How to get in trouble with credit card debt

Students can get into trouble with credit card debt if they don't take time to think about what they're doing, according to KHEAA.

One quick way to get into trouble is to carry a high balance and pay only the minimum payment each month.

If you have a $1,500 balance, your minimum payment might be $30 a month, because many credit card companies set the minimum payment at 2 percent of the balance. Let's say your card carries a 22 percent interest rate. If you pay only $30 a month and don't charge anything else until you pay off the entire balance, it will take you more than 11 years to pay your balance down to zero — and you'll pay $2,600 in interest.

It's worse, of course, if you pay the $30 and turn around and charge another $30.

That circle is especially bad for students. Many college officials say more students drop out because they have to go to work to pay off their credit cards than because they flunk out.

Before using your credit card, ask yourself if you really need what you're buying and if you can afford it. And if you can't pay off the entire balance, pay as much as you can, not just the minimum.

KHEAA is a public, nonprofit agency established in 1966 to improve students' access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To learn more about those services, visit


In addition, KHEAA disburses private Advantage Education Loans on behalf of its sister agency, KHESLC. For more information about Advantage Education Loans, visit

Tim Ballard, KHEAA

Learning disabilities require awareness and education

There are 258 births worldwide in a single minute, and about 33 percent of those children will grow up to suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This 33 percent may grow up believing they are subpar in comparison to their classmates. The education system may test them in ways they cannot overcome, and it will hinder their desire to learn. These children are not what need changing — our education system is.

Schools need to move past just rewarding the quiet children and the perfectly poised and learn to embrace the kids who lack the ability to do so. In classrooms all around the world today, there are millions of children struggling to learn new things and make new friends, yet hidden among them is a child in each classroom who struggles just to sit still or concentrate enough to read the words on the board in front of them.

I am studying elementary school education here at CU Boulder, and I am alarmed by the lack of education we receive on special ed. Although I am not studying special ed specifically, I believe it is crucial that all educators learn the skills that a special ed teacher has. These teachers learn to adapt their teaching styles to each student and work with those who struggle with one or more disability. More common learning disabilities such as ADD, ADHD and Asperger's are becoming more common in our preschools and elementary schools.

Working on preventative measures and working with parents rather than inviting in a new tutor or aid for the child will help them succeed in the long run. ADHD is affecting students' lives in more ways than one, and unless they receive the help they need in their early education, they will struggle for their entire lives. The solution is awareness and education. Parents need to be aware of their child's need for extra support and compassion at home while children need to be aware of their diagnosis and learn to ask for help when they need it. Educators need to be aware of the rising numbers of children with learning disabilities and educate themselves on the matter. It starts with prevention and can end with education.

Emily Schultz, Boulder

Demand more accessible mental health resources

As mental illness is still seen as a taboo topic, young people are reluctant to seek the help they need. In today's technology-based society, there needs to be more accessible mental health resources to help young Americans. Adolescents, the primary users of social media, are dangerously susceptible to mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia. Social media addiction is continuously lowering self-confidence and social intimacy in young people. These platforms make young people feel insecure and unfulfilled with their own lives due to the constant comparison to other people's lives through social networking. Alice G. Walton from Forbes stated that "in the social network world, it seems that any kind of comparison is linked to depressive symptoms."

As an adolescent college student, every day, I observe my peers obsessively checking their phones and scrolling through feeds. To help our youth, the future of our world, schools and universities need to offer more accessible mental health resources. Adolescents should not be afraid to ask for help due to a negative stigma in our society but encouraged to talk about their health. Not only do our schools need to create more resources for adolescents, but encourage people to start a conversation to support people and change the stigma in our world about mental health.

Abbey Turner, Boulder

Picture books important to early brain development

The effect of picture books on the developing minds of children is astounding. Many children begin literature with picture books that are read to them by their parents, which contributes to their success in future studies. What is concerning to many parents is whether these picture books are hindering the imaginations of their children. Early Childhood Education Degrees states about 68 percent of America's fourth-graders do not read at a proficient level today, so it is important to understand the effect of the types of literature we give to our children.

I interviewed over 80 students around the Boulder campus asking them a series of questions ranging from when they started to read with their parents and what type of books they read with their parents. About 95 percent stated they started reading picture books around the time they were 3. That was interesting because the brain's capacity develops 90 percent before a child reaches age 5, according to Early Childhood Education Degrees, demonstrating that any type of teaching up to ages of 5 may aid in a child's brain development.

From firsthand experience of reading to children at a public library, I found that children tend to choose picture books because they are fun to read. Yes, it is good to incorporate enjoyment into learning, but it should only be to a certain degree. I noticed that most of the children chose books that were easy to them, even going to a lower reading level on some books because the book seemed "fun." This is a problem because this is not challenging their ability to read, and we should take precaution when allowing children to choose the types of books they want to read as this could affect their future academic success.

Xai Phommarath, Boulder