Hillary Clinton caused an unexpected dustup recently when she tweeted on August 12th: “How does your student loan debt make you feel? Tell us in 3 emojis or less.”
The angry responses from students and others were blistering.
My personal favorite response to this tweet was: “Hillary, COLLEGE STUDENTS CAN USE WORDS.”
Though Hillary’s tweet was callous and insensitive, no doubt — I feel deeply thankful that presidential candidates are even thinking about this critically important issue.
From my perspective as an author, consultant, and speaker who helps parents set their kids up to graduate college debt free and move directly into careers they excel at and love, I’d like to offer this year’s crop of presidential candidates one piece of advice:
About a month ago I wrote about how some students could end up wealthier and happier by not going to four-year college after high school. It was a life-changing post for many. If you missed it, be sure to read it here.
Today’s huge news is that starting next year, this very valuable type of post-secondary education will be FREE for an estimated 1600 Minnesotans.
If you’re going to access this benefit for your child, though, there are several things you need to know right now.
It’s true! Free technical school for 1600 Minnesotans!
Starting in 2016, Minnesota is embarking on a two-year pilot program where the state will pay tuition and fees for 1600 recent high school grads who enroll in job-skills training programs at public two-year colleges and pursue high-demand technical training in fields such as agriculture, manufacturing, and computer science and others.
Hot fields with high levels of future employability
Jobs in these fields “are very, very hot right now,” said Minnesota State Senator LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, who was the lead sponsor of the Minnesota bill that provided $8.5 million for the program. “Nobody can get enough employees.”
Years ago, a hardworking college student could earn enough money in a summer of life-guarding or burger flipping to pay for one year of college tuition.If she continued to work for wages for as many hours as possible during the school year, lived in a tiny apartment with multiple roommates, and ate only macaroni and cheese, she might be able to cover her own living expenses during the school year as well.Is this still the case?
No; it’s not.
Students can no longer pay for their own college by working a minimum wage job.
Today I’m featuring a 16 minute TEDx talk on student loan debt by Adam Carroll.
This is a must-listen for every parent.
Listen while you’re getting ready for work in the morning, commuting, or cooking dinner. It’ll change everything you’ve ever believed about student loan debt, and it’ll change your kid’s life.
And if you find yourself breaking out in a cold sweat after listening? Don’t worry. Request my “QUICK START Guide” on this website, and then click on your child’s age in my “WHAT TO DO WHEN” section. I’ll give you free, clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt free and into jobs they love afterward. To read my gravely concerned post on the topic of student loan debt, click here.
Your son or daughter has started looking at colleges, and at this point the discussion is pretty much centered around how pretty the buildings are, what kind of sports they have, and “the quality of the business program.” But are there even more important questions that should be being asked?
Like: “If I attend here, will I be able to get an off-campus job that offers me tuition reimbursement?”
A fantastic fringe benefit for college students
Most students work for money while they’re in college. Highly strategic students don’t just work for money, they work for a paycheck plus a check that their employers write to their colleges to help pay their college tuition bills.
Community colleges tend to be a GREAT bargain for students. (Do you wonder what gives me the credential to say that? Click here.) But what about 4-year state universities? Are they smart choices for students who want to keep college costs low? At first glance the 4-year state university’s sticker price looks appealing enough. But is it really a good deal?
Here’s the big question to ask:
What is this state university’s four-year graduation rate?
If it’s nearly impossible to get through this college in four years, that’s deeply concerning. Why? Because financial aid doesn’t stretch to cover years five and six. Too often, years five and six get paid for by expensive private loans and credit card debt. Plus, of course, going to college for six years is likely to cost a student two years of full time income.
Imagine your 7th grader earning real transferable college credit for the knowledge she just gained in her middle school history class. Are you astounded that this is possible?
Students of all ages can turn their regular school learning into real college credit in 33 different subject areas — thanks to the College Board’s CLEP® program.
CLEP® TESTING IN MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL CAN SAVE YOU THOUSANDS.
CLEP® provides one of the best, fastest, cheapest ways for any student to earn real college credit before they ever set foot on a college campus. And if your middle schooler can do it? Then the high school or college student in your life certainly can.
Your child’s next school break might be an excellent time for him or her to work on earning CLEP® credits. Here are three steps you can take now to make that happen.
Are you a parent wondering if student loan debt is really that big a deal? Watch this powerful, entertaining video by Adam Carroll at TEDx UWMilwaukee. It’ll be the best 15 minutes you’ll spend on your kid this year.