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Financial and economic challenges to Church activity


rongo

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5 minutes ago, Calm said:

What about late bloomers?   How does it change if they are stuck in the non college bound courses where they aren’t getting training for college? (Talking about the ones without wealth that could provide tutoring, etc) My husband’s mother worried about him graduating high school (his writing was bad, handwriting worse, spelling...creative; spellcheck with its instant correction has helped him significantly).  He got a doctorate and is a college professor who has published, etc.

Germans by nature are very literate and competent. The late bloomers with motivation who switch tracks do fine. University is completely free, with a few exceptions (and even then, it's a token payment on the student's part). 

We couldn't do "free college" here. Not when our debt is now above $20 trillion. 

I think it would be better to eliminate bottomless student loans, regardless of the prospect of repayment, and to stop sending everyone to college, even if they have no idea why they're there or what they will do. But, a shift towards skilled trades would be seen by many as failure, because of the decades-long emphasis on college and college only. 

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3 minutes ago, rongo said:

But, a shift towards skilled trades would be seen by many as failure, because of the decades-long emphasis on college and college only. 

Yep...I would want my kids to go to college just for the expansion of their knowledge even if they chose a trade.  However, additional education through online classes would be possible as well.

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34 minutes ago, Calm said:

What about late bloomers?   How does it change if they are stuck in the non college bound courses where they aren’t getting training for college?

I worry about that too. I think our system here does a pretty good job of addressing that. All students have compulsory schooling through year 10. They then have three options for the next two years of their lives: 1) senior secondary college (formal studies in a school-like environment, though often more flexible, with two tracks: one for university preparation and one for vocational training if they are lacking skills that would allow them to begin an apprenticeship straightaway), 2) an apprenticeship in any form of trade, or 3) employment.

Those who do not qualify for university entrance in their two years of college have an alternate pathway that involves preparing for and sitting an intensive exam. I helped two of my former young men qualify for university this way after their missions, but those who don't have access to a personal tutor with a PhD can actually return to college for this. Our former stake president began an electrician apprenticeship at age 16 and worked in that field for 12 years before realising he wanted to attend university, so at age 28 he went back to school and completed year 12 with a group of 17-year-olds. Our local technical college also provides the option of years 11 and 12 for those who missed it the first time. In these cases, fees must be paid, but they are not outrageous.

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

Having to work Sundays can be very stressful for those wanting to keep the Sabbath day holy --- even when they've been told that the ox is in the mire, God knows their heart, etc. You still have to work on Sunday. 

And not just on Sundays but Saturdays and evenings too. Many of the families in our ward are migrants who put their sons out to work to support the family beginning at age 14. It is very difficult in such cases to get these boys to a Saturday temple trip or to a priesthood quorum activity on a weeknight. One of my former Young Men who is now at university at age 28 (and with a young family of his own) recently shared with me his regret that he 'wasted' so many years labouring to support his parents because it was the cultural expectation. It's a tough situation. As second counsellor in our bishopric, he's recently taken a job that pays less but doesn't require him to work on Sundays.

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I don't think North Americans (well, those who aren't elderly) relate much to challenges with travel and lodging to attend the temple. 

That may be the case, but it's a reality for many of us outside North America. Pre-COVID, I was serving in the temple every month. Doing so required a trip that ended about 26 hours after it began, and this of course also required paid accommodation and the purchase of meals. We do have temple accommodation at a discounted rate, but it's not always available, and commercial accommodation in a budget hotel can easily cost over US$100 per person.

45 minutes ago, rongo said:

Friends and family of ours haven't had a good experience at BYU with professors, the program, or the student wards (very anecdotal and mileage varies, of course), so for us, the shine is off the BYU apple.

As I've noted on this forum before, when I was studying in America, Pres Hinckley visited our university and thanked us for doing what the Church wished all Latter-day Saint young people would do: not attend BYU. As noted by my mission president, who had been a 'regional representative' back in the day, Pres Hinckley had told him personally that the Church was committed to improving the three BYUs because they didn't know how to get rid of them, but they had zero intention of multiplying their inherent problems by increasing the number of campuses.

