Blog | Topic: Family
Sep 26, 2013
Gearing up for the new seminar The College Choice: Faith, Family & Finances, our local Merchandiser ran a very nice article about the seminar and the reasons behind it. From the article:
“Graduate from high school. Go to college. Get a job.
Many teenagers feel that is the path they are expected to travel. Times have changed, however, and today’s teens are likewise changing the way they look at their future. Many parents feel unequipped to join their teen in that new vision.
The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (CPYU) recognizes that parents feel at a loss when it comes to college planning for the next generation. CPYU’s College Transition Initiative (CTI) seeks to help parents navigate this period in their teen’s life so that they can make wise decisions. The CTI provides seminars, books, articles, expert interviews, and events that shed much-needed light on preparing for college from a Christian perspective.
Parents and their college-curious teens are invited to CPYU’s upcoming CTI seminar, titled, ‘The College Choice: Faith, Family, and Finances,’ taking place at Shady Maple Banquet Center, 129 Toddy Drive, East Earl, on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Registration is available online at www.cpyu.org or by calling 717-361-8429. Separate prices have been set for individuals and for families.
According to CTI director Derek Melleby, everything is different about preparing for college in today’s financial climate. ‘The financial cost has changed, obviously,’ Melleby pointed out. ‘Job prospects for college graduates are something that has changed in the last decade as well…
Read the rest of the article here.
Sep 19, 2013
“Students seem to have no idea what they are getting into.”
My neighbor’s son was recently visiting home after spending a day speaking to classes at his alma mater. He was asked to talk to current college students about his work and how his time in college prepared him for a career in finance. Before diving into the topic at hand, he asked the students about how they were paying for college and how much debt they were accumulating. The above comment was the beginning of our recent, eye-opening conversation on my front porch.
Students have no idea? My neighbor made three helpful observations from his day with college students… First, he was alarmed to discover that the school he attended less than 10 years ago now costs $46,000 a year. He had no idea that the cost had risen so much since he was a student. Second, he was shocked to learn that most students didn’t seem to realize how difficult it would be to pay off that kind of debt in the current economy. (And these were students studying business and finance!) Third, he was disappointed to realize that he seemed to be the only person bringing this up with the students.
I wanted to make sure I was hearing him correctly. Here’s the summary I offered: “So, students are accumulating massive amounts of debt, the job prospects are bleak and no one, before you, has pointed this out to the students?”
The above video clip is the beginning of a BookTV panel discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute about William Bennett and David Wilezol’s book Is College Worth It? A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education. (You can watch the full program here.)
Bill Bennett’s introduction should be heard by all students and parents entering the college planning process. No matter what side of the political aisle you are on (and yes, Dr. Bennett is most often associated with the “right”), you should not avoid asking good questions about the value and worth of a 4-year college degree, especially in this economy. At one point during the panel discussion, Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder makes this observation: “Colleges are too costly; students are learning too little; and employment prospects for graduates are increasingly dismal.” That should, at the very least, give us pause.
Please do take time to watch this short video, read the book and let the conversation begin!
It is because countless conversations like the one yesterday on my front porch and the publication of important books like Is College Worth It? that has motivated me to host the new CTI seminar “The College Choice: Faith, Family & Finances” on October 12 in Lancaster, PA. College costs are going up, students are going into crippling debt and I’m convinced that we need to have better conversations about life after high school. I hope to see you there!
Seminar: The College Choice: Faith, Family & Finances (October 12)
Blog: Houston We Have a College Planning Problem
Blog: College Financial Planning: Advice for Parents and Students
Blog: College… Not Just Where, But Why?
Expert Interview: “College, Crippling Debt and the Need for Financial Wisdom” (PDF) by Derek Melleby
Sep 4, 2013
CPYU’s College Transition Initiative began in 2005. For the last eight years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to groups of students and parents about how to be prepared for and make the most of life after high school. Recently, I’ve noticed a shift in the way families talk about higher education. Here’s a story that captures what I mean…
A few years ago I was speaking in Houston, TX. During one of the breaks a father and his son hurried over to talk to me. The dad stood behind his son, his hands on his son’s shoulders and his plea went something like this:
“Please tell me what to do with my son. We don’t have a clue. Everything has changed! When I was growing up, this is how it worked. I grew up in California. During my junior year of high school, the guidance counselor took the initiative and told me, based on my interests and academic ability, that I should consider a career in engineering. I went to a state university, for free, got a degree in engineering and I’ve been an engineer at the same company for over 25 years. Now my son is entering the college admission’s process and it seems so confusing! He doesn’t know what to study or where to go. He’s has received very little help from his school. We receive mail from colleges every day. We really don’t know how we can afford it. Make sense of it for me!”
He smiled after the last sentence. He knew I couldn’t possibly provide all of the information he needed during a five minute break. But this conversation has stuck with me. Since that day, I’ve wanted to provide a seminar for students and parents to help them “make sense” of the college planning and admission’s process.
The times have changed… Think about this father’s story: A guidance counselor knew him well enough to help him in the process. He went to college FOR FREE! He got a job in his field shortly after he graduated. He has been working for the same company for over 25 years.
This scenario is no longer the norm. But the other parts of his story are now very common: His son isn’t sure what he wants to study, where he wants to go and the father has no idea how to pay for college! Sound familiar?
Countless conversations like this one has been the motivation behind the new seminar “The College Choice: Faith, Family & Finances” being held in Lancaster, PA on October 12.
