Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alternatives To College

My friend A became father for the second time recently. We were catching up after a while and conversation turned to the cost of college education for our kids. His oldest is a few years younger than J. While I thought that there would be an array of cheaper, more innovative options in education and I may not need to hock an arm and leg to see J through school, A thought that the time-tested conventional way was still going to be the best - today or ten years from now.

That said, I would be wise to start a college fund for J and brace myself for the big expenses when the time came. Having studied in India's government subsidized university system, I am completely unfamiliar with the notion of having to pay for my education.When I hear what my peers who studied in America owe in student loans, I am petrified. There is no way, I would spend that much for a degree which really means little in the real world.

A passport to the job market in a non-specialized field such as the one I work in in should not cost nearly that much. Reading about StraighterLine makes me hopeful that J and her peers will have sensibly priced education options. There seems no reason why this model of $99 a month for any number of courses that you are able to complete in that time will not work. This is a great option for students who are able to work through the material at a fast clip but don't have the ability to pay extra for the accelerated pace.

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