for scholarships, avoid credit cards, avoid student loans, and earn income and save.
Wait a minute, no student loans? Earn an income and save to pay for college yourself? The author advocates not to blindly depend on student loans as the only way to pay for college. According to the Project on Student Debt, the average debt load for students graduating in 2009 was $24,000. “Often times, student loans are the beginning of a debt filled life”, Josh states.
To really appreciate the impact of Don’t Get Suckered, you have to read it twice. The book is actually a mindset shift. The author was fortunate to be raised by a father that taught him very good money habits and values. His family did not use credit cards and paid cash for everything. His story is rare.
“Each year, there are tens of thousands of young people who are making a decision on how to pay for college without anyone there to tell them how to pay for it debt free. They don’t have a dad to teach them how to budget…live simply and work hard…and more importantly, someone to help them silence their inner spoiled brat”.
Don’t Get Suckered is a book for this generation. The book is personable, not preachy; weaving into the information, Josh’s personal experience, and that of a few classmates who took the debt bait. Other chapters include: applying for scholarships, earning an income by starting a company, goal setting, and developing a simple college budget.
Finally, Josh declares that the real purpose of a college education is to get students ready for “adult life”. This indeed is a different way of thinking. I recommend this book as a must read for pre college teens, and a few parents, too!