The seminar has three goals… Participants will gain:
A biblical vision for making the most of these years
A clearer understanding of the cost/value of college
A wise approach to the college admission’s process
This seminar is for students, parents, educators and youth workers looking for resources for making better decisions about life after high school. The seminar will be beneficial whether you are early (parents of middle schoolers) or late (parents of high school seniors) in the college planning process. I hope to see you there!
Click here to learn more about the seminar.
Click here to register.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Aug 20, 2013
A few years ago, I was driving a recent college graduate to lunch to celebrate his completion of college. He had a very difficult four years and he was excited for the next chapter of his life story. I asked him if he was graduating with much debt. “I’m one of the lucky ones,” he responded. “I’m only graduating with $50,000 of debt from student loans. Many of my friends have a lot more debt than me!”
What? I almost drove the car off the road. $50,000! I knew the degree he had earned, I knew of his plans for graduate school, and I couldn’t imagine being 22 years old, carrying that much debt. And he is one of the lucky ones?
This conversation was eye opening. First of all, it made me more attentive to the reality of debt most college students face. To my surprise, many of the students I have talked with since that memorable car ride are unaware of the crippling burden that debt can bring. A college degree can increase earning potential, to be sure, but not enough students and parents are talking about what kind of debt is good debt. Certainly, college is about much more than getting a degree to get a job and there is good reason to be concerned about the commodification of learning. We do need to be careful about how we measure the economic value of an education. But students and parents need to be practical and wise as well, asking: “Is this particular degree worth the cost?”
Secondly, the conversation with the young graduate open my eyes to the need for helpful resources for students and parents as they think through financial concerns related to college. As I surveyed the vast landscape of books available, a book by Steve Miller stuck out the most. Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It Save It and Give It Away is creative and engaging. It communicates deeper truths about money and spending through stories. Steve is an educator, investor, entrepreneur, and speaker who is known for drawing practical wisdom from serious research and communicating it in accessible, unforgettable ways. What follows is an interview with Steve about his important book and the financial challenges that many students and parents face…
Download the article (.pdf) here.
Read more articles here.
Aug 6, 2013
This past weekend, the Lancaster Sunday News (PA) featured two, side-by-side columns about the rising cost of higher education. Both articles are worth reading: “Paying For College Is A Whole New Ballgame” by Lancaster Newspapers staff writer Gil Smart and “Student Services Fuel Rising College Costs” by Elizabethtown College professor April Kelly-Woessner. Here are a few highlights…
From Mr. Smart:
“According to U.S. News & World Report, the total cost of a four-year degree by the time my youngest goes to college, assuming he does, will top $200,000… My own schooling was paid for with grants, loans and the occasional credit card; the debt was paid off a decade after I graduated, and the feeling of liberation was palpable. But the $10,000 or so I owed is minuscule compared to the debt accumulated by graduates today. And particularly in this job market — one likely to continue deteriorating in terms of quality, good-paying jobs for those just out of school — how in the world can grads expect to conquer the resulting mountain of debt?”
From Dr. Kelly-Woessner:
“College costs are largely consumer- driven. The solution may be to simply reduce the money available to students. Unfortunately, universities often find that instructional costs are the easiest to cut. Indeed, many institutions are increasingly relying on low-paid adjuncts. In the face of financial strain, my husband has seen the full-time faculty members in his department at Penn State Harrisburg cut in half. So, although faculty salaries have not driven the rising tuition costs, instruction is often the first casualty in the face of budget cuts.”
From my many conversations with families, I’m realizing more and more that parents and students have questions about how to make wise decisions concerning life after high school. That’s why I’m so excited about the seminar on October 12 in Lancaster, PA. Registration info coming soon!
Seminar: The College Choice: Faith, Family & Finances
Expert Interview: “College, Crippling Debt and Financial Wisdom: J. Steve Miller Interview”
Infographic: “Unprepared for College: Half of All College Students Drop Out Before Receiving a Degree”
Blog: “How Should Christians Count the Cost of a College Education?”
Jul 25, 2013
Feeling unprepared for college?
Learn how to plan for college with confidence!
Announcing a NEW seminar from CPYU’s College Transition Initiative…
What: The College Choice: Faith, Family & Finances
When: October 12, 2013 – 8:30am-12:00pm
Where: East Earl, PA (Shady Maple Banquet Center)
Why: Put faith first in college planning…
Higher education has faced sharp criticism recently. Many pundits and families are starting to question the value of a college degree. And for good reason. Did you know…
Nearly 50% of first-year students do not graduate within six years?
Student loan debt has exceeded $1 trillion?
Only one in seven high school seniors report feeling prepared to face the challenges of college life?
Now it’s more important than ever that families make wise decisions about college, particularly concerning where to go, what to study, and how to pay. Participants will gain…
A biblical vision for making the most of these formative years
A clearer understanding of the true cost and value of college
A wise approach to the college admission’s process
This seminar is for students, parents, youth workers, and educators looking for resources to make wise decisions about life after high school.
Derek Melleby, director of CPYU’s College Transition Initiative and author of Make College Count: A Faithful Guide to Life and Learning.
Terry Evearitt, certified college planner, College Funding Advisors, Inc.
Matt Reitnour, director of college counseling, Wesleyan Christian Academy, High Point, NC.
Cost: $15/individual $25/family
Mark your calendars. Seating is limited.
Click here to register!