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Strategist, marketer, and sustainability aficionado focused on applying disruptive technology for social impact. Founder of www.3DPrintingforHumanity.com and lover of ideas. Feel free to connect: www.linkedin.com/in/justincbean
Awesome updates, Shari! You're really making some great progress and fleshing out the details to take the idea from good to great! :)
A couple of thoughts I had after re-reading were around implementation. Because federal and state programs can take a while to get implemented, what are some low-hanging fruit or early phases that can help EdCreds start building momentum? What would be the sequence of rolling out these low-barrier programs, leading up to full reimbursement by federal/state governments or collegiate systems? Since the end goal is to make college more affordable, the money/value could come from a variety of sources. Some ideas I had were:
- A social media campaign/feed. Perhaps all tweets or Instagram photos with the hashtag #EdCreds could be pulled into a feed that raises awareness for pre-higher ed activities. Users would then have a record of their activities that they could share, and get ideas from other users. It could also create local communities of students who could do activities together, and help to give kids the opportunity to interact/make friends with kids from other neighborhoods or socioeconomic groups.
- Corporate sponsorships. How could companies help students pay for college? Perhaps they could donate or offer discounts/rebates for EdCred users in proportion to the number of credits attained. It seems that companies would have a marketing/PR incentive to spend budget on the communities they reach via EdCreds - it's such a great story for them to tell and participate in (perhaps even their employees could get involved in volunteering to help). This might also help to establish the value of EdCerds with companies competing to offer the best deals to EdCred users in a virtuous spiral :)
- Remember the "Box Tops for Education" campaigns back in the day? What if there were something similar with EdCreds? Instead of buying cereal, students would be participating in meaningful/educational activities to get donations to a fund for tuition reimbursement or scholarships that they could cash out once they attended college.
Just saw this video too that points to misguided priorities. Most colleges spend way more on athletics than education. 82% of these colleges are losing an average of $11 million annually on these sports programs and finance them with increasing tuition and taxpayer money, while they cut other student services and professor pay: https://www.facebook.com/Upworthy/videos/1124480170926173/
Good question, I guess if I were to sum up my takeaways they would be that: 1. Spending has remained relatively flat on average 2. State and local support has decreased 3. Endowments provide a significant portion of revenue for private schools, but they fluctuate wildly with the economy, and is very unequally distributed. This fluctuation could have spooked universities into raising tuition as a buffer. 4. Tuition has risen significantly 5. Students and families have taken on way more debt, especially unsubsidized loans while subsidized loan availability has decreased
Also tuition increases could be attributed somewhat to: a. Increasing demand b. Increasing administration size (conflicting data) c. Increasing availability of aid (conflicting data and maybe tied to a.)
None of this data, however addresses usefulness of college. Next it might be helpful to find something that measures the usefulness of a degree over time to see the ROI of student spend, especially vs. alternatives.