Today I’m re-running an article I previously wrote on the subject of Ivy League admission. The reason? Harvard University has made a surprising, disheartening decision that significantly impacts its students’ ability to save money on the education it provides. You’ll read about the Harvard decision–and what you can do about it– in the red text below.
Parents, you feel a lot of pressure to get your kids into a “good” college after high school. An “Ivy League” university would be ideal! But is all the work and stress really worth it?
In his controversial New Republic article, Deresiewicz tells parents that Ivy League schools are overrated — that they’d be better off sending their kids elsewhere.
Here are the top 9 most jolting things I got out of Deresiewicz’s article:
1. The intense competition to get into an elite school can hobble a child for life.
“These enviable youngsters appear to be the winners in the race we have made of childhood,” Deresiewicz writes. “But the reality is very different . . . . Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.”
2. Constant focus on elite, Ivy League education can result in soul-crushing levels of insecurity, anxiety, and fear for students.
A 10th grader contacted me recently and asked me this great question about taking college classes in high school.
“Jeannie, I know that you strongly recommend dual enrollment college classes in high school for kids who want to get through college debt-free. I want to do dual enrollment full time in 11th and 12th grades so that I’ll have two years of college done by the time I graduate from high school. But my parents are trying to steer me toward doing dual enrollment only just part time. They’re worried that if I take a full load of dual enrollment college classes in high school, I’ll miss out on ‘the full high school experience.’ What do you think?”
Could you one day have your social security checks garnished to pay for your kids’ college?
You may be in danger of having your social security checks garnished and not even realize it.
Parents duped into taking out Parent PLUS loans to pay for their kids’ college can find themselves on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars each month, right at a time of life where they may be wanting to (or worse, needing to) retire.
There’s been an overwhelming, excited response to LAUNCH since it released on January 4th, 2017. Parent response to this book has already exceeded anything I ever thought possible. Whenever there’s a lot of excitement there are also a lot of questions, so here are the top 9 questions parents are asking me — along with my answers.
1. “Our son is only in middle school. Surely we don’t need to be thinking about college yet!”
Let me be blunt here. If you wait until your son’s in 11th grade to start thinking about college, 75% of the best ideas for getting him through college debt-free will be gone.
Your kid’s in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade? It’s time to set him or her free to feel jazzed and excited about college. Plus — as a parent– learn 8 things you can do right now to keep that kid’s future college costs low.
A 35-year-old father of two recently contacted me in desperation, looking for help getting out from under $40,000 in student loan debt. “I’ve been paying $475 a month payments on this debt for years,” he said, “but because of interest piling up, I’ve hardly made a dent in it! I can’t buy a house; I can’t save for retirement; and we’re just scraping by every month, just barely able to pay our bills. Help!”
My advice to him was blunt. “You need to get aggressive,” I said. “Start doing insane, crazy things to pay this debt down as fast as possible.” I talked to him about finding an elderly person who needed a little help with home care and yard work, and moving his little family into one room in this person’s unfinished basement to save on rent. I talked to him about selling his nice car and taking Uber to the grocery store and public transportation to work. I talked to him about getting all of Amy Dacyczyn’s Tightwad Gazette books and adopting a whole bunch of her crazy, outrageous, creative strategies for saving money and paying down the principal on debt.
Parents, don’t let what happened to this man happen to your kid.
Watch this 3-minute movie trailer for the student loan debt documentary “Broke, Busted, and Disgusted.” Then buy or rent the documentary and consider watching it with the teens in your family.
“Broke, Busted, and Disgusted” is guaranteed to light fire in your teens to do all they can to avoid student loan debt, and in you to do everything you can to get your kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward.
To keep debt-free college at the top of your mind as your kids are growing up, subscribe to my “email updates” using the form on this site, and then open it every single time it lands in your email inbox. It always includes a valuable timely article, plus info on my speaking and online specialty classes. (Use the directions here to make sure your email provider always sends my emails straight to your email inbox.)
Don’t let your kids become a student loan statistic.
Buy (or rent) the entire 53-minute “Broke, Busted, and Disgusted” documentary here.
You can see the “Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH,” here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCHevery 1-3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it – especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 12 – 22? SHARE this post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn right now.
What about you? What jumped out at you when you watched this trailer for Broke, Busted, and Disgusted? What are your favorite strategies for helping kids avoid student loan debt? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full time author, academic strategist, and speaker. Her writing and speaking help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directlyinto careers they excel at and love. She also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.
This article is part 3 of a 3-part series on what students can do if they’ve left college with student loan debt. You can find the first two very important articles in this series here and here.
Every year, frightening numbers of students finish college with $30,000 – $90,000 in student loan debt – and then find themselves completely unable to find employment that pays enough to cover their student loan payments.
Many of these 20-somethings work as nannies, restaurant servers, and cashiers, jobs that barely pay enough to cover rent and groceries.
What can be done about this? Simply not paying is not an option. (You can read about the scary consequences of student loan default here.)
If you’re a former college student and you find yourself in this position, here are 5 strategies that will help.
This article is part 2 of a 3-part series on what students can do if they already have student loan debt. To read the very important article that was part 1 of this series, click here. To read part 3 of this series (the one about student loan forgiveness), click here.
In the first article in this series I explained the 7 important things that student loan borrowers need do immediately after leaving college.
I didn’t have room in that article for this very important to-do item: