Over the past few months, you may have noticed that the conversation surrounding the student loan debt crisis has finally started to surface. You may read about this issue online, hear it in the news, or maybe you are currently experiencing this critical issue.
Celebrities, business owners and entrepreneurs don’t just talk about it; some also act. For example, Dan Rosensweig, President and CEO of Chegg recently wrote an article on LinkedIn titled “Now is the Time: A Call for Businesses and Policymakers to Tackle Student Debt.”
In the Rosensweig article states,
At Chegg, we stand for student empowerment in every way possible, which is why this week we announced our new program for our employees, “Equity for Education“. This initiative, the first of its kind, is based on the creation of an equity pool intended to repay the student debt of all our domestic employees. It is designed to provide the highest annual value to our junior employees.
Today, Americans collectively hold $1.5 trillion in student debt. This debt does not only affect students, it also has a ripple effect on the entire economy. According to magnify moneythe student loan crisis is slowing the growth of new businesses, delaying home ownership and affecting consumer spending.
Student loan debt also delays marriage, prevents the creation of a family and can prevent people from saving money for retirement.
Finding Shaan Patel
I had the chance to meet Shaan Patel, founder of Prep Expert and shark tank winner to find out what he’s up to today and learn about a student debt event he’s hosting with Mark Cuban and ChangEd called Tuition Paid.
Patel completed business school and medical school while running Prep Expert. His team at the company allowed him to complete his studies and he was able to work on Prep Expert during nights and weekends.
After shark tank aired his pitch, Patel told me that many students supported him because they too were trying to finish college and start a business at the same time. Patel said, “I felt like it was important to me to finish school for every student entrepreneur there.”
As for Prep Expert, the company has made $20 million in sales of courses, books, and licensed products since it aired on shark tank. Their sales were $1 million before the show. Today, their sales bring in $6 million in annual revenue, and they’ve made $20 million to date. They also have ten full-time Prep Expert employees, 20 instructors, and 50,000 students have taken their courses. Patel also sold 100,000 books.
Patel is currently a dermatology residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. He wants to spend a few days a week at the clinic practicing dermatology and a few days a week working on Prep Expert and possibly other entrepreneurial projects.
Additionally, INC Magazine recently named him 30 Under 30 for 2019.
Given Patel’s experience, he is well aware of the student debt crisis and wants to do something about it.
Tuition Paid: Mark Cuban, Prep Expert and ChangEd team up to make a difference.
Thursday, July 11 from 8:00 a.m. at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Student Union, Patel co-organizes Tuition Paid. The event features Prep Expert, ChangEd, and Mark Cuban, where they will join forces to talk about the skyrocketing cost of college and how to lower it on the UNLV campus. ChangEd is an app that collects your spare change to help pay off your student loans.
They will also discuss how high school students can reduce the cost of a college education by strategically obtaining scholarships and financial aid, and how they can reduce debt burdens by skillfully repaying student loans.
This event is free for high school and college students, and all attendees will receive a free Prep Expert SAT or ACT prep class. All participating students will also receive a free one-year subscription to the ChangEd app.
Patel told me,
Tuition fees are too high. Student debt is a national emergency. We decided to host Tuition Paid in Las Vegas to teach students and parents how to reduce the burden of the high cost of college education. Personally, I chose the University of Southern California for college over better schools because they offered me a full scholarship. I didn’t have to pay a penny for tuition, books, housing, or food. Mark Cuban made the same decision to go to Indiana University because it was the cheapest school for him to attend. Student debt can cripple both your career and your life, and we’re here today to help students learn both how to avoid it with scholarships and pay it off quickly.
Patel and Cuban decided to partner with ChangEd because Prep Expert is focused on helping students reduce their debt as much as possible before they enter college, and ChangEd is focused on helping students to repay their debt as soon as possible after they arrive at university. Patel says, “It’s a perfect, complementary two-pronged approach to tackling student debt.
If you would like to learn more or attend this free event, please see more information at Eventbrite.