The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier published an article entitled "More class equals more cash, census finds" in July following the release of findings of a Census Bureau study on the relationship between education and lifetime income. This study found that an individual with a bachelor's (four year) degree would earn nearly one million dollars more over his or her lifetime than an individual with a high school degree. College graduates will earn an average of $2.1 million dollars if they work full-time between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-four (a typical work-life period). Conversely, high school graduates will earn $1.2 million dollars during the same work-life period. An individual with a master's degree will do even better, earning $2.5 million dollars over that period and an individual with a professional degree (such as a doctor, lawyer, or professor) could earn $4.4 million dollars.
The value of education has increased since the last time a study of this sort was completed in 1992. Then a high school graduate could expect to make $820,870, a college graduate $1.4 million, and an individual with a professional degree could make more than $3 million. The current survey was conducted between March 1998 and March 2000 and the estimates are based on 1999 salaries. Therefore, these numbers should rise as salaries increase over time. The survey did not account for the fact that college graduates with certain degrees (for example, computer science) will most likely make more money than those with other degrees (for example, social work). However, it does give us insight into the value placed on education in the workforce today.
It is important that the students in our community recognize and understand the relationship between education and their future lifestyle. Although we live and work in a community that is home to a state university, 80% of adults in Waterloo do not have a bachelor's degree, 73.3% do not have a two-year degree, 52.8% do not have any post-secondary education, and 16.2% do not have a high school diploma (United States Census Bureau 2000). Therefore, it may be difficult for students to immediately see the difference that education can make in their lives. However, it is up to parents, teachers, administrators, and the community as a whole to ensure that our youth know the choices they make now regarding their educational future will have dramatic repercussions throughout the rest of their lives. It is never too early to begin emphasizing the importance of higher education. The University of Northern Iowa Classic Upward Bound Program staff is committed not only to illustrating to students the literal value of education, but to helping them take the necessary steps to get there.
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. July 18, 2002.
Step-By-Step Decision Making
We each make hundreds of decisions every day. However, some of these decisions require more consideration than others. The following is suggestions on how to make better, more informed decisions. If you follow these steps when making a decision, chances are you will make a good choice. After you have taken action, be ready to take responsibility for your decision. Freedom of choice and responsibility go hand in hand. If you have carefully considered all of the possible consequences of your decision, you will be better prepared to handle the responsibilities that go with it. However, if you are unhappy with the results of your decision, consider making a new choice that better meets your needs or figure out how you can make the best of your original decision.
Identify the Problem or Situation
Before you make a decision, you have to know exactly what the problem or situation is. The more specific you can be in identifying it, the better. If you are faced with a large problem or decision, break it into smaller parts and deal with one part at a time.
For example, choosing a career is a big decision. Before you make a choice, you will have to consider what you enjoy doing, how important salary is, what education you will need, whether you like to work alone or with others, etc. When you break a big decision into several smaller decisions it becomes less intimidating and easier to manage.
Think of Possible Actions
Make a list of all your options.
For example, if you want to go to a party that you know your parents would not approve of, there are several possible actions you could take: do not go to the party, lie to your parents and go to the party, ask your parents if you can go to the party, etc.
Do no throw out any possibilities yet. Instead, think of all the ways that you could react to the problem or situation.
Knowing the facts will help you make the right decision.
For example, learning about the risks involved with drugs will make it easier for you to make an intelligent decision about your behavior.
Make sure you understand what the possible risks are if you follow through with any given action.
Consider the Possible Consequences
Look at each of your options, and think about the possible positive and negative consequences of each.
For example, if one of your options is to put off doing your homework and watch television, some possible consequences might be:a bad grade, embarrassment for not completing the assignment, and/or learning something new while watching TV.
Considering the consequences of each option will make it easier to see what behavior will benefit you most in both the long and short term.
Make a Choice
Choose the option that fits best with your values, has consequences that you can accept, and helps you to be the best person you can be.
Be sure to make the decision that is right for YOU!
Once you have made up your mind, take action. Do not let other people talk you into changing a decision that will work best for you. Making a decision often involves taking a risk. Do not let that risk prevent you from making the choice that you think is best for you.
About Making Decisions: a Guide for Young People. Channing L. Bete Co.: Deerfield, MA, 1999. 8-11.
Words of Wisdom
We are featuring the poetry of an Upward Bound student in this issue, Brandon Fuller.
Thank you for your submission!
If no one's there
If no one cares
Without a cause
To correct life's flaws
Of needless things
If no one sings
Why say you're sorry
If the past will repeat
When you've already met defeat
Because of hope
Pure and simple
Like a smile
With a few dimples
You have to believe
That you can win
Just don't let ignorance
Turn you in
Turn you into something
Something that you're not
You first have to start
Before you try to stop
It's time to start thinking about scholarships.
You can get applications and instructions for the following scholarships and others off the web or ask an Upward Bound staff member or your school guidance counselor for the information.
Many of these applications are very involved and will take some time to complete so START EARLY!
Further scholarship opportunities will be listed in the January newsletter.
Vanguard Scholar: Scholarships to African American, American Indian, and Latino high school seniors with a minimum entry grade point of 2.7 who demonstrate financial need entering an ABET accredited engineering program full time.
- Deadline: October 25
Coca-Cola Scholars Award: 50 $20,000 scholarships and 200 $4,000 scholarships to high school seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution.
-Deadline: October 31
Applications must be completed online at www.coca-colascholars.org
Target All-Around Scholarship: Four $10,000 and over 2,100 $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors with a minimum 2.0 GPA and volunteer experience who are enrolling in an accredited two or four year college, university, or technical program.
- Deadline: November 1
Army ROTC Scholarship: Four year scholarships (up to $17,000/year) and monthly stipends to students who have graduated from high school or possess an equivalent certificate, have a minimum GPA of 2.5, ACT composite score of at least 19, and have no moral obligation that will prevent them from serving in the United States Army for eight years.
- Deadline: November 15
Intel Science Talent Search: Scholarships from $100,000 to $5,000 to students who have conducted scientific research in any one of the following areas: Behavioral and Social Science, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, Physics, or Zoology.
-Deadline: November 20
Ron Brown Scholar Application: A minimum of ten $10,000 renewable scholarships to African-American high school seniors who are planning to attend an accredited four-year institution.
-Deadline: January 9
Rubén Salazar Scholarship Fund: $1,000-5,000 available through different scholarships for high school seniors majoring in print or broadcast journalism.
-Deadline: January 31
Gates Millennium Scholars: Scholarships to African American, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, and Hispanic American students with a minimum 3.3 GPA who can demonstrate financial need.
- Deadline: February 1
RMHC/African-American Future Achievers Scholarship Program: $1,000 scholarships available for high school seniors who have a least one parent of African American heritage and are eligible to attend an institution that offers accredited post-secondary instruction.
-Deadline: February 1
RMHC/HACER Scholarship Foundation: $1,000 scholarships available for high school seniors who have a least one parent of Hispanic heritage and are eligible to attend an institution that offers accredited post-secondary instruction.
-Deadline: February 1
Written and Edited by Amanda Graeber