In theory, when a baby is born, parents are bombarded with mailings about saving for college, starting a college fund, signing up for Upromise, and the like, but in reality, saving $1 a day for 18 years ($6,570) isn’t going to buy you much more than a year of tuition at a state school if you are lucky. When they get there, nationwide, more than 1/3 of students will drop out and 80% will change their majors at least one time. At low income, Hispanic serving institutions where students are first generation college students, the numbers are even higher, ½ and 90%. There goes the $6,570…costly decision.
In America, one of the best paying and one of the most in demand jobs is called an Actuary but few Americans have ever heard of the job unless they have seen the movie, “Along Came Polly”. An Actuarial Science Degree isn’t a possibility for most people given it requires up to calculus III level math, but for those who like and are good at math, it isn’t a possibility either because lack of exposure means lack of choices.
While Obama will argue otherwise and say we can achieve anything as long as we work hard and stay dedicated to our education, how can we become what we don’t know? When I work with teens I ask them to name as name as many flavors of ice cream as they can think of in two minutes and they come up with about 20. I then ask them to take two minutes and list as many job titles as they can think of that don’t wear a uniform and unfortunately, teens in America (even adults) know more about ice cream than they do about things they can become.
What a great investment of 18 years of education. Oh, and what a great plan for that savings. Throw $6,570 at an 18 year old who IS going to change their major, it is statistically proven. The sad thing is, what they chose to, is still based on lack of exposure; who they happen to talk to, run into, read about, etc.
What if we spent 18 years teaching our kids about what they are going to be spending 24% of their week doing. That $1 a day instead could be 1 career a day. That means when they get ready to go to college, they have 6,570 choices. That is a fabulous investment.