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who decided that asking a bunch of kids fresh out of highschool to make a potentially 30,000$ decision to go to college?

most teenagers out of high school really have no idea what they are good at and what they want to do with their lives. and yet, at least in the united states, we beat it in to them that they need to go to college and get a degree without them having enough real experience to figure out what they want to do with their lives. not to mention informing them of the economic ramifications that come with it. potentialy getting into anywhere from 10k to 100k in debt before they are 25 years old.
#whosideawasthis? #college-decisions #debt

Thank you comment icon John Mulaney and I agree with you 100%. Abby Lupi, Admin
Thank you comment icon College is not always the answer, youth today are being misled. There are many skill-sets and careers rewarding careers that do not need to put you $$$$$ in debt with nothing but a paper called degree Julio Guzman

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Okay Daniel, let me give it to you straight. Not everyone needs to go to college. I was 12 years old when I first began working. I have had way too many jobs to count since. What I know to be true is this: college is not always a guarantee for a brighter future. I do know that any future you desire does require at least a high school, or equivalent, education. I was once a high school drop out and learned this lesson the hard way. I will spare you the gruesome details of the hardships I faced to finish high school, and I will fast forward you to my college and university chapters of life.

When I began college, I was so far behind those coming directly from a regular high school education that I did not start out earning college credit. I had to do prerequisite courses first. What is considered a two-year education for most took me four years. I was also living in poverty and did not have access to some basic things other students had. Still, I fought my way through it and became the first in my family to obtain a Masters in Counseling degree with a Concentration in Schools. I was the oldest in my class, but I was also very determined.

I wish I could report that all is well and I have my happy ending, but my story is still carrying on. I was not able to get a position as a counselor. I am not a person well known, meaning I do not have the connections that others from my class had. I also was not able to apply for work outside of my area, as I have children who also need to secure their futures. I did over 40 applications and cover letters. I am still living in poverty, though I have obtained a masters level of education.

Here's what you may find very interesting--my spouse does not work in a position that requires a higher level of education. He quadruples my income, so we are able to survive. Though I work in a school as an educational assistant, fast food workers make more money than I do. I know it sounds crazy, but it is true. The jobs I had after obtaining my associates and bachelors degrees were available to those right after high school. I thought the fix was to get a higher education, but I was wrong. While being capable of doing the job tasks for the position you want is important, where I am located tends to rely more heavily on who you know. So, to sum up everything I have said, higher education may help some, but it is not the answer for all.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for sharing your story as a great illustration that college is no guarantee of financial security. I am a liberal arts major and while my studies have enriched the quality of my life and I gained knowledge that feeds my soul, financially I have nowhere near the earnings potential of someone who is in a skilled trade. I have taught high school social studies and mentored high school seniors and in these roles have urged students to only pursue college as a means to an end - a diploma without a clear career objective can be a huge waste of time and money. Gayle Ataceri
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Anthony’s Answer

It’s the only way to help individuals identify possible interest. It would’ve been nice if youths were asked this question throughout their life so they might have an idea by the time they finish high school. Counselors should be trained to help individuals identify personal interest. Choices should be based on interest of the individual and not an unrealistic expectation of others. You’ll never succeed at living the life that others want you to live. Job corps, americorps offer individuals different geographical and technical experiences which might help individuals identify a path. The military offers the same opportunities in addition to paying for college to eliminate the debt burden.

Anthony recommends the following next steps:

Look into programs that are designed to foster personal growth. Jobcorps and americorps can help individuals mature which is a major part of moving forward in life
With a little more maturity, maybe a short time in the military to experience what they have to offer
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Kofi’s Answer

Whose idea? It's the powers that be that need to keep the machine going. College has become like most food and clothing franchises, using the assembly line foundational plan. All these indebted graduates with none of the jobs they can fulfill. Debt powers capitalism. How else can the billionaires become richer during an alleged "pandemic" when many are out of work?

Kofi recommends the following next steps:

We may have to demand that they learn a trade out of high school. That way, they will never be out of work.
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Ronny’s Answer

Hello Daniel, I will do my best to try answering as clear as possible. First let’s consider the finance factor, you have to decide if creating debt for yourself is something that you want to do. I actually tell people that they can minimize debt by going to a community college or a low prestige college first. Your diploma will come from the school you graduate from.

In terms of people not knowing what they want to I recommend the following; 1) Don’t fall for the misconception that need to start college right away (your success don’t have an expiration date).

2) It is totally okay to take a year off to figure things out. When I first started I was a good student, but shorty after I lost my motivation I was no longer sure why I wanted to be there. After taking a year break I came back more focus and with a new found passion for my academic future.


I hope this helps, and I wish you the best.

Thank you comment icon Sound advice Emily Grimes-Harris
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Jelisa’s Answer

Hey Daniel. I’m actually finishing up my Master’s in School Counseling so this question is right up my alley. College isn’t for everyone and I completely understand that. I would suggest you doing a Skills and or Interest Assessment to help you in identifying the skills you have for occupations you may or may not of thought of. As well helping you in navigating what your interest are and where you would like to see yourself down the line. There are plenty of career technology programs in several states that you can check out. You graduate with a certification without the expenses of a degree. You can also get financial aid for expenses you can’t afford. Many jobs are moving away from a degree requirement and looking for you to have skills pertaining to the job. Hope this helps.

