I hate that we are now in a certain position in the United States to make so many people to come and ask me “Is college worth it?”. I get asked this question so many times every single day, even in my daily life. Is college worth it? Well, I’m going to tell you.
So, is college worth it?
The idea of college is that it’s good for you, can help you grow, and benefits you economically as well. But here’s the thing — college can be super expensive. In fact, many of the people who ask me if college is worth it are already drowning in student loans, and they don’t want their kids making a mistake that could cost them their financial stability and future.
I was fortunate enough to graduate without student loans because my parents decided to open up a college savings plan when I was young (we are in Florida, by the way). I had the option to take out loans, but even at 18, I felt like it would be a bad idea to take out loans just to go to an out of state school.
However, my mother graduated with student loans, mainly because she didn’t have a choice. She came to the US as an immigrant and wanted to make a better life for herself and her family, so she worked and went to school while studying computer science. To fill in the gaps of pay she had to take out student loans. Because of that, my mom didn’t want her kids to go through what she went through. So in her mind, it didn’t make sense to have her kids take out student loans.
I don’t have an opinion on whether or not college is worth it, because I’ve seen both sides. So, instead, I’ll give you a bit of perspective and let you decide on whether or not it’s right for you.
If College Is The Right Decision
If you want college to be worth it, for you or maybe even your kids, it’s time to start preparing now. For example, my parents would save money in a college savings program. My savings account was actually opened the year the program started. So when my brother and I left for college, everything was paid for.
Say you have kids. You can’t force them to not go to college just because it’s expensive. In fact, this could be dangerous depending on what your child would want to study. Do you want the world without another capable doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc? If your child doesn’t want to go to college, that’s fine because it’s a personal choice, but if your kid does, it’s important to not try and talk them out of it just because of the costs.
If College Is An Option
Along with wanting to attend college, many people graduate high school and aren’t sure about what they want to do. It would be stupid to go to college and spend $100,000 on a degree that you aren’t even sure you want to use. Something that I know has become popular amongst the younger generations is picking up trades again, because they pay well but no one wants to seem to do them.
A college degree doesn’t mean anything if you can’t apply it. Trade jobs typically don’t require a degree but require training, and after training, you could earn anywhere from $40,000-$80,000 a year right off the bat. And on top of that, you don’t have to pay for it!
If College Isn’t An Option
Sometimes, college isn’t even on the table because someone wants to be an entrepreneur. And that’s okay too. You don’t need college to become an entrepreneur, just like you don’t necessarily need college to work your way up in job ranks. This isn’t a one size fits all equation.
For example, I don’t even have a degree in finance. I have a degree in English Literature. I learned a lot from my college and those skills have been able to transfer over for me. However, for some people, college doesn’t make sense, and that’s okay. Had I gotten my degree expecting to get a job in English Literature, I would’ve been out of luck. But I went to college with the sole purpose of building up my skill set. That’s it.
So is college is worth it? I believe so, but only if you truly want to go. Be smart about the choice you make if you choose to go to college (community college first, scholarships, etc) but don’t feel like you have to. College is worth it if you can take what you learned and apply it to your life and passions without the financial burden.