Tag Archives: education

A “Crazy” Idea: Instead of College Loans, Fund an 18 Year Old’s Small Business Idea

I received a tweet from Forbes magazine today that says the United States is now $1.2 trillion in tuition debt. People are taking out college loans for students at an alarming rate.

In light of these startling stats, I think it’s time we got off of the “gotta go to college at 18” train for a moment and start seriously considering alternative ideas .



Parents in Debt

Pocket Watch And Five Dollar Bills
© Alan Crosthwaite | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Parents are going into serious debt to help fund their kids’ college education. Many of them still have this debt at age 50, 60, 70 and beyond. Some of them are literally *dying* burdened with this debt.

Then the cycle continues with their children, who also find themselves in debt with private and public loans. When their kids’ kids reach 18 they will also feel the pressure to take out tuition loans. Then those kids will have to go through life with this great burden. And so on and so forth.

I believe the main source of this grief is colleges, who keep increasing their tuition costs year after year because they know how easy it is for parents and students to get these college loans. They should be ashamed at how they are sucking families dry, but as corporations they are mostly concerned with making their shareholders as wealthy as possible, so they’re not ashamed one bit.

The only real answer is for the general public to get off that merry-go-round ride that tells us we have to do whatever possible to send kids to college at the age of 18.

A New Idea (“Crazy” Talk)
So here’s a new “crazy” idea for parents to consider for their 18-year olds:

– Save as much money as you can from the time your child is a baby if possible. Even if you put just $30 per month into a savings fund earning 6% per year your child can have at least $12,000 saved in an account by the time she’s 18.

– Enroll your 14-year-old child into a local or nearby entrepreneur school or take him to an SBDC center to learn about entrepreneurship. Ensure that the child attends classes at least once every month up until he is 18 and starts running a business by 16.

– At age 18 give the child a choice: 1) take the money you have saved to put toward a college education 2) put it toward his business or 3) put half toward starting a small business and the other half toward going to college in the near future.

– Encourage, promote and fund self-education for your child (books, audiobooks, courses) while she’s in high school about her industry of interest, marketing, sales and general self-improvement concepts.

– If the child chooses option 2 or 3, encourage and assist her with growing her small business so that in 2-3 years she is making enough income from it (still living with you) to afford to pay for her college education. Every dollar of profit she earns from running her business should go toward a fund to help pay for her education.

– After 3 years has passed, the child can still enroll in college if she chooses. She may even decide at that point that college isn’t that important because of the success of her small business, which she can run and maintain for as long as she wishes.

Here are the benefits of this “crazy” idea:

– You teach your child from a young age about entrepreneurship. You also teach her from age 14 that going to college at 18 doesn’t have to be her only choice for success.

– You teach your child from a young age that she doesn’t have to go along with the “crowd” (all you have to do is show her what the “crowd” is doing when they’re 40,50, and 60 years old and still knee-deep in debt).

– Your child still has the option to go to college if he wants, if only for having a chance to live the “college experience.”

– You jump-start your child’s future, giving her a real shot at becoming a millionaire instead of limiting her mind to being happy with a $35,000 per year 40 hour, 9-5 job for the rest of her life.

– You give your child the opportunity to avoid being burdened by large amounts of debt at a young age

– YOU avoid being in debt with college loans for your child until you’re 100

Also, if enough people were to take this or a similar route for educating 18-year-old kids, colleges would eventually be forced to reduce or plateau their tuition costs just to stay in business.

College Loans for Students – Something to Think About
This may not be a perfect alternative for every case, but it’s something to think about, right?

Remember that high school education is a necessity but a college education is not (unless your child is determined to become a doctor, lawyer or engineer). Ask Bill Gates and most of the country’s self-made millionaires.

Parents of today who have already taken out college loans for students may have to deal with this great tuition crisis, but we can start making changes today so that young children don’t have to go through the same situation. Giving your child an education in how to be financially independent and run his own business is just as valuable if not more than a basic college education.

 

Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant, small biz owner and author.

 





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Can Listening to Audiobooks Give You a College Level Education?

Did you know that some experts believe that listening to audiobooks in your industry of choice can give you the equivalent of a college education? Zig Ziglar talked about this in one of this famed speeches. In my personal experience, listening to audiobooks every day for a year can give you the same level of training that someone would receive pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Listening to an Audiobook
© Danabeth555 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Think about it — when you go to college you’re basically sitting in a lecture hall (barely) listening to a guy talk for an hour or two. Then you go home and read materials based on the same things your professor was talking about in lecture hall. Besides taking an exam at the end of the semester, how is this that much different from self-educating yourself with audiobooks?

The Message Sinks In…

I’ve been consistently listening to audiobooks for the past year or so. In that time I feel as if I’ve acquired a superior body of knowledge in my field of interest (marketing, writing and communications). Though I was formally educated at an Ivy League college I feel as if the vast majority of the knowledge and training that I use today is due to a) experience and b) listening to books on tape.

The audiobooks that I prefer to listen to are a mix of motivational, scientific, informational and educational works. A few of my favorites include Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People and all of Les Brown’s speeches on personal achievement. I listen to those on repeat.

When it comes right down to it, they all pretty much have the same general themes: making your life better, making more money and getting better at what you do. Something special happens when you listen to this same message over and over again: you start to believe it can happen for you.


1 FREE Audiobook Credit RISK-FREE from Audible.com

Learn While You Live

When you’re studying a book, you have to set aside a special time to sit down and do so. Maybe, just maybe, you can turn on some music in the background while doing so.

The great thing about audiobooks is that you can accomplish a variety of other tasks while listening to your book. You can drive to work, workout, run around a track, prune your garden, mow your lawn, cook and even write or work while absorbing these books. There’s some kind of “left brain, right brain” activity going on where you can take in the message while doing other things.

Compare the Costs

As more stories hit the news about how kids are graduating with loads of college debt that they’ll never pay off, I think that we’re going to have to evolve as a society to a better way of getting educated for success. According to CollegeData.com, the average cost for a college education at a private institution as of 2013-2014 was $30,094 per year. The lowest cost is just under $9,000 for a state college (state resident). So the average student can expect to pay between $36,000 to $120,000 for a 4-year education at a private institution.

The cost of your average audiobook is about $15. Listening to three educational audio books per week for a year will cost about $45 per week or $2,340 for the year. Even if you were to purchase one book a day for a year it would be an investment of $5,475 compared to $30K.

Sometimes you have to look at things from a different perspective to find a better solution. Whether you’ve never gone to college or you’ve already gone to college but still feel like you’re not adequately prepared for success, consider investing in an audiobook education for the next year and beyond.

Bookmark this page of StartUpaSmallBiz.com for book reviews and more helpful information on self-educating yourself for small business success.


Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.