Jelisa recommends the following next steps:

Check out careeronestep.com for the assessments I mentioned
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Shara’s Answer

College is not for everyone. There are plenty of options out there for everyone. I don’t suggest going to college just because someone said so. When I grew up it was different you had to go to college to get ahead. Now there is vocational school, trades and so many young people are opening their own businesses. I say think about what you love and how you can apply that to life and make an income. But if you enjoy learning and can see yourself in college but not sure of what you want to major in go to a community college and take core requirements while you figure it out. You can save money and give yourself time to think about what you want to do. Also research professions, you need to know will they be around or saturated when you enter the field, check out salaries, how long it will take to a rain that degree but most of apply for EVERY scholarship you see. They can only say no but you’d be surprised at how many scholarships are never awarded because no on applies. And don’t just apply for ones at the school you want attend apply for independent scholarships because you can take them to whatever school you want to attend. Most of all Do Not compare yourself to a peer and where they are in life Everyone’s journey is different and uniquely your own.
And if you decide to work and take some time off before school or whatever please invest and save money!!!
Shara
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Yvonne’s Answer

Hi Daniel,

As a society we have evolved from rural areas with farms and a one room school house, to an industrial nation with many high-tech gadgets. We need to train people to operate these gadgets. As we become more advanced as a society, we have more roles that need to be filled. Going to college is only one option for training for these roles. There are also apprenticeship programs where you can get paid while you train in many hands-on careers. There is also the option of the military, or attending a vocational school where you do not need to meet all of the core subject (English, Math, Social Science, Science) academic requirements present in traditional colleges and universities.

Trying to figure out your path in life can be overwhelming, but it can be fun too. You get to explore possibilities for your future! Have you contacted your school counselor? Your school counselor may have assessments that will help you figure out your career interests. It makes sense to determine these interests first before you invest a lot in school. To get a better idea about what interests you, check out the CareerOneStop website: https://www.careeronestop.org/GetMyFuture/default.aspx, and click on "Find a career I like" section.

Yvonne recommends the following next steps:

Take the CareerOneStop "Find a career I like" assessment.
Check out the other options available on the site.
Make an appointment with your school counselor, and share your results on the assessment.
Interview your teachers, librarian, coach, parents, etc... about how they decided what to should do after high school,
After you decide on career interests, then explore which type of school offers training or education in that field... or maybe you won't need to attend school because they will train you on the job.
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Emily’s Answer

I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment here. If I had gone to college straight out of high school for what I thought I wanted, I would have ended up with a ton of debt and a career that really wasn't for me. Unfortunately I waited ten years after high school to even get started on my current degree, but it is my passion!! I love my career now and when I graduated high school I was determined NOT to go into the exact field I find so much joy in now! I managed to only borrow $2500 in my whole 5 years of college. I highly suggest a local community college to start off with. That way you can go part time and get basics (make sure they will transfer to university) and take into classes to find what you truly love. If you start off with a 2 year degree you can get your foot in the door of a career field without investing too much money into something you may change your mind about later. Once you have matured some and really explored your options you will be able to make a better decision on how to invest, fund and achieve your dream job. You are absolutely correct that going into $100k of debt before you even know yourself is a terrible plan. Take your time, explore all kinds of educational options and go to a local school where you are in district. That will save you a ton of money. Also apply for every kind of scholarship you can. I applied for maybe 50 and my last semester I was awarded one that ended up paying for more than my classes even cost!! 'All roads lead to Rome.' Basically there are many ways to achieve the future you deserve. Don't let anyone tell you that you have to follow the cookie-cutter mold that society has somehow demanded today's youth follow.

Emily recommends the following next steps:

Explore local in-district tuition costs.
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Emily’s Answer

I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment here.
If I had gone to college straight out of high school for what I thought I wanted, I would have ended up with a ton of debt and a career that really wasn't for me.
Unfortunately I waited ten years after high school to even get started on my current degree, but it is my passion!!
I love my career now and when I graduated high school I was determined NOT to go into the exact field I find so much joy in now!
I managed to only borrow $2500 in my whole 5 years of college.
I highly suggest a local community college to start off with.
That way you can go part time and get basics (make sure they will transfer to university) and take into classes to find what you truly love.
If you start off with a 2 year degree you can get your foot in the door of a career field without investing too much money into something you may change your mind about later.
Once you have matured some and really explored your options you will be able to make a better decision on how to invest, fund and achieve your dream job.
You are absolutely correct that going into $100k of debt before you even know yourself is a terrible plan.
Take your time, explore all kinds of educational options and go to a local school where you are in district.
That will save you a ton of money. Also apply for every kind of scholarship you can.
I applied for maybe 50 and my last semester I was awarded one that ended up paying for more than my classes even cost!!
'All roads lead to Rome.' Basically there are many ways to achieve the future you deserve.
Don't let anyone tell you that you have to follow the cookie-cutter mold that society has somehow demanded today's youth follow.

