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Worth the Leap? “Are Trade Schools Worth It?”

Posted on February 20, 2024 by Jamie Davis

Graduation cap tossed, future shimmering, a question echoes in your mind: “Are trade schools worth it?” Fear not, young adventurer, for this isn’t a binary choice, but a thrilling expedition into the world of skilled trades! Let’s navigate this maze together, uncovering the treasures that await and clearing any doubts that linger.

The answer, like a perfectly crafted weld, depends on your unique goals and aspirations. Traditional college might not spark your fire, but trade schools offer a different path, paved with hands-on learning and in-demand skills. Think of it as choosing the right tool for the job – the one that empowers you to build your dream career, brick by skilled brick.

So, what makes trade schools shine? Buckle up, we’re diving into the benefits:

However, let’s be honest, trade schools aren’t a magic wand. Research thoroughly, prioritize accredited programs with experienced instructors and strong industry connections. Remember, quality matters, and the right school can set you on a path to success.

Moreover, trade schools might not be the perfect fit for everyone. Consider your learning style, career aspirations, and long-term goals. Do you thrive in hands-on environments? Do your dream jobs require advanced degrees? Weigh your options carefully, and choose the path that ignites your soul.

Ultimately, “are trade schools worth it?” is a question only you can answer. Explore the possibilities, weigh the benefits against your unique goals, and embrace the journey of discovery. Remember, the right path, whether academic or vocational, leads to a fulfilling and rewarding future. So, future maker, step into the world of trade schools, explore your passions, and build your dreams. The skills you forge, brick by brick, will pave the way for a successful and enriching career. Go forth, explore, and build your future, and remember, the answer lies within your own ambition and determination!

Don’t Wait for a New Career! Take Action Today!

Are you Career training ready? Take our Career Training Readiness Quiz!

Identify goals, personal strengths, and important facts about your potential career path so you can make an informed decision about your future. It takes just a few minutes! 

Which school is right for you? Find out! Take our School Matching Quiz!

Take a short quiz and get personalized recommendations to career training courses based on your interests, experience, and goals!

Posted under: Webinars, News and Updates, Career Guides, School Resources, Student Success, Tuition Options, Student Loans, MeratasMemo

Career Schools: How To Simplify Student Financing With A Single Application To Multiple Lenders

Posted on September 14, 2023 by Jamie Davis

With an embedded lending platform, you can easily provide your students with seamless access to multiple lenders.

As more students seek post-pandemic career skilling and re-training, over 80% of students will need to  rely on financing to help cover their tuition costs. This challenges schools to handle the burden of managing multiple financing offers that meet the needs of their students across the financial spectrum and in different locations.

There’s an easier way to take care of your students’ financing needs. 
In this post, we’ll break down how you can seamlessly offer multiple lending options from the providers of your choice, through a standard application, and handle post-payment management, including disputes, reconciliations, and reports. This way you can focus your time and energy on providing a first-class education, while letting a platform take care of your student financing offer.

Providing Multiple Financing Options – Opportunities and Challenges

Consumers increasingly expect a choice of payment options at the moment of purchase. Lenders typically specialize in a specific lending product, and type of customer for example prime, near-prime, or subprime, and geography. This means that to meet the needs of all students, schools need to integrate more than one lender into their offer. However, this presents significant challenges:

Once these challenges are overcome, and students have quick and easy access to personalized financing that offers them flexibility and choice, schools benefit from improved approval rates, increased average tuition value, and more enrollments.

What Schools Need From a Multi-Lender Financing Platform

Schools require a consumer financing solution that frees them up to focus on the day-to-day running of their business and provide students with the best possible education. Their main concerns for a financing solution are that it:

The most efficient way to overcome these challenges is through a multi-lender platform embedded within the student’s journey that offers a seamless financing experience for both the student and the school.

Why Meratas is the Leading Multi-Lender Financing Platform for Schools

Meratas is the only platform that connects schools, lenders, and students seamlessly, embedding a complete private financing solution into the student journey. Meratas’ network of over 80+ national lenders covers the entire student financial spectrum from prime to subprime and also educational and personal loan options.

Students simply need to complete a quick application and the platform will search for the best financing offers using a ‘waterfall’ method starting with prime lenders that offer the best terms, followed by near-prime, then subprime loans, or even school offered payment payments where students have even more choice. Within seconds, students are offered the best financing options based on their unique financial needs and preferences.

