Is college the right answer for everyone once they graduate high school?
Should send my kid to college when they're uncertain about what they want for their future?
What about a gap year?
What about the cost? Should I or my child go into debt to pay for a degree that may or may not pay off in the end.
These are some of the questions I've been wrestling with lately as I journey towards the "finish line" with my oldest. When I attended college, the guarantee of a job wasn't the same as when my father attended. It's been twenty years since I got my degree, and while I'm thankful for it, my work history has not required it.
I've determined to seek out all of our post high school options before we make our decision. One of my favorite college alternatives that I have found is the Praxis Apprenticeship Program. As I looked more into this exciting opportunity, I felt like I really needed to tell every high schooler I know about the option. I'll tell you why.
I was compensated for my time in exchange for an honest review of Praxis. All opinions are my own. See my full disclosure policy for more details.
Praxis is a one year entrepreneurial apprenticeship that puts students into their field of interest for on the job training while equipping them with business and marketing skills they can use in any job.
It starts off with a three month boot camp designed to help them identify and develop the marketable skills they already have. During this time, they develop a personal website which they will use to land an apprenticeship at one of the nationwide start up companies that work with Praxis.
For the remainder of their year, they will work 30 hours a week, getting paid $10-$15 per hour. At the same time, they will continue to participate in daily online courses, weekly video conference chats with fellow Praxis members, and semester long personal development projects customized to their vision for their future. Throughout the program, students are held accountable by a mentor in setting goals and sticking to them.
Some examples of individual projects include:
- Writing and publishing a book
- Starting photography and graphic design companies
- Start video production companies
At the end of the year, 98% of Praxis graduates get job offers starting around $45,000 - $50,000 per year. That's incredible. Their goal is to connect business owners with long term employees. Check out this testimony from a Praxis graduate:
Even after students graduate from Praxis, they are always welcome to come back to the weekly chats or meet up at the yearly conventions.
What Does Praxis Cost?
This year long program costs $12,000 for the year. While it sounds like it is more that one year of college, keep in mind that it is only one year, and they walk away with experience and a resume that will get them job offers.
In addition, students are earning an income while they work for their company. If they saved all of their income, they would net around $2,000 in the end, leaving them starting off in the real world debt free.
You don't even have to pay the fee all up front. You can set it up to pay the $12,000 over the course of a couple of years, so that you can balance out living expenses as well as education expenses.
What Makes Praxis an Excellent Option for Homeschool Grads?
If you've taken the path less traveled in the formative years of your child's education, sometimes it makes sense to continue to find unique ways to launch them into adulthood.
While some occupations like doctors and lawyers need to continue their education through more traditional methods, there are many skill based careers out there that students can learn more from on the job training than they could in a classroom.
And employers love experience.
But even a homeschooler who thinks they'd like to be a doctor or a lawyer could really benefit from a gap year with Praxis because of its entrepreneurial instruction. I wish I would have learned more business basics in college. Every job in the world requires some marketing, managing, and sales experience in order to be successful.
Check out this fascinating infographic:
If you have a student that needs a college alternative or a gap year before they head off to dive into their college career, encourage them to apply for Praxis.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.