#19 – Making College Affordable (Interview)

In this episode, Dr. Michael Brown joins the show to talk about how to make college affordable. From the simplest stay-at-home option to more expensive out-of-state options, we explore several models that put a good education within reach of virtually any student – regardless of prior financial planning – without the need for money from Mom and Dad, and without taking on excessive student debt.

[01:22] Who is Dr. Michael Brown?

[02:42] College as an investment

[03:58] Choosing a field vs a college

[04:37] “What do you think is a reasonable amount of debt to carry?”

[05:21] Debt free education alternative to military service

[05:45] What’s required to graduate

[06:05] Transfer credits

[06:15] Option 1: Getting college credit before leaving high school

[06:27] A few inexpensive options online (see resources below)

[07:38] Based on your experience teaching online courses, how does that system work?

[10:54] Quality of online courses

[11:47] Augmenting traditional school with online courses to save money

[12:41] What about those kids who are not ready to take college-level courses in high school?

[13:25] Leaving high school with zero credits and accruing no debt

[13:47] Option 2: leaving high school with zero credits, no money from parents, no Pell grants, no scholarships, and start from scratch – the 100% self-sufficient option. Starting in Junior year.

[14:34] Reducing the cost of textbooks (see resources below)

[16:13] Financial planning (start as early as possible)

[17:49] Starting from zero in your junior year. Community college + an exit plan

[19:52] What about the quality of community schools?

[22:05] How to get that 120 credit hour degree without a scholarship or money from home – the $26,000 degree

[22:43] Special Grants

[24:04] Option 3: How to earn a degree an be able to live on campus – the $45,000 degree

[26:26] Option 4: How to earn a degree even if a student wants to leave the state? – the $52,000 degree

[26:53] The Southern Regional Education Board and The Academic Marketplace

[32:16] Option 5: Taking advantage of inefficient education markets to negotiate a good price

[35:01] Watch out for “the research school” trap for undergraduate degrees

[37:00] How about athletic scholarships? Can I use those to get through college?

[45:00] Find “a day in the life” videos on Youtube

[48:00] Dr. Brown’s Final thoughts – profit vs vs not-for-profit colleges


Resources Mentioned in this Episode

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The Soccer Sidelines

Soccer Dad, Coach, and Club President who is devoted to developing kids and their families. With a diverse background in leadership in other settings, David is focused on empowering parents, players, and coaches to focus on the stuff that really matters in youth sports.