Posted August 15, 2006 by

This Special Report is printed, produced and copyright protected by IRES, Inc. © 2006 – Reprint, Reproduction of any kind expressly forbidden without written consent by IRES, Inc. its representatives or the author. Frank Risalvato.
1. College Funding Plans – Working extra hours to attempt to fully fund any investment plan for your child’s education may actually be harming your child and adversely impacting his/her critical real-world skills.
Consider This: More than 66% of college grads obtaining their degrees with 80% or more funded by mom & dad’s financing have squandered their degree and done nothing with it. Even four to five years after graduation our own findings have consistently demonstrated there was still no job obtained relevant to the degree.
Overworking yourself while you are in your forties or fifties to fully fund a 529 or other Educational IRA may be doing more to help your stockbroker fund HIS child’s college plans rather than helping you with yours. Let your far more energetic fourteen , sixteen or eighteen year old tow some of the load while gaining far more valuable practical work skills in the interim.

But wait – Kids are sharp. They know what we parents are up to even at young ages of five, six and seven years old. Your child is probably already on to your college funding scheme and already anticipating having to try less harder unless you tie any future releasing of funds directly to expectations you expect.
In what candidates believed were private confidential interviews (they still are private as we are not releasing anyone’s name) many disclosed knowing mom or dad had the means to fund school and knowingly made travel and other plans accordingly with their spare time! They became artificially induced toward a life of laziness and leisure simply because they knew they did not have to strive as hard as the next person.
2. Tuition Earned Credits – When it comes down to making hiring decisions, more than 83% of hiring managers will choose and select the student that has earned the greatest portion of his/her college tuition expenses over the job applicant that had college paid for by “Mom and Dad, Inc.” This is especially true if the GPA was maintained at an above average level while the student worked and earned his/her tuition.
So if the hiring decision is split between two candidates. One having a 3.0 GPA with a degree fully financed with parental tuition funding … and the other has a 2.9 GPA but paid 50% of her way by working summers and weekends … the second candidate will get the job as she has demonstrated proven work ethic, sacrifice and the ability to overcome adversity.
3. Study Skills – Focusing very early in your child’s life (such as first grade in elementary school) on study skills is a much more valuable gift and legacy your child can inherit from you than your money. Start when young and stay on them. If one school is not working out … try another. Look into charter schools which often take a more interactive approach rather than the lecturing approach. The ability to know a child can study on her own will be with him/her for their entire lifetime and no economic disaster can ever take those skills to succeed away for long.
4. Dependency – Disciplined study skills, the knowledge of how to set goals and achieve them, are skills your college aged child can take and apply for the rest of his/her life. Money handed over too easily will run dry leaving no skill with which to know how to earn it afterwards. Heavily subsidized college also creates a financial dependent child that becomes addicted to the financing. Just like a drug addict can go into withdrawals once the spigot is shut off, a financially dependent child will be lost in the jungle of business having for too much on parental injection of funds.
KEY NOTE Most medium sized businesses and even many larger ones your child will be seeking employment from were created by hard-working individuals who were often from families with little means and struggled and sacrificed to create their company.
5. Company Hiring Managers – Most hiring managers became hiring managers due to their unique interpersonal skills, disciplined work ethic and street smarts. Very few were promoted to management due to additional degrees or education alone.
In fact, many might not even have a degree at all (ever here of Charles Lazarus founder of Toys R Us?) As a result they will develop an affinity and most likely hire employees that similarly understand what it is like to struggle and have exhibited above average work ethics.
6. GPA (Grade Point Average) – Grade Point Averages MATTER! They matter in high school in determining what college choices you have, and they matter after college as company hiring managers scrutinize and include the GPA as part of the overall decision making process.
KEY NOTE A high GPA (above 2.9) combined with
summer work or internships which tie into the degree major are the two greatest factors contributing to hiring decisions.
7. Internships/Related Experience – Obtaining some relevant work experience during your sophomore through senior year in college will make far greater impression on hiring managers than four years of college plus an MBA with NO WORK EXPERIENCE!
The key word here is r-e-l-a-t-e-d experience.
While working at Dairy Queen is fine and still teaches very good skills … changing your internships or summer work as you near graduation to work which is related to your major will provide significant advantages in finding your first “full time” position.
8. Struggle and the value of Mistakes – Learning to cope with struggles of life such as balancing social, work and academic life is critical life experience a child can only learn well through making mistakes. Attempting to sanitize a child’s life with too much artificial intervention is like feeding your baby tiger with processed and easy to digest cat food all its life and then releasing it into the jungle. Studies show such animals, despite their innate instincts can perish due to their inability to re-learn how to survive quickly enough having led a life of artificial convenience. More importantly however, our own decades of hiring observations and first hand experience from real life interviewing point to the same conclusions when it comes to career and academic success.
Mistakes are valuable. Many of us as parents experienced the pain of mistakes we made when we were young adults and how it may have required years to get things back on track as a result. But it is those specific mistakes that must be made … which parents must stand out of the way of … that create character and bolster your life experience.
9. Over Education – Candidates that have their Bachelor Degree paid for by “Mom & Dad, Inc.” often find getting hired quite difficult. They wonder why after six months or more of interviewing their degree has not landed them a job. Not having been properly tutored in “real life” skills, they often continue to feed their addiction to parental subsidization for even more education yet such as Masters Degree, JD etc.
The result is quite often an over educated student who still lacks practical employment experience, skills, and business skills. Companies value the concept of such skills which triggers hiring decisions.
