Investing into an education will be just that, a serious investment if you even go to a four-year college.
There are $1 trillion dollars in outstanding total student loan debt in America and over 23% of that is passed due. Going to college just to end up tens-of-thousands of dollars in debt ($25,000 is the median), without a job waiting when you graduate, doesn’t seem like a good choice.
Getting that new car, let’s say a used Camaro, ($25,000 for a 2013) may seem like a great deal now, but think about these stats before you make what might be, the wrong investment.
|Photo Courtesy of StockMonkeys.com CC: www.stockmonkeys.com|
If college is not for you, there are some great alternatives out there to explore. Self-education sites like Khan Academy and SkillShare.com offer very useful courses to get knowledge that can help you land a job, or a better paying job if you have one.
And if you’ve just decided to take some time off after graduating high school, there are resources like UnCollege.Org that allow you to gain skills while you search for your career choice.
Forget the Camaro, invest in yourself.
Going to college could be a lot more affordable, depending on who becomes the President in 2016.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton was just endorsed by The National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union. She received the thumbs up thanks to her “New College Compact” $350 billion plan that would drastically reduce the amount of debt students incur when attending a four-year college.
Through his Students for All program, Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders would make college free at all public colleges and universities by increasing the tax rate on the wealthy and wall street speculators. It would help Republicans, according to recent research by Pew.
The Republican frontrunners are a bit different.
Donald Trump has been rather quiet when it comes to his education policy, but Trump is totally opposite of Sanders and will no doubt favor for-profit institutions. In fact, he recently stated he would cut the entire Department of Education over the Common Core debate.
Dr. Ben Carson believes that Americans were better educated in the 1830’s than they are today and thinks public universities should shoulder some of the costs of a four-year degree by dropping interest rates and leaving students responsible for mostly principle on loans.
With all this going on in Congress over education and all the alternative options available, is going to a traditional college even worth it anymore?
The answer is yes, for now, and it’s all backed up by hard data.
“You’re going to end up earning more over your lifetime if you attended college than if you only attended high school or part of college,” said Fiona Hollands, a social scientist at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. “From a social and economic perspective, you’re better off going to college.”
According to Pew, college graduates aged 25-32 make almost $17,500 more than someone with a high school diploma. Over the course of a lifetime, it adds up to about a $1 million difference, in terms of career earning potential.
Another study revealed that those with a four-year degree made 98% more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. Making the decision to attend college is very serious. It could sink you deep into debt, especially if you do not have the resolve to finish.
But as demonstrated above, not attending could make you lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in unearned income too.