I dedicate this article to Tim Ferriss who inspired me to find ways around life and to never stop learning.
At 17, I failed out of high school. I had to go to continuation school to graduate, then failed out of the next two colleges I went to. I wasn't dumb, I was a kinesthetic learner that was hyper intelligent with a penchant for boredom with traditional instruction. All I wanted to do was skateboard. Couple that in with a family of drug addicts, no role models, and living in a logging town with little industry and I was rocketing to failure.
At 38, I am a six degreed PhD with seven books written, my own success company, and a life coaching practice to help others reach their dreams.
For Christmas break, I decided to write a powerful article with far reaching implications: How to beat the traditional four year college program, which I find archaic and stifling, not to mention economically oppressive.
What hope does a young person have when they never took their SATs, never got past Pre-Algebra, and had no idea what an Associate's Degree was? According to society, if you don't attend a state school or UC, you have no value and will toil in the trenches, parking cars for a living or being a career server.
Not on my watch.
I not only turned out ok by attending a non state school (University of Phoenix), I learned enough in my program to start writing my own books, start my own skateboarding company, got on the news, was featured in Transworld Business, and now am life coaching clients in the US and Europe and getting paid for it. My new book Utopia, is based on these programs and is now FREE on the Blue Dragon Website at http://www.bluedragonent.com/utopia--a-guide-to-success-in-san-diego.html,
Here are some things I have found:
Tuition Free Colleges
The following colleges have tuition free programs:
Cooper Union, Ny
College of the Ozarks, Ms
Curtis Institute of Music, Pa
Webb Institute, NY
Naval Academy, Md
Air Force Academy, Co
The full link is here:
Test for Credit
One way to get credit for courses without actually taking them, paying tuition or buying full priced textbooks is to take CLEP and DANTE exams. You literally can test for credit and they offer most freshman and sophomore level GE courses. These tests are free for active duty military and reservists. Here is an overview with a listing of the courses offered. TIP: Get a sample test, look up the textbook used to write it, and buy it used off Amazon. This will give you an edge for the real test.
For active duty military members, several colleges have "satellite" campuses that are covered by tuition assistance. You do not have to use your GI Bill or Post 9/11. I attended Embry Riddle and finished a Bachelor's, 2 Associate's and a minor in Aviation Safety in 2.5 years. Plus it was right by the dorms, so after work i would just walk over and go to class.
Paid Apprenticeships Leading to Free Associate's Degrees
This one surprised even me. Many junior colleges have work/class partnerships with local industries and companies. In San Diego, both City College and Southwestern College have apprenticeships for technical based degrees. You can literally sign up, get accepted, start collecting apprenticeship pay, AND GET A TUITION FREE ASSOCIATE'S that is transferable to a four year school. You can search in your town by doing a Google Search for your local junior college name, plus "apprenticeships." Imagine that, a free degree, PLUS pay.
What better way to go through life, than the satisfaction of finding a free education. Here are fellowships and scholarships to help you:
Free Training For High Paying Jobs
Finally, how about the greatest college hack of all? The "golden ticket" to a well paying career WITHOUT a degree?
I have saved the best for last. Many larger cities have free training according to career. They fall into different categories.
Google "Adult ROP Free Classes" and your town's name and see what pops up. In San Diego alone, they offer free classes for Electronic Tech, Automotive Tech, Computer Networking, and Graphic Design. This now puts you in the $14-$35 an hour pay range upon completion. Best of all, these classes are accelerated and are under two years.
Next, you can do a search for "Job Corps" and your town name. Job Corps is a state funded program that gives you free training with several industries to choose from, plus a stipend and free housing, if needed.
Are you ready for the "jaw dropper"; the most powerful tool I have found for free training?
The Dept. of Labor has a searchable database for every apprenticeship in nearly every state. This means you can search and find free, and in most cases, paid, training while you learn a new career.
Here is the link for California:
Here is the link for nationwide:
If you need any help finding programs, email me and I'll help free of charge. email@example.com.
Remember, college is a tough choice, make sure that you pick the path that is right for YOU, not for anyone else. I believe in you and hopefully, you found some items today that will better your life .
Success in 2015,