Vote for your Favorite Teacher

By Robert Fezza and Steve Siders

If you read our August column, “When a Teacher Lights a Spark,” you read the first-hand account of Robert’s experience as a parent—hoping his son would develop an interest in, and an appreciation for, personal finance at a young age. Spoiler alert—it finally happened, but it took the creativity and inspiration of his son’s teacher to bring it to the surface.

Teachers are the best. It’s easy to say, and we often think so, but how frequently do you actually say “thank you” or show your appreciation? A shiny red apple may be the traditional choice, but wouldn’t some cash be better? Here is an easy way to help your favorite teacher win up to $1500 for their classroom!

Odyssey Favorite Teachers Contest
Make your vote count. “Like” as many of the teacher’s pictures as you want on our Facebook page. The teachers shown were nominated during the open nomination period that ended August 31, but you can vote for your favorite(s) now! The deadline is September 30th. The teacher with the highest vote count at the end of the month will receive $1,500, while second-place will receive $500 and third-place $250 for use in their classrooms!
Details of the contest are available at the Odyssey PFA website..

Meaningful conversations about the “value” of a college education
If you are a high school student or parent, trying to decide on a college—we encourage you to ask a lot of questions about the “value” each specific college option will provide for your child’s career aspirations. Public university tuition averaged $3,190 for the 1987-1988 school year (adjusted for inflation). The cost has risen to $9,970 today. That’s a 213 percent increase. (Source: College Board – Trends in College Pricing 2017)

Before you pay $60,000 or more for a degree, or take on student debt to make it happen, stop and think about your expected return on this investment. One suggestion is to ask questions of the teachers who know you the best. Ask them what areas of study you should consider, what they see as your strengths, whether they see you in a small or large university, and even if they think college is the right next step for you.

We aren’t denying that a college degree will likely improve income opportunities throughout your career, but is college the right choice for everyone? Some individuals would be better off learning a trade or serving our country rather than giving it “the ol’ college try.” It’s no longer a drop in the bucket to attend even local Atlanta schools. Kennesaw State University is about $7500 per year for tuition and fees and over $10,000 for room and board according to CollegeBoard.org. UGA is about $21,000 combined, and how about Emory (private) at over $65,000.

Oh, and don’t forget to multiply these annual costs times four! Important decisions deserve good research and consideration before committing to pay the price.

Life’s a journey—navigate it wisely! ❍