An Unconventional Guide to Paying for College

How to Manage the Career Transition from Non-Profit to Corporate

Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in College News | 10 comments

non profit to corporate

Many people envision a life working for a non-profit as a leisurely, stress free career path down the long road to eventual retirement. No quarterly earning projections, no mergers and acquisitions, no looming deadlines, no sales quotas, no money hungry executives, no cut throat coworkers, and no travel or overtime.

Most people envision moving from corporate america to the non-profit sector as a step back from work.

Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

Why is it that you rarely hear of anyone moving from a non-profit to a corporate career?

Please do not get me wrong, working for a non-profit can be incredibly rewarding. There are many non-profit organizations that treat their employees extremely well, offer a satisfying work environment, and make coming to work every day fun. However, that is not always the case. Many non-profits focus 100% of their efforts on fundraising and quickly lose sight of their mission and vision. There are many instances of non-profit executives pocketing upwards of 80% of the revenue for an organization. A mismanaged non-profit can be just as bad, if not worse, than a mis-managed for profit business.

I have a good friend who is considering making a move from a mismanaged non-profit agency he has worked with for many years, to the corporate world. In talking with him, we both agreed on a few important differences that will need to be considered in making this move.

Benefits

It’s no secret that higher salaries tend to follow the corporate world, as opposed to the non-profit. However, there are a number of items to evaluate when comparing salary offers between corporate and non-profit.

1. Base Salary – This is straightforward.

2. Bonuses – These generally do not happen in non-profits. They should be considered potential income, and not guaranteed.

3. Health/Dental/Vision Insurance – Many corporate plans have better group rates because they have more participants.

4. Retirement – Many corporations offer a 401(k) match, wheras the 403(b) equivalent at non-profits is utilized much less often. However, many non-profits (which would include state and federal employment) still offer defined pension plans which are a thing of the past for the corporate world.

5. Perks – Gym memberships, company cars, discounted meals, per diem, housing and relocation assistance, free lunch, free or discounted child care are almost exclusively available in the corporate world.

6. Flex Schedules – Many non-profits offer more flexible schedules than would a corporate office. You may have the option to come in early, or stay late at your convenience. Many corporations however, do offer the ability to work remote from your home.

7. Work/Life Balance – Many non-profits excel at this, but certainly not all of them. Maintaining a healthy balance between work and home is crucial to your success. Limiting the number of hours worked, requiring used vacation days, offering paid sick time, offering options for children spouse to interact during the work day are all options.

The Decision

For my friend, the most important decision criteria was the work/life balance and the fringe benefits. The offer he received from a corporate job would pay him a higher salary and he would have the option to work from home. For him, this more than made up for the slightly higher stress level he would feel to meet the corporate objectives and be within a rigid corporate governance.

The Bottom Line

In the end, the most important component to consider is your quality of life. Maybe a lower salary would be more than compensated for with an increase in your work environment. Maybe you could use fewer vacation days if you had free lunch and a free gym membership.

This decision is a very personal one, but one that can have a major impact on your life. It’s not an easy decision but hopefully for you will be a good one!

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Want to be Lebron James Summer Intern?

Posted by on Jun 1, 2013 in College News, How to Pay College Tuition | 2 comments

lebron james

Looking for an internship this summer? How about working for Lebron James?

Lebron’s official website LebronJames.com is hiring interns who are interested in online content management and digital sports marketing.

No, you won’t get to travel with Lebron James and help him lace up his sneakers. But you could have an opportunity to participate in a VERY high profile internship.

This could be the opportunity that propels your resume to the top of the stack for the jobs you apply for after graduation. This is the sort of opportunity that helps you stand out from a crowd. This could be the beginning of an exciting career in sports marketing, online marketing, or anything else you would like to do.

Here are the details from Lebron’s website:

LeBronJames.com has internship openings for students who have an interest in online content development and digital sports marketing. The program runs through the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Candidates must be available at least 10 hours a week.

Responsibilities:

– Maintaining basketball and technology industry dossiers

– Researching trends and advancements in the technology & sports space

– Assisting the content development team with updating LeBronJames.com

– Communicating and interacting with LeBron fans around the world

Basic Qualifications:

– Must currently attend college or a four year university.

– Access to a computer & phone

– Works well in a team setting and takes direction

– Strong communication skills and work ethic

– Has a strong urge to learn and improve

– Demonstrates a strong knowledge of basketball and technology trends

– Proficient with creating spreadsheets and detailed reports (Word/Excel)

– Familiarity with leading social media and blogging platforms (i.e. WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter)

– Proficient with Adobe Creative Suite (including Photoshop, InDesign)

Desired Qualifications: – Residing in Ohio, South Florida, or New York

– Basic knowledge of XHTML/CSS

– Experience in journalism, marketing, or communications

– Basic knowledge of photography or videography

– Spanish fluency

How to Apply: Apply by submitting your resume, cover letter, and a writing sample (500 word minimum) explaining why you are “The perfect person for the internship” to opportunities[at]lebronjames.com. Applicants granted interviews must provide documentation showing they are currently enrolled in school. All entries should be submitted as a Word document or rich text format (.rtf). Do not call, tweet or send us messages on Facebook!

