Mid-Way Feedback

I met yesterday with a college student who has completed two years at a state university.  The family elected to not contract for my services two years ago.

  1. She is enjoying school and happy where she is.
  2. She changed major and lost approximately 1 semester's worth of credits towards her new major.
  3. She will take summer classes for the next two years in order to finish in four years.
  4. She and her parents will assume debt totalling more than $60,000 by the time she is done.
  5. Her career goal will require graduate school; debt above $100,000 is a certainty.
Not bad, but had they accepted my offer of help they may be doing better.

Class of 2013 -- chiming in for you

OMG!  All of the stuff out there -- advising Class of 2013 about their futures.  Blah!  Blah! Blah!
Here's my contribution to the cacaphony:

  • Who you are, as a person, trumps what college you graduated from, your GPA, your honors, etc.
  • Depend on your talents, integrity and faith for your economic welfare.
  • No one owes you anything -- not a chance, not a paycheck, nothing.
  • Do not expect any opportunity until you demonstrate value to the other person.
  • The hard times wil turn out to be, in retrospect, the best times.
  • Save 20 cents of every dollar for the uncertain future.
  • Start every day meeting with the Lord for a few minutes to read the Bible and to pray.

All the talk about "A college degree -- is it worth it?"

There is a buzz around related to the expense of a college degree versus the costs associated with it.  Here's my two cents:

  • If planned well, the college experience is well worth the time and money.
  • If planned poorly . . . well, anything poorly planned is a disappointment.
  • A young adult with a college diploma seeking employment will retain an edge over the one who lacks that diploma -- that's not going to change during the lifetimes of our children.
  • Skill-set and work experience, mid-career will count for a lot.  Nevertheless, if the promotion or new hire comes down to a choice between two, otherwise well-qualified candidates, would you pick the one lacking a diploma over the one who earned a diploma?
  • Entrepreneurship is a completely different issue. In that case perhaps the costs associated with a college diploma may be re-directed profitably into business start-up costs.
  • Do not send your young adult off to college "to find himself/herself."  It's waaaay too expensive for that.  For that young man or young woman fulltime employment following high school, or military service are practical and valuable options.

National College Advocacy Group -- Spring Convention in Philadelphia

April 30 & May 1 I was in Philadelphia for the Spring Convention of the National College Advocacy Group (www.ncagonline.org).  NCAG is a non-profit and membership is open to both professional planners like me, and to families who want help with the college process.

Tuesday eight of us were given a private tour of LaSalle University and Haverford College.  We had several hours at each school with the Director of Admissions and of Financial Aid.  It was enlightening and reassuring.  Those administrators impressed me as being sincere and truly interested in a positive outcome for every student. 

Bottom line -- college is expensive now, and costs are going to increase annually.  Schools are making greater amounts of financial aid available to help families.  Never has college selection (from our side of the equation) -- student selection (from the school's point of view) been more important.  We all have at least one objective in common -- gettting the student into a college where he/she will be happy socially, and successful academically.

Posted in College Planning. Tagged as Campus visits.