The New York Times has an article this morning, titled "Tough Times Strain Colleges Rich and Poor." , which delves into how the financial crisis is going from Wall Street to the Main Quad. The most interesting contrast in the text is the difference between the schools that see the economic pitfulls, and become more stingy with their financial aid packages, as opposed to the schools who make financial aid a higher priority.
" This fall, more universities are taking steps to increase affordability. Benedictine University, a Roman Catholic institution in Illinois, is freezing tuition; Vanderbilt University will replace loans with grants; Boston University has expanded scholarships for students who graduated from Boston public schools; and the University of Toledo announced free tuition for needy, high-performing graduates of Ohio’s six largest public school systems."
Now that college is a more of a financial investment than ever before, here are some courses that I think should be mandatory for students in order to best prepare them for the working world. Or classes that I wish I took.
Financial Literacy 101- All students, whether they are going to be doctors or writers, should understand what they should do with their money, how their money can make or lose money, and where they should put their money. What kind of health care plans should they buy into? Where should they invest their money? How will the current financial crisis affect their money? Here are a few websites that can supplement this course ( Vanguard, Qvisory, Generation Debt, Mint.com
How to get your first, second, third and maybe 4th job- We don't live in a country anymore where you get a job, work thirty years, and then retire. Many young professionals who graduate from school, by the time they are thirty, have had several jobs. Colleges, and especially their career centers should adapt to this new economy. Career centers should offer classes that are credited that allow students to hear from young professionals in the community about their work experience, learn about the positive and negatives of different careers, and also teach best practices for being more entrepreneurial. We encourage our students to be critical thinkers, but then do not give them the tools to start their own businesses or non-profits.