Should I Go To College?
While a college degree has historically been the key to a high-paying career and long-term job security, escalating costs, a disconnect between academia and the business world, and the opportunity cost of long-term debt have made many recent high school graduates think twice before pursuing a college education. The average debt load for new college graduates in 2013 was a staggering $35,210. Most college graduates will spend 10 years or longer paying off their student loans, far longer if loans are deferred for graduate study, unemployment, or hardship. For graduates who opt for an extended repayment plan, debt repayment could take as long as 25 years and cost well over $60,000 dollars.
While it seems grossly unfair for 17-year-olds to make long-term financial commitments with little idea of return on investment and an unknown future job market, student loans are one of the few debt obligations that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. If you are considering college but not sure if it’s right for you, consider the following seven reasons why you should skip college and get busy living your life.
What Should I Study In College?
You have no idea what you want to study. You wouldn’t buy an airline ticket without knowing the destination. Why would you enroll in college without knowing what you want to study? While some people know exactly what they want to be when they grow up, many are still exploring their own interests. Deciding to dedicate your life to the pursuit of knowledge may be a noble cause, but it won’t do you much good if you drop out after a few years because you find out that you are stuck on a pathway you have no interest in pursuing. Before you commit yourself to a student loan, make sure you understand what you are getting for your money.
My Parents Are Making Me Get A College Education
You’re going to college because someone else wants you to go. While your mom will no doubt be proud that she has a daughter that’s a doctor, she won’t be going to work with you every day. Even if your parents are paying for your college degree, you will still have to pay the opportunity cost. If you agree to live someone else’s dream, you will give up the opportunity to live your own.
Getting An Online College Education
A less expensive way to get a college education over a longer period of time and at your own pace would be to study at home to earn your degree. This will allow you to work and get an education in the comfort of your own home. Not all online universities work the same so you would want to read reviews of online universities to see what they have to offer as well as cost and class schedules.
My Career Doesn’t Require A College Education
You’re pursuing a career that doesn’t require a degree. If you want to become a rock star, a college degree isn’t going to be a great deal of help. While your parents will tell you that you need a fallback, don’t let them suck the dream from your head before you give yourself the chance to succeed. That doesn’t mean skipping college gives you license to sit at home with a bong, playing air guitar. It means instead of getting up at 7 o’clock to study and go to class before working a part-time job in the evening, you will be getting up at 7 o’clock in the morning to practice and look for gigs before going to your part-time job in the evenings.
Starting Your Own Business Without A College Education
You are ready to start your own business. Starting a business is an education in itself. If you have an idea you are profoundly passionate about, take the opportunity to pursue it when you have the freedom to do it. Use online classes or community college to fill in the gaps of your knowledge as you pursue your dream. College shouldn’t be about the diploma, it should be a tool to empower your future success.
Traveling The World Is My College Education
You plan to travel the world and learn from experience. While international travel is seen in the same light as a vacation, a serious international commitment can provide a wealth of education and opportunity. If you do decide to travel the world, take advantage of the opportunity to learn a new language and volunteer whenever possible.
Invest Your College Savings Into A Diversified Portfolio
You would like to invest the money you have in a more diversified portfolio. A college education is an investment in your future. So is a stock portfolio. If you decide college is not for you, remember that you will need to make a commensurate investment to offset a potentially lower salary. Since a college graduate will earn on average a million dollars more in a lifetime than a high school graduate, you will need to make up the difference by investing earlier and letting the magic of compound interest make up the difference. That means you will need to save $50,000 to $60,000 by the time you reach 22 years of age in order to put aside enough money for retirement.
No Need To Borrow Money If You Skip College
You would have to borrow a lot of money without a clear plan on how you would be able to pay it back. If you are absolutely convinced that you want to study anthropology or want to pursue a master’s in fine art, consider that you will have an extremely difficult time paying your loan back in your chosen profession. While this may be your life’s ambition, consider putting aside the money for education before you begin your studies. Keep in mind that interest on your loan plus fees and deferments could make your course of study far more expensive than you ever thought. If someone asked you if you would be willing to serve a life sentence in order to get a master’s in fine arts, would you do it? Well, student loans are a life sentence because it is virtually impossible to discharge student loans. As the law is currently written, you could be paying for school well into retirement.
While a college degree has traditionally been seen as a road to prosperity, rising costs and rapidly changing technology have made a degree a far less secure investment than it has been historically. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you would like to do with your life, consider delaying your college degree until you have made a career plan. In the meantime, save your money. You’ll always find a use for money.
Should I Go To College FAQs
What's the average time it takes to pay off a student loan?According to credible.com, the average time to pay off a student with a graduate degree is around 23 years. Take a few college courses without a degree takes about 17 years.
What is a gap year?College students and those recent high school graduates are now taking what's called a "gap year" which is a minimum of one year off from attending school to either work, travel, or sadly, do nothing.
What the average salary of a non college graduate vs a bachelor's degree>According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with the highest level of education earn on average three times more than those with the lowest education levels. This is based on weekly earning data from 2017.
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