The Meratas platform offers the easiest and most efficient solution for schools too. It’s quick to integrate and easy to use as it enables end-to-end management of the entire financing process, including running multiple inhouse payment plan options built around flexibility towards your students’ unique needs.

How Meratas Can Benefit Career Schools

Are you a school that’s looking to improve your enrollment, retention, and student experience? Meratas can be a valuable tool in your toolkit. Click here to get started! 

Posted under: School Resources, Student Success, Tuition Options, Student Loans

Manuevering the Complex Landscape of Student Loan Debt in the United States

Posted on August 29, 2023 by Jamie Davis

Student loan debt is a growing crisis in the United States. A new report by ChamberofCommerce explores the complex landscape of student loan debt and its impact on borrowers, policymakers, and financial advisors.

Student loan debt in the United States has reached a staggering $1.7 trillion. The average borrower owes over $30,000 in student loans, and many borrowers are struggling to make their payments. The resumption of student loan payments on October 1, 2023, will only add to the financial burden of borrowers.

More tuition options and more student financing options can help to combat the trend of student loan debt by making it easier for students to afford college without taking on excessive debt. This can be done by providing students with more choices about where to attend college, as well as by offering more tuition payment options.

By making college more affordable, we can help to reduce the amount of student loan debt that students graduate with, and we can also help to improve their financial security in the long term.

 

Tuition Payment Plans

Your school’s billing office (sometimes referred to as the bursar’s office, cashier’s office, or student accounts office) may have payment plans available to help you spread the remaining costs over several payments throughout a semester. The payment plan can help you budget the payments rather than paying in one lump sum, possibly helping you avoid costly late fees.

Meratas is a national leading provider of flexible school sponsored payment plans.  You can inquire with your school, or search here to see if your school is already working with Meratas.


Instantly Pre-qualify, Compare and Apply for Private Loans through a Multi-Lender Marketplace

We get it, applying for student loans with direct lenders is a time consuming, burdensome process, which you have to repeat over and over again.  Wouldn’t it be better to apply once, and be able to compare all of your schools’ approved private lenders?  Well, now you can!

Using Meratas’ Multi-Lender Marketplace, you can search and compare real, personalized private loan offers from multiple national lenders through one simple, two-minute application. Using the Multi-Lender Marketplace is free to you, and does not impact your credit score.

After comparing your personal rates, you can choose the loan that best serves your needs, and apply directly through that lender’s website.  You have the right to use any lender you wish, and to accept or reject any offer presented to you. 


By: Jamie Davis

This post was prepared by the author, in her/his personal capacity. The views expressed are her/his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Meratas Inc.

The information contained in this site is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, financial or other professional advice. In all cases, you should consult with professional advisors familiar with your particular situation prior to making any important decisions. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of this content. Meratas Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials. Copyright 2023

Posted under: Student Success, Tuition Options, Student Loans

6 Best Options to Pay For School After You’ve Exhausted your Federal Aid

Posted on August 8, 2023 by Jamie Davis

If you did not receive enough financial aid to cover your school expenses, you have six ways to fill the gap.

Your school’s financial aid office is an excellent resource to help you explore these additional options, even after completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

  1.  Apply for Scholarships

Scholarships are usually merit-based and do not have to be repaid. The key is being prepared, because scholarships have deadlines and may require time to write essays. So get organized and regularly search and apply for scholarships.

Ask your school’s financial aid office or your academic advisor about school-specific or departmental (major-specific) scholarships. You should also look for local scholarships from where you live or graduated from high school. Scholarships may be offered by

    • community organizations,

    • religious organizations,

    • fraternal organizations, and

    • businesses in your community or that employ your parent(s).

Look for scholarship resources that are available from your state government or from statewide organizations with which you may have been involved. Research companies in your state that are related to your planned field of study.

National scholarships can be more competitive, but don’t let that keep you from applying. Prioritize local applications first.

Just be careful. With scholarship opportunities, it’s wise to be cautious of student aid scams. If you are ever concerned about the legitimacy of a scholarship opportunity, contact your school’s financial aid office.

Prioritize local applications first and make sure you meet all deadlines.

