Health, Happiness, and Educational Upskills with Grant Aldrich of OnlineDegree.com:
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college more accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their college education. Grant has spent his entire career working in startups with nearly 15 years of experience and 2 prior exits to a publicly-traded
company. He has been a board member and donor to a number of non-profits, an advisor to many publicly traded companies, and a guest speaker at seminars and graduate school courses. He graduated with honors from the University of California Irvine in Economics.
"Know Thyself" – Quote
Why The Project?
We want to help millions of people go back to school who’ve been unable to take that first critical step. We believe in the value of higher education and the institutions of learning in our country. However, university and college education can still be too expensive and unapproachable for the majority of Americans. Normal distractions of work, bills, and home life often prevent someone from being able to dedicate the appropriate time and money to a traditional 4-year degree program. This has led to a rise in new marketplace offerings that attempt to bypass traditional universities completely…we think that’s a problem and unnecessary. Our solution addresses the issues of higher education’s accessibility and affordability and keeps students on a proper collegiate path.
Student Debt…THE Crisis Of Our Time
Student debt has now reached a level of epic proportions. At $1.34 Trillion in the United States alone, it’s larger than both Auto and Credit Card Debt. It places a crushing burden on young learners and often prevents working adults from getting the modern skills and education they need to improve their livelihood. We’re working tirelessly to alleviate that burden and help people get years back from their lives. It means someone could buy a home sooner, spend more time with family, or pursue the job of their dreams rather than working any job to meet their debt payments.
07:45 - Yeah, I think that actually, the realization that education is going to go online was decoupled from coming up with the actual business model, because I knew for such a long period of time that online education is the wave of the future, just like it's changed every industry. It'll change dating. It'll change every facet of how we interact with one another and how we interact on occasion. I knew that was gonna happen and we see that in the data. I mean, higher education as a whole, it's a massive industry valued at around $700 billion.
20:00 - You could literally possibly even get so successful, that you make more money than your parents while living in your mom's basement. There are all of these technological advancements that have created so much freedom. But to your point, I feel like we've lost some of the bricklaying as I kind of tried to connect with the whole highway bill, and then we've lost the foundation, right?
28:00 - We have a ton of psychology and the mental side of that longevity factor of being healthy all the way up until the day you die. It's such a big factor. In fact, I wrote a, so I had children recently, I've got three kids under three and a half. One of the exercises I did was I wrote them a letter. I tried to incorporate this, that this is going to be for them although way down the road. I tried to incorporate a lot of wisdom into that letter. One of the key tenets, I'll boil some of it down, is that you have to live a life of happiness and one of the tenets of that is is health.
40:00 - But things have totally changed. The community college system is really broken in so many ways because it's not so cheap and you still have to pay a decent amount. So it is not that accessible because it's a government institution and government institutions are always behind the times and they're not able to adapt quickly enough to make programs online.
50:00 - It's sad too since there are good people in these organizations to that credit of that woman or a person who is with you. Yeah, there are excellent people and they're very determined. It's not their fault. The professors there, they may all be excellent. It's just the institution itself. I mean, it's government run and when we look at any other government run institution, the DMV, the Post Office, etc, the whole goal here is to provide a service to everybody at the lowest cost. You're ultimately at the mercy of taxpayer dollars. So you can't possibly provide a good service to everybody and provide some that everybody needs and stay in front of it all. That's not how they're designed to move. That's a bureaucracy.
01:02:00 - Final Words
Our Final Words of the Show:
Asking for some final words is actually quite timely because of that letter that I've been writing to my children, the message we would come back to is happiness. It's weird about all of that, as it's so intuitive that we have to be happy. And yet it's one of the hardest things you could see people try to achieve because I think in a lot of cases people don't really know themselves. I think that's a sad thing like they kind of live their lives papering over and never going through introspection to really know who they are. I think that's key right? Because if you know who you are, you can know how to be happy. They look at your life right now, all of these things you're doing that are just awesome, right? You're living a life, health, your career, all of your entrepreneurial ventures the way you're helping people. Your philanthropy, philanthropic efforts with your nonprofit I mean that is all a life driven on happiness and living in the moment kind of thing. I think that that in and of itself is a legacy that you can leave behind, something that you can be a good example of because they're sad, but that's just rare. Most people do not live that way.