NGPF Podcast: Adam Carroll on the perils of student debt

Dec 27, 2020

Thanks to Adam for participating in a recent NGPF Speaker Series event. If you google Adam Carroll, the autofill suggests "Adam Carroll finance," which is only appropriate given his expertise in this area, particularly finance for young adults.  Adam is an author of four books, renowned speaker for high school and college audiences, and producer of documentary on student debt (Broke, Busted and Disgusted). In this podcast, Adam discusses the importance of educating young people about student debt BEFORE they make their college choices and strategies he recommends to capture their attention. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:07 Introduction
  • 1:07~12:34 Adam’s background and interest in student debt
  • 12:34~18:37 Relationship to money growing up
  • 18:37~23:46 What’s the message to students?
  • 23:46~27:09 Common questions Adam receives from high school students
  • 27:09~31:00 Where did the student debt crisis come from?
  • 31:00~31:36 A word from NGPF
  • 31:36~35:37 Educating young people about debt
  • 35:37~37:57 Making debt real to students
  • 37:57~42:33 Impact of COVID on higher education
  • 42:33~47:14 Resources for the classroom 
  • 47:14~50:43 Thoughts on loan forgiveness
  • 50:43~52:14 Updating the documentary
  • 52:14~56:11 Conclusion


  • “I tell young people on college campuses all the time, you can have whatever you want in life, it’s all out there for you, but you can’t have it at 22. Someone will try and sell it to you at 22. And if you buy it at 22, you’re going to be paying for it at 32, 42, and 52. But if you wait, if you have a little bit of patience and you do the right things, you can achieve financial freedom in your 30s or 40s.”



Check out the NGPF podcast archives here

About the Authors

Ren Makino

Ren has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, interning through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, after graduating from college in 2020, he joined the team to work full time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes sure it is accessible to teachers on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world and try out new brewing methods, even though personal finance gurus tend to caution against buying a cup of joe.

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.