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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Business of College

Now before I start writing this I want to preface that I believe education is important.  However all kinds of education are important not just the formalized training we subject ourselves too.

I titled this post The Business of College because that is exactly what a college is.  It's a business.  I know this may be shocking to some but  anyone who has gone to college realizes that tuition rates normally go up to surpass inflation every year.  I know it does for me.  I believe getting a Post Secondary Education is important as long as you use it.  Otherwise its a waste of time and hard earned money(rather you pay for it now or for the rest of your life.)  I realize some people reading this post will tell me that one cannot find a good job without a college degree.  To those people out there your wrong and right.  I have gotten decent jobs that make good money since I was 18 without any sort of degree.  Also many people have created their own business and jobs without a degree. I am currently working on a degree right now.  Yes it is true that if you want to do something like being a doctor, accountant, lawyer etc... one will need a degree but just to make it in life you don't necessarily need one to start with.

Now the reason for this post is because most colleges have around 50% dropout rate for first year students.  Many people take out student loans to pay for college.  I've personally recruited people who joined the Navy just because they got out of college and had over $50,000 in student loan debt.  That is a small house.  Those are just the people who had the guts to walk through that door as a way to handle their student loan debt.

Now we are just talking about student loans here.  According to collegestudentcreditcard.com The average credit card debt for college students is $2,700.  Now this is average.  I listen to the Dave Ramsey show and read a ton of articles where people just have tons of debt they have amassed during college because their whole life they were told they needed to get a degree or they won't make it.

In fact when I searched for credit card debt for college students, Discover Card was the first webpage that popped up with the start smart.  This goes back again to my first post Financial Education.  We are programmed to go to college and get a degree so we can be good employees without educating ourselves in finances.  So much in fact that Doctors, Lawyers, etc.. are getting their houses foreclosed and filing bankruptcy.  Not because they don't make money or have an education but because they were never taught how to handle their money.

I myself was told I needed to go to college and get a degree, but I was also taught the importance of taking on little to no debt as well.  I didn't know the best way to do this until the Navy Recruiter called my house and talk me into joining the Navy.  Now this isn't a push for the military.  But talking to the Navy Recruiter changed my thinking towards college.  It started with a few questions.

"Why do you want to go to college?" the recruiter at the time asked me. My first answer was "So I could get a degree."  His next question was "Why do you need a degree?"  My answer was "So I could get a good job."  Than his last questions is what changed my whole way of thinking about college.  "So if you could get a good job today without having to pay for college with time and money would you do it?"  I was silent for few seconds and then answered "Yes".  2 days later I was raising my right hand and joining the Navy.  Now again I am not saying go out and join the military.  But if you do Go Navy.  Seriously though it made me realize that College is a tool that is part of the journey but not the end result and not the only tool.  Quite often college can sometimes not be the right tool for the moment and maybe never.

The point I am making is that college is a business.  They want you to get a degree and go to school mainly so they can make a profit.  Many students probably at least half who get degrees come out with a mountain of debt.  On top of that just because you have a degree does not guarantee a job when one gets out.  So if one comes out of college with a mountain of debt and makes about as much as a person with a non degree and not even working in the field he or she wants. Or worse the field he or she chose isn't the sunshine and rainbows he or she thought it was.  This is all to common occurrence   What is worse students come out of college are flabbergasted that the world works this way.  I talked to individuals with this type of situation all the time who walked into the Navy Recruiting Office.  80 percent of whom had to be turned away because they didn't qualify for the military.

I know I was a little all over the place but college is a business to make money and one many people waste money on and more important asset time.  Many students go to college not knowing what they want to do so they waste money on classes they don't need until they find out.  All the while colleges are  making more money off of them and the students are spending more and usually acquiring debt in the process. I personally believe no one should ever go into to debt to go to college.  It is like a oxymoron to me.  Why take out money to get a degree for a job you may never get?  Its like borrowing money to invest in speculative stocks.  It just doesn't make sense to me.  Yes I believe college is important and many times necessary to get ahead.  But taking one step forward and two steps back with debt just doesn't make sense to me.  There is just to many opportunities and other options out there to achieve success.  Even if it means putting college on hold or going part-time.

