Here’s a hypothetical email for you. Imagine a business sent you this:
We have a product that is impersonal, inexpensive to manufacture, easy to market, astronomical profit margins, and no alternatives. It’s the perfect product for you. Just order here on our website!
If any business sent you this, would you even bother looking into the product?
I’ve seen countless businesses create products with no target market or personal component. The saddest thing is how little customers seem to notice or care. I’ve tried one-size-fits-all hats, and they’re always too loose or too tight. I’ve attempted to use one-size-fits-all gloves, and they either cut off my blood flow or fall off unless I clench my fists. If you’ve tried one of these “revolutionary” one-size-fits-all products, you know the custom-fit is always better.
When you buy a product designed to fit you, you get a product that suits your needs. So why would you ever buy a product designed for someone else’s needs?
Customers need to demand better products, especially in some of the most influential industries. Higher education, for example, isn’t designed for you; it’s designed for someone who might be like you.
According to Finaid, tuition at higher education institutions increases by 8% every year. That is twice the general inflation rate, causing tuition to double roughly every nine years. Using 27 as the average age of first-time parents, college students pay nearly six times as much as their parents did before them.
“College students pay nearly six times as much as their parents did before them.”
That’s crazy, right?
These institutions provide silhouette programs in broad fields without considering your background and plans. Then they charge ridiculous prices for their cookie-cutter-degree. For example, aspiring to be HVAC mechanics and prosthetic developers both might study Mechanical Engineering. Our higher education institutions need more focused learning paths for their students.
You wouldn’t buy socks that were too big or too small, so why pay tuition for a degree that doesn’t provide content for your desired position. How about adding more detail to the hypothetical email:
Dear High School Senior,
We want you to major at our University. College is important. There are ways to finance, but we promise the debt is worth it. Where else can you prepare for the workforce? It’s the only next step, apply easily on our website!
This email is the reality for high school students. They’ve been told the importance of college education. They’ve been expected to incur crushing debt. They believe they have few if any, other educational alternatives. Then they make a life-altering decision, and everyone shrugs and acts like it’s unavoidable.
As a society that wants the best for our young people, we need to reject the idea of one-size-fits-all. One size has never fit all. One size fits some; another size fits others. Let’s make sure every student can shop for and find the right size for themselves.