What Everybody Ought To Know About The Cost of College

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The average college student loan debt has skyrocketed in recent years
 leaving many millennials and their families asking 
is college education important today.
cost of college

When—Not If—You Go To College

"When, not if, you go to college" is what parents and teachers used to tell kids to ensure that students knew that college was the natural post-high school step they should strive for. Then, two interesting things happened. The first is that the cost of college rose immensely and the second is that college and success in career became less loosely tied. Millennial and VProud intern Claire HarnEnz reflects on the does going to college make sense question. We love this discussion because it's critical thinking at its best and we agree that it's absolutely time to take this thoughtful approach about such a life-changing decision. Take a look at Claire's thoughts and see if they reflect your own or shed a new light on this ongoing conversation.
—The VProud Team

reasons to go to college

Does Going To College Still Make Sense

According to the College Board, The average cost of one year at a private college is $30,000. The cost of one year in state at a public university is $10,000 and these are low estimates that do not include housing, meal plans, textbooks, or other expenses. In total, a year at a private college can head north of $60,000 dollars. In four years, that adds up to over $240,000 dollars, almost a quarter of a million. Is it worth it?

With that amount of money, you could buy a really nice boat, invest in the stock market, or flip a house. That is if you actually have that much extra cash laying around, with the average student loan debt topping $30,000, it is evident that many young adults and their families don’t. Many families are asking themselves if a college education important enough to take on that risk.

The Answer Is Different For Everyone

The answer is complex and dependent on your individual career goals. However, I believe some type of post high school education is essential in today's job market. Often times a two year technical school can provide just as good of an education for a fraction of the cost, especially in fields like education and health care. Oftentimes, these schools and the government offer special financial aid to make these schools even more affordable. They also have credit transfer agreements with the state university to make an advanced degree less expensive and quicker to achieve.

While these Technical Schools are great options for some careers, the traditional four year university is very important for other tracks. In the job market, those with college degrees will almost always beat those without one when competing for a spot. I think there are a few exceptions to this in very hands on jobs like film production where previous experience may prove more valuable. 

My final takeaways are: For the most part, a college education will provide more success in career because college offers an important set of skills. In college, you improve writing and learn how to think analytically. Most post secondary education push their students to teach time management and leadership skills. These are all things that you would have to learn on the job without a college degree. It's also possible to avoid falling thousands of dollars into debt with student financial aid packages and smart loan options. Taking a few years off before school can help pay for college as well. 

About the author: Claire HarnEnz is a VProud intern.

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cost of college
The average student loan debt is $30,000: 
Is college still worth every penny?

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