Business Commentary for Rational Individuals

Making Money Off of Students

Dr. Bill Belew

Issue III - June 22, 2006

Introduction by Mr. Stolyarov: Some parents are willing to pay enormous money to college counselors to help train their children to maybe be accepted by colleges, writes Dr. Bill Belew. It seems that there is no end to the lengths to which many of today's American parents are willing to go to get their children into desired colleges; such is the prestige conferred by a college education. Perhaps such expenditures are imprudent; perhaps not everyone is suited for a college education; perhaps the people who should strive for one are the people who can get into colleges without  paying money for special preparation. Read this interesting analysis of a growing attitudinal trend in education.  

How many ways can you think of to make money off of students?

Well, here's another.

I read a report the other day where an independent college counselor in Oregon charged up to $36,000 per student to just help him get into college -- no guarantee!

Holy cow! I am definitely in the wrong business. Well, I might be in the right business (education), but I am doing the wrong thing.

No matter that the price of college tuition, not to mention room and board and flights back and forth for the holidays and dorm furnishings and cars and and and...

Parents are now willing to shell out as much as a year's tuition just to help the student to maybe get into the college he wants.

It is estimated that as much as one fourth (22%) of college freshmen have used a counselor/advisor, and many of them started as early as the eighth or ninth grade.

Some of these counseling services even offer 'boot camps' for a cool $8,000 or so.

One former admissions counselor at a very well-known basketball playing school in North Carolina that is not North Carolina State -- okay, it's Duke -- charges up to $200 an hour to try to figure out what will make admissions counselors fall in love with your kid.

Aren't we all happy now that the non-traditional universities are charging so much money that not only can we not afford to send our kids, we cannot even afford to prepare our kids to be rejected by these state and private colleges.

What do you think about that?


Dr. Bill Belew is a former Intelligence Officer for a Destroyer Squadron. He lived 20 years in Japan, where he started a language school for Japanese ECS. Dr. Belew teaches classes for a vocational school and online for a national university.

See Dr. Belew's blog, PanAsianBiz, for news and discussions about business and current events in Russia and Asia. See ZhongHuaRising for Dr. Belew's reports on business in China, RisingSunofNihon on business in Japan, and TheBizofKnowledge on business education.

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