Friday, June 1, 2012

How postponing college can pay - BIG!

I ran into a former ZLO parent today who showers me with gratefulness every time I see him for advice I gave concerning his son some years back.  He had a very interesting update, and I asked if he'd write a paragraph or two on the outcome.  Here it is.

Dear Molly
Thanks so much for your encouragement to start our son in tech school instead of college.  He was only 15 when we had that discussion.  Now at 19 I thought I'd give you an update. 
He graduated last year from Bellingham Tech's welding program utilizing the Running Start program.  There he made friends with older men with clear career goals. 
He is currently working at Central Welding Supply.  He was hired in spite of the fact that he was too young to get a HAZMAT commercial drivers license.  They love his work ethic and enthusiasm.  His employer has offered to pay for tuition and books for anything related he wants to take.  How interesting that our son has received basically a full ride scholarship from his current employer.  He would never have been ready for this if we had pushed academics right away.  Your advice was crucial,  to push the hands on experience first.   He will still probably wait to pursue a business college degree.  However he plans to take an evening class this fall at BTC.  
As his friends struggle to get through Whatcom or Skagit, he is making a living wage with full benefits, no college debts and free college later.  Thanks again for encouraging us to wait on college for him.  This has helped develop self confidence and sped up his emotional and spiritual maturity.   
Thankful for you and ZLO.
Jeff Hodgin
For those of you who aren't sure your child has academic capabilities yet, please understand that tech college and/or work is a safe, viable, cheaper option.  Tossing a student into a highly academic atmosphere where they fail a class causes them to carry a track record that will NOT open doors for them down the road and may well increase the overall cost of college.  There are NO 18-year olds who MUST go to college.  Allowing them more time to mature is good, no matter what their capabilities are.  And you just might find someone willing to pay for their college later.

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