 

  1.  Tuition Payment Plans

Your school’s billing office (sometimes referred to as the bursar’s office, cashier’s office, or student accounts office) may have payment plans available to help you spread the remaining costs over several payments throughout a semester. The payment plan can help you budget the payments rather than paying in one lump sum, possibly helping you avoid costly late fees.

Meratas is a national leading provider of flexible school sponsored payment plans.  You can inquire with your school, or search here to see if your school is already working with Meratas.

 

  1.  Request a Reevaluation of Your Circumstances

Sometimes a family’s finances are not accurately reflected on the FAFSA® form because of changes that have occurred, such as job loss/reduction, divorce or separation, or other special circumstances. This may be a consideration now that you can file the FAFSA® form early with tax information that is two years old by the time enrollment begins.

Schools are not required to consider special circumstances, but those that do have a process, called professional judgment. Through this process, you can petition for a reevaluation of the information on your FAFSA® form. This process will likely require you to submit additional documentation to your school’s financial aid office. If warranted, the financial aid office can then recalculate your eligibility, possibly resulting in a change to your financial aid offer.

 

  1.  Request Additional Federal Student Loans

If you’ve exhausted other options and still need additional funds to help you pay for school, contact your school’s financial aid office to find out if you’re eligible for additional federal student loans. Just remember to borrow only what you need to pay your educational expenses.

If you are a dependent student and still need more money, your parent can apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Most schools use our online application, but others may have their own application. The PLUS loan application process does include a credit check. If your parent is not approved, he or she may still be able to receive a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser (cosigner) or documenting extenuating circumstances. If a parent borrower is unable to secure a PLUS loan, the student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized student loans of up to $5,000, depending upon his or her year in school.

 

  1.  School-Based Loans, Advances, or Emergency Aid

Sometimes you may have college-related costs, such as housing costs or other living expenses, before your financial aid is disbursed. Your school may offer an option to advance your financial aid, offer a school-based loan program, or have an emergency aid procedure.

Several schools now offer emergency aid opportunities if you experience unexpected expenses or challenges that are making it difficult for you to complete the semester. Ask your financial aid office if they offer these options and always make sure you are aware of the terms and conditions (such as interest rates or repayment terms) of your agreement.

 

  1.  Instantly Pre-qualify, Compare and Apply for Private Loans through a Multi-Lender Marketplace

We get it, applying for student loans with direct lenders is a time consuming, burdensome process, which you have to repeat over and over again.  Wouldn’t it be better to apply once, and be able to compare all of your schools’ approved private lenders?  Well, now you can!

Using Meratas’ Multi-Lender Marketplace, you can search and compare real, personalized private loan offers from multiple national lenders through one simple, two-minute application. Using the Multi-Lender Marketplace is free to you, and does not impact your credit score.

After comparing your personal rates, you can choose the loan that best serves your needs, and apply directly through that lender’s website.  You have the right to use any lender you wish, and to accept or reject any offer presented to you. 

 

By: Jamie Davis

This post was prepared by the author, in her/his personal capacity. The views expressed are her/his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Meratas Inc.

The information contained in this site is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, financial or other professional advice. In all cases, you should consult with professional advisors familiar with your particular situation prior to making any important decisions. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of this content. Meratas Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials. Copyright 2023

Posted under: Student Success, Tuition Options, Student Loans

2022 Student Loan Statistics You Should Know

Posted on June 2, 2022 by Darius Goldman

The latest student loan debt statistics show that student loan debt totals $1.75 trillion as of April 2022.

Higher education represents a path to financial prosperity and opportunity for millions of Americans. But, due to rising college costs, many students find it necessary to finance higher education with student loans. Unfortunately, some borrowers find it difficult to pay back their hefty debt upon graduation.

The cost of college has steadily increased over the last 30 years. In that timeframe, tuition costs at public four-year colleges grew from $4,160 to $10,740 and from $19,360 to $38,070 at private nonprofit institutions (adjusted for inflation). As costs have risen, so has the need for student loans and other financial aid forms.

When considering your options, it helps to look at the big picture and understand the full impact and scope of student loans. This is a snapshot of student loan debt in the United States in 2022.

Average Student Loan Debt

Here’s how that debt breaks down by loan type.

