Ep 26. Graduating College on Track for Financial Independence

6 Replies

Cody Berman: Remember that name because this kid is going places. Currently traveling in Australia, Cody began his journey into personal finance and intentional living as a child, when his dad taught him about compound interest and the power of saving and investing. By age 14, he’d already saved up $15k, and by the time he reached college, he was diving into entrepreneurship, side hustles, and financial independence plans.

Today, Cody runs a company that manufactures disc golf discs and has afforded himself the freedom to travel with his girlfriend. With an ultimate strategy for complete financial independence in the works, he plans to reach a point where he is able to spend time as he wishes, pursuing his various interest and entrepreneurial pursuits.

If you’re looking to inspire yourself, your kids, or any ambitious young people you know to make the small changes that will dramatically affect the future, don’t miss this episode.

Listen here or on your favorite podcast app.

I will like to add a college-hack to Cody's hacks. In California, there is a big push by the state for Dual Enrollment via AB 288. Dual Enrollment provides a high school student the opportunity to take college credit courses (up to 15 units) per term. I work for a community college that typically does not accept students below 10th grade. Before I proceed further, I need to mention a few things about community colleges in my state related to Dual Enrollment.

Community colleges are open to the public meaning we have to provide everyone with an equal opportunity to enroll for a course despite if we offer a course on our campus, a satellite campus, or at a high school within the college's district. Also, each community college serves a particular community or group of cities assigned as their district. Dual enrolled students do not pay for tuition or their books.

Going back to the discussion of Dual Enrollment, we didn't have a large amount of dual enrolled students. Parents and the deans didn't feel comfortable with a 15-old child taking night classes with an older population of students. Also, high schools didn't want to offer classes on their campus because the class was open for anyone to take. If a 50-year old man wanted to take a Human Development course with a bunch of high schools kids neither the college or the high school could stop him legally. AB 288 flew into the rescue (depends who you ask) allowing the colleges to offer college credit courses at high school campuses closed to the public. In order for colleges to accomplish scheduling closed courses at high schools, there needs to be an agreement between the college's Board of Trustees and the high school's Board of Trustees.

In practice at my college, we are offering courses at high schools during their school day for college credit. The courses we are offering are for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). We hope by the time these students graduate high school they have enough credits to start their career in a state or private university as a Junior. Community colleges have other ways to minimize the cost of education besides lower fees.

In regards to the stigma of receiving a lower level of education at community colleges, most of the faculty at my college are USC, Stanford, Brown, and various other private university alumnae. In California, community college faculty get paid more than their counterparts in the Cal-State or UC system. My father worked in the community college system for 30 years and I've attended several community colleges and worked in one for the past few years. I want to thank BiggerPockets and the FI Community for inspiring me to start writing a California Community College Hack Guide.       

I will add scholarships. There is so much money. I know several students that their full time job was applying for scholarships, they will get $100k a year on scholarships. In San Diego the community college will pay themselves with the scholarship money they get and the rest give to you, no matter how much it was. I went to a four year college , UCLA and if you get more money in scholarships than the school is worth (tuition+board) they will send it back.

@Oralia Alvarez Wow! Yes, scholarships, college promises, a few programs like CalWORKs, Extended Opportunity Program & Services (EOPS), First Year Experience (FYE), International Student Program (ISP), KEAS Program, Puente Project, or Veteran's Services Program in some way, shape or form helps with fees and books or minimizes the time spent at a community college and university. If you're able and willing to fully utilize a community college in your area, a community is built to help it's students academically and financially. You only get out of it what you put into it. 

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