Deadline: We will not consider any applicants after Tuesday, June 4th at 10am ET.

I will admit, I am actually fairly impressed with this opportunity. Lebron James wants folks with Spanish fluency and knowledge of CSS and Adobe Creative! This is legit. He has required high level skills for the intern positions, and I imagine they will have the opportunity to work on some real projects. Not to mention rub elbows with some very influential people.

If I was still in college, I would most certainly be applying for this internship opprtunity.

If you are looking for an internship, this could be just the opportunity for you!

 

 

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Cash in on Your Economic Woes

Posted by on May 25, 2013 in College News, Scholarships and Grants | 2 comments

free money for college

Most media outlets would agree that we have officially risen out of the “Great Recession” and we are now on the road to recovery. However, with unemployments rates still sky high and jobs still difficult to come by, many of us are still feeling the effects of the stagnant economy of the last few years.

One glimmer of hope for the rising costs of tuition, is that the struggling economy has caused a few colleges and universities to broaden their financial aid programs. Tope tier universities such as Cornell and Harvard have instituted new Financial Aid initiatives aimed at further assisting families in the low-middle income section.

Cornell University

Cornell Financial Aid officers describe this new initiative which has eliminated the parental contribution (which is used to calculate your expected family contribution) if your parents make between $60,000 and $100,000. This means that your EFC number would only be based on the student’s income which will greatly increase a student’s financial need.

This adjustment is only applicable to campus based scholarships and grants however. Try as they might, Cornell (or no other college) can alter the Federal Financial Aid formula. So this new calculation by Cornell would not apply towards Federal Pell Grants, Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans, or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.

Harvard University

Harvard University has drastically lowered the cost of tuition for all families making less than $180,000. All told, more than 90% of american families will qualify for financial aid at Harvard University. Harvard has the largest endowment of any college or university in the United States at over $30 BILLION. They have almost double the endowment of the second college on the list; Yale University with $19 Billion.

I don’t anticipate that Harvard will feel the impact of this change too much, however it is a great sign that colleges and universities are making moves to help their education be more accessible and affordable.

The Bottom Line

So you can see how many of the top universities across the country are allowing more and more students to access their educational services. With the economy continuing to struggle in recovery, I would predict that even more universities will implement sweeping financial aid reforms in order to continue to attract top talent.

As I wrote yesterday, Georgia Tech just started an online master of computer science degree and is offering the entire advanced degree for $7000. Programs like this one, and the changes in financial aid policies are all encouraging signs that the future of education is still bright, and will continue to make college affordable and accessible for all students.

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Georgia Tech Starts Online Master’s Program for $7,000

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in College News, How to Pay College Tuition | 2 comments

georgia tech online master of computer science

I have been wondering how long it would take for this to happen!

The Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing announced today that it will offer the first professional Online Master of Science degree in computer science (OMS CS) that can be earned completely through the “massive online” format. The degree will be provided in collaboration with online education leader Udacity Inc. and AT&T. All OMS CS course content will be delivered via the massive open online course (MOOC) format, with enhanced support services for students enrolled in the degree program. Those students also will pay a fraction of the cost of traditional on-campus master’s programs; total tuition for the program is initially expected to be below $7,000. A pilot program, partly supported by a generous gift from AT&T, will begin in the next academic year. Initial enrollment will be limited to a few hundred students recruited from AT&T and Georgia Tech corporate affiliates. Enrollment is expected to expand gradually over the next three years.

Georgia Tech is a very reputable school of technology, and this is a giant leap forward in terms of the cost of a Master’s degree, and the format in which that degree is offered. I was actually doing research for a post on “Why Online Programs Are So Expensive” when I stumbled across this news release. It made my heart happy.

We have all bemoaned the high cost of education and wondered how we could work to lower that cost and make education more accessible. This is an excellent step towards that goal.

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

The curriculum of this entire program will be delivered through the massive open online course format. As many other colleges have done, Georgia Tech offers these open course online for anyone to access for free. The students who are enrolled in this Master’s program will simply have access to additional support service and actually earn a degree from the curriculum.

Allowing anyone to access this course curriculum is a wonderful way of getting back to the roots of education in my opinion. This places the focus back on teaching and learning and away from profit generation that we see so rampant among online programs.

This also gives you and I the opportunity to access the exact same curriculum that the students at Georgia Tech will be accessing. You could essentially earn a Master of Science in computer science (without the degree to prove it) online for free, by participating in these courses.

A Trend for the Future?

I think this trend will continue well into the future. In fact, I think this may BE the future of education. The Internet has revolutionized every other aspect of our society, why not allow it to permeate and revolutionize the way we view education as well?

Would you participate in a MOOC and earn an online degree in this format? Would you access these classes for free even if you were not trying to earn an online degree?

 

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