Loan typeAmount owedNumber of borrowers
Direct Unsubsidized
Direct Subsidized
$564 billion
$292 billion
34 million, combined
Grad PLUS$91 billion1.6 million
Parent PLUS$105 billion3.7 million
Perkins$4 billion1.5 million
Consolidation$555 billion11.3 million

Federal Student Loan Portfolio

Federal student loans make up the vast majority of American education debt—about 92% of all outstanding student loans are federal debt. The federal student loan portfolio currently totals more than $1.6 trillion, owed by about 43 million borrowers

Federal Student Loans by Age

Unsurprisingly; younger people hold the majority of student loan debt. Borrowers between the ages of 25 and 34 carry about $500 billion in federal student loans—the majority of people in this age group owe between $10,000 and $40,000.

However, people carry their education debt well into middle age and beyond. Borrowers ages 35 to 49 owe more than $620 billion in student loans. This cohort has the highest number of borrowers who owe more than $100,000 in loans.

Even retirees feel the pressure from student loans; 2.4 million borrowers aged 62 or older owe $98 billion in student loans.

Student Loan Repayment Statistics

Here are the current repayment statuses of the federal Direct Loan program.

Individual student loan debt statistics

Here’s how student loan debt in the U.S. impacts individual borrowers:

Student debt and mental health

Student loan debt can significantly impact a borrower’s mental health. Feelings of anxiety and stress may coincide with any long-term debt, especially if the debt impedes the ability to meet critical financial milestones, like saving for a house or buying a car.

Student loan debt by degree

Advanced degrees are expensive, but the investment could pay off. Here’s what you need to know before taking out graduate student loans, according to the Brookings Institute and MeasureOne:

Flexible Financing Could Be a Good Option For You

Under Flexible Financing Like Income Share Agreements; students have more options in higher education because they aren’t limited by finances.

 Because their future funding is dependent on graduates securing paid employment, many schools may offer job search assistance. This helps students feel secure when they are picking a school or program because they won’t have to make payments until they secure a job. 

Schools have little incentives to help graduates find a good-paying job post-graduation under traditional loans because their payments are not tied to the student’s income. A lender will likely have already paid them for your tuition. 

An alternative to traditional private student loans in America is long overdue. We believe flexible Financing is that change.

Sources

Posted under: Student Success, Student Loans

8 Scholarships for Coding Bootcamps

Posted on May 8, 2023 by Jamie Davis

Coding bootcamps range in price from around $7,500 for a part-time program to $13,500 for a full-time program, on average. While there are a variety of ways to cover the cost, scholarships are the first option you should pursue.

Why Scholarships?

Unlike other forms of financial aid — like loans — scholarships are free money, meaning you won’t have to pay them back. Loans, on the other hand, are borrowed money, meaning you’ll need to pay them back with interest. By maximizing the amount of free money you receive, you can limit the amount you borrow in loans.

8 Scholarships for Coding Bootcamp

Here’s 8 of the most compelling coding bootcamp scholarships we found:

Horatio Alger Career and Technical Scholarship

We Stand Together Scholarship

Women Who Code + Linux Foundation Scholarship

Brainstation Scholarships

Flatiron School Access Scholarship

Code Platoon Veteran and Military Spouse Scholarship

Lesbians Who Tech Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship

DevPoint Labs Learn to Code Scholarship

Where to Find Scholarships for Coding Bootcamp

Most scholarships are intended for college students, which can make finding coding bootcamp scholarships quite the hassle if you’re doing a simple Google search. Instead, use the list below to tailor your search.

Your Program

Your program itself likely offers scholarships. However, unlike a college education, you may not see these scholarships automatically awarded to you in your acceptance letter. You may need to contact the program directly to inquire about the opportunities.

For example, Coding Dojo offers the Coding Dojo Fresh Start Fund Scholarship for students enrolled full-time in their bootcamp. Codewise offers the Fellows Diversity Scholarship for students from underserved backgrounds, but you must be enrolled in a Code Fellows course to qualify.

Local Organizations

Local organizations — like your local Rotary group, nonprofits, and even the senior center — may offer scholarship opportunities. If you’re unsure where to look, don’t be afraid to contact the local high school for information. If they’re preparing their students for college, they may be willing to share the available scholarship opportunities with you.

Your Parents’ Employers

Some companies offer scholarships for employees and their families. Research your parents’ or guardians’ company to see what they offer, or contact them directly to inquire.

