It took me more than seven years to pay off my student loan debt, and I’ll always remember my glee at making the final payment. I wish I had followed the path of Rebekah Bell, who writes about her debt-free degree in this Wall Street Journal piece. Yes, folks, it IS possible to earn a degree without borrowing a dime. And yes, it is hard — and in today’s society, when something is hard, most folks simply refuse to pursue it.

More than one financial-aid counselor told me it would be impossible to graduate debt-free. It often seemed like the naysayers were right. But persistence helped me pull it off. And even if I had fallen short, I still would have had to borrow much less than the average student. I may not have had as much free time as some classmates, but I enjoyed a rich and fulfilling college experience while also graduating debt-free. Graduating without debt means that now I can apply for jobs that I really want—instead of feeling like I have to grab the first one that will help me start paying off a student loan. Today, I’m indebted only to my parents for being so unreasonable.

Bell’s roadmap to a debt-free degree is worth your time.