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32 minutes ago, rongo said:

I wish that we could shift to the European system, but it would be a political third rail. I'm familiar with the German-speaking countries, but other countries are similar. Students are determined in 5th grade to be college or non-college bound. Promising students go to Gymnasium, which are intense college-prep high schools. Non-college bound students go either to Realschule or Hauptshule, where they earn a diploma and a full certification, with apprenticeship, in a skilled trade (plumber, electrician, beautician, baker, hospitality, and many others). As you point out, there is no stigma in Europe as if this path were somehow "lesser," and they have a good life and can provide for their families. If a student really wants to go to college, or really doesn't want to, the determination is not final and can change. 

In the U.S. (and, I've read, Great Britain adopted our high school system),

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/11/how-britain-imported-the-american-high-school/

all students at all ability and motivation levels are in one big melting pot, with the "lowest common denominator" and behavioral results that we are all familiar with. That's why when people bemoan how American students stack up against international students, they're not comparing apples to apples. Our elites compare favorably with their elites, but our schools are a hodge-podge that have to accept everyone in their areas. It is no comparison to compare schools like that with a Gymnasium. If we could compare our all star teams with theirs, we do very well. 

I agree with everything you say here, except that there's no stigma with the skilled trades in Europe. We lived in Germany until January of 2020, and those who went to Gymnasium do look down on those who went to Real- or Hauptschule. I don't think it's to the same extent as here in the U.S., but the stigma does exist there, as well.

Gymnasium was one of the reasons we moved back. Our boys were looking to be headed for Gymnasium, and it's been turned into something ridiculous in terms of how demanding and stressful it is. We wanted our kids to be able to explore different career and educational paths without the extreme pressure of Gymnasium starting so early. American students and schools really stack up just fine against Germany when you compare apples to apples, as you said.

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23 minutes ago, rongo said:

I don't think the Brethren are going to subsidize it to where it's free or significantly less than what it already is. Our kids would have had to pay thousands after a half-tuition scholarship. 

I can see some changes coming down the pike in the next few years.  I don’t think BYU is going to be able to use its honor code office to enforce LDS living standards (and possibly, not even being able to charge varying tuition rates to LDS versus non-LDS students); and once that happens, its low tuition would make it as attractive to non-LDS kids as to LDS kids.  This in turn would both threaten BYU’s character as a Latter-day Saint school, and undercut the church’s goal to offer a decent and affordable education to a few tens of thousands of its youth.  
 

I can visualize a situation where the Church raises BYU tuition rates to be on-par with other private colleges, and then gives educational grants directly to worthy youth (regardless of where they are enrolled) without using BYU or the CES as a middleman. 

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12 minutes ago, rchorse said:

I agree with everything you say here, except that there's no stigma with the skilled trades in Europe. We lived in Germany until January of 2020, and those who went to Gymnasium do look down on those who went to Real- or Hauptschule. I don't think it's to the same extent as here in the U.S., but the stigma does exist there, as well.

Gymnasium was one of the reasons we moved back. Our boys were looking to be headed for Gymnasium, and it's been turned into something ridiculous in terms of how demanding and stressful it is. We wanted our kids to be able to explore different career and educational paths without the extreme pressure of Gymnasium starting so early. American students and schools really stack up just fine against Germany when you compare apples to apples, as you said.

Yes, within the system the lower tiers are probably looked down upon. I meant in larger society, nobody says, "Oh, you didn't go to Gymnasium? Hmmm."

Last year, for the first time, we had a foreign exchange student from Leipzig who was from a Realschule. She took German 1 from me, and I explained that it was a beginner class, but she wanted to see how it worked and compare it to her English classes (exchange students can pretty much take what they want, because their year here doesn't count). It was neat having her, and it was neat comparing her to the Gymnasium students we have had. She wasn't a dummy, but there was a difference, and there was also a difference because she was an Ossie. My favorite area of my mission was in the former DDR, and she was a good resource for talking about that. Overall, it was just neat to have an East German. There were cultural, educational, and social gaps for her. Most of our exchange students come from Hamburg, Berlin, or Munich. 

Where did you guys live? We considered moving to Germany when our children were young, but didn't. The translator for my FAIR conference talk in Frankfurt (for those who don't know German --- I gave my talk in German) was an American, and she planted the seed with me and my wife. She said it would be very doable, and when my wife looked into apartments (we wouldn't have had a car), she came around. There is high demand for teachers, just like here, but native English speakers who speak German are in demand. It would have been neat, but that ship sailed. 

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

.........................

