Applicant #20: Casey Hoffman

Casey Hoffman is a 21-year-old from Albion.

Casey's video application:

Casey's current situation:

My name is Casey Hoffman, I'm 21 years old, and I am a business student at Albion College. I experienced first-hand media on a national level when I worked for Congressman Bart Stupak in Washington, D.C. I also competed as a semi-finalist in WOTV's West Michigan Television Competition "The Face of 4." Additionally, I am Albion's student body president and a frequent speaker with the Michigan Colleges Foundation.

Casey's blog post:

If you’ve ever dared to follow the stock market, tune-in to C-SPAN, or engage in dinner table conversation with your parents about current hot-button issues, you might have been left scratching your head: “I don’t have a PhD! Will someone please explain things SIMPLY?!” Your frustration is justified. If you’re not a policy or finance guru, it can be difficult to make sense of the dull and complicated—yet serious—issues you face as a young person. Not to worry—explaining things clearly is what I do best. Hi, friends. My name is Casey Hoffman, I am currently studying business and policy at Albion College, and I hope to be your first Young and Free Michigan Spokesperson. My plea to you: Check out my application video and read the rest of this blog. If you like what you see, I’d appreciate your vote. More importantly, get involved with the Young and Free Michigan movement! Michigan First Credit Union knows that empowering young people requires that fin ancial institutions start being engaging and stop being boring. If this sounds like your kind of Credit Union, then you’ll love Young and Free Michigan.

Together, let’s cut through the clutter of an issue that affects our wallets, our economy, and our future: higher education.

If you’re a college student, you know the severity of Michigan’s current economic crisis better than most citizens. It’s undeniable—times are tough, especially for students burdened with the financial strains that often accompany a college education. Here’s something you may not know: Michigan’s government may be giving your school less money. In an earnest effort to reduce Michigan’s deficit, the Governor’s proposed 2011 budget cuts state aid to Michigan’s 15 public universities by $302 Million, or 22 percent. Additionally, the Governor hopes to restrict public universities from raising students’ tuition. Should universities increase tuition prices, they will receive an even greater hit in state financial aid. The bottom line: if you attend a public university your school may soon have less money, which could mean increased costs for you.

Be proactive, and not reactive, when faced with potential financial troubles. Strategize a long-term plan for the most cost-efficient way to get the education you want. If you’re considering a four-year degree, it might be to your benefit to complete the first years of your education at a community college. The tuition will be lower and you can save money by living with mom and dad. Also, you may want to consider a private education. While the sticker price of a private school can sometimes be shocking, the amount of financial aid they offer can often make a private education very affordable. Need student loans? Find a friend or family member who is credit-worthy and is willing to co-sign. Lastly, be frugal. You can’t afford not to live within your means.

The cost of education may change, but the importance of your degree does not. Remember, a college degree is vital in achieving a successful future.