There was a time when we were told to apply to the best colleges (read: the Ivy League) because these colleges or universities “pay for themselves” after graduation. Given today’s job market, I think that advice needs an update. Instead my advice would be “to follow the money”. Our kids need to leverage their good grades to negotiate a financial aid package that would allow them to walk away from college debt-free.
STEM majors have a unique advantage because the demand for personnel means that colleges are eager to have students majoring in STEM. In New York, Governor Cuomo has pledged free tuition for those students who major in STEM:
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo has previously proposed to give the top 10 percent of students across the state full tuition — if they go to a SUNY or CUNY college, — if they major in one of the fields lumped together as STEM, — science, technology, engineering or math, – if they stay in New York and work here for five years after college.
Yes, there are strings attached to the offer but opportunity to graduate debt-free trumps those strings. What’s even better is that seniors graduating this spring will be eligible for the free tuition. Just in case you missed it:
High school junior, Adeenah Ahmed, gets it:
“My first choice was either NYU or Columbia, but if I knew that I would get a full scholarship to a state school or city college, I would definitely be very interested,” Ahmed said.
I suspect there will be glitches since the program is so new and Cuomo plans to implement it immediately but I urge you to help your child or anyone who may need the program navigate the system because the payoff — graduating debt-free — is worth it.
Please let me know in the comments if you know of similar STEM scholarships in your state. Subscribe for more #BlerdKids and the discussion on black parenting.
Great information! My God daughter and I have been in discussion about how the traditional pursuit of the American Dream (get into a good school graduate and apply for job) is soooo behind the times. I am 32 went to a great school and got two good degrees…still wishing sallie Mae would have some sort of system failure! African Americans’ idea of the American dream has to evolve with the times. Articles like this help spread the word! Freeing yourself from thinking of money frees you up to figure out how you really want to live out that American dream.
We really need to accept that the “traditional” American dream is dead and buried. We must advise our young people to be strategic with their college applications and financial aid package. Their goal should be to graduate debt-free so they can pursue their dream not the Horatio Alger mirage.
Exactly! And even further, having several alternatives to that financial aid package and college plans in general. Just in case grants and scholarships don’t work out. I don’t mean skip college, however being realistic about blueprint of each individual. Everyone don’t need to go to Howard and we all weren’t meant to attend liberal arts schools either. Parents (brown parents in particular) have got to step into the changes that are happening with our society; How we make money, how we learn, how we spend…we have to reeducate ourselves so we can properly educate the youngsters