College Prep: The Often Winding Road for Parents, Students and High Schools
By Robyn D. Shulman
Today, parents and students have the ability to access endless amounts of college and career planning information. Discovering reliable and valid resources online can be a challenging and exhausting endeavor in a super space filled with endless amounts of information. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With some time and guidance, you can be well on your way to positive outcomes before walking out of college with a pocket full of debt and no long-term plans for your career future.
In 2006 National-Louis University asked me to build, launch and manage the first graduate advising program in the history of the institution. From 2006-2011, I supported and advised over 2,500 teachers. Some teachers were working on additional endorsements or certifications to add toward their teaching degrees, and others were completing a full M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.
Over the course of five years with the university, I noticed a common thread of concerns that kept bubbling to the surface during many conversations; unfortunately, most of the discussions focused on the following three areas: lack of research, student loan debt and poor career decisions.
I Didn’t Do My Homework
For many students, college is a time of learning about the world. Adjusting to a new life away from home comes with many challenges. With high academic expectations, ongoing social activities and part-time jobs, most students do not have concerns about lagging college debt or career choice. From a holistic perspective, students must prepare early-on by researching every aspect of their college and career experience, and this begins with the application process to living arrangements and eventually walking out of school with a degree into the workforce.
If schoold.co were available when I was advising, I would have referenced the tool to every student. It encompasses a vast number of different resources personalized to the student from the very beginning of college planning to the end through making the right career decisions.
Parents and Students: If you would like FREE, detailed, career and college planning advice; you can find it in the palm of your hand with Schoold.co. The app encompasses various resources, from the beginning of the college search process, discovering and improving your admission chances, and the best ways to find and finance your college education.
Student Loan Regret
Today, given all of the free college planning and information we have at our fingertips, Americans are more encumbered by student loan debt than any other time in history.
Let’s take a look at a few student loan debt facts that are quite alarming:
- Right now, student loan debt in the United States is $1.32 trillion
- 3 million Americans are walking around with student loan debt
- Student loan delinquency is at a high rate of 11.6%*Americans owe more in student loan debt than credit card debt
- 65% of high-debt student loan borrowers didn’t understand the terms of their loans when they signed their paperwork
- The U.S. Government can garnish wages and withhold tax-refunds to satisfy unpaid student debt
- Only 28% of student loan borrowers know that the U.S. Government can garnish wages and withhold tax refunds to meet student loan debt requirements
- If a student passes away while paying off a student loan, the debt can be passed onto their family members
These statistics are frightening. Today, according to Nasdaq.com, more than 40 million people are currently indebted for their higher education. Also, according to the Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt, the average balance in 2014 was close to $30,000, and that is solely for undergraduate programs. For students who pursued advanced degrees, their student loan debt is dramatically deeper. A quarter of graduate students owe nearly $100,000. That’s a heavy burden to carry for two degrees.
Also, according to a recent study by NerdScholar.com, high school graduates in the U.S. left more than $2.9 billion in free federal grant money unused over the last academic year (via 2014).
Grants and scholarships are life-saving options, but they can be hard to find. Using Schoold., you can find a new scholarship function on the application to help you fund your education needs. The scholarship section is designed to personalize help for individual students and will automatically surface details on study grants and awards that could work for each user. All opportunities are customized and brought to the surface via college, major and a student’s interests.
Out of all the concerns, I believe that today, career choice is one of the most, if not, most important decisions a student needs to make. Students choose majors for a vast number of different reasons, and many of these reasons are not based on research, but rather on areas such as popularity, lack of coursework and ease of program.
However, as mentioned in an article just yesterday by Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn: “Remember that dystopian view of the future in which technology displaces millions of people from their jobs? It’s happening. In the last three weeks alone, Foxconn announced it would replace 60,000 factory workers with robots and a former CEO of McDonald’s said given rising wages, the same would happen throughout their franchises. Whether it’s worker displacement, the skills gap, youth unemployment, or socio-economic stratification, the impact on society will be staggering.”
For these exacts reasons mentioned above, students must look at their passions and then choose programs that align with the current needs of the future, projected employability, future income, and potential job rate growth. At Schoold, students can find out about their return on college investment at the beginning of their career as well as mid-term. They can also search for a vast amount of career options.
At such a young age, it is quite difficult to make long-term, life-impacting choices. Our students need guidance, information, and a place to go to ask questions. Many students tend to make poor decisions because they are simply naïve to this process.
Joe Ross, the app’s president and the chief operating officer, stated, “The choice of a college and a major literally sets the stage for a young person’s future career options, earning potential, and job satisfaction. Schoold simplifies an unnecessarily confusing, complex process for students and families with a customized, intuitive app powered by rigorous data science. In addition, we’re in a strong position to transform the college search process, enabling students to make the best decisions about the most important big-ticket investment of their lives.”
I agree with Joe on all levels. And best of all, the app is FREE to all students.
What kind of information will you find at Schoold.co?
Paying for school
Scholarship and financial aid information
How to apply to college
International student information
FAQ for parents about college
Standardized test scores
Improving test scores
English, essays and writing skills
College search and selection
First generation college students
Ivy League schools
Students with disabilities
Read reviews about Schoold!
Why Should You Be Interested In Schoold?
Over 1 million college profiles viewed
500,000 majors selected & 330,000 colleges saved
In-app user sessions growing by 100% month over month (it’s that good)
3mm college stats seen
Sourabh Ahuja, CEO of Schoold said: “Since launch, we’ve served hundreds of thousands of students, each with unique backgrounds and goals. The data generated is immense and provides us with key learnings that we use to improve the in-app experience”.
Schoold is a private education technology company that empowers students through knowledge and personalized information to enable their decision-making. Students face many challenges today, and with Schoold, students get the information they need to help them lead happy, successful lives, creating a brighter future for everyone. Learn more at http://www.schoold.co.
Schoold is available for download on both iOS and Android stores.