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Funding College Debt-Free LIVE Webinar is starting soon!

In this FREE webinar, you’ll learn winning strategies, tips and insight towards starting your #FundingCollegeDebtFree journey with confidence. Whether you are a parent or a student, this webinar is for you. See you there!




blog post

MY story:
Funding College Debt-Free

September 23, 2018 by elease dillard

Before I share my story, I have to share a little secret with you first...

If you’ve been a part of my tribe for a while now, you know that navigating students towards funding their education debt-free is a passion of mine…(I walked away from a career in the medical field to do this!) After walking across the stage debt-free and experiencing that freedom for myself, I committed myself towards guiding students—such as you—towards experiencing that freedom, too.

Up until this point, you have gotten to know me on a more formal level, such as on stage, at your school, or in my online boot camp. That changes here because this is the official launch of my blog here at!

This blog is my home, and you are welcomed as my guest.

Here at my blog,  I am taking my shoes off, letting my hair down, and getting personal about funding college debt-free on a level that I haven’t before.

But first, let’s get to know each other. Here’s my story behind how I funded college debt-free…

My Story: funding college debt-free

As a high school senior, I decided last-minute not to play basketball in college and to pursue academics instead. I had dreamed since I was a child of having a career in the medical field, so after deep reflection, I felt that not playing a sport was the best decision for me to be able focus on the academic rigor that I was about to face in college.

Hi Friend! I'm Elease.

Debt-Free Graduate + Mentor

I navigate students towards funding college debt-free through my step-by-step proven system.

I remember a college coach calling me with excitement and having to tell him that I decided not to play basketball in college. You could hear a pen drop on the phone. In that moment, part of me was thinking, Elease, what are you doing? You’ve worked your entire childhood for this moment?! 

Sometimes going after your dream won’t be common but achieving it won’t be common either.

Now that having a college basketball scholarship was off the table, I knew I needed to come up with a plan to pay for college…and fast. 

Unfortunately, although I knew college had a price tag, I completely underestimated the cost. Up until that point, applying for scholarships felt like a chore because my parents constantly told me to apply for them. (Who can relate?!) However, as an adult I am thankful for their persistence.

It wasn’t until I decided on the college I was going to attend and sat in their financial aid office, that I had a rude awakening. When the financial aid counselor told me the cost for college and the average student loan debt, I immediately began to feel overwhelmed and stressed. I remember crying in the car because didn’t know how paying for college debt-free was going to happen for me. I hadn’t won any full-ride scholarships—I felt hopeless.

At that moment, I had two choices to make: (1) do nothing and take out a student loan or (2) work my butt off to apply for funding between now and when my first college bill was due. (Mind you, this was the last semester before graduation!)

By the time my college tuition bill was due, I had won multiple scholarships and earned enough money to pay for my entire freshman year debt-free…Check.

Although my freshman year was funded, I couldn’t relax for too long because I had to prepare for funding my sophomore year. I funded that year debt-free…Check.

At this point, I had developed a system for myself—I had found my groove! I duplicated it for my third and fourth year of college, and graduated debt-free without having to take out a loan along the way! Check. Check.

While in college, I also landed paid internships as a freshman, sophomore, and junior in college and still managed to graduate in 4 years with honors (I didn’t graduate with honors in high school so that was a huge goal of mine for college).

The feeling of paying my last tuition bill and realizing I funded my entire education debt-free was unexplainable. A weight was immediately lifted. I felt free. 

Chains were also broken within my family because my parents both graduated college with debt.

My college graduation!

Fastforward to today

While in college, I mentored my peers with my successful debt-free strategies and tips, and they saw results, too! So after I graduated college, I founded my award-nominated company, The Student Navigator, to create a larger platform to guide more students towards funding their education debt-free. 

Last year, I wrote my bestselling book, Funding College Debt-Free as an additional guide for students as well.

This year, my very first mentee graduated debt-free! Needless to say, my system works. 

I share my story with you not to impress you, but with hope that it inspires you to take action and to illustrate that funding your education debt-free is possible. Most importantly, I want you to know that you are not alone in this journey. I am here to guide you every step of the way.

Students across the country are implementing my system and pursuing their education with confidence. But don’t just take my word for it…

You see, I did not have anyone around me to show me how to graduate debt-free, so I had to figure it out on my own (with a lot of trial and error, I might add). That resulted in a lot of frustration and feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you feel that way, too. That’s why I’m here! My friend, you don’t have to go through this alone.  

Next Steps

I encourage you not to simply read this post and resume scrolling on the internet. It’s time to take action! Here’s what you need to do:

Get Plugged-In

I am hosting a FREE webinar where I talk about what it takes to fund college debt-free, scholarships, and more! This is a great intro with the basics and fundamentals towards funding college debt-free. Space is limited, so secure your spot here while it’s open. See you there!

I look forward to guiding you on this journey! You’ve got this!



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It’s time to take action. Join students across the country who are taking action towards living in freedom after graduation.

© 2018 Elease Dillard. All rights reserved. | Website designed with love by Elease Dillard.

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