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HSFPP Update # 224—Education Beyond High School Is Necessary: The Role That Parents, Other Adults, and Friends Play in Young People’s Education and Training
Message from Flashman: This week’s update is different from others we have done on the need for further education and training beyond high school. We focus on the role of parents and others on teens’ decisions to further their education. My three daughters have said on many occasions that going to college wasn’t a really a decision for them; they just assumed they would go to college. The only decision would be which college and what to major in. They realize now that not all teens have parents who encourage their children to further their education. For many teens, paying for college appears to be an impossible dream, even assuming that they could get accepted anywhere. As educators, we need to help them realize that college (or other types of postsecondary education) is a possibility, and not a remote one. Many young people in financial need attend college or technical school each year. We need to be willing to help young people through the process of applying for schools and able to help them find financial support.
Message from Dina: I am currently an undergraduate student and I think it is very important to have education beyond high school. My parents have always encouraged me to attend college. Graduating from college is a must in my family and the decision that I made was about which college and what to major in.
Note to Educators in Kentucky:
This week’s update relates to the following academic expectations:
Academic Expectation 2.13
Students understand and appropriately use statistics and probability.
Academic Expectation 2.18
Students understand economic principles and are able to make economic decisions that have consequences in daily living.
Academic Expectation 2.33
Students demonstrate the skills to evaluate and use services and resources available in their community.
Academic Expectation 2.36
Students use strategies for choosing and preparing for a career.
Web Site Picks of the Week:
In the New$... Education Beyond High School Is Necessary: The Role That Parents, Other Adults, and Friends Play in Young People’s Education and Training
by Dina Patel, undergraduate student in Computer Engineering, University of Kentucky
Education is very important. Many teens graduate high school and attend college in order to get a professional job, with good pay. However, many young people are high school dropouts and many do not attend college or technical school. These teens will likely fall behind in life, struggling financially from paycheck to paycheck, when they could make decisions that will lead them toward a more rewarding and more comfortable future.
For some the decision not to seek education or training beyond high school is because many of their family members did not go beyond high school. Maybe their parents did not instill in them the value of education or learning new skills. A parent who is not a college graduate may not have enough knowledge about the process of applying to colleges and for financial aid. If this is the case with you, you could seek help from your school guidance counselor or a friend to guide you through the process. Those who watch “Friday Night Lights” are probably familiar with a character who, without encouragement from a school counselor, would not have attempted to apply for college. It also took her boyfriend’s tutoring help so she could improve her SAT score to get into college.
Many parents and teens don’t think they can afford to further their education beyond high school, especially with the cost of four years of college going up so much every year. One way to lower your student debt in Kentucky is to get good grades in high school. The Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), funded by Kentucky Lottery proceeds, is available to students who earn at least a 2.5 GPA in high school. The better a student’s grades, the more he or she can earn toward college or technical school. At the end of every year in high school, your GPA goes toward your college award. So, if you got a rough start your freshman year and your GPA was a 2.5, you will have $125 going toward your scholarship. Then, during your sophomore year, you pick it up a little bit and get a 3.5; at the end of that year, an additional $375 will be added to the $125. Then your junior year you get a 4.0, so your award will then go up by $500. But during your senior year, you suffer from senioritis and go back down to a 2.5; for this, you will only get $125 added to your award. So let’s add this up: 125 + 375 + 500 + 125 = $1,125. So now, if you decide to go to college, you will have $1,125 for each year (for up to four years) that you attend.
In addition, KEES-eligible students can earn bonuses based on their ACT score: A student who scores 15 on the ACT can earn a bonus of $36 for each year of postsecondary study, and one who scores 25 can earn a bonus of $393 per year; while a student who scores 28+ can earn a bonus of $500 for each year of postsecondary study.
Keep in mind, however, that continuing to receive additional KEES money beyond your first year is contingent upon maintaining good grades. Failure to keep your grades up can result in your scholarship money being reduced or cut off for the following school year. You can get your KEES money reinstated, however, by bringing your grades back up. Add these figures up to see how much you can save yourself on educational debt over two years for technical school or four years for college. Do you see how earning good grades pays?
In addition to KEES, other scholarship money and low-cost financial assistance is available. Be sure to find out what options are open to you, as scholarships, fellowships, and other grants can save you a ton of money that you would otherwise owe after college. And be aware also that the right college degree will increase a graduate's lifetime income by more than $1 million. Do you want to be a millionaire? It is more than possible and you can to begin now by earning good grades in school!
College is a learning experience that brings lifelong memories. People decide to attend college for many different reasons. Some reasons are that it helps them learn new things through a creative learning environment, as well as become independent. However, the percentage of people with a college degree is not very high. According to The Olympian, less than one-third of the American population have college degrees. More people need to attend college or technical school to be prepared for the jobs of the future.
Many factors can influence one’s decision to attend college. Family members can have an influence. Even though a parent did not attend college, he or she might advise kids to go to college so they can have better life. A student who graduates college is more likely to find a well-paid professional job and live a better life. For some, college is too expensive. However, many scholarships are available, and there are other types of financial aid for needy students. Students also can get loans that they don’t have to begin repaying until six months after they graduate college. Even though a college degree doesn’t guarantee a job, it does increase your chances of having a job that pays well.
Students need motivation to attend college. Even though college is not easy, it is better to have a college degree. College requires hard work but. if college is not for you, at least look into other types of postsecondary education or on-the-job training and apprenticeships. In today's world, if you do not have the necessary education or training, you could find it hard to get by.
Yamamoto, Julie. (2007, September 26). Only 29 Percent of Americans Have a College Degree. The Olympian. Retrieved November 6, 2009, from http://www.theolympian.com/columnists/story/227366.html.
FinAid. (2009). Calculators. FinAid! The SmartStudentTM Guide to Financial Aid. Retrieved November 6, 2009, from http://www.finaid.org/calculators/.
- Do you know anyone who is a high school dropout or who did not further their education or training beyond high school? If yes, how has this affected them financially?
- Who would be interested in sharing how your guidance counselor, teacher, or friend affected your decision on whether or not to further your education?
- Has reading this article changed your feelings about graduating and furthering your education beyond high school?
- Who would be interested in sharing why they are not planning to further their education and the reasons why not? What do you think you can do to improve your chances of thriving in today’s and tomorrow’s economy?
Go to the Occupational Outlook Handbook Web site: http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Choose an occupation that might interest you, but that you know little about, and answer the following questions:
- Training needed: List high school courses, if required, as well as other types of training.
- Job outlook: In the future, will there be more jobs in this field, fewer, or about the same?
- How much earnings to expect: beginning wage or salary; median salary; and apprentice salary, if appropriate.
Kentucky High School Financial Planning Program
The purpose of the HSFPP financial updates, video lessons, and Web site is to assist county Extension agents, credit union educators, high school teachers, and parents who home school their teenagers so that they may improve the economic well-being of our teenagers; and also to show educators how the HSFPP, updates, and video lessons meet Kentucky core concepts. The Web site, updates, and video lessons are provided by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and are free to all educators. The list of core concepts and order form for free program materials including the student guide and instructors manual can be found on the Kentucky HSFPP home page.
If you are not already on our listserv:
The video lessons are available only to members of our listserv and will not be posted to the HSFPP Web site because of the timeliness of the information. If you would like to receive our video lessons, which are sent to our listserv biweekly, on alternate weeks from these updates, please sign up at the following page of our Web site: http://www.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/HSFP/response.htm.