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Flip The Coin Over: Education Edition

Flip The Coin Over: Education Edition

By T. A. Acker
"Flip the Coin over" is a phrase I use frequently to tell myself and others to try to always see both sides of a story--see the bigger picture.
Like coins have two sides, topics and stories have more than one side as well. We use pro/con, likes/dislikes, advantages/disadvantages as the foundation for many topics of conversation. In this podcast, that premise is used in the area of higher education, with the intent to help students transition into and out of college life. Topics include: finances, academics, personal growth/self-worth, social life, and more.
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Dorm Disaster
Before the fall semester began, some students were already dealing with housing still under construction. Could this have been prevented? Take a listen!
August 30, 2021
Summer Term may not be for you if...
The summer term differs from the fall and spring terms in several ways. It may require changes some students aren't eager to make. Attending college during the summer is voluntary for many first and second year students before declaring a major or working on major courses. Self-evaluate to determine if it is a good move for you mentally and emotionally.
May 19, 2021
"Stop Bashing Algebra, Please"
For the folks that think some required high school courses don't apply to their livess today. But there are instances where we use algebra, geometry, etc. more than we know. Take a listen!
April 14, 2021
Loan Forgiveness: Almost caught by taxation
With the 2021 stimulus bill passing in Congress, the student loan forgiveness subject is included. While direct cancellation is not mentioned, forgiveness of student loan is now non-taxable! While this a great thing, there's another concern worth addressing.
March 12, 2021
Should we still call college a "good debt"?
College can be a rewarding experience, but it can be a costly one as well. Calling it a "good debt" only works if one understands that what they will pay is less than the starting salary of their career upon graduation. Thus, student loan debt is important to weigh, for that amount can quickly grow higher than one's pay. Research and evaluate the right school for the career you want.
February 09, 2021
Customizing Your Education
Just as we customize and add accessories to our wardrobe, we can do that to college majors! You may have the same field of study as another person, but what is custom to you may only fit you!
January 18, 2021
Gifts: Conquer your needs first
"What do you want for...?" This question comes around whenever it's holiday, birthday, or even graduation season. So when asked by family members and friends, college students should consider their needs first and/or what they may need in their near future. Things like rent paid, gift cards for gas or food, new textbook or supplies, new appliance in new apartment, etc. should be considered before spending on random miscellaneous items.
December 02, 2020
Communication with Credentials
We hold credentials in our working world--degrees, certifications, board affiliations, etc., and they are attached to our names. When communicating via email, letters, and just regular signature, is it possible we are using them incorrectly at times? Should it matter? After all, they are ours, right?
October 23, 2020
Academic Sacrifice
At times, you may have a busy schedule, and have many exams on the same day or within a day of each other. You can sometimes feel the need to sacrifice the time and energy for one class and put that into another. Listen to my story and the lesson I learned from it.
October 15, 2020
Just like eyesight, sometimes as a student, your path can be blurry. Having the right corrective lenses can get you on track and enhance your vision.
September 10, 2020
Career paths: money owed vs. money earned
Careers based on the traditional college path (as well as the graduate and professional degrees obtained) are always compared to programs taught in technical colleges/trade schools. In this episode, listen to how a social media posts comparing the two sides can provide great information, but also be misleading.
July 29, 2020
Sampling college
Some people are successful without completing a degree. They go to college for a while, get what they need out of it, and move on from it. Some students obtain a degree and use it and their skills to propel them into other careers later.
July 21, 2020
Protect the Free Money
If you are blessed with a scholarship or grant to help pay for school, you now have important jobs to do: don't waste it and work hard to maintain and obtain it again. Protect your money!
July 21, 2020
Embracing Unavailability
There are times where you must separate yourself from friends (even the good ones) because your priorities require that. Also, having friends that hold you to your priorities is a plus. It's about balancing time and energy together as well as apart.
July 10, 2020
To Whom Are You Connected?
