How To Be a Debt-Free College Samurai (5 Musts)

Or, “Debtxer: How I Serial Killed My School Debt”

It is a social norm to borrow money; students carry loans like backpacks. They’re everywhere. Weighing us down with a guiding hand. With loans, students study without having jobs or attend class without worrying of bills or can afford their outrageous price-gauging textbooks. Students think nothing of it because their loans are wrapped in pretty packages, bundled with the free financial aid; they wave, smile. The numbers show us their boobs. “LOOK AT ME,” she says.

I returned to college when all my high-school friends were graduating with degrees. I’m now 27 and am finishing my junior year as an undergrad. It feels like it’s taking forever because it is. Still, I’m excited because—although I’m tired of school and feel too old all the time—I’m studying exactly what I want to study, and I’ve remained debtless throughout my academic journey.

I’m no Dave Ramsey diehard freak, nor do I only carry cash, nor do I have a clean credit card; regardless, when it comes to student loans, I believe you should borrow as little of it as possible or, if you can avoid it, none at all. Don’t be a dumb college student. Be an awesome samurai. Samurais earn their way. Samurais serve with nobility and never borrow. Samurais think ahead.

But Kevvvinnnn, howwwww??? I need my mocchhhaaaaaazz (dumb college girl voice). (more…)

ANNOUNCEMENT: We’re Moving! (again)

Well, we finally know. For over eight months now, I’ve been anticipating answers: Where will I go to school? Where will Megan and I spend the next two years of our lives? What kind of food will I be eating?

I found five schools that spoke to me. Five universities in five different regions of the country. Five different prices. All too expensive. Megan thought I was crazy. Not because of my chances, but because of the distance to which I was reaching, the scope of it all. Also, I give her plenty of reasons to think I’m crazy each day.

So, we waited. And waited. And I lost hope. I began to look at plan b’s and cower from fear. Months and months went by. More times then I care to admit, #thewaitinggame got the best of me.

Finally, the letters started coming; better yet, the financial aid letters started coming. Monday morning, my heart shat its pants with joy.

Upstate and Away!


I write this in California. I sit with coffee and think of my family and friends here. Once again, I will be leaving them. I think of our friends and Megan’s family, in Idaho, who once again we will leave.

With a heavy, yet joyous heart, we have decided to move away from everyone we know and love. About 2700 miles away. As I get older, these things get harder.

The decision is this: we are moving to Rochester, New York! I will study Entrepreneurship and Economics with (hopefully) a minor in Creative Writing at the University of Rochester!

Best yet, my educational costs are completely covered. I was awarded a crap-ton of grants and scholarships! Think, three Little Caesar franchises. We’ll have enough to cover tuition, and a little extra to move there and get settled.

At this moment, I feel completely and utterly loved.

3 Reflections on Reaching Your Goals

(From the perspective of a poor boy who was given nothing)

1. Write down your goals on a piece of paper. Look at them everyday. Many books will tell you to do this; I was always hesitant. Monday morning though, I was able to check off the first four goals on my list. The best of which was this: go to a top university with a full scholarship. No debt for education.

2. Take responsibility for yourself and your situation. I was born into a family that didn’t champion higher education, nor did it have the money to do so. There was no fund waiting for me. I truly believe that everyone gets their chance. You might have to work a little harder, or wait a little longer, but it will happen.

3. Enjoy your goals with a thankful and modest heart. When I got the news, I called just about called everyone. I tried for CNN, but couldn’t get through. Excited doesn’t even begin to explain. Later, I had to check my motives. It’s okay to brag a little, but be cautious. Stay humble and move forward. We are all in God’s grace, every day.

PS: I couldn’t have done this without my wonderful wife! She is the best and I don’t know what I’d do without her. Thank you Lord for putting her in my life.