Nov 23, 2021

How to Talk to Your Parents About College Alternatives

It’s Thanksgiving. A great time to talk with your parents or loved ones about wanting to explore alternatives to traditional college. Below are tips for ensuring a positive and productive discussion, and talking points to help you make a convincing case. Good luck!

Tips for talking with parents

  1. Pick a good time and place. Difficult conversations are best held in private, in a neutral place, and when everyone has energy to really engage. 
  2. Plan ahead. Write down your talking points so you don’t forget them if things get emotional. Provide thoughtful explanations about why you think and feel this way.
  3. Stay calm and listen. Understanding their perspective will help you communicate with empathy and address their specific concerns. 

Your parents may have nostalgia for their own college experience and want the same for you. Or they may have dreamed of you being first in the family to attend college. Or they may assume college is the only pathway to a successful career and life. 

 Don’t tell them they’re wrong. Just educate them with the facts.

College is failing too many people

Higher education is getting seriously called out and held to account by industry experts, parents, students, and professors. From skyrocketing tuition to staggering student debt and dropout rates, declining acceptance and graduation rates, and unchecked administrative bloat: college is simply not delivering on its promise.

College isn’t the only path to success

While citing successful college dropouts like Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey may feel empowering, it probably won’t sell your parents who aren’t gonna bet the farm that you’re the next Elon Musk! 

Better to explain that more and more industries are accepting job-specific credentials in lieu of college degrees. That hiring managers care more about projects you’ve done than your transcript. That real-world experience is more educational than classroom time.

MYX is a college alternative that combines online, experiential, and social-emotional learning to help students achieve their unique goals in work and in life. Whether you want a more direct path-to work, a gap year, or a degree, MYX’s personalized pathways can support you.

"This is the time in education. We're going from ABC to Netflix, from Toyota to Tesla, from MySpace to TikTok. I'm incredibly passionate about what MYX is doing!” - GaryVee
CEO VaynerMedia and MYX Advisor

Need to cite your sources?

Awesome that your parents want to dig in and learn more! Here are three thought leaders who make the case for alternative college experiences:

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