No-Cost/Low-Cost College Options

There’s no doubt postsecondary education is changing more quickly than it has in last twenty years than in the previous hundred. I expect technology will continue to escalate changes to how colleges look and operate. This post looks at low-cost and no-cost options.


With the high cost of postsecondary education and people questioning the value of a degree that comes attached with personal debt, it’s refreshing to know there are alternatives. I just learned of a new one and wanted to share the resource along with other viable options.


Community colleges continue to be an economical alternative. While a firm believer in education, not everyone needs or wants a bachelor’s degree. Community colleges offer programs that translate into quick employment – high skills equals high wages. They offer a variety of classes at times convenient to those working. For those wanting a bachelor’s degree, community colleges provide classes at the freshmen and sophomore levels that will transfer to a university. It’s where students finish that counts.


One favorite for online study is Western Governors University. Check it out at They are a nonprofit, fully accredited online college. The brainchild at a meeting of governors of western states, WGU offers competency-based degrees. Demonstrate knowledge and acquire the credit. I have one friend that started and finished his master’s in business in five months. Amazing, right? That MBA cost him under $5000.00. He traded school for sleep but what an accomplishment. Another friend is going from her associate’s degree in nursing to master’s degree in nursing education in two years. She’s working full time as an emergency room nurse while attending school. That’s flexibility.


Want the downside of WGU? They only offer degrees in high-need fields. They offer bachelor and graduate degrees in education, nursing, business, and IT. There’s more good news too. They have student mentors to help students with the learning process and students can use federal financial aid to attend.


I started writing this post after learning of another new educational bargain.



Germany is offering free tuition to qualifying students. Free tuition to students from the United States and other countries. Not for every student but certainly a consideration for students wanting to study internationally and have the needed academic chops. Also this is an opportunity for undocumented students that don’t qualify for federal financial aid I the U.S. Check out this article at


Read this article from CNN. The last university in Germany to charge tuition dropped their fees in October 2014.


Know of other low-cost or free tuition for students? If so, please share.

Bored, Beautiful, and Clueless

Bored, Beautiful, and Clueless


Last weekend I visited a friend in Dallas. She’s closer to eighty than seventy and still camps out, putting up her own tent, and sleeping on the ground for eighteen days of a music festival. She’s tough and wise, a master gardener and retired teacher. She’s compassionate, kind, smart, and stern. She’s provided refuge to friends, been an adopted mother to many, and now plays the role of adopted grandmother. She shares her camp with young adults, provides counsel, and doesn’t judge.

My friend has been working with one girl for several years at her camp. The girl moved in with my friend when she needed a change from living in her small town – she moved to Dallas to experience city life and turned twenty. The girl who lived in the cottage located in the back yard. I had known the girl before she was in her teens but not well.

Beautiful, bored and brilliant, during her senior year of high school, I once again talked with the girl about college. Her red curls turned darker and her eyes scorched with disdain. College didn’t interest her. She didn’t want to listen to advice. My words likely sounded like blah, blah, blah. Bored in high school, she pulled the grades without effort. She’s an artist and adrift.

She represents many. She’s the unsure of life and next steps. She’s one of millions with unlimited potential without a clue. She’s the person I write to influence. College can be different from high school. When I write the word college, I mean a few classes, a certificate, or a degree. College includes seat time, on-line, informal, and/or competency-based, demonstrate knowledge and receive credit. When I write about college, I see a variety of options unavailable even ten years ago and new options opening faster each year. There is something for this girl – even if she doesn’t know it.


This girl, turning twenty, is poised on the edge of adulthood. Her possibilities are limited only by imagine of what she can accomplish and the desire to follow through. For her, as for each person choosing to go to college, I see a path that each can build that uniquely suits individual need. The options are as never have been before in postsecondary education. It’s an exciting time to help people on their path.