To get started here’s a hypothetical conversation between an average college kid and the college system.
When reading this let’s all ask ourselves, if college were a poker game, would we play it?
College System: Okay kid, the charge is $75,000 for a four-year game of poker, but you can pay it off over the next thirty years just to play with someone as great as me.
College Kid: Alright.
College System: If I don’t show up to play on any given day, you still pay me.
College Kid: Okay, sure.
College System: If you have any questions concerning the game, you will have to wait on a line, and if you are lucky, you may get someone knowledgeable to answer your inquiry eventually.
College Kid: Yup.
College System: I will also force you to spend a lot of time doing things that have nothing to do with poker, but do not worry; the costs for those things you do not want to do are already included.
College Kid: Ah, okay.
College System: Here, take this book on the better aspects of poker.
College Kid: Great, thanks.
College System: That will be $47.95. Cash or credit?
Yup, I know this hypothetical conversation is overly dramatic and more than a little sarcastic, but it outlines a very important point which we all need to understand.
That important point is that college’s are businesses, and the systems they run by are not necessarily our friends. That’s why today’s college students must fight harder than ever for the services we pay in advance to receive.
Every year tuition costs go up, but the services students receive stay basically the same.
The result of this is that each student gets less attention, instruction, and overall tuition value each year.
That’s why it’s vital for us to learn how to beat the college system now.
In this age of booming tuition it would make sense that students would be showered with individual attention from the facility and staff.
However, that’s usually not the case. So now students need a new weapon in the fight for full tuition value from the college system whenever they can’t get the attention they need from the facility or staff.
That weapon is called the 3-Chamber Mail Blast.
Chamber #1: The Loud Cry Email
This is when we write an email directly to the superior of the campus individual we are having problems with; or to the head of the overall department.
In this email, we briefly explain (in one paragraph) what our problem is, and exactly who we’ve been dealing with.
Then we need to mention we’ll be following-up this email with a written letter explaining the entire situation in detail.
It’s usually not necessary to ever write the letter, but saying we will enhances the seriousness of the situation.
Finally, we need to copy the person who we are having problems with on the email when we send it.
Chamber #2: The Old Fashioned Written Letter
If it’s necessary to actually write the letter we mention in Chamber #1, it can be hand written or typed; but it must be mailed or personally delivered in a sealed envelope to the recipients.
A delivery which requires a signature is the ultimate way to go, but it’s not mandatory.
This letter needs to explain the entire story of how we’re not getting the attention we require in no more than one page.
We also need to include our full name, major, year, academic status (if positive), along with any clubs or organizations we’re associated with.
Then, include the following phrase (or something like it) at the end of the letter after completely and eloquently (without curse words or threats) explained the overall problem: “I really do not want anyone’s job to be in jeopardy over this matter. I simply request (include your demand for their direct action).”
That’s the most important part of the letter. At the end we must state exactly what we want their direct action to be to felicitate closure of the situation.
Lastly, we must include all of our contact information along with an open invitation to have a personal meeting to rectify the situation if needed.
Finally, sign the letter as follows:
Your Major (ex: School of Business , School of Fine Arts )
P.S. I thank you for your time and attention regarding this matter.
Chamber #3: The Getting Tough Multiple Person Follow-up Email
If Chambers #1 and #2 haven’t helped bring a resolution to the situation, it’s time to get tough.
Chamber #3 involves sending another email regarding the situation to six more staff members all at the same time.
The reason for doing this is that each recipient will see who else received the email which significantly magnifies the overall seriousness and anxiety associated with the situation.
The six people we need to send this email to are as follows:
1) The same individual who received the physical letter.
2 & 3) Two of his or her superiors.
4) One of his or her colleagues.
5) The original person with whom we have the problem.
6) The school President’s office.
This email needs to contain a complete summary of the entire situation as well as an outline of the direct actions which need to be taken to felicitate closure once and for all.
Also, we must make sure to include, or attach copies of, the dated prior email and written letter from Chambers #1 and #2 to show our diligent history of attempting to resolve the situation.
Next, the tone of this email must remain firm, but non-confrontational. Writing this email may sound stressful, but it’s not.
This email doesn’t need to be a masterpiece, it just needs to express the overall situation calmly and clearly.
Finally, if the Chamber #3 email doesn’t work to clear up the situation, we can always hint at alerting the local media. That’s the top secret final option.
Telling the facility or staff we’re prepared to alert the media to the situation needs to be the very last resort.
Because after that option is put into play, there’s no going back.
Plus, there may be consequences for doing it such as expulsion, so we need to wait on it until there are no other possible directions to go.
In the end, all too often students are brushed aside or asked to come back later when they seek attention or service for their tuition dollars from the college system.
The obvious question is, “Would we as students pay for this kind of service in any other aspect of our lives?”
Think about it. If we had to get our car fixed, would we go to a repair shop that would take our money, then put our car on a waiting list to be repaired whenever they got around to it?
This is what happens at college. We pay for school services up front; then we have trouble getting full value later. This the key to truly understanding how to beat the college system.
It sucks to look at it this way, but college is a big business and we’re the shoppers.
Much like a store, there is not a college anywhere that’s going to give us anything until we pay for it.
Moreover, it is almost impossible to find a school that doesn’t pounce on an opportunity to fine students for just about anything.
What I’m getting at is that colleges do not pull any punches when it comes to figuring out ways to get money out of students.
That is why every student must demand full value for every dollar we pay in tuition. Once we do that we’ll have completely grasped how to beat the college system.
In summation, during the poker game of college, we must make sure to control the cards whenever possible.
Our schools make the rules to the game, but if we play our cards correctly within their rules, we can beat them by getting more than full value for our tuition.
Every school office, lab, activity, counselor, organization, club or anything else on campus was put there just for us. So let’s go ahead and use them up. Let’s use them to learn everything we can and then move on to something new.
After all, we’re paying for everything whether we use it or not. So we may as well use it all.
That’s ultimately how to beat the college system while tapping into our inborn power. This will bring us closer to living as the most complete version of ourselves immediately.
* Action Step *
List your three biggest gripes about how you are being treated by the college system.
Be specific if you really want to learn how to beat the college system.
Now, take the grip that is bothering you the most, and, using the 3 Chamber Mail Blast from above, outline how you will take action to turn the situation in your favor.
How will you construct your emails and written letter? Who will you send them to?
As you do that remember, without taking action to help yourself, all you are doing is complaining and causing yourself to be continually unhappy.
So, start doing something about it today. Now you know how to beat the college system.
How To Beat The College System Now
– Written by Motivational Joe