Financial Literacy and Student Loan Debt

It’s the third week of Financial Aid Awareness month, this week I am going to talk about the next financial topic that will be on everyone’s mind – student loan debt and a possible solution. 

First let’s talk about some numbers that stand out when we talk about student loan debt.

  • $1.3 trillion is the total of outstanding student loan debt in the United States.
  • $33,000 is the average debt a student has upon graduating from college (also roughly the cost of a brand new SUV).
  • 30% is the number of college students with loans who dropped out of college due to financial concerns.
  • $2.9 billion is how much federal financial aid students left on the table in 2014 because they did not take full advantage of it.
  • 27: The age of the woman who thinks all those numbers amount to a huge problem and who is out to fix it.

Kelly Peeler is the founder of NextGenVest, a New York City based startup focused on improving the financial literacy of high school and college students and helping them get out of college with as little debt as possible.  NextGenVest’s mission is to redesign how students deal with one of the most complex and important financial decision they may have to make. 

Part of fulfilling this mission, NextGenVest has launched a free text-based reminder service to guide students through the financial aid and student loan process.  It’s text-based because that is the easiest way to communicate with high school seniors.  Peeler also wanted NextGenVest to be free because she’s not out to add to the financial burden of college hopefuls.

NextGenVest also strives to improve the financial literacy of high school and college students through the creation a financial literacy curriculum that can be licensed to schools looking to teach these life skills its students.  NextGenVest has created networks of “student impact leaders” that are trained by the company to spread their mission by hosting weekly meetings and bringing financial literacy awareness to their school and surrounding schools.

Currently, NextGenVest has a student presence in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and parts of Texas.  

NextGenVest and is not affiliated with CURO Wealth Management or Commonwealth Financial Network.