When Will Parents and College Students Revolt?

Written by on February 7th, 2011

High cost of college, unemployment, loans, credit card debt – ENOUGH!

Revolutions happen faster than anyone can predict!

Recently, the Obama administration was questioning why the CIA had not provided advance warning on what was boiling in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan and other Middle Eastern countries.

I have to believe there were warning signs, and that the administration was informed, but nobody have could have predicted what event, what one thing, would drive a collective group of people to step out of their day to day struggle to survive to do like Howard Beal did in the movie, “Network” – scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” (click to see this incredible clip & get mad!)

So that got me thinking about the situation parents and college students face today!

Consider some of these facts:

  1. 80 percent of students move home they graduate
  2. Nearly 80% of 2,774,008 of the 2009-2010 grads were officially unemployed on graduation day.
  3. 51% of student loan recipients say it will take them more than 10 years to pay off their student loans
  4. According to federal statistics, only 57% of full-time college students graduate within SIX years
  5. 1/3 of college grads hold jobs that do NOT require a college degree

Then ask yourself:

  • Do you think parents and graduates are getting a return on their investment?
  • Do you think other businesses could survive if their product didn’t do what they said it would do and it ended up costing customers more than they anticipated!

Who’s got their head in the sand?

In Egypt right now, anyone who has been close to Mubarak and his family are running for cover as worldwide news organizations are starting to publish and make available through Social Media channels, how a 30 year dictator and those close to him have been stuffing their bank accounts and maintaining a lifestyle that supports homes around the world.  Egyptians are gaining access to statistics and information long suppressed that are making them, “Mad as hell!”

On the other hand, the above statistics have been readily available to college administrators, students and parents.   Students and parents seem to be resigned to the fact that they can’t do anything about the issues they faced.

College administrators seem to be focused on revenue and as long as they do not have to be accountable for these miserable stats, they seem comfortable ignoring them. What if college students and their parents knew that the private college they were attending was spending $3,000 to recruit a student and only $85 to prepare them for their career?   (according to NACE the average Career Center budget is just under $34,000)  also (State colleges spend approximately $1,000 to recruit a student)

Shouldn’t college students and their parents expect their college to do something to improve this situation?

In the 235 years since our nation was founded, we’ve been able to solve countless issues and seemingly impossible situations.  Something can be done.  In Japan nearly 70% of their graduating college students are getting jobs by the time they receive their diploma on graduation day.

Who is your elected officials listening to – Wall Street or YOU?

During the time our federal government used socialist tactics to bail out Wall Street, banks and corporations around the country, our Congress, Senate and state legislatures have:

  • Made sure that every college student that takes a student loan will NEVER be able to walk away from their debt.
  • Passed legislation that has made it even more difficult for aspiring college students to get their own credit cards and credit
  • Passed legislation to continue to push the cost of education on to parents and students, even when evidence of the return on investment is dropping.  (college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007 while median family income rose 147 percent)

In the past 3 years, nearly 10 million graduates and parents have felt the effects of this legislation, but, still no uprising!

Tipping point!

So the question remains. When will students and parents reach their boiling point and say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore?”

Will it be when:

  1. More students sue their alma mater like Trina Thomson did when she sued Monroe College for $72,000 (the full cost of her tuition)?
  2. A significant number of students default on their loans?
  3. Online education becomes a viable alternative and campus greens suddenly look like ghost towns?
  4. Congress requires both for-profit and non-profit colleges to GUARANTEE their graduates “gainful employment”?

Your guess is as good as mine.

But something is boiling, and if colleges want to be ahead of the game, they better be doing something to FIX these stats or their customers will consider their action, too little, too late.

Just like citizens in Egypt did!

Help make a different and bring about positive change.  Click here to sign a petition that suggests college administrators address this situation!

Is Video Advertising Right for YOUR Business?

Written by on December 9th, 2008

One video ad can be re purposed on many different websites

Truman Show

I spent a greater portion of my business career in the photography industry. In my letters and marketing materials I repeated the time worn phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Now that we are living in a video world, the common person has nearly as many ways to capture the moments of their lives as Jim Carrey’s Truman Bank character in The Truman Show. Today, a video is worth 10,000 words.

Online video advertising is giving marketers another opportunity to reach targeted audiences with their messages. According to Borrell Associates, streaming audio and video ads now account for 19 percent of local online revenue and will rise to 59% by 2013.

Most marketers are having hard time thinking about adding video to their marketing tool chest for one reason: because in their mind, it’s still a very expensive and time-consuming marketing tool. They also have little to no experience with it, so they avoid it.

Video Advertising is as easy as 1,2,3

However, the Internet is changing all of that. Not only can anyone with a webcam, video cell phone, or simple video camera create a video and upload it to a Web site, it can be done within a matter of an hour without a budget! Sure, you can spend a great deal more time and energy at it, but I’m trying to break down some walls here and get you thinking about keeping it simple stupid! (…More…)

Get More Business by Podcasting!

Written by on November 12th, 2008

Market your business using social media tools like podcasting

It really wasn’t that long ago when you got all of your news and information through a few selected Anna Farmerychannels.  The majority of the news and information we got came from the broadcast, print or word of mouth channels.

And then the Internet happened and new channels opened up.

As an example, in the past the New York Times and Architectural Digest might have been among the top ten sources for information on architecture.  However, today thanks to the Internet, dozens of knowledgeable enthusiasts who started blogging about architecture created a credible source of news and information for other souls that shared their passion.  And unlike the previous channels of information, bloggers did not have to hire pressmen, cameramen, paper boys or engineers to deliver the news to you.   All the blogger had to do is post their blog and let search engines bring people to it!

Most of us are still trying to catch on to that concept as we’ve lived for decades PUSHING information to people in order to instill an interest and desire in whatever we wanted to sell to them.   But in today’s Internet world all one has to do is – write and let the world find you!

LEARN how podcaster Anna Farmery became as popular as Bloomsberg, Deloitte and The Economist! (…More…)

Starbucks Missed the Boat?

Written by on August 3rd, 2008

About 6 years ago I sent an overnight letter to Starbucks headquarters suggesting they consider offering their customers a private, password protected online community to continue to build their brand, engage customers and gather more data about their customers.

At the time my firm provided online communities to groups and organizations in the higher education space and we were looking for a way to leverage our product in the commercial market.  The company executive I sent my letter to was preoccupied with other issues at the time and my subsequent follow up phone call was met with a response,  well – similar to what you’ve heard from time to time in your  career – don’t call us, we’ll call you!

Fast forward to 2008 and we see Starbucks coming out with what they call their new customer online community called Mystarbucksidea.com.   The community offers customers an opportunity to help direct where the company is going and is modeled after a number of successful examples including Dell’s  Community Forum and Salesforce’s Ideastorm.   (…More…)