Right now outstanding student loan debt hovers at one trillion dollars. That's not going to be a problem for some Birmingham high school students. Many of them they a free ticket to a college education.
It's called the Birmingham College Scholarship and Career Fair. More than 30 million dollars in scholarships were awarded today.
Jasmine Edmond had a limited amount of time to make an impression on college recruiters.
Edmond, a senior at Wenonah High School, made sure to mention her 4.06 GPA and 26 ACT score. With more than 2,000 Birmingham students presenting their credentials, she had to stand out.
Within minutes though, the tables turned, and colleges were competing for her attention
"I received a 24-thousand dollar scholarship to Florida a&A&M university. I also received a full ride to Kentucky state university and Russ college. And I received full tuition and 800 dollars for my books at Tuskegee," said Edmond.
Representatives from 40 colleges and universities were on hand accepting applications, answering questions, even giving a few pep talks.
"We bring colleges here that are prepared to give away scholarships on the spot," said Frank Woodson, executive director of Mission Birmingham Transformation Strategies; the sponsor of today's event.
He says this makes it convenient for students who otherwise may not have had help searching for college funds.
"Birmingham has such a stigma on it. But there are jewels in our schools. And they don't know how to make it to college and they come from families who didn't go to college,"said Woodson.
Edmond woke up this morning wondering how a college education was possible. By noon, she had her answer.
"It means so much to me because I knew that we couldn't afford college," she said.