Updated: Oct 21, 2018
As the world advances, more and more students are applying for universities in hope for a successful career. However, the costs for tuition has skyrocketed since the 2000’s. College isn’t cheap, but many believe it is the path to a successful future. You need to spend money to make money, right? But is it worth the cost?
There are three question you should ask yourself to see if college is really worth it for you. But first, understanding that everyone’s situation is different is key to seeing it college is worth the shot. Of course this is just an overview, really ask yourself if college is right for you before going.
1. Are you financially stable enough to go to college?
One of the key concepts is taking on as little debt as possible. For this, enroll into core classes at a simple community college, like Mt Sac, which charges low prices for classes. From there, you can transfer to a four year college and spend way less on the first two years.
Less years equals less payments right? Enroll into summer, winter, and spring break classes to complete your college career quickly.
Look around for scholarships or those that offer the work-study program, therefore you can earn money towards your career and lessen the load on debt.
If you are offered a scholarship, choose the one that gives the most money, make sure your remaining tuition is a lot less than the other school's tuition.
Finally, go to a local school. Room and board costs are not cheap. Living at home should make the tuition a bit more manageable.
2. Do you think you can find work with your degree?
Many people change their major more than once during their college career.
If you do know exactly what you want to study, choose a school that focuses on that. For instance, if you want to major in engineering, look into MIT, CalTech, or GeorgiaTech.
Even if you aren't sure about what to major in, start researching your potential career paths.
Use websites like collegeboard.org to help you research your pathways, salaries, and what to expect after graduation. The knowledge of how much you make can help you think about your career from a financial perspective.
3. Do you currently have a plan for success?
College should be exciting and fun, not your boring high school years that you spent taking AP classes and sleeping at 3 of 4 am. College should not be an experiment that costs you more than a car, but you do need a concise plan on how to succeed. Most of us do not like school, but still try to take classes that give more credits than others, but don't overload it. Make sure you still have times to do extracurriculars, so that you stand out to colleges. More on that here: https://www.innovayouth.org/blog/myth-or-fact-perfect-scores-ivy-league.
According to the 2016 College Board Report, the worst event that can happen is having a student loan and then not completing that degree. They reported that 24 percent of students dropped out had defaulted on their loans, and only 9 percent who did finish their degrees defaulted. Leaving the college without a degree but with debt, strips you away from what the degree can offer financially. So, to put it bluntly, finish your degree!
Is College Worth It? Yes!
If you have everything planned out and everything ready to go, then definitely, college is worth it. According to a report released by the College Board in December of 2016, they found that:
1. Poverty is extremely common among people with no degrees.
2. People with a degree earn more than average.
3. Degree holders have job-provided health insurance.
4. People with degrees are more likely to have retirement benefits.
5. Degree holders generally hold better in society.
All said, if you are still worried about college and debt, look forward to a positive future and progressive career, that is, if you know what you're doing.
Photo Courtesy of Wall Street Journal
Hi! My name is Casey Chang. I am a sophomore in Glen A. Wilson High School from California. I believe that all students, with the right motivation and tools, have the ability to reach their highest potential. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a question through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org