The only catch is you have to intern or volunteer at a job you’re passionate about.

Clif Bar, an energy bar company, wants to give college seniors enough to pay off the average student loan debt, plus $3,000 a month for a year. Why?

Because more than half of 18- to 34-year-old workers say their student debt stops them from working a fulfilling job, according to Clif Bar.

In debt, full-time, college seniors who graduate Spring 2019 can apply here. The scholarship is not yet open, but will open this Fall (without a specified date). The company is taking emails to send notifications of when applications open. Four applicants will win.

“With this scholarship, we hope to inspire the next generation to prioritize purpose at a pivotal moment in their lives, rather than letting conventional wisdom or financial realities determine which path they take after college,” says Gary Erickson, founder. And most graduates feel stress from financial realities.

Forty-two percent say student debt is their No. 1 source of financial stress. And 73 percent say they’re not taking a rewarding or interesting job because of this. Sixty-three percent feel they need to take the first job they’re offered, and 68 percent will take a job that isn’t fulfilling to pay their debts back quicker.

Stuck, thanks to student debt

Student loan borrowers who graduated with a bachelor’s degree during the Great Recession are more likely to have delayed buying a home, and marrying, says a new report in the National Center for Education Statistics.

“Those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree are more successful in repaying their student loans and have lower rates of default than those who do not earn a bachelor’s degree,” says co-author of the report Melissa Cominole. “However, our analysis shows that graduates may be feeling the effects of student loan debt in other ways.”

The “other ways” student loan debt affects borrowers…

Student loan borrowers

  • Took a job they didn’t like, or study for: 44 percent
  • Delayed buying a home: 44 percent
  • Delayed getting married: 26 percent

Graduated without student debt

  • Took a job they didn’t like, or study for: 28 percent
  • Delayed buying a home: 23 percent
  • Delayed getting married: 14 percent

Debt free graduates value their college experience more, too. Eighty-one percent of graduates without student debt say that their undergraduate degree was worth the cost. Only 69 percent of student loan borrowers say the same.

College costs $10,000 a year on average, says a study from GoBanking Rates. It takes at least four years to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. When you do the math, a state university can cost $40,000 or more by graduation day.

Starting off on the wrong foot

Most incoming college freshmen haven’t planned how they’ll pay for school. In fact, the average amount in loans college freshmen plan to take out is $9,548 their first year alone, says a joint study from Citizens Financial Group and youth financial education nonprofit Junior Achievement USA.

Sixty-four percent say they haven’t done enough research into paying for college. One-third (29 percent) have less than $1,000 saved for college.

“It’s no wonder that kids feel vulnerable,” says CEO of Junior Achievement USA Jack Kosakowski. “As a community, we are not doing enough to educate young people to make smart, sound decisions so they are confident and secure in the choices they make that impact their lives so dramatically.”

Still, 83 percent say that a college degree is worth the cost. But that can change when they start their careers.

“Kids today are intelligent,” Kosakowski says. “They know that a college degree is a good pathway to future success, yet simply need more help understanding the implications of their decision making. It absolutely takes a village to help ensure teens can accomplish what they hope to in life.”

 

Meet the Author

Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Associate editor

Pye is the associate editor of Debt.com.

College

student loans

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Article last modified on June 11, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: College Seniors: Clif Bar Wants to Pay Your Student Loan Debt - AMP.