An over-educated/under-skilled young adult who is trying to enter the real world with a lopsided academic/work experience equation is at a great disadvantage. Sadly, this type of person might flounder for one year never knowing why he’s missing out on job offers because no one has bothered to tell him.
While there are exceptions to all of these findings … and sometimes an MBA will be hired by a group of peers that have founded some consulting firm or such … the majority will have difficulty convincing a company to extend an offer without practical AND relevant work experience.
Also, a string of degrees in various unrelated disciplines or subjects can backfire and be interpreted as “unfocused” or “scatterbrained” by those reviewing such resumes.
10. Invest your TIME … NOT your MONEY – Finally, any parent is far better advised to invest YOUR TIME and YOURSELF in helping your child excel during the critical middle and high school years.
By focusing your time on your child, rather than at the office trying to earn more to save for future college expenses, the child will develop the study skills necessary to earn higher Grades on his/her own.
These higher grades can and will lead to scholarships which are more likely to help your child’s self confidence and assure continued long term success (not to mention ease the load on your pocketbook) than having a top notch school financed by “Mom & Dad, Inc.” only to graduate with a C-Average and little else of real life experience to compliment it.
Many states offer special programs where community colleges may be attended at either reduced tuitions costs or for free entirely if you hold a certain grade level.
Here in New Jersey, the New Jersey Stars program gets your child to go to a two year community college FREE providing High School Grades are kept in the top 20 percentile.
Click on for the story.
This saves TONS of money as you can then focus your out of pocket costs toward the final two years of the university you choose.
It does not matter where your first two years of college courses were taken, only where you ultimately graduated from.
Many of the students that had mom & pop pay for tuition … are often the same ones that decide to take long overseas vacations immediately upon graduating (further underscoring how excessive parental subsidization actually encourages leisure and a lack of business focus).
Taking long European or overseas vacations spanning several months immediately after graduation can be the death knell of job success.
While you may be looking at 2-3 months hiking around Europe as a well deserved break … the reality is when you tack on another three months of job interviewing when you return you will have created a six month void in your resume. These voids regularly evolve to nine months and even a full year or more as the first set back has a domino affect leading to a second setback, and etc. This creates a downward spiral like an F5 Tornado that gets worse.
While you are vacationing, take our word that your colleagues are interviewing and getting the jobs you are leaving behind. One by one the jobs originally earmarked for your graduating class are disappearing as you taste wine in France or dip your toes in the Mediterranean sea.
When an employer is hiring … the choice will be in favor for the recent graduate that placed the emphasis and goals on employment … over the one who’s priorities were placed in leisure activities.
When you return you may find your self on the job hunt for many more months that what you may have bargained for.
Most College Grads that have walked this past REGRET making such an unwise decision.
The following summary is written by Frank Risalvato, CPC a 19 year veteran national corporate recruiting consultant:
I received a string of calls from friends around the country recently. Each mentioned how he/she was “focusing hard on maximizing funds invested for their children’s college education”.
Oddly enough, I never heard about anything else these parents were doing to help their children besides “money”.
Money alone does not buy your child’s success.
In fact it most assuredly will guarantee failure if anything.
We are not saying you should not provide financial assistance.
We are also NOT suggesting you should not save appropriately.
What we are suggesting is to make sure you do not overlook many other ways you can help your child besides the financial aspect alone.
What we are recommending is that the financial assistance is carefully applied when all other avenues are first exhausted by the young adult his/herself. Also, there should be some requirement to earn the assistance rather than be the recipient of grant money.
We also recommend you emphasize efforts as a parent on teaching good study skills as well as “soft skills” such as:
• Punctuality
• Business etiquette
• Reliability
• Good follow up skills
• Saying “please” and “thank you” or “no thank you”
As I write this my son graduated middle school just last night as a national honor society student. A remarkable 25% of the entire class was inducted into the National Honor Society of his school … Twenty-Five Percent!
My son was in the top 10% of that 25%. Yes I’m proud as it took a lot of work by my wife and I to lead to such a milestone.
According to the principal of his charter school it was the largest percentage ever to become a NHS members.
During my decades of interviewing I’ve met many professional and college level sports players, including baseball, basketball and other sports athletes … who sat in my chair opposite my desk completely confused about how they were going to earn a living because their “arm broke” or some other unexpected event took place and they had no backup plan that would work in “real life”.
While some are working overtime going crazy to fund college programs my wife and I have chosen to invest our time with our children each evening with their homework …. Which directly impacts their grades.
If our children can maintain their grades all sorts of scholarship offers will come knocking on our door. It may not matter if you have one dime set aside for college (although it will surely help) if the proper skills and habits have been instilled this will trump everything else you can do.
Just ask Dr. Thomas J. Stanley and Dr. William Danko, authors of “The Millionaire Next Door”.
As a by product of studying the lives of millionaires (real millionaires not the ones showing off driving Cadillacs and Mercedes who are actually broke) they also discovered most millionaires came from nothing.
In other words millionaires were mostly recently poor people.
They also discovered after these individuals became wealthy, those that attempted to ease the path to success for the next generation by over financing college and over-funding created spoiled children instead that failed to ever learn independence.
Twenty years of intense research by the team of authors proved that only those parents that taught their children the value of money, work skills, and how to fend for themselves created a second generation that could actually achieve the success level of their parents.
Twenty years of hands on hiring experience and research by myself and dozens of recruiters that have worked for IRES, Inc. has led to the same exact conclusions.
(If you truly care about your young child’s future career success)
The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley and Dr. William Danko
The Student Success Manifesto – by Michael Simmons

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