Emily recommends the following next steps:

Explore local in-district tuition costs.
Take introductory courses to different degree programs.
Explore what basic courses apply to all degrees.
Consider two-year degree programs as a starting point.
Apply for as many scholarships as possible
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Shara’s Answer

College is not for everyone. There are plenty of options out there for everyone. I don’t suggest going to college just because someone said so. When I grew up it was different you had to go to college to get ahead. Now there is vocational school, trades and so many young people are opening their own businesses. I say think about what you love and how you can apply that to life and make an income. But if you enjoy learning and can see yourself in college but not sure of what you want to major in go to a community college and take core requirements while you figure it out. You can save money and give yourself time to think about what you want to do. Also research professions, you need to know will they be around or saturated when you enter the field, check out salaries, how long it will take to a rain that degree but most of apply for EVERY scholarship you see. They can only say no but you’d be surprised at how many scholarships are never awarded because no on applies. And don’t just apply for ones at the school you want attend apply for independent scholarships because you can take them to whatever school you want to attend. Most of all Do Not compare yourself to a peer and where they are in life Everyone’s journey is different and uniquely your own.
And if you decide to work and take some time off before school or whatever please invest and save money!!!
Shara
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Jeff’s Answer

I take it the degree was not in Nursing or IT. The truth is many students choose degrees that don't lead to high demand skillsets. Sorry, but school is either a precursor to work or it is a very expensive self enrichment program. The best way not to fall into the trap is to formulate a plan that reads like this. I am going to school at ________ to learn ________ so I can get a job doing ____________ which is actually a field someone will hire and pay me in. Once employed I will make X and if I don't go to school I will make Y. If the difference between X and Y doesn't beat the loan payment then you shouldn't do it. If you really want to refine the calculation you need to discount all the cashflows for when they come in and go out and apply probabilities to outcomes. (If I make $10/hr as an electrician apprentice with my work ethic the odds are 95% that I will be an in demand journeyman in 5 years and self employed in 10. Stuff like this that they don't teach you in High School.) I suspect the number of degrees that have a negative ROI versus working through the school years is approaching 50%.

Even if you do everything right you are still subject to the whims of the market. Ask the folks who are graduating with Petrochemical Engineering degrees.
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Cedric’s Answer

Hello Daniel a lot of what you are saying on the surface has a point but you have to look beyond the finance part of things. College opens you up to a whole lot of opportunity. Does everyone need to go to college of course not college is not for everyone. Most people don't even know what they want to do with themselves until they have graduated from college and already started in a field of choice. The best way to approach this is from a singular approach what is that you want. By taking this approach you maximize on what is important for you. This is the real question what do you want to do which leads many to college to determine which direction they want to go in.
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Nadia’s Answer

Hi Daniel,

I wish I had an answer for your question, but I don't. All I can say is that I one hundred percent agree with you and it's a question I've wondered about a lot myself. Personally, I have regrets about my college major and for jumping straight into graduate school after attaining my bachelors degree. I am in education however, and the most important reason I decided to move into educational counseling was to advise students not to make the mistakes I made!

Take as many extracurricular activities as you can in high school to figure out what interests you; before attaining your bachelors degree, if you are not sure what you want to major in, get an associates degree in something liberal and then work. There is nothing like work experience in the real world to help you figure out your talents and skills and what really drives you! Maybe you end up in a great position where you're happy and can grow in and/or you figure out exactly what you want to do and can then go to school for it. This will ensure you are happy with your major and it's something that you enjoy, which will also help you do well in your studies. There's no need to get your degree in your early twenties. Have experiences, figure out who you are and then you'll be prepared to make better choices for your future!
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Tomisin’s Answer

Every teenager looks clueless as to choosing what's next about life. Usually, the norm is to get into college after high school that's every parents dream. But deep down I feel there should be a time given to a child to reflect as to what he or she wants to make out of life. A time of discovering hidden treasures inside of him/her, a time to discover talents, once a child figure that out, he/she can now move further to high school with the thought of nourishing such talent until it becomes a major skill hence becomes a professional in the nearest future and could make a career out of it. I feel it's important every child stay grounded in what he/she is passionate about.
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Sue ellen’s Answer

Hi, Daniel,
I would like to suggest that you start with where you are now, i.e., what are your dreams? What do you enjoy doing? What are your talents, the things you are good at? In order to persevere through 3-4 years of more complex schooling, you need a deep desire to accomplish your goal of becoming a (fill in the blank). Whatever you decide, keep in mind that life throws you hurdles along the way and , therefore, it is not unusual if you decide to change your mind later. Have you thought about taking a break from school altogether and working for a year or two first before deciding if college is the answer for you. College is expensive and requires hard work. Sometimes it is beneficial to hone in on just being a grown up and see what work life feels like. It may confirm for you that college really is what you want to do and give you a better feel of what direction (career) you would like to pursue.
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