I’ll never forget the conversation I had with a woman a few years ago. She was wringing her hands, eyes were filled with anxiety. “He’ll have over a hundred thousand dollars in student loan debt,” she told me. Her son was studying German and hoped to get a….uh…not sure what he wanted to get.
I asked her if he had considered simply moving to Germany for a year or more to get fluent? He could earn money, learn German and understand the culture better. Not to mention help him sort out what he’d like to do.
I could almost hear the gate crashing down and the key being tossed aside. DON’T go there!
It was clear she was unable to see past the “you must get a college degree to be successful” thinking. Even though she was connecting the dots with the debt with which this kid was getting saddled, she just couldn’t let go of her paradigm.
Believing is seeing.
When we settle on a belief…be it the moon is made out of green cheese or you must have a degree to be successful…we will find ways to substantiate that belief. Even if it’s unreasonable.
And no, I’m not against college. For some kids, it IS a vital part of their education and preparation for their career.
But all too often, parents overlook some very important alternatives. This article from a Tennessee news station illustrates my point.
Here’s a few tidbits:
Nearly 30% of Americans with associate’s degrees now make more than those with bachelor’s degrees, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. In fact, other recent research in several states shows that, on average, community college graduates right out of school make more than graduates of four-year universities….
A two-year community college degree, at present full rates, costs about $6,262, according to the College Board. A bachelor’s degree from a four-year, private residential university goes for $158,072.
There are lots of great options!
But first…you might have to examine your beliefs.
Filed under: College education, education, Free Range Education, homeschooling, The Mother Lode Project | 2 Comments »