Most parents think it is O.K. to send their kids off to college to figure things out – things like what they will do with the rest of their lives – because that is where most of us started to figure things out.
The problem is we live in a different world now!
- When we (parents) went to college, very few of the colleges were ‘full’, so if you could fill out the application, you could probably get in
- All four years of college ‘only’ cost $12-$15,000
- Most of us could find jobs when we graduated, and those jobs paid at least as much as we paid to attend all four years of college
- Almost no one had student debt upon leaving college, because we didn’t even think of getting a credit card until after we graduated.
Fast forward to 2014:
- College applications are extremely competitive, and students can’t go anywhere they want
- Four years of college cost $100-$200,000, and only 31% of students are actually getting out in four years!
- Only 30% of college students have a job offer in-hand at graduation
- Average starting salaries (approx. $40,000) are only a fraction of what they paid to get their degree
- Average student debt at graduation is over $25,000
Now that you understand the situation, let’s talk about the resources available. The US Department of Education recommends that the student to counselor ratio in high school be no more than 250:1. The average U.S. public high school ratio is 472:1. And if you think that is reason for concern, just wait, because it gets worse. The average student:counselor ratio in colleges with less than 20,000 students enrolled is 1,889:1, and for colleges with over 20,000 students the ratio is 5,876:1!
So thinking that your child will figure out what they want to do in life during college – and that will all work out well – is one of the biggest risks you could ever take. It is kind of like going to Vegas and betting all of your money on one single spin of the roulette wheel. I guess it is possible you could win (and win big), it just isn’t very likely!
To improve your child’s chances of finding success after college, check out our Ultimate Student Success Process.