While BYU is subsidized, man oh man, it's nowhere near what it used to be (because of the exponential rise in costs overall). My son, as a valedictorian with high test scores, was only offered a half-tuition scholarship at BYU, which is now much higher than the $1500 a semester I paid. Granted, the big scholarships are highly competitive, which shows the quality of the overall pool for BYU, it's a no-brainer when they get offers that allow them to not have to pay anything (and there is a good YSA/institute program). Friends and family of ours haven't had a good experience at BYU with professors, the program, or the student wards (very anecdotal and mileage varies, of course), so for us, the shine is off the BYU apple. We feel we have a much better experience at NAU --- especially with the student wards. 

I don't think the Brethren are going to subsidize it to where it's free or significantly less than what it already is. Our kids would have had to pay thousands after a half-tuition scholarship. 

Our society seems to think that K thru 12 being free is a good investment, so why should we stop there?  Some European countries have shown that higher ed can be made free, in addition to great technical schools.  The result has been secure and strong economies, which pay society back in full.  We found the same result from the G.I. Bill after WW II.  We need to make wise investments in our youth.

Our American system is now so weak, and so few men now bother with college, that we have to import serious students in the STEM fields from foreign countries.

There was a time when I (like my father) could afford to work my way thru college with no debt.  The cost is now so high that it is actually foolish to bother with it.  In fact, if you care to learn German first, you can go to Germany and get a free education through the PhD level.  The only requirement is that you study hard and get good grades.  That is not possible in America.

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1 hour ago, katherine the great said:

When I was by in fifth grade I wanted to be a stewardess (not even a “flight attendant”) I wanted to wear PSAs pink and orange mini dresses, wear blue eye shadow and bring people peanuts. I even went to San Jose airport to interview some of these pretty ladies for my “What I want to be when I grow up” essay. That’s how much I knew about anything when I was 10. 

It sure isn't that way now! Poor flight attendants! What a fun story though and I think I did want to be one at one point (very young)  in my life too!!

A friend in high school works for Delta and I enjoy seeing her travels. But I don't think I could hack it, especially keeping a poker face during a rough flight of turbulence. And having to deal with who knows what with different personalities! It's far more than I ever thought it would be. Hope the pay is good, because they sure deserve it! 

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2 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Our society seems to think that K thru 12 being free is a good investment, so why should we stop there?  Some European countries have shown that higher ed can be made free, in addition to great technical schools.  The result has been secure and strong economies, which pay society back in full.  We found the same result from the G.I. Bill after WW II.  We need to make wise investments in our youth.

Our American system is now so weak, and so few men now bother with college, that we have to import serious students in the STEM fields from foreign countries.

There was a time when I (like my father) could afford to work my way thru college with no debt.  The cost is now so high that it is actually foolish to bother with it.  In fact, if you care to learn German first, you can go to Germany and get a free education through the PhD level.  The only requirement is that you study hard and get good grades.  That is not possible in America.

So true! I worry, but according to my daughter any help for college students is socialism, oh my! Or she says, I don't want my tax dollars going to pay their tuition! I agree partly, but we need to help those that sincerely want that education and can be our scientists, doctors, engineers etc. We need to do something, or our country is going further down the hill.

 

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

..........................

all students at all ability and motivation levels are in one big melting pot, with the "lowest common denominator" and behavioral results that we are all familiar with. That's why when people bemoan how American students stack up against international students, they're not comparing apples to apples. Our elites compare favorably with their elites, but our schools are a hodge-podge that have to accept everyone in their areas. It is no comparison to compare schools like that with a Gymnasium. If we could compare our all star teams with theirs, we do very well. 

All very true, but the system of privilege leaves out so many bright kids.  We cannot afford to leave our gifted and genius level children behind.  We supposedly have a merit system in the USA, but the actual working class has no opportunity to avail itself of that.  They have been falling behind economically for a generation (no raises).  Moreover, the liberal arts in American colleges are now mostly just woke centers of indoctrination.  There is no real monetary value in attending such schools now.

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

Yes, within the system the lower tiers are probably looked down upon. I meant in larger society, nobody says, "Oh, you didn't go to Gymnasium? Hmmm."

Last year, for the first time, we had a foreign exchange student from Leipzig who was from a Realschule. She took German 1 from me, and I explained that it was a beginner class, but she wanted to see how it worked and compare it to her English classes (exchange students can pretty much take what they want, because their year here doesn't count). It was neat having her, and it was neat comparing her to the Gymnasium students we have had. She wasn't a dummy, but there was a difference, and there was also a difference because she was an Ossie. My favorite area of my mission was in the former DDR, and she was a good resource for talking about that. Overall, it was just neat to have an East German. There were cultural, educational, and social gaps for her. Most of our exchange students come from Hamburg, Berlin, or Munich. 

