College students carry tens of thousands of dollars in debt and invest up to 15,000 hours of their life for a degree. The numbers don't tell a favorable story. Do families need to change how they justify the college option?
Phone: (804) 519-2520
Is Going to College the Smart Move?
New Resource Helps Families, Advisors & Students Navigate The College Decision
January 25, 2014 . . . If researchers from the University of Virginia and New York University told you that after two years in college, your son or daughter would likely enter their junior year with no net increase in knowledge, would you think more about justifying the decision to go to college? If Forbes Magazine online told you that you would be better served in most cases to skip college and invest the money, would you give the idea serious thought? And if you knew you were going to take on $30,000 to $100,000 (or more) in debt to get a degree, would you at least be worried about your standard of living following college, not to mention the non-dischargeable debt?
Author, college educator and non-profit executive, Rick McKeel, has released The College Decision: Get It Right The First Time, a new E-book and to help students and their families navigate the difficult questions about college. McKeel is encouraging parents, advisors, counselors and students across the country to seriously challenge the notion that you must go to college. According to McKeel, "you have nothing to lose by taking a step back, getting more information and honestly assessing whether or not college is right for you - now or in the future." Moreover, he contends that a decision not to go to college now is not a decision to never go.
According to McKeel, "The idea is to simply start from a different premise. For far too long we have insinuated, challenged and directed young people to attend college; and it has gotten us 50% college drop-out rates. There is a better way to approach the decision, and it involves justifying the option before exercising the option."
College loan debt has resulted in a much lower standard of living for college attendees whether they graduate or not. And, the number of college graduates who have moved back in with their parents is a clear sign that the problem is profound and long-lasting. "It is imperative that students and their families get the college decision right the first time because the consequences are too serious to take for granted", according to McKeel.
The College Decision guides the reader through an introspective process involving multiple stages of college readiness - including personal preparation habits, assessing strengths,
weaknesses and threats to success, understanding the real reasons you're going to college and much more. Given the pressure from four year institutions, politicians, funding sources, college rating systems, certain professions, families and others, it's no wonder eighteen year olds assume they have to go to college to be successful. As more and more people challenge the status quo and its assumptions, they will need objective resources to help them cut through misinformation and self-serving communication. Now that academia is beginning to question itself, it's time for students to begin questioning the usefulness of college as a tool for their future.
McKeel says, "Many have go to college to fulfill their dreams - doctors, most nurses, lawyers, engineers and other professions have very specific educational criteria that dictate college as a necessity. There are millions of students, however, that go to college each year without clear direction who change majors several times, drop out and end their college experience deeply frustrated and painfully in debt. With sources indicating a college drop-out rate between 25% - 60%, there is a severe and traumatic disconnect for millions of students who realize too late that they made the wrong and very expensive decision to go and then stop. When you consider the percentage of students who drop out every year due to excessive drug and alcohol use, it makes addressing the situation for many even more critical. Colleges, banks and testing organizations are investing their time and money encouraging college attendance and doing nothing to solve the problem on the back end. Students and parents must look elsewhere."
For more information, including scheduling interviews and speaking engagements, send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org, TheCollegeDecision@gmail.com, or call/text (804) 519-2520.
Rick McKeel, M.Ed serves as a faculty member in the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Schools of Business, as well as ECPI University teaching Business Communication, Substance Abuse and Essentials for Success. He also serves on the Board of Directors for New Life for You, Inc. - a substance abuse recovery program that has served over 10,000 students and their families.