Student loans can be a huge pain in the ass but one student found out the hard way that they can become an even bigger pain than most people might realize. He literally lived in a car for an entire year of school.
Colin Ashby spent his freshman year living in a Ford Focus while he attended Texas State University and wrote about it in an op-ed column for USA Today. The problem started when he paid for his tuition bill. He had been awarded financial aid to go to school but unfortunately, the remaining bills from his tuition and class related fees sucked out every last dollar from his bank account. He had no money to pay to put a roof over his head while he went to school. He was in a panic leading up to the first day of school in San Marcos, Texas with nowhere to live. So with no other options for a place to stay, he moved into his car.
The sad part is that he had taken out student loans and even some scholarships to help pay for school but all it did was cover part of his bills and didn’t leave enough to actually put him in some decent housing. Instead, he would duct tape sheets to the windows of his car and sleep in the back seat so no one could see him. He admitted that the experience did have some upsides such as forcing him to spend more time in the library or talking with professors. It even got him to take a closer look at his budget and find new ways to utilize the campus’ amenities such as meal plans and career preparation services or job fairs.
However, it’s still sad that we now have college students living like homeless people just to go to school–so they can avoid becoming homeless people later in life.