Where did you guys live? We considered moving to Germany when our children were young, but didn't. The translator for my FAIR conference talk in Frankfurt (for those who don't know German --- I gave my talk in German) was an American, and she planted the seed with me and my wife. She said it would be very doable, and when my wife looked into apartments (we wouldn't have had a car), she came around. There is high demand for teachers, just like here, but native English speakers who speak German are in demand. It would have been neat, but that ship sailed. 

We lived in a small town in southern Germany about halfway between Stuttgart and Munich. My wife's family all live there or in the Stuttgart area. It's easy to move there and get a work permit, especially if you have family there. But housing is expensive in the big cities and the Germans were frequently annoyed by our loud American children. 😄

Overall, though, we loved it.

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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

So true! I worry, but according to my daughter any help for college students is socialism, oh my! Or she says, I don't want my tax dollars going to pay their tuition! I agree partly, but we need to help those that sincerely want that education and can be our scientists, doctors, engineers etc. We need to do something, or our country is going further down the hill.

That is where private organizations like the LDS Church come in.  Unwillingness to invest in the youth will cost everyone in the long run, leaving America to depend upon immigrant scholars, doctors, and technicians.  Remember what happened to our car manufacturing companies?  They were replaced by the Japanese.  American civilization is already on a downward spiral.  We will be replaced.  :pirate:

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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That is where private organizations like the LDS Church come in.  Unwillingness to invest in the youth will cost everyone in the long run, leaving America to depend upon immigrant scholars, doctors, and technicians.  Remember what happened to our car manufacturing companies?  They were replaced by the Japanese.  American civilization is already on a downward spiral.  We will be replaced.  :pirate:

I happen to read that 70 million from tithing in Canada goes to BYU. Does that stay or then leave and go into other accounts? Or good question, right? I thought that seemed like a lot and I was glad about it, but not sure, not my area of expertise. If so, I hope that like you mentioned is needed, that private organizations will help our future students in these the United State! I worry!

Edited by Tacenda
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The German government actually wants American students to study at German universities. There is a program that systematically prepares motivated American students, starting the sophomore year, to study (for free) at German universities. Even students at high schools without German programs are welcome. Interested student pre-test to see what their existing German level is (A1=beginner, A2=advanced beginner, B1=beginning intermediate, B2=advanced intermediate, C1=proficient. Those are the standard European language competency levels), and then intensive online language training with the Goethe Institute in D.C., coupled with summer trips to Germany, are provided to get students up to the required C1 level. The sophomore summer, students take an intensive course in Germany, and the junior summer, they take a STEM or economics course in German in Germany. And then they are good to go once they are certified at a C1 level. So, a motivated student who really would like to learn German and study in Germany for free can do it, even if he doesn't have a German program at his school. 

https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/spr/eng/stb/stu.html

The program is not Mormon mission-friendly, of course, which is the drawback for LDS students.

I've been to the Goethe Institute in D.C. It's really a top-notch branch of the German government, and offers a lot of services geared towards learning and maintaining German in the United States. 

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25 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

It wasn’t that way then either but that’s a young mind’s perception. All I saw was the fun side- not the hours of safety and medical training and all the drudgery. I just can’t imagine my future being determined by my 10 year old brain. 

The "system" is detrimental to creative, intellectual, and artistic growth. The music may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I like Midnight Oil's "No Time for Games." It encapsulates the soul-crushingness of modern K-12 education.

The raising of children, the rearing of young
Used to be simple, look what it's become
The choice of career, the proper vocation
Out of your hands, all for the needs of the nation

No inhibitions with the modern child
Wasted lessons of pleasure or pain
Easy to follow your natural instinct
Easy to follow, much too hard to learn

Useless expressions and sporting aggression
Don't waste my time, I can't wait for the end of the session
What opportunity, the modern child?
Wasted passion and wasted time (mind?)

