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As Tuition Rises, Does Creativity Decline?

lots of lettersAs tuition rises, does creativity decline? British actor, writer and comedian, David Mitchell recounts his experience attending a university when everyone’s fees where paid for them. It sounds like a fairytale to us now. Mitchell argues that when students look at their classes in terms of dollar signs, it translates to students taking hard sciences and classes that are directly applicable to careers with fast ROI. Thusly, he states, “Majors like art, writing, and acting (most humanities majors for that matter) become luxury.”:

Do you feel that the humanities have become a luxury and an area that only the affluent can pursue?

“Don’t Worry About Making It to Wall Street”

Sam Polk, once a pillar of Wall Street, states that when you’re surrounded by other Wall Streeters, the environment is a vacuum. “When you earn $500,000, it can seem like pennies.” Polk states in this Huffington Post video, that there is one thing no one talks about. Prestigious college students and graduates are worried that if they don’t get a flashy finance job, or work Wall Street, they’ll disappear. Polk argues that there are much more important things to worry about—such as how these elite students, who “have already won the absolute lottery” (compared to those who never attend college) can renounce Wall Street in favor of making life better for those less fortunate:

Do you agree with Polk? Should the nation’s “best and brightest” strive to “make the world a better place.” In your opinion, is this a realistic hope?

Don’t Think of College in Terms of ROI?

In her recent article for TIME, Writer Randye Hoder explains why it’s important for us, as students and parents, to NOT think of college majors in terms of ROI. Hoder argues that college in not a vocational school and that promoting STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) should not be the answer to helping the next generation succeed in a competitive market:

Do you agree with Hoder, or do you feel that her argument is an old one (i.e., this is the way we used to think, that American Studies could still lead to good jobs). Should we do as Hoder suggests and downplay the importance of imminent employment (or lack thereof) and choose instead to invest instead in creativity and intellectual and social expansion?

College Senior Sells Ad Space on Graduation Cap

College GradsAlex Benda, a college senior at the University of Michigan-Flint, has come up with a unique way to pay off his student loans—at graduation: Alex plans to sell ad space on his graduation cap at $300 for each 1-inch by 1-inch space. If he’s able to sell all 100 squares, he’ll have wiped out his debt before taking his first step into “the real world.”:

Do you feel that this story highlights the nation’s student debt crisis, or do you feel it highlights our need to “get creative” in order to pay off loans? If you have any fun, entrepreneurial stories of how you’ve paid off loans, share them!

Students Are Getting Frustrated Because They’re “Doing College Wrong”

ImageIn a story for The Motley Fool, Writer Morgan Housel wrote that young people are getting frustrated with college mainly because of the cost—she also wrote that they’re getting frustrated because “they’re doing it [college] wrong.” In her experience, Housel has found that “less than 30% of 18-year-olds are emotionally prepared for college, and a smaller percentage have a reasonable idea about what they want to do for a career.” Housel recommends an alternate program to getting a degree:

  1. Don’t start college right away. Get a job and see what the real world looks like.
  2. Go to a community college for two years
  3. Transfer to a state college

Find the full outline of the program here:

Housel noted that people should be able to obtain a bachelor’s degree without a crippling debt load. Do you think this program would do the trick?

10 Tips for Life After College — From a 28-Year-Old

Hunter Styles had enough of the advice offered by professors, parents and other full-blown adults to graduating college seniors. He wanted to offer lessons from late-twenty-year-olds, those who still have recent memories of their early professional years. Here are his ten tips on starting out in the professional world:

  1. Everything is useful
  2. Match personal passion with public value
  3. Give your attention
  4. Mind the gap
  5. The work is all there is
  6. Ask for directions
  7. Do it because you love it
  8. Encouraging others gives you meaning too
  9. There is no “rest of your life”—only a best next step
  10. Read the news!

Check out the details of this advice in The Huffington Post:

Do you agree with this advice? Which piece of advice will you take straight-to-heart?

7 Mistakes to Avoid on Financial Aid Forms



Reuters recently published “Seven Mistakes to Avoid on Financial Aid Forms.” Columnist Liz Weston noted that millions of families will fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the coming weeks, and that it’s possible to make easy mistakes. Below, are a few of the mistakes Weston included:

  1. Failing to file
  2. Waiting until you file your taxes
  3. Not including all possible colleges
  4. Using the wrong parent
  5. Not getting help
  6. Getting the wrong kind of help
  7. Meekly accepting an outsized “expected family contribution”

View Weston’s full advice here:

Have you made any of these mistakes previously? What tip surprised you the most? Have any hard-earned knowledge to share?