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Tyler commented on Where does it go?

Good point, Gigi. One aspect of the budget that would be good to get visibility on is the amount attributed to sports programs. In many American universities, a significant portion of college tuition goes towards athletics, something that does not directly benefit the academic student.

Good article detailing the issue and thoughts from various perspectives:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/15/athletics-cost-colleges-students-millions/2814455/

An older chart that may still have some relevance - would be good to get updated statistics here:
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/college/2010-09-21-athletic-fees-chart_N.htm

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Tyler commented on Imagine a NEW Bachelor's degree

I love this idea and would to offer an option for expanding the idea further. This could be a great option for mid-career transitions. Imagine all the cases where someone went to university for one thing, got their first jobs, worked several years, then decided it's not for them. Speaking from experience, it can be very difficult to transition into a new industry or new line of work without the background to support it. Having a professional track shortened education option opens up the opportunity to go to school and drive directly towards that next step acting as a spring board for your new career aspirations. This little bit of direct education/experience paired with your previous resume credentials could substantially facilitate mid-career transitions.

From my research on the topic, traditionally the data has been difficult to validate the statistics on how often people change careers due to the primary debatable factor of: What constitutes a career change? Defining that question and gathering some quantifiable data on this could be helpful in determining the opportunity.

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Tyler commented on Cure Runners: Gaming app for financial literacy

Hi Andy,
Truthfully, when I posted that comment, I had not seen any examples of that kind of long-term incentive thinking applied to financial-related games. You raised a good question, though, so I did some digging and came across two apps that were discussed in this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mybanktracker/are-savings-apps-like-dig_b_6721362.html

They review two apps out there that are enabling people to save better using two different approaches - one rounding up people's purchases and saving the change, and the other, using mathematical models to estimate when it can sneak away a few dollars into a savings account. While these are good steps as they leverage micro-savings methods to help people save for their goals, neither address quite what I was pointing to.

Another article discussed 6 financial-literacy focused games: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-6-best-online-games-that-teach-about-money/
One of those games stood out to me - http://piggybank.disney.go.com/about/ as it looks like it is a strong option for getting a head start on financial considerations though I think it might be more effective with an older target audience and while the dream goals is a good touch, it still seems that they focus on saving for more superficial type items and may miss the mark on longer-term goal setting.

Examples of non-financial, fictional games that have proven successful at incentivizing long-term player commitments are World of Warcraft, Clash of Clans, Dark Souls, Destiny, Dragon Age, etc. All have built massive in-game economies that balance capabilities of the character to earn wealth with the incentives to seek out creative ways to gain more wealth and save that wealth towards bettering their character overall.

I guess on a fundamental level, I am asking how one can encourage the same unyielding tenacity it takes gamers to "level-grind" (the act of tediously doing a certain experience-building task over and over again to increase your power or level) and "farm" (the act of searching for long periods of time for materials or resources to increase your wealth) towards something more productive than just a fictional character?

To re-phrase your question, I think it boils down to this: How might one combine gamification, real-world application, and financial literacy type elements to encourage and hook people into "level-grinding" and "farming" for the end goal of creating a better, stronger future for themselves?