When College is Not Worth The Money

Everyone tells you to go to college. Nobody tells you about this…

Your parents will tell you that a college education is “good debt” simply because they’re proud of you and want you to get a college education.. They want you to go to college because it’s ingrained in them and they want to pass these thoughts down to the next generation. The problem is that college is not for everyone and the bitter cold reality of student loans can really bite you in the butt as you try to save up in your late-20s.

I will start off by saying that I’m all for attending college. Many of the benefits can be simply priceless (meeting your future spouse or making friends for life). You can also find many ways (scholarships, bursaries, and grants) to help finance your college education without going $100K into debt. With that being said, let’s look at the other side of the coin…

4 reasons why a college education is not worth the money:

You have no direction.

Without any direction why even bother attending college? Why not just find a job right after high school? Why not take a time out to test out your skills in the workforce to find what you truly want to do with the rest of your life? With no direction you’ll only get more confused by going to college.

You go “just because.”

This ties in to the previous point. Having no clear direction and just going with the flow are horrible reasons for attending college. Sure you might meet a few people and have an amazing time, but is the burden of student debt worth it? This is not to say that anyone at 18 knows what they want to do with the rest of their life. It’s just that some people go to college for the wrong reasons.

You won’t use the degree.

Realistically speaking most of us won’t use our degrees. If your debt free after college you might even end up starting your own business or going in the polar opposite direction. College can provide you with some valuable networking experiences or it can just interfere with your future plans.

You don’t need a degree.

Most fields don’t even require you to hold a degree. Your dream career path might not even require a degree. Chances are that you’re going to college because your parents want you to. This is usually the point where the money spent to acquire student loans is not worth it.

Once again I’m all for college but it’s obvious that there are many situations where college is just not the right fit. Did I miss any?

9 thoughts on “When College is Not Worth The Money”

  1. I think a great reason not to go to college is that there is a wide breadth of information surrounding us because of all the technology available. There is a sense of freedom knowing that I can look up just about anything I want on the web, and I can find a reasonable amount of reliable sources about anything.

    This leads people to be able to gain a huge insight into what is wrong with a certain business, or what problems exist in a certain area. That really lends itself to business ideas. The basis of a good business is to solve problems, and solve them well, in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable price. I think the information age could definitely be a new way to be educated.

    And with all the tools at our fingertips, starting up a small business, and running one successfully is becoming easier and easier.

    1. This could be a potential flaw. But I think that these types of people will probably be easily weeded out due to their “holier than thou” mentality. I don’t know anyone who would want to do business with someone who is condescending, or has this mentality.

      There is so much information out there, and if someone took the time out to really read into a particular business and find it’s flaws..they could determine a solution and really become experts. It’s when you can say that you are an expert at fixing X and Y in the Z industry, and you have proven testimonials from clients that have taken a chance on you proving your knowledge that will help you succeed.

      It isn’t hard to say “I know all it all”, but when the proof isn’t there and no one wants to take a chance on you because of your attitude, then your business ideas have a far lesser chance of success.

  2. Don’t go because your friends are going! I saw a lot of people I graduated high school with only going to school because their friends were going. They ended up dropping out and still having debt to pay. I tried college, and I had been so deadset on going and graduating in 4 years. I took an educational leave midway through spring of my 2nd year. It just wasn’t living up to my expectations. I promised my grandmother I’d finish but I’m still bouncing the idea around in my head.

  3. The problem is that society, our parents and the government try and push us to continue education after highschool because they believe it will lead to a high paying job, or job security. The intention may be good but it all depends on the individuals dreams and aspirations. During my teen years I was very ignorant and would’nt waste my time in researching what the job demands that were out there. Technology and innovation which seem to be growing at a exponential rate keep changing what the economy calls for. Eg. Top 10 jobs in demand for 2004 were completely different from the year 2010. I encourage highschool teens to be “responsible” and really think of what kind of job/career the economy demands and what they would be happy at doing. Sometimes people don’t need to take that leap into secondary education.

  4. I agree with Crystal, you simply need a bachelor’s degree to get in the door at so many places. That makes a degree practically required.

    I think the problem becomes when you take on debt for school that’s approaching or surpassing 6 figures. That’s going to be a large burden for a number of years and those graduates aren’t going to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor quite as fast as they may have planned.

    The recession also hasn’t helped. As the economy strengthens though, there will be fewer and fewer graduates without jobs. Baby boomers will also be retiring, hopefully allowing room for new blood.

  5. The more college keeps rising in costs and the more I see most of my college friends not landing jobs that even justify the degree in the first place, the more I’m tempted to say college isn’t really worth it. I think the way college is structured (4 year liberal arts) it’s only good for a small segment of the population who plan on using that knowledge to advance on as doctors, lawyers, etc… but for those of us doing a trade or task, why do we need more general courses?

    I think the majority of students should strongly consider a tech degree of some sorts or teaching themselves a skill that actually makes them more marketable.

  6. Go to college. Whether it is for an associates, a bachelors, a masters, or a doctorate, Bureau of Labor Statistics and census data proves that those with more education have higher earnings and lower employment volatility. The traditional college experience has become almost criminally expensive, but there are ways to reduce these costs. Night school, online courses, community colleges, CLEP exams, and AP classes can all greatly reduce your out of pocket expenses. There are creative ways to reduce the financial impact, but it you have the intellect and the ability, and ever want to escape the working poor, you need to go to college. Remember, as indicated in “The Millionaire Next Door”, 90% of American millionaires have a bachelors degree.

  7. Well, there are several things to bear in mind.

    First, right now isn’t the greatest time to get into college-debt, simply because job-prospects on the other end of college aren’t brilliant. This might make college a not-so-good-bet if one can’t go without student loans.

    On the other hand, getting a good education may become increasingly important as countries like China and India grow, develop, and educate rapidly. Consider: the average person in India and China are poorer than the average American. This means they will be willing to work for less. This results in outsourcing. Plus, they are rapidly expanding into more technical fields that require more education. Thus, if you want to avoid being outsourced in the long-run, you may want to be better-educated.

    It’s like the giant rolling ball in Indiana Jones: you have to stay one step ahead of it I guess.

  8. College is only good for engineers, doctors, lawyers or teacher. If you consider getting a degree in ancient english litterature then have fun being enslaved.

    This is serious buisness a debt with 90 000$ will take you maybe 20 years with average income. In some cases you will never be able to pay it off.

    It really is a gamble. Education is tbh really overrated. You learn almost everything at the job not in college.

    College should only be for the brightest individuals. It’s better for the rest of us. Be realistic everyone are born with diffrent traits. Some are smart and others less. Nothing to be ashamed off.

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