For many, going to college is the expected path. It has become the norm for students upon graduation of high school to go to a four year university to get a degree. In previous years, with less people in college and costs much lower, the benefit of higher education was clear. But given the current landscape, there are a growing number of reasons to reconsider attending college. In this post, we will look at four of the most popular reasons why college may not be the best option and what alternatives are offered.
According to College Board, the average annual tuition for the 2016-2017 academic year is $9,650. Take into account the continuing rise of tuition. It is very possible that to complete a four year degree, the average student will be spending over $40,000. This number also doesn’t include room and board along with other miscellaneous expenses which could put students over $80,000. Granted, some of that cost will most likely be covered with scholarships and grants, but to take care of the rest loans will need to be taken out. With these loans come high interest rates and long repayment terms that could take decades to pay off.
Related to college being expensive, is the value received from that investment. The purpose of going to college is to find better opportunities. The problem is, if you don’t choose a degree that has solid job prospects, you will end up in a worse position than before. You gain mountains of debt and nothing to show for it. So while having college degree sounds good, the skills and knowledge may not translate to real world value. The money and time spent will become a lost cause.
With the advancement of technology, it has never been easier to seek knowledge and teach yourself about anything. Most of the material on the Internet is free. Choose when and what you want to learn about. By doing so, you allow yourself time to accomplish other tasks that wouldn’t be possible if you had a schedule filled with classes.
College doesn’t fit everyone’s situation. For example, if you enjoy working with your hands, there are a variety of apprenticeships or trade schools that offer opportunities for education and experience at the same time. If you are against pursuing a higher education completely, joining the workforce and making an income right away may be an alternative.
Regardless of what decision is made, it is important to know that there are other options out there besides college. When making the decision of your career path, it comes down to preferences and goals. But regardless of what they are, work ethic and passion will be the driving force behind success at any level.
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