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So, is college worth it?
Last week I shared my biggest issues with the college system.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle
With all of those issues, there’s no denying the many benefits of attending college. You can’t make a blanket statement about college and say that it’s not right for everyone. Despite the many issues, there will always be tons of positives.
Let’s look at the research on top of my thoughts. Then you guys can jump in with your opinion on this whole debate.
I found this study at CNN Money recently. I wanted to highlight a few key points.
According to the aforementioned article:
“A bachelor’s degree promises higher returns than stocks, bonds, housing and gold. At 22, the average college grad earns about 70% more than the average person with only a high school diploma.”
Okay, that’s pretty impressive. In your early-2os you’re guaranteed to make more money than most of your friends. You don’t have to stress about paying the bills or finding work. IT also beats doing nothing in your 20s.
Then I found another article where 86% of graduates considered college a good investment (Time magazine).
So far, it looks like college is a pretty decent investment to make.
The CNN article goes on to mention:
“During the past eight years alone, tuition and fees have increased 34% at four-year public institutions and 18% at four-year private colleges.”
USA Today mentioned the following scary stat:
“About $110 billion in federal student loans were distributed in 2011.”
According to Yahoo News:
“The average amount of college loan debt from the class of 2013 was $35,200.”
While the whole idea of college is solid. Is the money spent on it worth it? Should you allocate thousands of dollars towards this expense? Does it make sense?
My theory on the cost of college is simple.
It all comes down to the following question:
What will you get out of the degree/experience? Is that cost worth it to you?
There are many case studies out there. There are folks who study a program of their choice, excel at school, find a great job, make lots of money, and live happily ever after.
Then there are those that drop out of college and start a billion dollar company.
The third group is where most of us fit.
The third group — You either didn’t attend college or went just because it felt right. You can’t find your dream job and you owe money for student loans.
If you’re in the first group, college is the best investment. You dedicated four years and X amount of dollars to earn a job that would pay you well for life. You don’t have to worry about job security. It might take you some time to pay off the loans, but at least you have the income to justify it
If you’re in the middle group, you’re happy that you saved money by dropping out because you started your own business.
In the third group, you’re likely jaded and frustrated with the system. You can’t get ahead and you can’t find a job you’re happy with. You hate your work. You hate the fact that you have to pay off your student loans with a job that frustrates you to no end.
College is a great investment and a great idea under two strict scenarios:
I don’t believe in bashing specific degrees because we all have our own unique interests. I also don’t want to say that law school is worth it if you end up with huge debt and hate your job.
School is a great idea if you know what you want to do and can guarantee work. It also makes sense when you won’t get into huge debt.
Those are my thoughts on the investment that is college. Please jump in with yours.
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” — B.B. King
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