Do Service for Scholarships

Sites like DoSomething.org incentivize users to complete service by counting the hours completed as entries to scholarship opportunities. If you’re already doing service hours, it might be worthwhile to sign up for a DoSomething program to put those hours to use.

Contact Alumni Organizations

If your program has an alumni organization, consider reaching out to them. You may find these groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, or via a simple Google search. In some cases, they may offer scholarships, but you’ll likely need to seek them out.

Tip: Skip Scholarship Search Websites

Most scholarship search engines, like Scholarships.com, Niche, and Fastweb, won’t be worthwhile to explore. While they compile thousands of scholarships into one place, they often don’t have much for coding bootcamp students. Their focus is primarily on college scholarships, which won’t benefit you.

What to Do if You Don’t Get Enough Scholarships

If you don’t receive enough scholarships to cover the cost of the program, don’t panic. There are other ways to cover the bill.

Ask Your Employer

If you’re currently working, review your employee handbook and benefits package. Over half of employers offer tuition assistance for furthering your education, but just 2% of employees participate in the program. In some cases, your employer may cover the entire cost of the program, so it isn’t an opportunity you want to miss out on.

Look for Employers That Cover the Cost

If your employer doesn’t offer tuition assistance, it might be worthwhile to look for one that does. Companies like Amazon, Starbucks, and Apple offer reimbursement for qualified education expenses.

Borrow a Student Loan

Student loans should be your last resort. While it isn’t bad to borrow, you’ll need to pay the loan back with interest, so it’s best to explore all other options before taking out a loan.


If you do borrow, make sure to use a student loan search tool like Meratas to find the best loan option for you. Otherwise, you’ll need to search one-by-one via Google, and most results will show lenders that don’t work with bootcamp students. The Meratas Lender Marketplace, however, is designed specifically for trade, tech, and bootcamp students, so you won’t see loan offers you don’t qualify for.

Posted under: Career Guides, Student Success, Career Resources, Student Loans

7 Crucial Steps to Successfully Change Careers

Posted on by Jamie Davis

Changing careers can be daunting — venturing into a new field, being a “beginner” all over again, and the overwhelming question of, “Will this even work?” To set yourself up for success, follow the 7 steps below to guide you through the process of a career change.

Determine Your Why

Before making the plunge, take a moment to think. It may sound silly or useless, but processing where you are and where you’d like to be is crucial. It will give you a stronger idea of where you’re headed, which can help you figure out the steps you need to take in between to get there.

Use this time to determine:

Scroll Through Job Postings

To further evaluate the gaps between where you are and where you’re headed, scroll through job postings on sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster.

Look closely at the requirements for roles you’re interested in to identify skills and competencies you’ll need to refine to be a competitive applicant. Make a list of the areas you want to improve — this will help you generate a concrete plan to improve them.

Note: If the job postings are boring you to death, this might be a sign that the field isn’t as exciting as you once thought. If that’s the case, but you’re still craving a career change, explore similar roles using O*NET Online. You’ll be able to explore a variety of careers within similar industries that may have more compelling tasks that excite you.

Conduct Informational Interviews With Employees in The Field

To better understand the reality of the field you hope to pursue, conduct an informational interview with an employee in the field. This could be someone you know, someone you contact through LinkedIn, or a friend of a friend.

The purpose of the interview is to gain a better understanding of what it’s truly like to work within the field. Ask the interviewee strong questions that can’t be answered through a simple Google search. For example:

Avoid questions like:

Informational interviews can help you further identify gaps in your skillset, while also gaining a better understanding of the true requirements of the role.

Find a Mentor

For additional guidance in making the transition, find a mentor. Mentors can offer support, valuable insights, constructive feedback, and encouragement — all incredibly helpful while making a career change.

To find a mentor:

Consider Educational Options

Once you’ve got a clear path of where you’d headed, consider the education you may need to get there. Does your dream career require a Bachelor’s degree, or are trade, tech, or online bootcamp programs a better option?

For example, careers like lawyers and doctors require advanced degrees, but fields like nursing and software development can be trained for in low-cost trade and tech programs or traditional colleges. Explore your options to find the education that makes the most sense for you.

Rework Your Resume

After gaining experience, rework your resume to suit your new career. Craft your experience around transferable skills required for your new desired role. Highlight new education, certifications, and courses obtained that are related to your new field.

