Welcome to another installment of IonTuition’s Q&A series with personal finance bloggers. We have Sarah Schupp, the CEO & Founder of UniversityParent, sharing her financial advice with us today. UniversityParent is a place for parents to find connections, information, and support. The company, which began by producing a parent guide for the University of Colorado at Boulder, now features information about 3,000 colleges and universities and reaches more than 10 million parents each year.
The Gates Foundation named Sarah a “Player to Watch” in post-secondary education. She has also been named one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30, BusinessWeek’s top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25, and one of the Denver Business Journal’s Top Women Under 40.
She serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of Colorado, and on the Chancellor’s Strategic Advisory Committee. Sarah lives in Boulder with her husband, Josh, and two daughters, Jenna & Claire.
What’s the best piece of financial advice you ever received?
Create recurring auto-debits out of your checking account to your savings account so that you’re always saving, no matter what & without having to think about it.
What’s your advice for those who already have student loans?
Check out the Student Loan Forgiveness Program. While it isn’t a good fit for everyone, if you do qualify, it is absolutely worth pursuing. Also, check with your employer. Some employers offer student loan payback as part of their employment benefits package. If you need help with paying back student loans, research which companies offer this benefit.
Would you go to a different school if you knew what you know now about student debt?
No, I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and had an incredible experience. I was fortunate to have several scholarships that made CU very affordable, such as the President’s Leadership Class & the Puksta Scholars Program. I also focused on graduating within four years, rather than trying to pursue a double major.
Any other financial tips for our readers?
Make sure to file the FAFSA every single year – and to apply for scholarships every single year. Often, students will only apply for their freshman year, but schools offer specific scholarships that are based on your area of study, or even your passion. Don’t assume that because you didn’t get a scholarship your freshman year, you won’t get one your sophomore year. Plus, these are often easier to get because fewer and fewer people apply for them after freshman year.