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Snippet of Future U Podcast: Choosing College

From Audio: Choosing College

station description Co-hosts Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn discuss what’s next for #highered and talk w... read more
Future U Podcast
Duration: 06:07
'Choosing College' Authors Michael B. Horn and Bob Moesta discuss the five pathways people usually take when deciding to go to college.
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'Choosing College' Authors Michael B. Horn and Bob Moesta discuss the five pathways people usually take when deciding to go to college. Those reasons include...
1. Getting into the best school
2. Doing what's expected of them
3. Getting away
4. Stepping it up
5. Extending themselves.
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we talk about these £5? Five jobs? Sure. So the five jobs that we found the first one was what we're the names of. These are always tricky because once you name it, people think it's all about that. But help me get into my best school. So these were students who were really college was its own destination for its own sake. They wanted to help people that they had gotten into the best school. They wanted a classic college experience they've been led to expect. Uh, they had put in the work to be the best they now expected and felt like they deserve the best. They also had, like, a plan. So it was like I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I knew I wanted to be an engineer. This is the best school for this is what I want to do. They were very clear, but the notion was is that it was just about getting to the school, that the success was the arrival of the success was so the whole thing was is this is where I talked about the notion of time horizon. Their time horizon was literally like getting just like, Well, what's gonna what's going to happen like when you're there? I don't know. But it's just going to be great. And it's like they had no concrete nous wrapped around what it was. But it was is again more one of those goals, and they they're usually pretty strong academically, and they they're They're very realistic about kind of what their best school is. So this isn't about getting in the number one school, but for them they would say, You know, the best school, It's the best school for me. My standard is this and trying to get there. So the second one we found was what I say is the other side of the coin on this, which is help me do what's expected of me. So these were students who are going because someone else in their life effectively demanded that they go. Their parents said, You're going to college next. It's the next logical step in my life. Their guidance counselor, their teacher, uh, society, employers, friends, peers said. This is what you're doing next and very little energy and excitement about this decision. They were extremely apathetic, so this was me actually when I went to school is like my I wanted to go to Purdue, which is kind of funny because we're here. We are in Indiana but produces my school. And because I was dyslexic, I got almost perfect scores on the math and science. I virtually barely passed the the comprehension and the reading. And the reality was like they were saying no And then, like Okay, second choice was like Michigan. And I was like, my third choice was Michigan State, and they accepted me outright. And so I end up going to Michigan State, kind of going like, Yeah, I don't really want to go here, but I'll go here And it turned out to be great. But it was one of those things where the expectation was You're gonna go where you got in and this is what it is. And there was no big enthusiasm for it in terms of, uh as I was so enthusiastic for Purdue and wanting to be an engineer. So the third job was helped me get away. So these were students who are running from something, but not necessarily towards something. So they were running from an abusive stepfather in the home. They were running from a bad job from a town that didn't understand who they were, things like that. It was all about getting away. Talk about time, horizon. This was extremely short term because the moment you got away, you have accomplished your job and then you had four years in debt that you might not want to take off. But these are these are these are students Where where When you again. The whole focus was getting far enough away, and so it was far enough away that they could actually start a new. But the reality is they they had no experience of starting new relationships. And so it was very, very difficult. And so But you find, for example, you know, if you take it just to to like the like the n b A. It's like I'm an investment banker and, you know, I don't really want to be investment banker. I want to go change the world and you get in, and all of a sudden you, like everybody is like you're going to quit this job. It's like, No, no, I'm going to go to get my MBA. Oh, that's okay, And you go with the intent of, like, wanting to move somewhere else. But most of them don't actually have the chance to do that. And so all of a sudden you find this. This whole notion of trying to escape is is it's a It's a very easy way in which for people can can say like, Yeah, I'm going back to school to get do something different. So the fourth one was Help me step it up. So this is the one that most closely connects to get a job. These were people who looked around in their lives, and they liked a lot of of what they had, but they but generally in their work experience, it was sort of a low paying job or something about it. You know, they didn't like the boss. They didn't like the line of work, whatever. And they looked around themselves and they said, This isn't who I am. It's time for me to step it up. It's now or never. I gotta do it now. And in terms of the time horizon, Uh, you know, whatever they were stepping it up to do with sort of the time horizon. If it takes two years to go, be a nurse, well, that's my time horizon. And it was very clear on where the job was. And it was. It was almost like they could see through college to the other side, and so was And they were motivated because there were circumstances wrapped around them that made them feel like, um, it was time. And if they didn't do it, there would be consequences. Pass them up. Yeah, I would pass them up. So the last one was, Help me extend myself. So I I refer to this as the lifelong learning job, but that's probably not quite fair. But the these were students who life was good, but they had always wanted to learn something. They had a yearning. It wasn't just sort of like a fun for its own sake. They always wanted to be something. Do something more, be challenged in something new. And now they had the time and budget to go pursue that when we found this job, I joke to Bob that I had never had this job in my life because I have a mortgage and two kids under five and, uh, Bob said. Sure you have but your version of education to fulfill this job as a podcast or or an article or something like that, or or uh, you know, a workshop or or a boot camp or something like that. And so this one is where again people have they I almost feel like they're not challenged enough, but at some point they're not willing to kind of disrupt anything. And so this is where they're going to go back to kind of feed, feed that knowledge base where they are trying to connect some dots or build some skills that they have. And this is where it's like. I think it's a crime where we say, Well, everybody's got to get a degree These people don't care about degrees. These people are really trying to learn and build the network and basically get some expertise, and it's it's really they're very, very happy just being able to get the knowledge and they were quite comfortable if they if it didn't work out because they could just go back to doing what they were doing. I'm shocked that you were able to get this down to five Uh, and I think we have, like, almost 30 different variables around how we played it out. And I mean, we used some very advanced kind of math and the math guy, right? So but But we were able to get it down to, uh, we had we had a few more, but we figured how they collapsed down. And it's really down to these almost like five starting points. And if you if you have these five starting points and you realize you're more in one than the other, it will help you make the decision of what's best.
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