Sunday, February 24, 2013

Test Out University - Let's Make the First Year Free

I bumped into an interesting article on MacLean's OnCampus website.  It suggests making the first year of college or university free for students so they can 'test' out post secondary education.  The author, Todd Pettigrew, bases the article on a study that concludes students aren't prepared for the challenges and rigor of a post secondary education.

I'm conflicted as to whether this is a good idea or not.  I do agree that young adults who aren't sure if they are ready for post secondary education should consider testing it out.  I don't think I agree with a whole year of education as a free hand out.  Education isn't all about what you learn in classes or labs.  I believe that part of the post secondary educational experience is learning to manage your money, learning to know if you are ready for more formal schooling or not, and learning to be responsible for your own decisions.  It's the best, most practical kind of learning.  Besides, who is going to foot the bill for all of these first year students with the governments running deficits like they are?
I was burned out of formal education
Personally, I did one year of college directly after high school that I paid for myself - out of money that I had saved and earned on my own - and I realized that I wasn't ready to continue with more schooling for while.  Frankly, I was burned out on formal education.  I had been very busy with extra curricular activities in high school along with my course load, and I was tired of being lectured on theories of 'the way things are' without a practical application.  I had to discover some of those things for myself.  I needed to travel and have 'hands-on' learning experiences for while. 

Everyone is unique.  Some people are ready for post secondary education right out of high school and it's not a problem for them.  Others, like me, are not.  If the tuition of a full year is a concern for you if you are considering 'testing out' a post secondary education, cut your costs in half by starting with a single semester!  No one is saying you have to take a full year.  In the end, I guarantee you'll learn more powerful lessons if you make and pay for this decision on your own.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

College/Post Secondary Education Alternative

Here's one of the ways the traditional college model is changing. More students are realizing they can achieve a college degree on-line, coupled with real life experiences, and save the time and expense of attending a 4 year institution for a diploma and a boat-load of debt.
Go to to find out more.

Another challenger to the traditional college education is Minerva Schools at KGI.  Classrooms are in a different city every year.  Tuition is capped and every qualified student is accepted.  Courses are given online in a seminar format and limited to 19 students (so you can't fly under the radar).

Also, don't forget to check out our 'Education Resources for High School Graduates and Young Adults' page for more links to post secondary education resources.