In conclusion, college is a business and it isn't in the business of your success it is in the business of making profits.  Believe me when I say this.  I have firsthand experience of how colleges take advantage of students. There are other options to going to college at least right away.


Works Citation
1. "College Student Debt Statistics - College Student Credit Card." College Student Debt Statistics - College Student Credit Card. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Testimony


Below is a brief testimony I wrote a couple of months for when I came to know God.  Really know God.  It happened sometime last summer in the middle of lunch in the parking lot of Paycom, where I worked at the time.  When I wrote this my intention was to get it down to a condensed version so if anyone ever asked me for it I could tell him/her.  Never really wanted to put it public but God had other plans.  For many of you this is the first time you get a glimpse of beliefs.  I hope this gives you some insight to me and ultimately to the one I serve.  Please forgive any of my grammar errors.

Nate’s Testimony
            Before I came to know God, I believed I was a Christian.  I grew up in church and went every Sunday.  I believed in God.  My mom took me to church every Sunday.  My dad was even a Sunday School Teacher.  However I never let God be in charge of my life.  Growing up I was what you would call socially awkward.  It was hard especially around my elementary and middle school.  It was hard for me to make friends even at church.   My parents being divorced it was hard for me to have attachments to anyone because I would be in different cities most of the time.  Around high school I took off socially speaking.  My social skills became better once I got a job.   Of course I worked Sundays and went to church less and less.  Then my Senior Year came and I made my best and my worst decision.  I joined the Navy.   The main reasons I joined was because I figured it would keep me out debt and pay for education. I was told by my parents since I was young that I wouldn't be able to live with my parents once I turned 18 and graduated.  Joining the Navy seemed the best way.  I figured I would do my 4 years get my degree and everything would just fall into place.  A lot of things happened.  I gave 7 years of my life to Active Duty Navy.  Got married to my High School sweetheart and started working towards my civilian career, but something was missing.  I felt like I was a ship without a rudder (going in circles) with this thing called life.  Everything was great and bad. I felt I had no purpose on this earth. Trying to live the American Dream.   Nothing seem to fill this void in my life.
 In my quest to figure it all out especially with money I read a book call Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.  Good book everyone should read it.  It wasn’t religious or anything but it did have a verse scripture in there that read. Debtor is a slave to the Lender.  For some reason that verse of scripture kept playing around in my head for about a week.  Finally I dusted off my old bible and started reading.  I came across some verses where Jesus goes up to some of his future disciples who came in from fishing all night without catching anything.  He tells them to cast their nets on the other side.  Of course they balked but he pleaded them to go ahead and try again.  So they did and they caught a bunch fish, so much in fact that the net tore.  One of them asked if Jesus could teach them how to do it and Jesus replied.  “I will teach you to become fishers of men.” and they asked how of course and the one phrase that rocked me on my heels was the part where he said “follow me”.  It hit me right then that although I believed in Jesus I never really received and let him take charge of my life.  Then all the things I learned over the years started to make since.  This was what I was missing in my life.  The funny part is I was reading this during lunch in my car.  I immediately started praying to God to take charge of my life, forgive me of my self-center self.  Since I am not worthy of his love. I wanted purpose in my life.
Since then I have a profound sense of peace.  Being human I still make mistakes and try to do things on my own but God is right there to right me and put back on track.  I now have purpose in my life.  I hope this testimony provides insight and you can have the profound sense of peace and purpose I have now.  And at the end of the day I know if I died today I would wake up in Heaven.

I would like to say thank you to all those who influenced me in my life that led to this ultimate decision.  There are to many to name and many whom I probably helped me along the way behind the scenes.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Of Pokes and Politics: Our Willpower: How it drives us and what this mean...