Some kids got no time for playtime
Some kids got no time for games
Some kids got no time for playtime
Some kids got no time for games

(Repeats)

I really like Dr. Peter Gray's research and theories on the importance of play (unstructured, unsupervised by adults) in developing intelligence, problem solving, social skills, conflict resolution, etc. He is also a strong advocate for no homework in elementary, very minimal in junior high, and only slightly more in high school. As a former child and student, parent, and teacher, I relate to this. Homework for me is only if they could not finish in class (and won't be able to use Google Translate, anyway). Otherwise, we do all of our work in class. Gray notes that play time is more prominent and more essential the higher up the intelligence level is --- with the most play time with young found among apex predators (which include humans). But, modern society seeks to structure even play time for kids. Even sports is organized and supervised by adults, unlike sandlot and pickup sports of bygone eras (pickup games are still a thing in low-income areas, which is a good thing). 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Gray_(psychologist)

The German Gymnasium system produces super students, but like @rchorse, I don't think it's ideal. My exchange student last year from a Realschule was more of a "normal person," and it was nice. 

ETA: What I do like about the German/European system, in broad strokes, is that kids who are more tactile and less academic aren't forced into an academic model for years and years. That would help everyone in our system (students, teachers, and parents) if non-academically inclined kids had outlets and a real pathway to a good living without having college prep academics forced upon them. Many behavior problems aren't bad kids, per se, but they are stifled and "going out of their mind" with a system that isn't for them and doesn't suit them. 

Edited by rongo
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2 minutes ago, rongo said:

The "system" is detrimental to creative, intellectual, and artistic growth. The music may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I like Midnight Oil's "No Time for Games." It encapsulates the soul-crushingness of modern K-12 education.

The raising of children, the rearing of young
Used to be simple, look what it's become
The choice of career, the proper vocation
Out of your hands, all for the needs of the nation

No inhibitions with the modern child
Wasted lessons of pleasure or pain
Easy to follow your natural instinct
Easy to follow, much too hard to learn

Useless expressions and sporting aggression
Don't waste my time, I can't wait for the end of the session
What opportunity, the modern child?
Wasted passion and wasted time (mind?)

Some kids got no time for playtime
Some kids got no time for games
Some kids got no time for playtime
Some kids got no time for games

(Repeats)

I really like Dr. Peter Gray's research and theories on the importance of play (unstructured, unsupervised by adults) in developing intelligence, problem solving, social skills, conflict resolution, etc. He is also a strong advocate for no homework in elementary, very minimal in junior high, and only slightly more in high school. As a former child and student, parent, and teacher, I relate to this. Homework for me is only if they could not finish in class (and won't be able to use Google Translate, anyway). Otherwise, we do all of our work in class. Gray notes that play time is more prominent and more essential the higher up the intelligence level is --- with the most play time with young found among apex predators (which include humans). But, modern society seeks to structure even play time for kids. Even sports is organized and supervised by adults, unlike sandlot and pickup sports of bygone eras (pickup games are still a thing in low-income areas, which is a good thing). 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Gray_(psychologist)

The German Gymnasium system produces super students, but like @rchorse, I don't think it's ideal. My exchange student last year from a Realschule was more of a "normal person," and it was nice. 

I concur with this!! Youth need the social part as much as the mental, without adults horning in! I sub'd in first grade yesterday and I kept thinking of them as our future, maybe not mine, but those younger than me. Hoping beyond hope for them. But they sure are whipper-snappers at the technology end. And hopefully the social end will be better than most of us, maybe much better. So why am I worrying so much?!? I guess those days of sandlot days aren't there, probably not enough fields in the future! But it's a new day and they will come up with different sandlot days! 

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30 minutes ago, rongo said:

ETA: What I do like about the German/European system, in broad strokes, is that kids who are more tactile and less academic aren't forced into an academic model for years and years. That would help everyone in our system (students, teachers, and parents) if non-academically inclined kids had outlets and a real pathway to a good living without having college prep academics forced upon them. Many behavior problems aren't bad kids, per se, but they are stifled and "going out of their mind" with a system that isn't for them and doesn't suit them. 

Here’s the rub. For whatever reason I became extremely academically inclined later. But I certainly was not in fifth grade. Still, I suppose a system has to work primarily with “norms”.

