Four Lessons from a For-Profit University Graduate

Last month, I wrote this piece for Forbes talking about what I learned as a for-profit university graduate.

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Photo credit: Reno Gazette-Journal

I graduated from Morrison University in Reno, Nevada in 2006. Morrison University had been in the Reno area for more than 100 years. My professors were respected professionals, including one who served on the Nevada State Board of Accountancy. Many of my classmates were working professionals with years of experience in their fields who’d been told by their managers that they couldn’t rise any higher in the company without a diploma.

Morrison University made sense. They offered an accelerated program and the option for all evening classes to accommodate a full-time job. Shortly after I enrolled, Morrison was purchased by the now-defunct Anthem Education. In 2014, Morrison University closed its doors.

My experience at a for-profit school was a good one. I’d struggled to get the classes I needed at the University of Nevada Reno for years. It was not possible to work a full-time 9 to 5 job and get a bachelor’s degree in accounting at UNR. Morrison University allowed me to transfer the credits I’d earned and finish up my degree in two years.

Unfortunately, my experience is not the norm. Many for-profit universities have lied to students, encouraging them to rack up tens of thousands of dollars for degrees that are worthless.

Yet I believe for-profit universities have a purpose. They serve a population that for whatever reason is not served by state universities and community colleges. I hope that sharing my experience can help other students considering a for-profit university know what questions to ask and how to recognize those universities that put their bottom line ahead of students’ education.

I hope change comes for for-profit universities so they can continue to provide an alternative for non-traditional students. I hope more people who have had positive experiences with for-profit universities can talk about them so we can remove the stigma of a for-profit degree.

Have you had an experience at a for-profit university? What are your thoughts?

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The Time I Was Considered an Authority

Back in February, I was interview by the amazingly cool Lauren Lyons Cole for International Business Times. She wrote this piece about commonly abused tax deductions for freelancers.

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It was my first time being interviewed as an “authoritative source” and luckily for me, Lauren is talented enough to assemble my blathering into useful information. (I’m much better at writing than I am at talking.)

If you’re a freelancer, check it out! Even if you’ve already filed your tax return for 2015, there’s plenty of good advice to keep you on the right track for 2016.

Photo credit: Photo: Markus Spiske / raumrot.com

I made it!

I managed to make it through Tax Season 2016, keep all of my freelancing clients happy, keep my family alive and my house standing, all while working 60 hours a week. I’d call that a success.

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Posting here and pitching new writing jobs took a back seat, but now I’m back.

I managed to write quite a bit during the last three months, although a lot of it was ghostwriting for other CPA firms and an accounting staffing company. Here are few of the pieces I wrote recently:

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My girl Cruz Santana from The Freelance Dance invited me to contribute three posts for Guyvorce during April.

Tax Advice for Procrastinating Divorcees

Seven Commonly Missed Tax Deductions

Who Should Pay for College After Divorce?

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I had to turn down a few assignments from Parachute due to lack of time, but some topics were just too fun to resist:

Take a ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ Inspired Road Trip

Scottsdale for (Dog) Lovers

How to Travel Like Beyonce

Forbes

I’m still writing monthly for Forbes. Here are a few of my recent favorites:

How to Prepare Financially for Starting a Family

On International Women’s Day, Women CPAs Have Come Far But Have More Strides To Make

Want to Save Money Shopping Online? There’s An App For That

That’s just a few of the pieces I wrote in between preparing and reviewing eleven billion tax returns.

Photo credit: Brandon Fick via Flickr cc