Revise Your LinkedIn

Lastly, revise your LinkedIn profile to make it searchable for terms that are relevant to your new field. Think to yourself: If a hiring manager was looking for a candidate to fill a role, what would they search for on LinkedIn?

Add those terms into your headline on LinkedIn. This will make it easier for hiring managers and recruiters to find your profile, connect with you, and ultimately get you into roles you desire.

Posted under: Career Guides, Student Success, Career Resources

How to Choose a Career and Find Your Calling

Posted on by Jamie Davis

Around 52% of students have “no idea” what they want to do with their career after graduation, according to one study. If you’re in the same boat, you’re not alone.

Here’s what you can do to find your calling and choose a career, step-by-step.

Take a Career Quiz

A random Buzzfeed quiz likely won’t generate accurate results, but a professionally built and tested career assessment might. Organizations like Career Explorer, Princeton Review, and CareerOneStop have created formal career assessments packed with questions designed to help find a profession that suits your skills and interests.

CareerExplorer’s quiz takes around 30 minutes to complete. The first 9 minutes are for the personality assessment and reviewing your career and degree matches. The remaining 21 minutes are for reviewing the final results and insights.

Princeton Review’s quiz consists of 24 “would you rather?” style questions. In the end, it’ll ask a few final questions about who you are, such as:

CareerOneStop’s Interest Assessment consists of 30 questions, although it’ll only take you around 5 minutes to complete. As a partner of the U.S. Department of Labor, the quiz is a dynamic assessment of your likes and dislikes. Once you’ve completed it, you’ll receive a list of career matches and can explore them based on information such as:

And, if you’d prefer to complete it with pencil and paper, you can print the assessment.

Evaluate Them Based on Your Priorities

If you have a few fields that interest you, but you’re having trouble narrowing it down, try evaluating them based on your priorities. Create a list of what’s important to you in a career. This may include items like:

Then, rate each of the careers on a scale of 1-5 based on how well you think they match those priorities. This doesn’t have to be based on data; it can be strictly based on your personal opinion of the industry.

This will look something like this:

NurseTeacherEngineer
Positive Job Outlook555
High-Paying435
Ability to Work Remote124
Hands-On533
Good Work-Life Balance444
Control Over How You Work234
Impactful on Society554
Total262529

You may find that one career ranks significantly higher than the other, which could help you make an objective decision about which career to pursue.

Explore Career Clusters

If you’re interested in a specific industry but aren’t sure how to create a career from it, check out O*Net Online’s Career Clusters. Simply select the industry you’re interested in, then browse the list of occupations.

If one intrigues you, click on it and explore the list of tasks, skills, and experience the role requires to see if it’s a fit for you. You may find an occupation you’ve never heard of that is just the perfect fit.

Read Through Job Descriptions

Once you’ve found a job title that seems like a good fit, search for it on sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster. Read the job descriptions carefully, and ask yourself questions like:

This will give you an idea of what the industry expectations truly are.

Network With People In Those Roles

To gain an even better understanding of what a field looks like, network with people currently working in it and ask for an informational interview. An informational interview allows you to go to the source to evaluate whether or not the career is a fit for you.

If you’re a student, utilize mentoring networks provided by your college or university. If that isn’t available, simply connect with people on LinkedIn and send them a message to request an interview.

In the interviews, ask meaningful questions you can’t find generic answers to online, like:

Remember, you’re asking for a chunk of their time in their schedule — make it a valuable, meaningful conversation.

Self-Reflect

Above all else, take time to self reflect. While online assessments are useful, they aren’t the end-all-be-all. Take time to reflect on what you love, what you’re passionate about, and why.  Only you know what feels fulfilling. 

The Next Step: Getting the EducationOnce you’ve found a career that suits you, it’s time to get the education necessary to land a job. Use sites like College Consensus to determine which degree is best for the career you’ve chosen. And when you’re ready to pay the bill, consider using Meratas to help cover it.

Posted under: Career Guides, Student Success, Career Resources

How Schools Can Prepare Their Students for the Professional World

Posted on November 5, 2021 by Darius Goldman

What are the most important skills that students need to prepare for the 21st Century workforce? More importantly, how can educators, boot camps, and programs help kids gain these competencies? How are universities responding to preparing their students for future employment?

We’re going to break down the top ways schools can help prepare their students for the professional world.