Of Pokes and Politics: Our Willpower: How it drives us and what this mean...: I recently read an article on the power of your willpower. Why do some people have a lot of willpower and others don't? Why are som...


Great Blog on Will power everyone should read this.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Financial Education

When the great recession hit, many households hit rock bottom.  People found their house no longer was worth what they bought it at originally, people lost their jobs due to layoffs, and many people starting falling behind on their loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. Peoples lives got turn upside down it seems in an instance.  This might have been you reading that has been affected by this Great Recession.

Of course when the crisis happened there has been a bunch of finger pointing.  Especially in the last couple of years the less than fortunate termed the (99%) and the more fortunate termed the (1%) have been pointing fingers at each other.  Especially at the extremes at both ends of the spectrum.  I have heard and read of things such as "its the government programs subsidizing welfare that caused this" or "its the tax loopholes and the top 1% that caused this"  Although distribution of wealth has certainly taken a hit (that is another topic altogether), we are still one of the riches nations in the world.  I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a lady on the radio say her husband got deported to Mexico and only makes the equivalent of $10 a day here in the U.S.  So how ,in one of the richest country in the world, are there literally tons of people losing their houses, declaring bankruptcy, etc...  I will tell you.  It comes down to two things.  Now I preface this with I might have stole these idea and can't remember where.  Those two things are 'ignorance' and 'greed'

Now I am going to talk about greed first.  Greed it was helped caused the Great Recession.  Greed on the part of the bankers sure but also greed on the people who took the loans.  Now I will preface the rest of the paragraph by saying this.  Sure the 1% had a lot to do with the Great Recession but I find that winners take responsibility and losers blame.  True Fact.  A lot of people point fingers at the bank for the bailout and I was one of those people, but hello the bank borrows money from the people who invest with them through savings, checking etc.. and lends out to people.  Guess what those people didn't pay up so they got foreclosed on or filed Chapter 13.  Now I realize there are some unforeseeable circumstances that would legitimately have someone file for bankruptcy.  But 99% of the time it is because that person is not on a budget and they live outside of their means.  Subprime loans mainly caused the housing bubble to burst.  Keyword 'Sub' followed by 'Prime'. simple terms less than prime.  Not as good as Prime. It was created so people with bad credit scores or bad finances could borrow money.  "This seems like a recipe for success"  He says sarcastically.

Now ignorance is the other one.  Financial ignorance.  Thanks to my Dad and he constant teachings I was taught things such "only pay cash for your car", "emergency fund" etc..  He even taught me some of the baby steps of financial success as a kid.  Those have stuck with me since then.  I didn't always follow his advise.  I let the greed sometimes step in and say I want, I deserve to have this get in the way but his sound advice has got me out of hot water.  However, my case is the exception to the rule.  Many persons are not taught about how to handle money.  They are taught to get an education to find a good job.  That implies that once you have a good job your job will take care of you.  Americans have had a rude awakening that this isn't the case.  Retirement Pensions are all but extinct.  Heck being able to even know if you will have a job next month is over.  Some people are taught that the government is and should take care of this.  People if you think our government who is over $10 trillion in debt has the financial wisdom to take care of you in the future please please tell me the medication you are taking because it has to be some good stuff.  I can could go on and on and say a great majority of people are financially illiterate and uneducated.  They work for their "things or money" instead of having their "things or money" work for them.  I will include myself in this scenario because up until a year ago I let greed and little bit of ignorance have me work for stuff instead of stuff work for me.  I am on the path to having stuff work for me.

So my point is there needs to be more financial education especially at a younger age.  I believe Personal Finance class should be a required course in High School.  Handling money is better than the amount.  Ask any broke lottery winner.

I learned a lot of my new found financial literacy through the school of hard knocks, books, radio shows, etc.. I find constant education is the key.  But also good education is the key.  Study the people whom you want emulate and their practices and soon you will be on the road to their success.  If anyone is having financial troubles that read this blog please check out daveramsey.com or read his book the The Total Money Makeover.  It literally rocked my world.  Leave comments and tell me what you think.