James Wernicke for Los Alamos County Council

Responsibility Is The Solution For Everything – Part 1

I enrolled in a class this semester to learn about benefit corporations because I want to learn how to build businesses that help address needs over profits. To my surprise, it was $1700. It was labeled a clinic, and it’s a class on using business for good, so I thought it was going to cost a couple hundred, or maybe even be free. That was out of my budget so I tried to get financial aid, but was ineligible for everything. To be fair, it was a bit last-minute to be looking. I also have a Master’s degree and a modest income so that eliminates a lot of funding, too. That left me with only one logical choice…

Take on debt and hope I can pay it back later. 😩

Just kidding! I was going to drop the class and maybe take it next year after budgeting it in. No big deal. And this is the crux of the student debt problem…

We don’t teach kids how to be fiscally responsible or that there’s any option other than college.

Lenders and colleges love to exploit that. They just keep raising tuition because these ill-prepared kids don’t know any better. Instead, colleges should take on their share of fiscal responsibility using the Income Share Agreement model where the college provides free education and takes a percentage of income after graduation. If their programs really provide as much value as they charge for them, then this is a win-win, right?

In case you’re wondering, I was able to drop 3 credits and only pay $200 for the class. What does this have to do with Los Alamos? Nothing, really. Unless you’re a non-traditional student on a budget.

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