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23 hours ago, rongo said:

My daughter and my son returning from a mission will be out of the honors dorm in the Fall, and will need to find an apartment with roommates. As we have looked in (the very expensive) Flagstaff, and as we have compared that to (the maybe more expensive) Provo (we've never really considered BYU, but I went there and met my wife up there), it's eye-popping how much college housing has skyrocketed. Roommates today pay around $400 apiece, compared to $85 apiece for me in the late 1990s. My wife and I both made $6.00 an hour then. Back-of-the envelope ratios show that a student today would need to make $28.00 an hour for the ratio of income-to-housing to be the same. And then there are the disproportionately higher costs of everything else on top of that. It's nuts! We were able to pay for school on $6.00, without loans, grants, or scholarships (granted, BYU tuition then was only $1500 a semester. We worked, saved, paid rent, and then paid tuition and books. Rinse, repeat). We've been fortunate that our kids have gotten full tuition scholarships, and then grants pay for the rest, so they haven't had to pay anything for school ($23,000 a year), but we realize that most families with two incomes don't qualify for the grants (most families now; single income families are extremely rare). 

My wife and I were talking about financial impediments to activity/progress in the Church. We don't think they are impediments, but we recognize that they are for some people. What are we missing on this list?

1. Unwillingness/fear of paying a full tithing and offerings.

2. Necessity (or perceived necessity) of both parents working. Yes, we know that for some, this isn't an option, and for others, it's better for their emotional health. That's up to each family, of course, but we think it's undeniable that the real or perceived necessity drives most couples to work now. 

3. Difficulty in upward job mobility. The PEF was intended to lift up Saints economically, but also enable them to serve better in the Church because they have to be slaves to the low-paying rat race to get by. I think this is also a factor in the "first world" as well. Many could serve more or better if they weren't forced to do low-paying drudgery because of lack of skills or certification. The Pathway/BYUI program is addressing this (sort of --- more comments on this once the thread has more discussion, I'm sure). 

What other aspects of financial/economic challenges are we forgetting (I'm sure there are other good insights we aren't thinking about). 

Thanks in advance!

Single income families might be unusual today, but extremely rare? Without documentation, I would question that. 
 

Regarding education costs, a huge saving can come from  enrolling in a lower-cost, state university or community college closer to home and by living at home and commuting. A respectable education can be obtained at such institutions, and there is no shame in benefitting from the economy of scale in living under your parents’ roof until you can achieve a greater measure of independence. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Single income families might be unusual today, but extremely rare? Without documentation, I would question that. 

You're probably right that unusual is more accurate than extremely rare. I think the trajectory is rapidly leading that way, if people aren't there already.

2 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Regarding education costs, a huge saving can come from  enrolling in a lower-cost, state university or community college closer to home and by living at home. A respectable education can be obtained at such institutions, and there is no shame in benefitting from the economy of scale in living under your parents’ roof until you can achieve a greater measure of independence. 

Very true. My wife's community college tuition per semester was $1500 (so, $3000 per year). NAU is $12,000 per year; ASU and UofA more expensive. Housing and other costs and fees are as much as tuition. 

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We are seeing today a growing realization that a university education is not a good fit for everybody. Many people do just fine with a technical or trade certification. 
 

In terms of value to society, skill in plumbing or construction or auto mechanics is huge. On the other end of the spectrum, I wouldn’t give 2 cents for a gender studies degree. 

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

The German government actually wants American students to study at German universities. There is a program that systematically prepares motivated American students, starting the sophomore year, to study (for free) at German universities. Even students at high schools without German programs are welcome. Interested student pre-test to see what their existing German level is (A1=beginner, A2=advanced beginner, B1=beginning intermediate, B2=advanced intermediate, C1=proficient. Those are the standard European language competency levels), and then intensive online language training with the Goethe Institute in D.C., coupled with summer trips to Germany, are provided to get students up to the required C1 level. The sophomore summer, students take an intensive course in Germany, and the junior summer, they take a STEM or economics course in German in Germany. And then they are good to go once they are certified at a C1 level. So, a motivated student who really would like to learn German and study in Germany for free can do it, even if he doesn't have a German program at his school. 

https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/spr/eng/stb/stu.html

The program is not Mormon mission-friendly, of course, which is the drawback for LDS students.

I've been to the Goethe Institute in D.C. It's really a top-notch branch of the German government, and offers a lot of services geared towards learning and maintaining German in the United States. 

Meaning you can't leave the program to serve a mission?  What if you serve before you start? 

Why does Germany want this?  What do they gain?  Are there requirements after a student graduates?

Edit: All those questions might seem argumentative. My son wanted to go to BYUI, but has since changed his mind.   In another couple of months he will be starting his coming home thing for his mission so I want to know more to see if this is an option for him if he is interested. 

Edited by Rain
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