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  • Mark Olivito

Adult Conversations About College

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

We have a problem with the cost of higher education. It's out of control if you look at the data, and there are reams of publicly available data.

But how did we get here? Too many reasons.

One thing I can say with confidence: The "system" is not having enough ADULT CONVERSATIONS about the college experience, the cost, the value, the impact, the alternatives. All of the above.

What is an Adult conversation about college?

A conversation that goes DEEP, questions assumptions, examines the data, to see if a full view of college is the best available decision. There are MULTIPLE paths to a successful life, and when you hear people discussing what's next, you would think that life has only one option for the high school senior.

I know many parents who wouldn't even entertain being challenged if pursuing something OTHER than college is even worth discussing. Major problem.

  • I'm pragmatic. When I see our nations debt reach $ has my attention.

  • When nearly half of all graduates are in jobs that do NOT require a degree, my eyebrows raise.

  • When kids have $40k AVERAGE debt upon graduating and understanding what that means for deffered investment, you have my attention.

I often say this: I borrowed over $10 million in debt to acquire my first company. That came with Personal Guarantees, which said if the business goes under, they are coming after all of MY assets to get their money back, and I didnt have anywhere NEAR that kind of money. 90 days of background checks, interviews, third party audits on my business plans, the business I was acquiring, appraisals, you name it. I know a thing or 2 about debt. But then I ask myself......

When an 18 year old kid goes for college kid goes for college financing.....they are able to borrow MASSIVE sums of $'s and NOBODY even questions it. They haven't worked a day in their life, the money is handed over like candy.

Could we be any MORE casual about a quarter million dollar decision in the USA?

But if that same 18 year old wanted to borrow $75k to open a shop, a business, etc, what do you think the odds are of being bankrolled? Less than 5%, and I'm probably being generous.

In short, the entire conversation is off the rails. OR we aren't even having the conversation, because somebody has predetermined the path and the financial implications tied to it.

Here are a few videos I'd recommend. If your part of a group that may be highly biased in one direction, they may make you uncomfortable. If so, mission accomplished.

Notes: Sources of any conversation matters. Most in the below videos, ironically (or not, depending on your perspective) are college educated people putting forth a range of various viewpoints.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Ceo of Vaynermedia speaking with High School Seniors From Boys Latin School From Philadelphia

Outspoken Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business, Scott Galloway: "The Rant: The College Implosion | NO MERCY, NO MALICE

2 Ivy League Degrees, Yale undergrad and Stamford MBA. "Yale changed the trajectory of my life." And now he takes a critical look at the entire proposition as the father of 4 kids and 15 years of experience post college...

Financial Peace Guru Dave Ramsey

The Real Value of College: Phil Xiao Tec TalkCollege Grad, Founder

Still with me?

The above videos QUESTION the premise that college is a "foregone conclusion." Here's a video that works on the premise that "your going to college, lets figure out the smartest path forward."

Live town hall on debt-free college.

All the information in the world is at your fingertips, for free! The above clips are simply meant to share perspectives and challenge conventional thinking, all from different points of view.



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