Scholarship News

Blue-Collar Students Trucking Through Student Debt


August 15, 2017 2:24 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
The looming 1.4 billion student debt haunts not only college students and graduates, but blue-collar students as well. Dozens of truck drivers recount the industry's hopeful advertisement and how they are left in debt with thousands of dollars in training fees and poor job prospects.

The looming 1.4 billion student debt haunts not only college students and graduates, but blue-collar students as well. Dozens of truck drivers recount the industry's hopeful advertisement and how they are left in debt with thousands of dollars in training fees and poor job prospects.

Trucking is crucial for U.S. commerce since consumers depend on it for moving cars, delivering food to homes and transporting online-bought goods. Nearly 10.5 billion tons of freight were hauled by trucks in 2015, which accounts for "70 percent of the tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation." Despite this, there is still a shortage of truck drivers, especially when it comes to recruiting women (who only make up 5 percent of the industry).

Those who are enticed by online or newspaper ads are led to believe that "they just need to go and will instantly make $500 a week"; however, "they're not ready for the roads, they owe money, [and] they're disappointed." CRST International is one of the transport and logistics companies out there that sell the idea of a promising career in the industry with steady work and a "huge sign-on bonus." Candidates of the program called the training program "brutal"; there didn't seem to be any background checks, there was little preparation for the commercial driver's license test and many were saddled with thousands in debt.

Driving a semi-truck requires a commercial driver's license which can be attained at some community colleges or independent schools. Some schools may be eligible for federal funding through Title IV federal student aid and in the past have received $4 million in federal loans and $500,000 in Pell Grants. In some instances where the trucking company and not the government administers the loan, "workers have fewer protections against harsh repayment terms and high-interest rates."

A traditional four-year college degree isn't meant for everyone. If you would prefer to master a skill or trade outside of the conventional higher education track, we encourage you to check out vocational careers and vocational scholarships. From business to information technology to the health field, you earn vocational degrees that will pay off - and also land vocational scholarships to help pay for school in the meantime.

College is expensive, Scholarships.com is completely free. Pay for your college education with as much free college scholarship money as possible. By applying to all the awards you qualify for, you can be sure to not miss a single opportunity in paying for your college expenses - including tuition, fees, room and board. Get matched to college scholarships instantly and start applying today by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

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