$1.5 Billion Piled on Wall Street Tells Obama and Romney Not to Forget Education

Earlier this summer, 857 desks were placed on the National Mall in Washington D.C. They represent the number of students who drop out of school every hour of every school day each year.

Now, a 6-foot-tall stack of $1.5 billion fake hundred dollar bills sits on a sidewalk near the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, representing how much money the economy would gain if the dropout rate of students were reduced by 1 percent.

Both installations are part of an initiative by the College Board to get people talking about education during the presidential campaign. Dubbed “Don’t Forget Ed,” they want to raise awareness on what their website calls a crisis in America.

“It’s my future that they’re messing with. This election is going to make a really big difference to me…If it’s not about education, then it’s not about me,” said Merone, a student featured in one of the campaign’s videos.

Don’t Forget Ed encourages Americans to get involved through social media sites, signing a petition, and talking to others about the issue. In a presidential campaign focused on tough subjects like the economy, health care, and the budget deficit, the College Board doesn’t want education to be left behind in the debate. Read the rest of this entry »

Brian Tracy Found his Maximum Potential Despite Being a High School Dropout

To Brian Tracy, luck is foreseeable. Those with good luck have a reason for it. “If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often,” he says.

Brian Tracy was born in Canada in 1944. His early life was humble and he did not seem to have the makings for success, as he was born to a poor family and dropped out of high school. He worked as a laborer, then got a job on a tramp steamer and traveled around the world, visiting and living in many diverse countries. He eventually became a salesman, which started him on his path to success and helping others achieve success.

Tracy did not begin as a great salesperson, but worked hard and copied other good salesmen and read about their techniques. Soon he was the top salesperson in his company, and in two years went into management as vice president of the company. He eventually became the CEO of a $265 million development company.

Starting as a salesperson, Tracy later became involved in real estate, advertising, the auto industry, investments, training and consulting. He went back to school and got his MBA from the University of Alberta. He then developed his first training program that would become the book Maximum Potential (1995). Read the rest of this entry »

20 Under 20 Documentary Highlights Entrepreneurial Potential of Education Dropouts

The recent documentary on CNBC, 20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow program, highlights an exciting shift in technology and education and it’s creating quite a stir. This program started when a visionary from Silicon Valley named Peter Thiel decided to undergo a search for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Mr. Thiel started a fellowship program where he offers the winning fellows $100,000 to drop out of college to pursue cutting edge business and technology opportunities.

The documentary tells the stories of the young men and women who are competing for the coveted prize. The most notable requirement of this program is that in order to become a Thiel Fellow you must walk away from your education to focus on entrepreneurship full time. There’s no secret that many successful entrepreneurs abandoned college to work on their passion full time. People like Michael Dell of Dell Computers, Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Walt Disney, Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are just a few super successful examples who dropped out of school.

Some major breakthrough ideas are in the forefront and presented by finalists competing to become Thiel Fellows. The winning Thiel Fellows include Connor Zwick, who left Harvard behind to revolutionize America’s education system, Noor Siddiqui, who plans to lift one billion people out of poverty, and Tony Ho and Anand Gupta who think they’ve found a way to help doctors catch cancer before it’s too late. Read the rest of this entry »

Want to Live a Long Life? Stay in School

Stay in school. Get an education. Knowledge is power. All of these phrases are instilled in children from preschool on. It’s great advice and can definitely lead to some smart choices in life. But now it’s been found that getting more education can not only improve your life, but make it last a little longer.

A study published in the August issue of Health Affairs shows that the life expectancy of those who are poor and less educated has increased only slightly over the past several decades. The research also shows that in some cases, the life expectancy for those who don’t finish high school is getting shorter. Within this study, the researchers examined the trends in life expectancy from 1990 through 2008 paying special attention to how someone’s age, sex, race and education affected their longevity.

Lead author of the study Jay Olshansky stated in a news release, “There are essentially two Americas. The most highly educated white men live about 14 years longer than the least-educated black men. The least-educated black women live about 10 years less than the most-educated white women.” Read the rest of this entry »

Paypal Co-founder Gives $100K to College Dropouts

If you’re looking for a reason to drop out of college, then you may want to look to Peter Thiel. The co-founder of Paypal, and Facebook investor, is convincing some bright, young adults not to go to college. He gave out a $100,000 grant to 24 college-age entrepreneurs to pursue their business ventures.

