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Local ‘Debt Free’ College Student Competes In Web Reality Show

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(Photo: www.nerdwallet.com)
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ANN ARBOR (WWJ) Think college kids aren’t smart about money? That doesn’t have to be the case.

Take for instance University of Michigan graduate student Jia Tolentino, one of four competing for the $1,000 prize in web reality show “So You Think You Can Finance.” Young adults compete to showcase their money-handling skills.

Tolentino’s claim to fame: She graduated from college without racking up any student debt.

“I was sort of unwilling to go into debt and I was lucky enough not to have to,” Tolentino said, adding that she’s been financially independent since she was 16, working one or two jobs at all times.

She has more reasons people should vote for her.

“I think people should vote for me because I plan to donate the full $1,000,” she said.

If she wins, half will go to Heifer International to buy a cow for a family in the developing world and the other half will go to the Peace Corps. project to bring running water to schools.

Shiyan Koh from “Nerd Wallet” is the creator of the show, and  thinks it serves as both entertainment and a learning experience for young people.

“It’s something that we don’t teach in schools, it’s something that if you don’t have a great model of how to manage your money growing up, there aren’t that many great role models,” Koh said. “It’s not something you talk about with your friends, like ‘Hey, I’m really thinking about setting up my 401K.’ Nobody talks about that.”

You can cast your ballot for Tolentino until October 15th HERE.

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