Press Release

July 28, 2015

Don't Spend $150,000+ to Learn a Career Which Earns $50,000

COLUMBUS, Ohio (July 28, 2015) - It’s 2015 and the Titanic that is our higher education system is about to hit the iceberg. While the impending collision has been well-known for quite some time, only recently have students and parents begun asking the important question, “What is the return on investment of my education?”

There’s a myriad of problems steering students towards this inevitable collision course. According to CBS News, only 39% of full-time college students earn their degree in four (4) years and only 59% of students graduate within six (6) years. These low on-time graduation and retention rates coupled with the rising costs of higher education and low job placement rates are just a few of the issues facing higher ed. Yet, each year thousands of students who are still undecided about their future, spend an average of over $35,000 annually and enroll in their first of potentially many years at college.

“Most students go to college because they hope it will lead to a career. Most parents invest in their child’s education because they want their child to learn how to prosper as a working member of society. Most employers want to work with someone who has specialized career skills and hands-on experience. But if you take a look at higher education today, most colleges just aren’t preparing these students with specialized skills, aren’t requiring a meaningful apprenticeship, nor are they developing the entrepreneurial mindset required for longterm employment in the 21st century.” says GROOVE U Founder and Director, Dwight D. Heckelman.

So a growing number of students are enrolling at career and technical schools, as these programs offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on skills quickly and to enter the workforce much sooner than traditional college grads. Less time spent in college equates to lower total education costs and a higher return on investment. What’s more, according to the Ohio Association for Career Colleges and Schools over 81% of career college graduates in Ohio are employed within 90 days of graduation.

Currently GROOVE U has a 100% in-field, job placement rate among their graduates. The program also boasts a 91% Student Satisfaction Rate, an 88% Retention Rate, and an on- time graduation rate of 84%, blowing the public university graduation rate of 35% out of the water. Designed from the top down, GROOVE U music industry career program focuses on a career-centered approach to learning developed by active industry professionals. The program offers students professional development and small business entrepreneurship courses as well as hands-on training in the areas of: live sound engineering, music production, music business, music for video and interactive.

But what about those students who don’t go right from high school to higher education? According to the American Gap Association, about one-third of college freshman don’t return to the same institution for a second year. If you’re going to spend tens or possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars on college, you want each year to count.

“I think we are the only developed country in the world who asks a high school senior to make a $150,000+ decision about their life when that same person has to ask permission to use the bathroom” says Heckelman. He continues, “We find that students who take a gap year to work and figure out what they really want to do, are the most successful in our specialized program."

In the United States, taking a gap year used to have a negative connotation. But recently researchers have seen a 20% rise in students waiting a year before going to college. Studies show that students who take a gap year are more mature, self-reliant, and motivated to succeed when they do enroll in college.

So what is GROOVE U’s message to students? Before you enroll in any higher education program, research the type of training your desired career requires and the average annual salary for a professional in your desired path. It doesn’t make sense to spend $150,000 or more learning how to do a job when that job’s annual salary is less than $50,000. Create a career plan well before you even actually start your career. If you need to, take an extra year after high school to get the correct information. Then armed with this new knowledge, ask admissions representatives, “Why should I go to any college, let alone your college?” If they can’t provide you a direct correlation between the money you spend and the path to future employment, then chances are they are not providing you a good return on investment.


GROOVE U is a revolutionary music industry career program located in the Short North Arts District of Columbus, Ohio. The two-year program uses a career-centered approach to learning developed by active industry professionals, and is guided by the philosophy that the music industry is creatively engaged, apprenticeship-based and relationship-driven. Classes are small and personalized and offer both broad, foundational knowledge and specialized areas of music study in: production, live, business, video and interactive. With a 4:1 lab:class ratio, students have plenty of hands-on opportunities to hone in their skills. Students can directly plug-in to both the local and global music communities through trips to music conferences, on-campus speakers and two guided internships.

The school officially opened its 30,000-square foot creative campus in September 2012, and is currently enrolling for Fall 2015. Want to connect with us? Please contact GROOVE U if you have internship opportunities, would like to sponsor a student or want to be considered as a guest speaker. To learn more, schedule a campus tour and one-on-one meeting today.