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Students: Take Control of Your Education

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Twenty years ago, I launched my television program Bill Nye the Science Guy, where I encouraged kids to appreciate and have fun with the process of science.

Now, I am working on a new, very different way for students to secure their college education.

For some, the traditional college experience of attending a university will work just fine. They have the resources to invest in their future and pay off any student loans they accumulate later, once they're working and have a career. But for others who want to earn a degree, but are concerned about graduating with a mountain of debt, there are ways to earn credits that won't break the bank.

Here are a few factors that contribute to that mountain of debt:

  • Nearly 50 percent of high school students are not ready academically for college. So before they can take the courses required for their degree, they need to spend precious monetary resources on remedial classes just to get them up to speed.
  • More than forty percent of America's college students fail to graduate in six years.
  • College tuition has been rising faster than inflation, causing student borrowing to increase and the default rate on federal students loans to be at its highest level in 14 years.

The solution for some may be to get a jumpstart in high school so they can save money in the long run. We want students to use those high school years to learn all they can, and consider working toward and earning college credits. Post-secondary enrollment options let students take college courses while in high school. These options are free to students and some are graduating from high school with a year or more of college under their belts. Not only do these students forgo the need to take remedial courses; they save money.

I recently partnered with SOPHIA.org -- an education website that is taking the bold step of offering high school students free online college-level courses this fall so they can get a jumpstart on their college education. The site also offers free academic resources to help students get ready for college -- everything from prep courses to free ACT test prep.

It's about taking control of your educational path. Learning to the People!

A college education enhances your chances of, dare I say it, changing the world!