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There are FREE Lunches – FREE College Education

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 @ 5:35 AM

Yes, you read this right, Antioch College in Yellow Spring, Ohio, is waiving the tuition for all its students, who enroll in the next three years.

This private liberal arts college is willing to give you r student a full-ride tuition scholarship for four years?  The value of the free tuition for the current year is $26,500. The scholarship, based on that price, makes each scholarship worth at least $106,000.

It gets even better

Some students, who file financial aid applications, will capture an even greater price break.  Qualified financial need based students may get to skip the room and board charges or pay a reduced price.  This is very nice when you consider Antioch's room and board is currently $8,628.

Why is this university doing this?

Well, Antioch actually closed its doors in 2008.  Rather sad for a college which was originally founded by abolitionists in 1850.

This was a result of bad management decisions and other problems forced them to close their doors. However, now the alumni have stepped up with tremendous financial support allowing the school to reopen.

In 2011 Antioch welcomed 35 students into its inaugural freshmen and it hopes to welcome another 65 to 75 students in the fall. The school's goal is to have about 300 students attending the school by 2015.

What Can You Get at Antioch?

One of Antioch’s strengths in the past was its work cooperative program and it appears that this valuable program is back.  Through this program all students are provided with numerous work opportunities during their four years that include local, national and international experiences.

Currently the school offers 12 areas of concentration ranging from environmental and health sciences to languages and social sciences.

Here is a snap shot of the academic profile of the first class:

Students had an average unweighted high school GPA of 3.56 and an average ACT score of 27, which is roughly the equivalent of a 1250 on the SAT.

If you're a high school senior, there is still time to apply! Antioch's admission deadline is Feb. 15.

Tags: College Planning News, money for college, college scholarships

Just Getting Any College Degree Can Be a Huge Mistake

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 @ 5:00 AM

In my last post,” Is a college education still worth the price?” I talked about some of the college majors that do not have a very good employment outlook.  In this article I will discuss why many colleges and universities offer these majors knowing there is little demand in the workplace for these majors.

Traditionally the purpose of a higher education was to develop the scholarly skills of the student.  For these scholars the university was a place of refuge from the world wherein to explore and develop their intellectual pursuits. 

Those days have long passed and what students and their parents are looking for is for the degree earned to be more than just a scholarly pursuit.  The degree needs to provide job opportunities.

Sadly, many universities are missing the mark and instead placing their emphasis on facilities and amenities rather than on the economic utility of the degrees they confer.

There are many campuses that are filled with cutting edge facilities that are only slightly related to learning.  I am talking about, first class health and workout facilities, luxurious dinning commons, and top of the line sports facilities.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with these amenities as long as the basic learning is not sacrificed.

Why is this happening

First, students are having a hard time completing any type of degree and universities do not want to lose the dollars those students bring.

For example, in a recent study entitled, “Academically Adrift” reported on a large sample of students attending 29 American four year colleges.  The results showed that 36% of the students had no gains in learning in their four years.   

This is alarming especially when we consider that 40% of those who begin a four-year program do not graduate.  By the way, this statistic doubles when we look at those attending a junior college.

Secondly, a report in The Economist showed U.S. government statistics revealing that U.S. High school seniors’ proficiency scores for science, math, reading, and writing all declined between 1992 and 2005.

What this all means is that many universities are “dumbing down” their curricula in order to maintain their enrollment levels.   Students are also choosing the easiest classes available in a path toward a degree.  Many students simply think that a “degree is a degree” and some employer will offer them a job simply because they have a degree.

However, as the news reports show, there are many high-skilled jobs that go unfilled because there are no qualified applicants.  In other words, today having a college degree does not mean anything unless that person has the skills and abilities employers are looking for.  No longer do employers place any value on a person just having a degree.  They must have the necessary skills to do the job or they are no better off than someone who never attended college.

Today, more than ever planning for college is critical and involves a lot more than just picking a name brand university.  Not all universities are good at everything and not all universities are a good fit for your student. 

When I meet with a parent and their student we choose the best fit and best program based on what is unique to the student.  I bring the most comprehensive and current information about each campus and what it “really” has to offer.  At times, some of the so called, “best colleges” may actually be the worst choice for your student. 

Armed with this information parents and students are able to make the best choice that will provide them with best economic utility for their efforts and money.  You are invited to come to my next workshop where I reveal some of the latest information.  You can find more information on these college workshops by clicking here.

In the next post we will continue to explore the future trends of higher education. 

Tags: college consulting, College Planning News, getting a college degree

Is A College Education Still Worth The Price?

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Sat, Jan 21, 2012 @ 5:00 AM

It goes without saying that the last unemployment numbers are anything but encouraging. Despite slight improvements they are at historically high levels. 

Recently, there have been reports coming out demonstrating how recent graduates are not able to get jobs and only have large debts looming over their heads.  The lack of a job is a major problem especially when student loan payments begin nine months after graduating.

All majors are not the same

A new study done by Georgetown University was able to show that the choice of a college major plays a key role whether you will find a job after graduation

So what was the worst major according to the report?

It appears that architecture with 13.9% unemployment takes the top spot.  This makes sense as the construction and real estate are in an all-time slump.  The study also highlighted the following majors as the riskiest for those entering the current job market. 

  • Fine Arts
  • Fashion Design
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Graphic Arts and Design
  • Agriculture

 These latest numbers do not take away from the academic value of these majors.  There is no doubt that a degree in architecture is challenging and requires a lot of effort from the student.  However, currently the market place is not rewarding them for their efforts.   

What this and other studies are showing us is there are a lot of traditional college majors that may not have a direct employment possibility due to current market trends.   This can be especially disconcerting when a student leaves with over six figure debt that needs to be paid back shortly.

The Take Away

Here are two points that this and other studies share in common:

Today, more than ever it is important for prospective college students and their parents to have the real world facts about attending college. This means not only finding the right college for your student, but also the best major.

Secondly, it is critical that parents use all the tools at their disposal to substantially lower the cost of college.  The good news is there are a lot of tools readily available for parents and students to utilize that will lower the cost of attending college. 

When you work with College Planning ABC, we make sure that parents and students have the most current and up to date information about the major, school, and costs associated with attending college.  

In this way parents and their children are able to get the very best deal for their efforts.  Our parents and students have a well-defined plan of action that increases the success of getting into the best colleges in the nation while decreasing the typical costly tuition.

In the next posting we will continue to look at some of the trends in education that will impact the value of a college education and what you can do to avoid the pitfalls.  In the meantime, you can read the Georgetown University study by clicking here.

Tags: college consulting, College Planning News, cost of attending college