The United States has the highest college dropout rate, only 54.8 percent of students who start college will leave with a diploma. The cost of college is one of the main reasons students drop out or don’t even bother applying. Despite the high costs of college, getting a college degree is a better investment in the long run and helps you decide your future.
Financial aid is a blessing to many families looking to send their child off to college, but to the majority of others, it’s a curse. The way aid is divided up, and the different complicating rules and amounts changing with each semester only add to the stress of applying. Many incoming students look for grants or scholarships to apply for, or if you’re an athlete you’re looking for the best deal from coaches. Only 2 percent of 8 million high school athletes receive scholarships. The majority of athletes that do earn scholarships are only to help pay for books or only a small amount of their tuition. Unless you play basketball or football you can’t expect to get a full ride.
“Most full-time college students receive some type of financial aid”. The aid given to you isn’t always helpful. For instance, the income your family earns may be too high to qualify for financial aid but too little to pay for college. This is where loans come in, if you don’t qualify for financial aid you may be able to qualify for need-based loans. Private loans are a last resort option if you still don’t have enough to pay for college, but this could result in financial problems in the future. Student loan debt is the second largest consumer debt in the country, it’s right under home mortgage debt. There are 44 million borrowers the owe 1.5 trillion dollars in student loan debt, which is about 620 billion dollars more than the total credit card debt. Websites like CollegeBoard advise students not to rule out the expensive private schools. These private schools may offer a larger amount of financial aid and may be more affordable than schools with lower tuitions. However, on average private schools still have a higher student loan debt. Private student loan debt volume hit $7.8 billion in 2014-15. So it’s important to do research on the schools you’re looking to enroll in to make sure you’re getting the best deal, especially since the price keeps going up. It’s best to compare the net price of each school. The net price is the price you are actually paying the attended the school.
The financial hardships that come with getting a college education are worth it in the end. Investing in higher education is not only playing it safe but it’s also setting you up for better returns. The average global return for education is 9 percent while the return for United States stocks is only 2.4 percent. Even attending some college then dropping out is still a better investment than stocks. Since there are more graduates entering the work field people may be skeptical, but being a skilled worker with a high education is vital and the human capital is highly valued.
Getting a higher education doesn’t mean you have to attend a four year school, you can attend two-year schools or trade schools to achieve your higher education and get your dream job. Also, college isn’t just about getting an education, there are many important life lessons that you learn going to college. For example, you build strong connections with people that can last for the rest of your life. Depending on who you know in college it can help you in the future with your career. If you’re at an interview and the interviewee went to the same school as you, it could help you get that job. It could also teach you to have an open mind. Depending on where you chose to go there’s going to be a wide variety of people there with different backgrounds, beliefs, and standpoints. It’ll teach you how to be accepting and welcoming of other people’s views. You’ll learn critical thinking skills that you didn’t learn in high school because the problems have become more complex. Having strong critical thinking skills can improve your chances of getting a job and help perform your job.
The cost of college is worth it in the long run, it’s not only playing it safe but it can almost guarantee you a job. College is where you find what you want to do for the rest of your life and if you do what you love it’s not even like you’re working. What you get out of higher education is worth the cost of attending.