In their book Wellbeing, authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter outline what they call “the five essential elements of wellbeing.”
Think about your kids as you read this list:
I think it’s fascinating to look at what happens in the spaces where two or more elements of wellbeing overlap. There’s great joy, for instance, in having a career—however humble—that gives you financial stability enough that you can give money away to help others who need help with their physical wellbeing.
And for teens and 20somethings, even if they temporarily have very limited money and zero career stability, they can still increase wellbeing by partnering with others around them (social) to do projects that help others (community).
According to Gallup research, this can actually be a faster route to happiness than going to an Ivy League university! (See the article I’ve written on this subject here.)
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Many parents have only one strategy for lowering college costs. Send the kid to the local state university.
But is your local state university actually your bargain option — considering all the factors involved?
The hidden costs of state university nobody talks about
At many state universities, it can take even the most diligent students six years to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Why? Because classes are full, so students struggle to get into the classes they need to graduate.
A state university education can be like buying a plane ticket, walking down to the gate, and then not being allowed to board — over and over and over again — because the plane is overbooked and every seat is taken.
Two extra years in state university can end up costing your kid a staggering amount.
Read the article I wrote here on how two extra years in college can end up costing students $300,000 in extra tuition, interest, lost full-time income, and stunted retirement savings. Plus, of course, a huge number of students get discouraged before the six years are up, and drop out — leaving college with a boatload of student loan debt and no college degree.
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