Debt Free in Five: A Pathway to Financial Freedom for Olivet students

Brian Parker headshot

Brian Parker

October 4, 2023 Academics, Giving

Group of students studying at a table in the library

At Olivet Nazarene University, students are taking control of their financial future through the Debt Free in Five initiative. This innovative program provides a roadmap for students to eliminate all college debt within five years of graduation.

In its first year, the Debt Free in Five initiative made significant strides. A non-credit bearing workshop on debt literacy was offered to 270 seniors, providing them with the knowledge and tools necessary to become debt-free. The results were astounding, with $1.1 million pledged to pay off debts in the first year after graduation. This success has encouraged even more students to participate in future workshops.

Looking ahead to the second year, Olivet Nazarene University aims to expand the reach of the initiative. The Debt Free in Five workshop will become a required part of the curriculum, ensuring that the entire graduating senior class will have access to these tools. By making this workshop mandatory, the university is equipping students with the essential skills needed to manage and eliminate debt.

In addition to supporting current students, the university is also addressing the issue of college affordability for prospective students and their families. Resources outlining the Debt Free in Five workshops for graduating seniors will be shared with families as a part of the recruitment process. This will allow families to make informed decisions and understand the debt-free pathway offered by Olivet Nazarene University.

To further expand awareness and provide financial literacy support, new materials are being developed to emphasize the return on investment of an Olivet education for prospective students and their families. In addition, the university plans to increase the number of virtual one-on-one and group financial literacy coaching opportunities through a network of volunteer alumni who have careers in financial planning.

“The Debt Free in Five initiative at Olivet Nazarene University is transforming the financial well-being of its students. By providing workshops, resources, and support, the university is equipping graduates to become debt-free within five years of graduation. Through this initiative, Olivet Nazarene University is empowering its students to embark on their professional journeys without the burden of college debt, ensuring a brighter future for all.” Susan Wolff, Executive Director of University Relations and lead for the affordability task force.

Brian Parker headshot

Brian Parker

Brian Parker ’94, EdD ’11, lives in New York City and is a Partner and Managing Director with 989Group.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

Where Your Future Begins

We Believe. You Belong Here. Discover why Olivet is a place where faith meets calling. Take the first step today.

Plan a Visit Start my Application