WHAT IS COLLEGE’S JOB?

#college #StudentDebt #education #tuition #CollegeAlternatives
“Parents once sent their children off to college for an education.
“Now, parents expect colleges to provide maturation.”
So writes Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She was discussing recent suicides on the Georgia Tech campus with a professor there. Her column appeared in the Dec. 24, 2018, edition of the AJC.
Yes, parents want kids to learn calculus and whatever else is likely to land them a job, she writes, but they also want colleges to turn their kids into respectable adults, and to address any mental health issues the kids may have, she writes.
“Just because schools say they provide these (maturation) services doesn’t mean they do it well,” Downey quotes the professor.
“When I attended the President’s Convocation after arriving at Georgia Tech, we were told to look to the left and right – at least one of you will be gone – more like one-and-a-half,” Downey quotes William S. Bulpitt, a 1970 honors grad from Georgia Tech.
Back in Bulpitt’s day, the pressure was enormous to stay in school . Those who flunked out likely got drafted and sent to Vietnam, Downey writes.
Today, college campuses have counselors that students can see, to save parents from paying dearly for private counseling – not that college tuition is a really cheap alternative.
Also, today’s teens suffer more with anxiety and depression, and have fewer coping skills than those in generations past, Downey writes. The causes are numerous: over-involved parents, unrelenting and sometimes unkind social media etc.
When the kids get to college, those mental health struggles intensify, Downey writes.
First, let’s analyze why kids go to college, whether or not they are well suited for it. Parents want their kids to get a good job, and they are told that the best way to do that is to go to college. If they can’t swing it financially, they borrow the money. Many often end up graduating, or sometimes never seeing graduation, with a big debt to start their adult lives.
Instead of sending a teen-ager who is ill equipped to deal with college to college, why not help them find a vehicle that will help them earn money – potentially a lot of money – without incurring the expense, or debt, of college. There are many such vehicles out there to help people, regardless of education, earn money spending a few part-time hours a week. To check out one of the best, message me.
Certainly, the college experience can be worthwhile, even spectacular, for the right person.
It’s not just the education, but the camaraderie, the extracurricular activities and the ability to live away from home for those who choose, that make college great for some.
One can’t eliminate the academic or social pressure, but the young adult has to be prepared for it, and the right person needs encouragement from parents, faculty and peers.
In short, don’t assume your son or daughter is suited for college. At the same time, don’t put unnecessary pressure on the student to go to college. If you send your child to college, make sure it is for the right reasons.
Don’t presume the degree your son or daughter would get, presuming he or she stays long enough to earn it, will yield the employment results you, and they, expect.
There is no shame in not going to college. If your son or daughter chooses not to go, make sure he or she is acquainted with ALL the ways available to make a living, or even, perhaps, a fortune. The money you might spend, or borrow, to send a child to college may be better utilized in setting up a retirement account for the child — or yourself.
If your child goes to college ill equipped, the school may not be the best place for the student to deal with his or her problems.
Peter

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