Tech School and College? Both—? Wow!

You’ve heard that two years of tech school education could get your kid straight into a well-paying career as early as age 20.

Still, you hesitate to even suggest it. Mostly because you’ve always thought of your child as college material.

How about this radical idea—doing college and tech school both.

In many states, it’s possible for a student to earn a 4-year college bachelor’s degree and a two-year tech school degree—both—by age 22.

Students who do this can earn extra job qualifications that put them in hot demand for well-paying jobs for a lifetime.

(Plus—help the world overcome its dire shortage of workers skilled in the trades.)

How can students complete both tech school and college by age 22?

tech school

Students, consider this strategy:

1. While you’re still in 10th grade, find out if you can take dual enrollment college courses while you’re in 11th and 12th grades.

Do this, and you could earn two years of high school credit and two years of real college credit at the same time. (In many cases, with the state you live in footing the entire bill!)

Many students who do this are able to walk across their high school graduation stages with 2-year associate’s degrees already completed—debt-free at state expense—while still enjoying the full high school experience.

No one ever asks these high school students if they’re college material—because at age 18 they’re already halfway to the 4-year college completion finish line!

(To learn your state’s rules regarding dual enrollment, google the name of your state along with the words “dual enrollment.”)

If you’re already past 10th grade and you wonder if it’s too late for you to use this strategy, do this.

Whatever age you are now, go to your nearest high school guidance counselor and ask, “Can you help me figure out how I can squeeze the maximum number of dual enrollment college courses into the rest of my high school career?” (Be prepared to argue that AP is not the same as dual enrollment.)

2. Start thinking early on about what kinds of tech school programs might be fun to pursue.

Quit worrying about “following your passion.”

Watch the short video here to understand why “follow your passion” is some of the worst career advice ever.

Go to a tech school near your house and ask what kinds of skilled job training programs they have available. (Tech schools have a wide variety of offerings you’ve likely never thought of before.)

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Tee Your Kids Up For Career Success (In Just 2 Min.)

You desperately want your kids to succeed academically in school and in college so they can have a shot at lifetime career success—but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.

career success

According to world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck (who’s done decades of high-level research on achievement and success), the difference between academic and career success and academic and career mediocrity boils down to whether the child has a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Carol Dweck describes the difference between these two mindsets this way:

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

—Carol Dweck

This is fantastic in and of itself, but here’s even better news.

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Could Graduating High School With an AA Degree Hurt a Kid?

Today I’m writing on topic I never, ever thought I would. Could graduating high school with an AA degree in any way do a student more harm than good? My eyes are bugging out just writing that.

graduating high school with an AA degree

Could graduating high school with an AA degree HURT your kid?

For many moms and dads, one of their proudest parenting moments occurs when their 17-year-old walks across the stage at high school graduation with two years of college already completed. An entire two-year AA college degree already sewn up—entirely at state expense. An amazing, stunning achievement! All while dodging the pitfalls of AP classes—and still enjoying a rich, full high school experience.

Parents who get to experience this proud moment get tingly with excitement thinking of their child confidently diving into third year college courses at age 18, finishing college with a bachelor’s degree at age 20, slashing college bills by half, and having extra years of life before age 22 to tour Europe, volunteer, or start piling up real world work experience that rockets their careers far ahead of their peers. (Making them stellar candidates for grad school or medical school, I might add—if that ever becomes a goal.)

Other parents aren’t so sure.

“Might graduating high school with an AA degree keep my child out of the Ivy League?”

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Should Teens Take College Classes in 11th Grade?

Is it a good idea for teens to take college classes in 11th grade?

Increasingly, school staff at both public and private high schools are saying yes, and are working to create new and better ways for students to do so—often at state expense, which can save parents thousands on eventual college costs.

Private education, especially, is benefitting.

Private high schools have the flexibility to create innovative in-school programs where students as young as 11th grade are able to take real college classes for real college credit during the school day, while still having the full, enriching high school experience.

Innovation like this works out well for parents, schools, and students. Parents find it easier to pay private school tuition when they know their future college costs are going to be lower, schools are able to brag that many of their students are graduating high school with as much as two years of college credit already completed, and students who are ready to achieve can dive into real college work as soon as soon as they’re ready for it, efficiently earning college credit and high school credit at the same time.

college classes in 11th grade

AP classes declining in popularity 

For years, high schools offered Advanced Placement (AP) classes in an effort to help high achieving students earn some college credit before age 18, but in recent years, concern about the AP program has caused its popularity to plummet. Fewer than 50% of students who take AP courses actually receive the promised college credit, and that makes AP the least dependable way to earn college credit in high school. (This Atlantic article goes so far as to tell parents bluntly, “AP classes are a scam” and “AP students are being suckered.”)

