The Big Idea I’ll Be Working On In 2015:  Reduce College Student Debt

The Big Idea I’ll Be Working On In 2015: Reduce College Student Debt

I suppose universities can make New Year’s resolutions. So here’s mine for Trevecca Nazarene University in 2015.

I resolve to find a way to reduce the debt of graduating students at Trevecca while simultaneously reducing the growing cost of unfunded aid to students.

Our students graduate with an average debt of about $21,000. This means some have more, some have less, and some have none. I could write about how this $21,000 is similar to the cost of a good used car, which will decrease in value the minute they drive it off the lot—while their investment in a college degree will repay itself about 47.6 times across the next 40 years.  I’d invest in a proven return like this every day. But my resolve is to drive this average debt number into the teens and find a way to keep it there or lower.

On the other side, Trevecca offers $11,000,000 per year in financial aid to students. Only $2,000,000 of this amount is funded (by generous church and endowed scholarships). The other $9 million comes from the operating budget of the University. I resolve to get this number down by $2-$3 million. I like impossible odds and tough projects. 2015 will keep me very busy.

The Plan For 2015:  Reduce College Student Debt

At Trevecca, we’ll be working on a strategic campaign to ask our alumni and friends to include Trevecca students in their estate plans, wills, and gifts. And we’ll be asking Trevecca students to participate in funding their own education. I worked about 30 hours a week to get through college and have always believed that sweat equity improved my appreciation for the degree that I received.  A great group of creative people begin work this week on a program to offer 10 hours of employment to Trevecca students beginning their sophomore year, enabling them to reduce their college debt by $10,000-$12,000 during the last 3 years of college. In addition, this work program will prepare them for the workplace, match their major as closely as possible, and provide them successful workplace mentors during their last years of college. We hope to implement the program with a test group of sophomores by fall of 2015.

I hate debt. I resolve to help students have less of it. I’ll be busy.


  1. Kevin D Sandlin says

    Excellent idea, rich with possibilities, and enormous potential for substantial returns to both the student and the University. We will be praying for this initiative, and it’s successful implementation.

  2. Jesse C Middendorf says

    This a very challenging objective, one that I applaud and encourage! It is my prayer that all our other colleges and universities will follow your example.

  3. Teresa Hodge says

    Love it! As a Trevecca alum, I value the blessings that employment at Trevecca afforded me. It’s kind of cool to cherish the memories of being Trevecca’s first female lifeguard, security office secretary, and resident assistant at McKay Hall! Working while a Trevecca undergrad provided some of my favorite experiences. I can really appreciate the initiative of the “great group of creative people” working on the program to offer the 10 hours of employment to students. Thank you SO MUCH for such a great resolution!

  4. Asha Chetti says

    Love your idea… And i think it will be a great success! I also believe this idea should be implemented across all the Nazarene colleges and universities. As we teach and prepare the students to be well rounded followers of Jesus Christ, financial stability plays a key role in developing self and helping others. And guidance from a Christian university to achieve that financial stability in their early years builds a firm foundation.
    GREAT JOB Pastor Dan Boone … I will surely be praying for the Lord’s hand on this project.
    We miss you and your friendship. Have a successful and Happy New year, love from our family to yours.


  1. […] while simultaneously reducing the growing cost of unfunded aid to students,” Boone recently wrote on his personal blog. The idea is that students will take a job either on or off campus that will pay […]

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