Hi Terry, Your idea sings melodies to my ears! I think it's such a wonderful idea on so many levels!
First, it has such *ginormous* incentive systems in place! It incentivizes people based on intrinsic motivation (i.e. solving a problem to better society) rather than extrinsic motivation (i.e. money!), hence students are MOST likely to perform so much better and actually look forward to (and enjoy!) their academic experiences!
Moreover, I love that you note the point of students' adaptability in their academic and career paths. Often we, as students, expect a clear direction for our lives to go with little adaptability to circumstances that may happen to us that are our of our control. Posing this question and giving ourselves a means to work through, rather than an end goal, allows us more flexibility to be able to adapt to other life circumstances.
Additionally, it provides us both experiential and academic learning opportunities, which enriches our learning experience immensely!
Finally, it's an extremely feasible solution. Taking a look at NYU Gallatin, I can see how this educational approach may fit. In NYU Gallatin, students are able to construct their own majors by proposing a major, getting it approved by an advisor, then building classes around it to provide the student with a full perspective on whatever topic s/he chooses to specialize in. In this way, Gallatin can take on the framework of allowing students to "major" in whatever problem they would like to solve, and they can construct their curriculum as such! It's so feasible and workable into the current systems we have that you can launch this yesterday!
Danyelle, I very much appreciate your idea, especially as a college student who is pretty financially literate herself! I think your idea addresses a serious problem in millennials that impacts our lives significantly, through our over-spending and high debt rates.
The process of this educational program seems very viable, however I can't grasp the incentive system. What would incentivize students to want to become financially literate? You mentioned staggering numbers illustrating the problem of teens' financial illiteracy, however you also noted that behavioral psychologists report that most people don't like consulting with a financial adviser. Let alone that, high school students are also very busy, and don't tend to be eager about school/education. What is it that would incentivize them (and even their parents) to engage in this program, and to consistently follow up with it?
I think the incentive system is a gap in this program because it doesn't appeal to or entice the audience it is targeting. Perhaps it can be tweaked to be more "hip" for high school students. Perhaps it can take on after social media and become a sort of networking/sharing platform that provides a service (taking the frame of Venmo, for instance), as millennials seem to be highly motivated by social networks. It can also have the networking effect where friends bring each other on board, as they play against one another in seeing who is most financially literate. What are your thoughts?
This is a very very interesting and unique idea - love it! It fills such a critical gap where higher education isn't effectively serving the 45 million American adults you are referencing. Though there are already a few online colleges in place, and several top universities that offer online classes. How do you see PelotonU differentiating itself from these universities (especially the top-ranking universities that offer online classes)?
As for the affordability aspect, many online universities are for-profit entities, so it's definitely noteworthy that you are making PelotonU a nonprofit entity, so it remains affordable for students. However there are several nonprofit universities that are also extremely overpriced (i.e. the nation's most expensive university is nonprofit: New York University). What other measures do you anticipate PelotonU will take to ensure it stays affordable for students?
Thank you! Looking forward to hearing your feedback!