Students who take real college courses in high school enjoy 7 significant advantages:

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Why and How to Stop Multitasking

Reclaim Your Productivity; Increase Enjoyment of Your Time Off

On the surface, it seems as though multitasking would be a great productivity tool. After all, if you can book a plane ticket and quickly shoot off an email while you’re on a phone meeting at work, why not? Haven’t you just masterfully killed two birds with one stone? Shouldn’t you be congratulated for being a brilliant time manager?

Research says no.

multitasking

Multitasking will drop your I.Q. faster than smoking pot.

One study showed that workers distracted by incoming email and text messages saw a whopping 10-point drop in their I.Q.s.

What’s the effect of a 10-point drop in I.Q.? It’s the same as losing an entire night’s sleep, and more than twice the effect of smoking marijuana.

Multitasking slashes your productivity by as much as 40%. 

We delude and fool ourselves into believing that we’re getting more done by multitasking. In reality, a day of multitasking results in less accomplishment, less productivity, and at the end of the day, something perhaps worse than mere low productivity.

Multitasking skyrockets feelings of stress and anxiety, eating away at the enjoyment of free time.

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Is “Advanced Placement” the Best Way to Earn College Credit In High School?

Every year, millions of high school students are fed this line: “Hey, you should take Advanced Placement (AP) classes! They’re way harder, but if you do well on the test at the end, you’ll get free college credit!”

It sounds like a great deal. But is it actually true?

Advanced Placement

Actually, Advanced Placement (AP) classes are the least dependable way for students to earn college credit in high school.

Shockingly, fewer than half the students who take AP classes actually end up getting the low-cost college credit they were promised.

One of my medical school applicant clients at getintomedschool.com took an astounding 14 AP courses in high school, scoring so highly on her AP tests that she was named AP Scholar With Distinction. “Did you get any free college credits out of that?” I asked her. “Nope,” she replied. “Not a one.”

This Atlantic article goes so far as to tell parents bluntly, “AP classes are a scam” and “AP students are being suckered.”

The well-respected Atlantic said that? Wow.

To learn which early college option tends to be far better than Advanced Placementread on.

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Kids Ages 12–26 Need a COLLEGE STUDY SKILLS CLASS. Here’s Why

The college study skills class I teach is called THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT. For more info on this class, scroll to the bold red writing below.

LIve class coming August 27th!

You already understand why college students and grad students need a high quality college study skills class. You can even see why it makes sense for high school students to take one. (Especially if they’ll be taking dual enrollment college classes in 11th and 12th grades.)

But why would I recommend that middle schoolers also take a college study skills class?

Something magical happens when a middle schooler takes a college study skills class. I’ve seen it a thousand times.

Here, 7 reasons why middle school (or as soon as possible after that) is a great time for your kid to take a college study skills class:

1. A class like this shapes the way the student sees herself and her future.

Middle schoolers tend to feel immensely flattered that someone—a parent, a teacher, or a middle school youth pastor—sees them as so intellectually capable that the topic of college is coming up already.

Oh, every student will initially object when an adult brings up the idea of a class like this—but once the student knows that attending is not negotiable, even a “low-to-average” achieving middle school student will secretly start to feel an internal glow of pride about it.

When middle school students attend a college study skills class, they begin to feel a subtle but distinct shift in how they view themselves and their future life. They start to see this line item being written into the overarching plan for their lives: “I’m going to college!”

2. Younger students eagerly devour this material.

After just about five minutes in my college study skills class, students are sitting straight up on the edges of their chairs, ears and eyes wide open.

The minute I finish explaining the importance of taking notes with pen and paper and not with computers, these students are taking page after page of detailed notes.

At the end of class—when I ask to see the notes they’ve taken and I marvel and exclaim over them, these students swell up with pride.

When I explain exactly how to review the notes later to lock in concepts in as little time as possible, they write down every word I say.

One 8th grade girl walked out of my college study skills class and told her mom: “Sorry, Mom—I can’t go get ice cream with you now. I’m doing a a systematic review method and I have to review these notes I just took.” And I wasn’t even giving her a grade for learning this material.

