Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Need Your Stories!

I need a few more stories for my upcoming book, with the working title "Hacking Education."
I want to hear from you if you have a nontraditional educational story--anything besides graduating high school at 18 and going straight to/through a 4 year college.

Online programs, vocational training, travel, volunteering, etc. . .

Thank you!

6 comments:

Janie Out of Debt said...

I love reading Yahoo Finance.

I am glad that I found your blog.

Janie

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Anya. I did take the traditional "graduate from HS, straight on to college" route. I now wish that I had done something different after high school, at least for a year. That would have left me better prepared to make the decision of where and on what to spend my education dollars.
All the best,
Bret

fp said...

Anya,

I am a high school counselor, former College Admissions Director and Financial Advisor. For the last twenty five years I have been delivering seminars in the Chicago land area and working with families one on one to help them manage their college cost effectively.

Like so many other aspects of our economy, 2008 was the perfect storm. College costs have risen to the point of no return, government resources have been virtually stagnant for years, people's personal finances tanked, and flexibility to utilize the equity of one's home diminished greatly.

The future demands that parents take greater control of this college selection process. To do this they not only need to become more sophisticated and knowledgable on the system to access scholarships, grants, and student loans but also need to be able to better access what they can actually afford to pay for college.

In my experience, parents do one of two things. Some parents look at these college costs, throw up their hands in disgust and do no research. This leaves the students with little hope of obtaining the higher education they all depserately need. The other extreme are the parents who want their children to choose the colleges of interest, they follow the timline prescribed by the system, and learn their cost in spring of senior year....scrambling at that point trying to figure out how to manage it.

To combat these issues and help families solve these problems, I spent my summer developing an educational website (managingcollegecost.com)

I would love for you to be a contributing author to the site if you have any interest. Please check it out and perhaps we can talk.

Frank Palmasani

Anonymous said...

I attended Oberlin college and graduated in three years with a history degree. Afterwards I was a loss for what to do and went back to live in my hometown in northern Minnesota. Currently I am thanking my lucky stars that I don't have any student loan debt thanks to my parents. My life right now consists of paying my own way through a second undergraduate degree program in accounting at the local state college.

I have very mixed feelings about my time at Oberlin and the way I am currently using my time. Oberlin had a high quality program but is not right for everyone. Most people at the school I attend now should not be in a four year setting. Should "business administration" be a four year program? Maybe the title of "college" should be restricted and state colleges should return to the "normal schools" and "business colleges" they once were.

Obviously an author like yourself writes from a position of privilege. If anything, the privilege of living in a large city where experiences had at prestigious schools still hold value. My degree means nothing in my small hometown because it is not attached to teaching credentials and the like. The business world has its own possibilities, especially for liberal arts people (who don't even realize it). Honestly, not every smart person can work at a magazine when they grow up. Our generation is not going to be saved anytime soon, so how can we figure out how to save ourselves? We (lib arts holders) can't even count on many higher degrees anymore (law is not longer a good option) and have to figure out further education (if we choose) by starting from square one. This is not an easy thing to do, but I hope it will prove the best option for myself.

Signed,
future CPA

Henriette said...

I am a 39 year old college junior getting an English degree. I did not go to college right out of high school, but traveled and worked in theatre/entertainment.

I ended up working in the travel industry for over 15 years. When I was 33, I decided I wanted to finally get my English degree; something I always wanted.

I went to a community college part-time and it took me 5 years to get my credits to transfer. I originally wanted to go to Cal Berkeley, but did not care for the overcrowding of the school. When I got fired in 2007, I went to school full-time. It really helped me get through.

I get my BA in 2011 and plan on getting a Masters in English/Creative Writing. I would like to teach at a community college.

Yes, I am in debt. I transferred into a private college. I could not gamble on the state schools and the UC system was overburdened.

I plan on going to a state school for my masters. I figure at my age, I will go for a PhD and just die in debt. No one can get money from a corpse.

encinitas landscape said...

That's a very interesting story you're working on!