Tag Archive | loans

My College Journey

A lot of these posts seem so boring and canned because they deal with the rote side of going to college. This stuff can be found anywhere. But the untold story about college planning hasn’t been heard quite as often. There is pain for me behind this topic. The reason I want to start a business revolving around college planning is because of my own shortsighted mistakes. Granted the tools have improved significantly since I went to college, and so has the college environment. There are some timeless truths however that can be taught, and the truth is, it is about the journey, not the destination (thanks dad, I always knew you were right, generally).

The key to success in college is different for everyone. It is impossible to say what worked for me will also work for you; it may or it may not. This is exactly the approach that most colleges and high schools take! There is a broad assumption that going to college is the BEST for everyone, and to take this deeper, the assumption is that going to a four year (Ivy) right out of high school is the best option for everyone. The truth is that it may not be.

Another fault that many students make (including me, and the heart of my pain) is in the area of finances. Often, it isn’t the frugal, basic use of student loans, but the extravagant use of student loans,¬† car loans, credit cards, and a small private loan for “just in case”. This kind of financial pressure leads to emotional pressure which leads to mental pressure. It stifles innovation and creativity and it KILLS… ABSOLUTELY KILLS¬† passion.

So in my journey to pursue a brighter future and a restored past, I am working hard to help lead other young men and women with me. To help young high school students discover their strengths and to discover a path to achieve their greatest passions and dreams. This is my calling. To uncover the calling of others and launch them into their future. I use MAPS because it works. Simple as that. It is the most detailed and ACCURATE tool I have ever seen.

My pain is your gain. The lessons I have learned through pain and frustration you can learn from the comfort of your living room, and then you can enjoy an earlier starting point and achieve far greater success than I ever could.

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Why universities must change

Graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).

The mass-production university model has led to separation where there ought to be collaboration and to ever-increasing specialization. In my own religion department, for example, we have 10 faculty members, working in eight subfields, with little overlap. And as departments fragment, research and publication become more and more about less and less. Each academic becomes the trustee not of a branch of the sciences, but of limited knowledge that all too often is irrelevant for genuinely important problems.

The dirty secret of higher education is that without underpaid graduate students to help in laboratories and with teaching, universities couldn’t conduct research or even instruct their growing undergraduate populations. That’s one of the main reasons we still encourage people to enroll in doctoral programs. It is simply cheaper to provide graduate students with modest stipends and adjunct instructors with as little as $5,000 a course – with no benefits – than it is to hire full-time professors.

In other words, young people enroll in graduate programs, work hard for subsistence pay and assume huge debt burdens, all because of the illusory promise of faculty appointments. But their economical presence, coupled with the intransigence of tenure, ensures that there will always be too many candidates for too few openings.

Read more:

MARK C. TAYLOR. (2009, May 1). Why universities must change. Telegraph-Journal,A.9. Retrieved November 24, 2009, from Canadian Newsstand Complete. (Document ID: 1693839241).

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My goal is to help avoid this. A little bit of research and some soul searching for true passion and clear understanding of the field in which we desire to pursue can help bridge the gap between college and ‘real life’.

-Nathan