I find that middle school students are especially eager to listen, eager to take notes, eager to review, and eager to implement college study skills strategies after they’ve learned them. This presents an opportunity that is just too valuable for us to overlook.

Parents, if your kids balk at coming to this class when you first bring it up, pay them to attend if that’s what it takes. You’ll recoup the investment 100 times over later.

3. Every student loves it when I say these words:

“Some of you here today have never, ever worked up to your ability level in school. Some of you are the last people your teachers would ever think would go to college. Well, let me tell you something. Some of you sitting here today are going to surprise everyone. You know why? Because it’s not brains or genetic ability that make you good at college. It’s strategy and organization. Pure and simple. And anyone can learn that.”

4. Brain development research tells us that middle school is an ideal time for us to be talking about these things.

Middle schoolers’ brains are growing at an explosive rate—faster than at any time since infancy. Neural pathways are being pruned and strengthened, and so any experience they have during these years is likely to stick with them—in technicolor—for years and years afterward. Often for a lifetime. 

I want it to be during these years that they are first reached with the message of what it takes to succeed in college. 

If we are able to do this, the college success strategies we give them will be locked in in ways they will not be if we wait until just before or during college.

5. Students who learn college study skills early on do better in high school.

They get better grades in high school, they take and pass more CLEP tests, they succeed at higher levels in dual enrollment courses in 11th and 12th grades, and they tend to apply for and win more college scholarships between the ages of 13 and 26.

And after college is over? They’re the students who end up most likely to get their grad school paid for.

6. Students who take this path will walk onto their college campus with a 6-year track record of organizing their academics in ways that actually work.

When these students hear college friends talking about ridiculously ineffective college strategies like keeping track of due dates in their heads, or waiting until the last minute and cramming for exams, they’ll look at those friends like they’re completely out of their minds.

7. Students who learn high-level college study skills early on tend to feel greatly relieved of fear and pressure.

One bright, capable 8th grade boy recently wrote on my course evaluation for the college study skills class I teach: “This class has helped take away a lot of my fears about college.”

How much is that worth to a parent?

Whether your child is in middle school, high school, college, or grad school right now, don’t delay.

Sign up for my free weekly email newsletter now, and you’ll know the next time I’m teaching my 1/2 day  STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT class either live or online.

Want a discount on this class?

My TRIBE Members get this class for free. Learn more about my TRIBE Membership and join the waiting list here.

Learn more about my 1/2 day STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT class here.

You can see students ages 12–26 raving about this class here.

Get a quick preview of one of my most popular college study strategies here.

Your young adult child is finished with college, not ever attending college, and not headed to grad school?

Your young adult child will not need this class!

Instead, have him or her read this book: The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Dr. Meg Jay. It’s a life-changer!

Help us spread the word on this!

Copy this entire article and paste it right into your school, business, or nonprofit newsletter. Put a link to it in your Facebook group! Just include the words “By Jeannie Burlowski.”

And if you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.

Imagine your kids not just performing well academically—but also getting through college debt-free.

There’s clear, step-by-step help on how to do this in 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 more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:

bit.ly/burlowski

(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

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.

Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?

It’s my members that get most direct access to me. Doors to my membership open each year for just 5 days in March, and 5 days in September. It costs just pennies per day, but space is limited. Join the Waiting List here.

What about you? How old were you when you took your first college study skills class? Do you think you could have benefitted from taking it sooner? How so?

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 academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move 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.

Jeannie 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 was originally posted on this blog on July 6th, 2017. It was updated on November 12th, 2020.

9 Reasons to Talk your Kid OUT of Applying to the Ivy League

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?

Probably not, honestly.

Ivy League

William Deresiewicz, former Yale professor and author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and The Way to a Meaningful Life has a fascinating take on this question.

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Two Extra Years in College Could Cost Your Kid $300,000

Here are 7 Proven Ways To Get Through College FAST

When you imagine your daughter’s future, you probably don’t envision her spending extra years in college.

Yet, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 40% of college students earn their bachelor’s degrees in four years. And only 60% of college students receive a degree in six years!

Yikes!

extra years in college

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“If I Take College Classes in High School, Can l Still Have a ‘Full High School Experience’?”

A 10th grader writes to tell me that his parents are worried that if he takes dual enrollment college classes in high school, he might be prevented from having “the full high school experience.”

Here’s his email to me:

“Jeannie, I know 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 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?”

My answer to him is here:college classes in high school

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