Welcome to my blog, The Rod and the Staff.

Shepherds have one main goal: the well-being of the sheep. In ancient times, the rod and the staff served as vital tools in accomplishing this objective. The heavy rod equipped the shepherd to dispense corrective discipline upon an unwieldy sheep, or lethal force upon an aggressive predator. The nimble staff aided the shepherd in his guiding of the flock through the varied terrain that laid before them, rescuing fallen and stranded members along the way.

Like these rudimentary tools of old, this blog seeks to function in a similar manner: to guide, to protect, and to correct. This necessitates a sternness and gentleness to my posts, depending on the topic. My main role is that of a guide, to assist you in finding your green pasture, the debt-free degree. Yet, the road is sometimes unfavorable, due to the land’s conditions and inhabitants or to one veering into inhospitable territory. At times my objective is to protect, to point out key risks and pitfalls that await the traveler along the way. And finally, I seek to correct, to undermine false beliefs and false concepts, which ensnare and demotivate.

As the goal of this blog is to equip and empower students to attain a debt-free degree, I welcome your comments and suggestions. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, please email me. Odds are there are many other students asking the same question. And if you come across a post that is helpful, please take the time to share it on your favorite social media platform.

Thanks again for visiting. I hope you enjoy the content!


  • research-review_

Research Review: “Student Debt and the Class of 2015”

October 21st, 2016|0 Comments

There are many great organizations advocating for college students. One of the best I have run across is the Institute for College Access and Success (www.ticas.org). On October 18th, the Institute released a new report […]

  • Fill Out That FAFSA (Blog)

Fill Out That FAFSA: 2017-2018 Changes

October 1st, 2016|0 Comments

October the 1st is here, which marks the kickoff of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2017-2018 academic year. If this seems earlier than usual to you, you are correct. This […]

  • research-review_1

Research Review: How America Saves for College 2016

September 28th, 2016|0 Comments

One of my favorite research pieces is the “How American Pays for College” series produced by Sallie Mae and Ipsos. Introduced in 2008, this study examines the views of undergraduates and parents of undergraduates concerning […]