Meet Courtney Buohl

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girl with cinnamon roll and juice

Courtney thinks learning about loans is pretty sweet. Not as sweet as a cinnamon roll and frozen apple juice, but we’ll get there.

Summer may not be officially here just yet, but that won’t keep the SALT™ Blog from one of our favorite summer traditions: introducing our newest intern, Courtney Buohl! Check out Courtney’s college story and what she’ll be talking to you about.


Once upon a time, I found the perfect college.

It was academically strong, the campus was beautiful, and the students I met on my tour only had good things to say about it. When I told people I wanted to go there, they told me they had a friend/cousin/neighbor who went there and just loved it.

Sure, it cost $50,000, but I assumed I’d get financial aid and figure out the rest later. Without hesitation, I sent in my application and waited for the fairy tale to begin.

Well, I got into my dream school … and received exactly $0 in financial aid.

The Plot Thickens

At the time, I knew nothing about loans, except that I was terrified of them and wanted as little to do with them as possible. I decided that, in my case, the great experience I would have at that college might not outweigh the experience of starting my adult life with $200k in loans.

I found a new dream (just like Rapunzel in Tangled) and went to a school that gave me a better financial aid package—a school that rescued me from a huge amount of debt. And I fell truly, madly, deeply in love with my college (just like Savage Garden). I copy edit for the school newspaper, I go to as many college basketball games as I can, and I read a lot.

I just finished my junior year, which means it’s getting time to figure out what it is I’m going to do after they kick me out of my dorm. My roommates and I have put it off thus far by banning the words “senior” and “graduation,” but I’m not convinced that’s going to work for much longer. Just like Harry Potter, if we want to face an adversary, we can’t be afraid of its name. And there’s no way graduation will be worse than Voldemort.

My college experience has been nearly perfect so far, and I’m getting ready to face its ending. But lurking around the corner is something villainous that could cause a lot of trouble. You see, I ended up with one student loan—and I know very little about it.

The Story Continues

So what exactly is going to lead me to my “happily ever after,” and how will I deal with my evil debt?

Grad school sounds great, but it’s also expensive, which means depleting my savings and taking out more loans. But if I get a job and save more money, it’ll be harder to come back to school when the time comes. It’s a tough call, and everyone I ask for advice has a different answer. That’s where this internship comes in.

I’ll be blogging about student loans and finances. I’ve got a lot to learn about loans, budgeting, and saving money, and you might too. This knowledge will help me as I shuffle through senior year toward post-grad life. Hopefully, I’ll gain some insight as to what exactly that post-grad life might be. And best-case scenario, I’ll help you out along the way, and together we’ll find our happy endings.

Say “hi” to Courtney and share your advice for her in the comments!

(Photo: Carol Buohl)

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  1. Judy B. June 13, 2014 / 5:06 pm

    Hi Courtney!! Looking forward to following you on this journey!! It is clear you made a wise decision on college right from the start, avoiding a $200,000 debt at graduation. Smart lady!

    • Lia E. June 13, 2014 / 6:02 pm

      Hey Courtney,

      Most college students avoid and deny how much debt they are actually in until graduation. Its important to understand your debt obligation from day one to avoid the shock of how much you owe at the end of of college. This is a great topic to cover while actually in college and during the summer months. I look forward to reading your blog.

      • Courtney Buohl June 16, 2014 / 10:31 am

        Thanks for commenting, Lia! You’re absolutely right, the earlier you figure out what you owe, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

    • Courtney Buohl June 16, 2014 / 10:29 am

      Thanks for commenting, Judy! I’m excited to share more about my experiences with financial aid and student loans.

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