Category Archives: income

Come Up Short? Explore the Reverse Transfer

smoked sausages

 

Come Up Short? Explore the Reverse Transfer

Normally in this space I write to an audience of would-be college students, high school upper classmen and others who seek to embark on the college path for the first time. Yet increasingly I run into, hear from, and read about the dropouts- former students who didn’t quite attain a degree for one reason or another.

Unfortunately, dropping out has become the norm, not the exception. For many the short-lived college experience can seem like such a waste; it’s back to square one with little to show except the ability to check the “some college” box on job applications and a trail of student debt. As we’ve seen previously those who have college credits but no degree have some earnings advantages over those who obtained no education beyond high school but have been largely in the same boat in terms of wage declines in this job market. What to do with a handful of college credits but no formal degree?
Continue reading Come Up Short? Explore the Reverse Transfer

Chart: What We Can Learn from Billionaires

Chart: What We Can Learn from Billionaires

 

billionaire degrees

 

To make it through college in one piece most students will likely need to bring in some money by working for it. But in terms of wages we face a classic catch-22 situation: Students often pay for college to qualify for a good job but without a good job they cannot pay for college. 

Perhaps this is why I find this data set so compelling. As it turns out, a study of the world’s top 100 billionaires by Trilby Rajna of the UK’s Approved Index revealed that the most popular degree among these rarities was: none at all. Ironically, this finding should be quite encouraging for those who want to go to college. Continue reading Chart: What We Can Learn from Billionaires

Chart: Can You Still Work Your Way Through College?

Chart: Can You Still Work Your Way Through College?

# hrs required to cover tuition

Now we get a little bit of interactivity with our chart, thanks to the work of the good folks at PBS. It goes a long way to answering the question “Can You Still Work Your Way Through College?” with the ability to input some of your own data.

If you could, in fact, work your way through college it would in some sense be the easiest path to take. No scholarship applications to filter and fill in an already busy senior year of high school, no loan worries pinning you down in your early career, less college selection headaches, no threat from families and charities and other institutions to take certain coursework or make a certain GPA to merit their funding, no military stint in the Afghani desert hanging over you. So… how likely is it that a person can forego all of the above, select a school, and pay the bills through traditional employment income? Continue reading Chart: Can You Still Work Your Way Through College?

The Best of Both Worlds

Plumber or mechanic with certificate, qualification or other scroll and wrench. Education concept for being professionally qualified or certificated.

The Best of Both Worlds

We’ve seen statistical evidence (link, link) that students can no longer muster enough income for college by merely making minimum wage. To that end I have suggested by and large employment in the “results economy” as opposed to the more predictable but less lucrative “time and effort economy.” (link, link, link). But this option often fails to inspire students, who see self employment as a crapshoot. What of the student who wants a regular, steady paycheck and schedule while in college? Continue reading The Best of Both Worlds

Dorm Room Enterprises

Dorm Room Enterprises

Brown Bag School Lunch

In an interesting 2015 survey of the uber-wealthy we saw that a lack of formal higher education credentials isn’t an obstacle to billionaire-dom. This has great application to the aspiring student in that we get a hint as to one of the approaches we can take to tackling tuition bills through work income. Turns out, mere high school graduates have the potential to generate larger-than usual incomes if they know where to look.

In order to achieve better pay for their labors, students may want to join the “results economy” instead of working by the hour. As I’ve pointed out before, nothing really stops a student from joining the ranks of the self-employed (along with the majority of millionaires) and competing directly with their would-be employers. But with everything else going on must a student run a full-fledged, traditional business in order to be paid well? Continue reading Dorm Room Enterprises

The Traditional Job

The Traditional Job

This image is a sarcastic take on the value of a university/college degree

The Traditional Job

When a young person hears “get a real job” the underlying encouragement is to go out and get steady, regularly scheduled, “W-2” employment. College towns boom with such arrangements, particularly in the services and trades sectors of the job market. Finding such work is as easy as picking up the local newspaper, a job-specific classifieds newsletter, or searching out Craigslist and employment websites. Continue reading The Traditional Job

Understanding How Work Works

Understanding How Work Works

landscapers II

Al & Alicia

Work is Not a Four Letter Word

To this point we’ve focused on the resources available to college students that don’t directly involve any “I work, you pay” transactions. This not because a student should avoid work but because college students uniquely have access to other forms of money not readily available to the population at large. It therefore makes sense to explore those first. Whether or not those avenues succeed I highly encourage college students to pursue work with vigor for several reasons. Continue reading Understanding How Work Works

Military Aid: Understanding the Options

Military Aid: Understanding the Options

 

(Note, this information was accurate as of 1/2015. Check with the pertinent websites for updated information).

Generally speaking, if you find military service at least theoretically palatable as a college funding resource, then college is all but covered if you play your cards right. But what cards do you have available to play? Keeping in mind this is coming from a non-military guy, and no recruiters I called would speak on the record to me, this is my understanding of your options. Continue reading Military Aid: Understanding the Options

Military Aid: Three Critical Questions

Military Aid: Three Critical Questions

An illustration of a cartoon angry boot camp drill sergeant character

Uncle Sam’s Got Your Back

When researching military benefits you will run into enough acronyms, jargon, overlap, inter-branch disparities and bureaucratic stipulations to make you want to curl up in a corner and suck your thumb. Recruiters can help interpret it all, but also have obtained a reputation for intimidation and pressure that keeps many curious students at bay.

So where does one turn? Let’s explore this together, traveling in a linear fashion and picking up the information we need along the way while letting the rest lie untouched. Continue reading Military Aid: Three Critical Questions

Chart: Tax Benefits Compared

AOTC vs LLC

 

Chart: Tax Benefits Compared

Students and students’ families have three primary tax benefits available to them, all very well compared and contrasted in this handy chart brought to us by the good folks at the IRS. While last week we saw a breakdown of how to determine which benefit you may qualify for this will help fill you in on the details of each.

Families need to be aware of these benefits during tax time, take advantage of them, and plan accordingly for future years. An extra $2500 per year, per student can make a significant difference in affordability in many cases. Further, non-traditional and/or non degree-seeking students have an incredibly unique opportunity to redirect their tax dollars to personal betterment.

We’ll discuss these benefits more in our another post.