Debt Disaster for Students


The front page of a recent issue of the Daily Local News (July 30, 2017) ran a Special Report in the wake of this month’s hike in student loan interest rates. The article highlighted a 32-year-old young lady with a Master’s degree, in a professional career—lamenting whether she would ever be able to pay off her student loans.

4 years out of graduate school, with a good job, she has yet to begin even paying the principal on her student loan debt. She projects that she will be in her 50’s before her debt is paid off.


This woman speaks for many when she voices her regrets. “You graduate from high school, and you go to college. That’s what you’re expected to do. I didn’t think anything of it. I just figured it would work out, which was really naïve, but nobody discussed that” (Kramer 4).

Securing students loans is as simple as signing on the dotted line for unsuspecting and naïve students—with hardly a thought to the future repercussions. This is one reason why we, at Above Grade Level, are so committed to helping the students in our community. There are options.


For students who qualify, there is a tremendous amount of free money out there—scholarships and grants that don’t need to be paid back. Some of this money is merit-based, while some is need-based. We want to see students qualifying for as much of the merit-based money as possible. While each student’s situation is unique, in a typical scenario, the ideal time to start preparing for merit-based scholarships and SAT readiness is 8th or 9th grade.


Above Grade Level has been helping students for over 30 years to achieve academic success, higher SAT & ACT scores, and higher GPA’S—another significant factor in the college admission process. To begin, we offer students a free skill evaluation that very accurately identifies skill gaps, as well as areas of strength, while there is still time to do something proactive to help. Whether or not a student attends a “good” school, this skill evaluation takes the guesswork out of the equation, with objective, independently verified results.


From there, we can custom-design a program for each student that targets his or her individual needs. We send carefully-selected, highly-qualified teachers/tutors to a student’s home, to provide targeted, one-on-one instruction in a convenient, comfortable environment. Research has shown again and again that one-on-one tutoring is the most effective, most efficient way for a student to learn.


There is no-cost, no-obligation for this skill evaluation and consultation. Above Grade Level covers the $250-$500 evaluation cost, and offers it as a free service to the young people of our community. For families who wish to enroll in tutoring, there are a variety of personalized, one-on-one, in-home tutoring programs from which to choose.

Awesome Tip: Check out a wonderfully helpful app, available for $2. It’s called “Scholly.” Scholly provides an easy way to search for college scholarships and find the ones that are the best match for each student.





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