Find your perfect value college
With the rising cost of education many prospective students want to know – is college still a good investment that improves your financial future. No one gets any payment or premium simply for finishing college. There is no reward, no pot of gold awaiting you, just a piece of (very nice) paper with your name on it. It’s up to you to actually make something out of that piece of paper. You get what you worked for a chance at higher wages and a better job than you would get without it.
And it’s true, the degree itself makes no guarantees, and it’s not going to give you a return on investment like you would get on Wall Street. On the other hand, every investment poses risk. Stocks can plummet, mutual funds can change with the market highs and lows. Instead, a college degree is betting on a single asset: yourself.
Can You Afford To Go To College?
It depends on an individual’s financial situation and the cost of the specific college they are considering. Some students may qualify for financial aid or scholarships, which can help make college more affordable. Others may need to take out student loans to cover the costs. It is important for individuals to carefully consider their financial resources and options before deciding if they can afford to go to college.
The College Board shows that average costs (including tuition and fees) to attend college for the 2022 school year are as follows:
- Public 2-year school, in-state: $3,860 (2-year total: $7,720)
- Public 4-year school, in-state: $10,940 (4-year total: $43,760)
- Public 4-year school, out-of-state: $28,240 (4-year total: $112,096)
- Private 4-year school: $39,400 (4-year total: $157,600)
Those costs include a lot of different factors, and of course, they’re only averages – you can go a lot higher or a lot lower. There are ways of cutting down on those costs as well, but often cutting down on costs (such as avoiding classes with lab fees) will come back to bite you in the end.
Can You Afford NOT To Go To College?
In today’s society, a college degree is increasingly becoming a necessity for securing a well-paying job and a stable career. Without a college education, one may face limited job opportunities and lower earning potential. Additionally, the cost of not going to college may include missed networking opportunities, lower social status, and limited personal and professional growth. Therefore, it can be argued that not going to college may ultimately be more costly in the long run.
Now using US Department of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we find the average earnings of those with a:
- High School Diploma: $853/week which translates to $44,356 annually
- Associate degree: $1005/week which translates to $52,260 annually
- Bachelor’s degree: $1432/week which translates to $74,464 annually
|Educational Attainment||Median Weekly Earnings||Unemployment Rate|
|Some college, no degree||$935||3.5%|
|High school diploma||$853||4.0%|
|Less than a high school diploma||$682||5.5%|
Those are some big differences; the difference between a high school diploma and an associate’s degree alone can determine whether you need government aid or have enough to make ends meet, while the difference between a diploma and a bachelor’s degree can mean being able to make other investments, such as buying a house rather than renting.
Other ROI Factors to Consider – College Still a Good Investment
Of course these college cost figures do not take into account any possible scholarships or grants you may acquire; your actual cost of college will vary. Still, the figures seem to confirm conventional wisdom: the more money, time, and work you invest, the more you can make. Notice we said can: remember, no promises can be made here.
More questions you need to ask yourself are; which degrees have the best Return On Investment (ROI), what is the value of XYZ college, what are the non-monetary benefits that I may receive from going to college?
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