“It’s good for some people, maybe most people to stay in school, but it is not good for everybody,” Thiel said. “There are people who are inventors, who are entrepreneurs for whom staying in school is not the right thing. And a lot of these ideas there’s a certain right time and place for when they should be built. And if people have a passionate, great idea that is going to change the world, they should get started on it right away.”

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Graduation Coaches Aid High School Students in Getting Diplomas

National dropout rates among high school students have drawn some major attention recently. The Obama Administration has set forth some goals to reverse the trends of schools that are termed “dropout factories”, having fewer than 60 percent of students who start school their freshmen year still enrolled four years later. Schools all over the country have taken some different approaches to turning around these numbers and getting more high school students earning diplomas. One method that is being used is the hiring of graduation coaches.

The state of Georgia is currently involved in a program throughout the state to use graduation coaches to help students. Graduation coaches have a dedicated responsibility to identify students who are at-risk for dropping out of school. This risk may be due to poor attendance or failing grades. Once those at-risk students are identified, the graduation coach prepares a plan or strategy that will engage students in getting motivated.

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More U.S. Students Getting High School Diplomas

President Obama’s goal to graduate nine out of 10 students from high school by the year 2020 may not be quite on pace, but progress is definitely being made. A new study shows that the number of schools termed “dropout factories” has decreased since 2002 and more than 100,000 students have gotten a high school diploma because of that.

To be termed a dropout factory, a school must have fewer than 60 percent of students who started as freshmen still enrolled four years later. While these results are very encouraging, there would need to be a fivefold increase to take place for the 2020 goal to be reached. What this study does show is that the schools termed dropout factories can be fixed. Tennessee, Texas, New York and Georgia have found tactics that work to lower the dropout rates in their schools. Data has been collected to show what schools are having problems, what students dropout and what results work to keep students on track for graduation.

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Principal in North Carolina Invites Dropouts Back to School

west-bladen-high-schoolPrincipal Todd Finn of West Bladen High School in North Carolina invites dropouts to finish their high school education. Only 29 percent of original class graduated last year from West Bladen High, reports WECT. Although a few students transferred or moved, many dropped out. “Sometimes you have to take a different road to get to where you want to go, and that’s OK, but we can get you right back on the right track so you can finish,” said Finn.

The principal says he wants anyone who’s motivated to get their diploma, even if that means working out a special schedule. He acknowledges that returning to school can be difficult, but he welcomes all dropouts, regardless of age or their number of missing credits.

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CEOs Who Didn’t Graduate College

Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft, dropped out of HarvardCollege may not be for everybody. Having your degree is very important, especially in this job market, but there are definitely some exceptions to that rule. There are a few entrepreneurs that have been incredibly successful and never finished their formal education. So for those of you wait-listed students who may not even get the chance to go to your dream B-school, you may be inspired by the following group of CEOs. Not only did they not get graduate degrees, they didn’t get undergraduate degrees – and some never even attended college! Read the rest of this entry »

Dropouts Make it Big in Hollywood

It’s true what your parents say- an education is your assurance of success. Unless you’re amongst these celebs who were caught by the watchful eyes of Hollywood agents. Each of these stars dropped out and now have successful careers in Hollywood. Not a recipe for success for all of us.

These stars are doing OK without their high school diplomas.paris hilton

Lindsay Lohan– Quit school in 11th grade. Has not attended college. May or may not have a GED.

Paris Hilton– Quit school after 11th grade (Dwight School in NY). Did get a GED.

Jessica Simpson– High school dropout ( JJ Pearce High School). Has her GED.

Avril Lavigne– High school dropout (Napanee District High School) when signed by her record company.

Britney Spears– Dropped out of high school (Kentwood High School) for her career.

Leonardo DiCaprio- Skipped the diploma from John Marshall High School.

These celebs grabbed their high school diploma, then dropped out of college.

kanye westKanye West– Graduated from the American Academy of Art, then dropped out of Columbia College Chicago.

Katharine McPhee– A high school graduate, this American Idol star later dropped out of the Boston Conservatory.

Bill Gates– Took his high school diploma to the hallowed halls of Harvard, but later dropped out. But he did only found Microsoft.

Bruce Springsteen– The Boss graduated high school and persued education at Ocean County Community College, but left for his music career.

Jennifer Lopez– Spent a semester at Baruch College and then went off to be a Fly Girl.


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