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YOUTH Tomorrow’s

Wise Learning O ne of the biggest challenges facing young people and their parents today is how to approach education after high school. For most families in America and much of the world, going to college has become synonymous with taking the first step toward success in life. It’s not hard to find statistics that reflect the fact that college graduates are more likely to get a job and earn more than those who never went to college. But on the flip-side, the cost of college has skyrocketed in the last few decades. While a college degree may help with getting a job, it can also result in a burden of debt that lasts for years to come. This is the conundrum faced by young people and their parents every year as high school graduation approaches. So, what to do? The first thing to keep in mind is that God is the creator of knowledge. He knows everything about history, math, science, art, music and technology! His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5)! God is not anti-knowledge or anti-learning. In fact, when He offered King Solomon his heart’s desire and Solomon chose knowledge over riches and glory, God was immensely pleased (2 Chronicles 1:11–12). So, make no mistake, God wants us to be learners, gaining knowledge, wisdom and understanding. But a lot of careful thought needs to go into taking those first steps after high school. Many today are rediscov- ering the value of trade school, while others consider going to a college or university. If you are considering college, here are some important principles to keep in mind.

Prepare Wisely In its 2016 publication A Primer on the College Student Journey , the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) reported that approximately 68 percent of high school graduates will enroll in college within a few months of graduation. But, remarkably, about half of those who enroll will be required to complete remedial classes because they are not prepared for college work. If you study diligently in high school, you immediately put yourself on a course to getting the most from the college experience. But there is another element to preparation. We read this in Proverbs 1:7, from a man who was an exceptional student: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” We should temper and test everything a teacher tells us with a fear of God—a proper awe and reverence of Him and His ways. If we allow any college professor to convince us to believe anything that contradicts the word of God, we will begin to fall into the fog of purely human knowledge— ever-changing, never completely certain. Spend Wisely and Compare Wisely College can be expensive. And it’s gotten more expen- sive. According to the AAAS, tuition and fees to attend public four-year institutions average about 73 percent more than just two decades ago. As a result, many college students take out loans to pay for college—a lot of loans. In fact, student debt is currently in the neighborhood of $1.4 trillion (“Fed’s Dudley Says High College Costs Lower Economic Mobility,” WSJ.com, December 7, 2017). Many students and their parents

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Tomorrow’s World   |   March-April 2018

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