James Madison University Center for Economic Education
Feb 08, 2017
3:45 pm - 5:45 pm
127 West Bruce Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Potential Recertification Credits: 2
Today’s high school student faces life-changing decisions. The first is whether or not to pursue a college degree or some other education credential. Twenty years ago this was also an important decision, but then it didn’t carry the urgency or the complexity that it does today.
The cost of college has risen substantially over this period. For example, the cost at public colleges rose 20% between 2005 and 2010, and another 10% between 2010 and 2015. And fewer students or their parents have saved for the total cost. In 2016, the average college graduate will hold $37,000 in loans. This year’s graduates are the most indebted class ever. For many graduates, the income they earn is not sufficient to enable them to easily repay their loans. Even worse, too many students drop out—leaving them with the debt but not the diploma.
But the cost of not going to college or pursuing another credential is also very high. The average college grad earns $1.19 million over the course of a career—almost double that of someone with only a high school diploma. Students need to recognize there are other educational options beyond a high school diploma with varying degrees of costs which may also offer a higher earnings potential (e.g. industry credential, military, employer provided program.)
This teaching unit covers topics students need to understand around education, career and debt which will impact them for many years. These include decision-making skills; investing in yourself; choosing a path post-graduation: college, another education avenue, or career; choosing a college and a major; paying for higher education–loans, grants and scholarships; managing money; and controlling debt.
It will identify teaching resources valuable for middle as well as high school students and aligns well with many SOL. Counselors will also find it helpful.
Fee: NO CHARGE
Instructor: Lynne Stover, Associate Director for Programs
Lynne Stover, Associate Director for Programs
Center for Economic Education
James Madison University
Register for Life After High School: Navigating Education, Career and Debt
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