1. Encourage Teamwork

One of the biggest things that students today need to succeed at work is the ability to work as a team. They need to understand how to communicate, compromise and share credit so that they can be a valuable contributing member to projects. This can be taught in school by encouraging teamwork on some projects and assignments.

Students who want a position of leadership should know how to work in teams, manage projects, and meet deadlines. While students may learn these skills in the workplace, there are steps teachers can take to help prepare them for these challenges. Teachers need to dispel the idea that working together is cheating or somehow not what happens in the professional world. In many workplaces, working in teams is a requirement for success. Students must be taught how to work in teams while honoring individual accountability. Part of that will be learning how to give and receive feedback constructively. The other part is self-awareness: an ability to monitor their own progress and realize when they could use coaching or additional materials.



2. Think Towards The Future


In many ways, real-life begins at graduation for students — they begin to put their knowledge into use and manage their own finances and life plans. So schools should focus not just on whether students have learned material, but where it will take students later. Will they be a financial, career, and personal success because of what they learned? And when students ask, “Will I ever even use this in real life?” have an answer — and an example of why they will.

 

3. Teach Complex Thinking Skills

In the current workplace, it’s not just about getting to the right end, but getting there by the best path. This is something that can be reinforced in colleges or bootcamps by giving students context for decision-making and solving problems.

Jobs in the modern workplace require innovation, creativity, and the ability to look at a task and not only see the outcome, but also imagine different ways to achieve it.  Colleges and universities need to do a better job of teaching these skills. They need to teach students how to think, not what to think.

4. Involve more employers with your school


Adding workplace skills to academic study benefits students, but it also has advantages for universities. Being in touch with employers helps enhance the profile of a university with employers and make them more likely to recruit there. In addition, many national ranking systems use some measure of employment success in their calculations.

Because it involves the students who get involved in a live interview with a real employer, it means that many more recruiters know about the university. Again, this is bound to feed into job offers and help increase the school’s notability.

5. Offer Alternative Financing

The Student Borrower Protection Center reported that outstanding traditional private student loan debt grew 71% in the last decade, outpacing auto loans, credit card debt, and mortgage debt. For many families, the economic pinch is making it even more difficult to qualify for private financial aid.

The private student loan market is dependent on FICO scores and cosigners, so if you don’t have parents with great credit scores that are willing to cosign for your traditional private loan, you’re likely not going to get approved for a private student loan.

There are even students with 700 FICO scores (normally high enough for approval at a good interest rate) being quoted 18-19% interest rates on their loans for college or being rejected outright if they don’t have a cosigner.

In other words, amid uncertain economic times, the barrier to entry into higher education has gotten even higher. News of these trends has spread to universities. A recent survey of university presidents from Inside Higher Ed found that 90% of respondents are concerned about a long-term decline in overall future student enrollment. 

Using Income Share Agreements, we can open the doors to higher education to millions of Americans that either went to college and dropped out because of lack of availability of traditional loans, or that never went in the first place.

By utilizing ISAs, programs have seen higher enrollment, improved retention, and accelerated completion.

Income Share Agreements are making strong headway in the education finance world. Being a financing option that can withstand economic uncertainties such as a pandemic makes them a good option for students and schools alike. 

To be successful today, students need certain skills and key traits to perform well in real-world settings. Teaching students the skills they need in today’s work world in college and bootcamps is important!

Meratas

Meratas provides a full-service SaaS Platform for Schools and Skills-Training Courses to design, administer, and service custom ISA programs. We help institutions create impactful ISA programs designed to promote student accessibility and increase enrollment. 

Our programs are intended to incentivize students, schools, and capital providers to work together to promote and finance only the best educational programs that lead to more successful careers.

If you’re interested in offering an ISA option at your school or program that has been proven to increase student enrollment, there’s no better time to offer one than now! Click here to schedule a call with one of our ISA specialists and get your ISA program up and running today.

Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content contained herein. Meratas Inc

Posted under: School Resources, Student Success

Ask Yourself These Three Questions Before Going to a Coding Bootcamp

Posted on July 6, 2020 by Darius Goldman

Bootcamps are an excellent way to get into a programming career if you are motivated but lack the skills to jump-start a career in coding. But, quitting your current job, possibly moving, and coming up with the cash to pay for tuition is no small commitment. 

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Posted under: Career Guides, Student Success