Quick. Picture your son sitting in a college class.
Got that picture in your mind?
Let me guess what you just imagined. You pictured him absorbed in his college lecture. You pictured him paying close attention to every word the professor is saying. You pictured him diligently filling page after page with carefully organized notes.
You may have just imagined wrong.
The typical college student squanders one-fifth of his class time doing this.
Texting. Emailing. Checking Facebook. Surfing the web. Playing games on a phone, tablet, or laptop.
A University of Nebraska-Lincoln study of 675 college students across 26 states reveals that nine out of ten students report that texting is “their main diversion during class.”
About 75% of students polled admitted to emailing or checking the time on their phones. 70% reported scrolling through Facebook and other social media during the time they were supposed to be learning. Nearly half surfed the web during class, and one in 10 spent class time playing games.
What’s the cost to parents? Let’s do the math.
Let’s say your son attends a private university that charges $5,880 for a 3-credit course. If your son texts, emails, checks social media, surfs the web, or plays games during just one-fifth of his class time, which is a lowball estimate, that diversion will end up costing your family $1,176 for each class he takes. If your son takes 18 credits per term during every term other than his first one on campus — as I advise students to do in order to graduate faster — this seemingly innocuous habit will cost your family $7,056 per term. $28,000 or more over the course of an entire four-year college career.
Not to mention the cost to your son when that knowledge base isn’t available to him when he tries to enter the workforce later.
It’s no wonder today’s college students are having trouble getting real jobs after college.
I have a magical way to solve this problem.
When I speak, I inspire students to “get as far down the road toward an ‘A’ as possible while sitting right there in that college class.”
Students who follow me set all their electronics aside and actively take copious, well-organized notes with pen and paper. (I explain here why the pen and paper system beats a laptop any day, hands down.)
The students who follow me review these notes during the weeks that follow according to a special fast system that I teach them.
Students catch on to this idea quickly. It makes sense. If they can do the bulk of their learning right there in the college classroom, they won’t have to spend nearly as much time staying up late cramming for exams later.
Parents, your kids aren’t likely to listen to your views on texting during class.
But they will listen to me.
If you’ve got kids ages 12–26, ask them to take my 1/2-day seminar THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT: How to Get Higher Grades While Studying Less Than Most Other People. Learn all about it here.
You can see students ages 12–26 raving about this class here.
Find out when I’m next teaching this class live by subscribing to my free weekly email newsletter here.
And if your kids balk at taking this class? Pay them to take it if necessary.
This class is ideal for college students, grad students, high school students, and middle school students.
Academic success in college is just one factor in getting a real job after college.
For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free and into careers they love afterward, get your copy of my book:
It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.
You can see hundreds of reviews of this book on Amazon by going to:
You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 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.
Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.
Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter here. (You’ll especially want to do this so I can alert you to important FAFSA changes that will affect you in the future.)
Do you have very specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?
My TRIBE Members get the most direct access to me—while feeling good that the pennies per day they spend on the TRIBE help me bring debt-free college strategy to families who could never afford to pay for it. Join my TRIBE Membership waiting list here.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to jump directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.
This article was updated on March 27th, 2023.