Listen as I talk about $120 million donation from Netflix CEO to Morehouse and Spelman Colleges as well as the United Negro College Fund.
June 20, 2020
Student Loan Forgiveness Veto
Hear my perspective on the latest student loan forgiveness bill veto by the current administration. Hear why students need to take heed to this and make sound financial decisions in college.
June 01, 2020
The Roommate Effect
Whether in college or post-graduation, having a roommate can offer opportunity to build savings and pay off debt. But this can only happen if you have the right roommate.
May 30, 2020
Who do you know with student loan debt?
In this episode, T. A. has a small assignment for students heading to college: find someone you know that is already dealing with student loan debt. How do they feel? How has student loan repayment/debt affected their lives? The goal is show students what a projected future looks like, so that they can either plan for it or avoid it altogether.
May 01, 2020
Are You Having a Conversation?
This episode is speaking to both the parents as well as the teen who is thinking about college. Are parents being transparent and honest enough when explaining their own financial struggle, financial outlook, current student loan debt (if applicable) to their soon-to-be college child(ren). The same perception (mistakes) could be made if parents give optimism without realistic advice based on experience and wisdom.
April 01, 2020
Transition to online learning
Due to recent coronavirus outbreak, academic institutions are switching to online instruction. Here, I break down transition tips to help students make it through their semesters.
March 27, 2020
Should you have a plan B?
Even when we know what we want to pursue (as a major, dream or goal), we may find ourselves at a point that questions whether we should continue on that path, or start planning in another direction. Sometimes we can merge the two. But for some, plan A is the only plan and that works for them. In either case, time, money, and one's capability has to be considered.
February 15, 2020
Immediately vs. Waiting to start
Should high schoolers try to begin college directly after high school ends? Should they take time off beforehand until they are "ready" to attend?
February 06, 2020
Stop the Pressure
At times, being the first and/or the only one to accomplish something comes with unwanted pressure. If not careful, the pressure can prevent you from performing your best. No one can get the diploma, degree, etc but you, so don't let the pressure hinder you. It's not when you finish, but that you finish.
January 19, 2020
G.P.A.: What it can or cannot do for you?
"A great GPA (grade point average) can get you into school and keep you there, but it may not get you the job." In this episode, I explain why I said this quote and how students should know when their GPA is/isn't the main focal point of their education.
November 27, 2019
Out-of-state tuition fees being dropped in MS
Jackson State University is the latest public college/university in Mississippi that has drastically lowered the tuition fees for out-of-state students. Here I discuss potential pros and cons of that decision.
November 16, 2019
Who are YOU?
In the midst of rigorous academic life, finances, etc, how can a student create balance and protect their mental and emotional state? How can they tap into their personalities, hobbies, skills, etc to help them be successful in the classroom?
November 04, 2019
The Flavor of Graduate School
Degrees are like seasoning in recipes, and getting a Master's degree can add flavor to the careers of some, but not all. It's about blending and complementing the right seasoning/flavors together.
September 16, 2019
High school classes: Deciphering what should be mandatory.
Many people feel that instead of (or in addition to) the English, Math, Science, etc., classes about money, careers, home economics, and others should be mandatory. In this episode, let's look at why and why not.
September 12, 2019
The 8am class (dis)advantage.
Many college students experience the dreadful early wake up to make it to an 8am class. Some former students warn others against starting that early, while others embrace the early-in/early-out mindset. What about you??
September 06, 2019
Eliminating student loan debt for everyone
With student loan debt in the trillions of dollars, let's listen to the good and bad side to repaying or eliminating everyone's student loan debt.
August 19, 2019
(Dis)Advantages of Greatness
In this episode, we look at how one person's "greatness" may not easily translate into those around him/her being great.
July 07, 2018
The Cost of the B.S. (degree, that is)
How much is too much? What is considered too expensive when considering undergraduate college education, even if you owe nothing upon graduation?
May 26, 2018
UF Graduation Celebration
In this first episode, I talk about the University of Florida's graduation celebration controversy.
May 11, 2018