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Jesse commented on Student working through a BA degree.

I can only speak for myself on these issues, and I'm not sure how typical I am, but for me "financial planning" wasn't _really_ a topic that I was hearing. I think it was presented, but in such a milquetoast way that I took it as a non issue. I think that might be compounded with the fact that getting financial aid seemed like I had "won" somehow. (like "winning" an ebay auction. ha) At the time, no one was really talking about the ramifications of student loan debt. "Don't get too much!" rather than "you could be paying $600 a month for 30 years". This is compounded with the fact that myself, my parents and probably people advising me in school thought that I would be making enough money post-degree that the payments wouldn't matter.

To more directly answer your question - I don't think I would have been more successful with finding financial resources if I'd received more help. _I didn't think I needed it._

As far as seeking other funding options, it wasn't a lack of motivation or interest. I've always been an opportunist with things like this. I think the results from my first stabs at seeking other funding options were so unsuccessful, it didn't seem like it was worth the investment to continue the hunt. I was a fairly affluent and able bodied white male at the time, I should be statistically least likely to need / be eligible for aid. Then once I knew I had loans and grants secured through the univerity, there was even less motivation to look.

Getting a little ahead of myself and ideating a little, hearing stories from real people about how much their educataion cost, how much salary they ended up making and how payments actually affected their life would likely have been the only thing that would get through to me then.. but at the same time, I don't know if at 18 I had a very realistic view of the value of money. haha.

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Jesse commented on Student working through a BA degree.

Definitely. Those are some good points to hit on.

What did I want and expect from my higher education:
Gigantic bullet point on "A job." I think this is reflected in the fact that I discontinued classes when I got a full time job.. and also reflected later when I went back seeking a career change. I definitely have a perception, both then and now, that degrees are a weird gate-key to non menial jobs.. but also that they don't provide functional skills. To get hired at X job you need Y degree. Then they teach you all the specific stuff on the job. Which is maybe a smaller bullet point #2 - I expected to learn how to do things. Companies do work in way too many different ways for a university to educate someone for all of them.. or even pick one that you're likely to encounter. ..but this was in a technology field, which is worse for this.

Did I get what I expected:
No. Initially I got my desired job before finishing the degree! In my job, I didn't use any of the things I was taught, and it all quickly atrophied. The BA degree that I finished didn't unlock any jobs for me. It may as well have been a 3 class certificate program. No skills at all from that one.

How do expectations compare with needs:
During my first two degrees I didn't really think about the nuts and bolts of meeting my expectations: Degree = job, as a constant. I didn't think a lot about the needs. During my MFA I became more aware of the details; especially after interning and getting into the job market. What had value was social currency - being able to talk the talk and knowing the hot topics of the day. I could have learned this from going to meetups and reading messageboards. There were some other valuable things, but they were things anyone could do on their own with very little guidance.

Does it change with age or level of degree:
For me, it changes with age, but not a lot with degree. I'm sure some folks with a BS/BA would expect a job upgrade out of a Masters, but I did a masters as a lateral move because a third undergrad degree seemed pointless. But yes, age. I think with time and experience you get a better idea of what is important. For example, understanding business is a HUGE leg up in many design roles, but you don't get a lot of exposure to that from school usually unless you go looking for it.

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Jesse commented on Tarzan and his Tiny Home for College

Very cool! kind of a rightsizing of the college experience.

I recall a newspaper article about a student who was living in a van as he finished art school. He was having a good time, and even got some positive notoriety out of it.

I'm probably an outlier, but I could even go for a Japanese capsule hotel style dorm. How often do you really need a dedicated private space in college anyway? You can study in libraries, work out at the rec center, visit with friends in the union... Really you just need a place to sleep that has communal bathroom facilities.