Should I Go to College?

There are a lot of students asking today, “should I go to college?” There are several very good reasons to ask this question.

The first one is the fear of college debt. I just now checked the latest Federal Reserve report. The total outstanding college debt obligation in this country is nearing 1.3 trillion dollars. While that is huge and impossible to imagine, having $31,000 of your own college debt (current average) is a little discouraging as well.

The second reason students ask this question is fear of the unknown. They don’t know for sure what to study. Why go into debt for something that may not be all that interesting? Or how about being uncertain if it will pay off? The current perception of the value of a 4-year degree is that it may not be worth the time, effort and money.

I only recently paid off my own college debt. However, I also think my education was a benefit to me. Here are questions that I would ask today if I were wondering “should I go to college?”

Do I Know What I Want for a Career?

If you are uncertain about what you want to do when you graduate, and you don’t have the money for a 4-year degree then I would look for another option. Usually work experience can give us a good idea about what we want to do, OR DON’T WANT TO DO, and it won’t put you in debt. Combine this option with some others listed below and you might have a new plan.

Do I Even Need a 4-Year Degree?

When I was in high school a couple of decades ago, I was pressured into going to a 4-year college. Anything less was considered a substandard education for students like me, who did fairly well academically. Trade school was definitely not a good option. Today we see the results of that advice. Too many folks in debt. Not enough skilled workers.

Is There Another Way?

We don’t even ask students to shop around when it comes to college. If I were you, I would look for another way to get my degree, rather than go into debt. Here is a great tip. Go to Community College for two years. Pay cash for your education. Work full-time (in your chosen field) as you go and save up cash for your final two years. Here’s why this works:

  • You have more energy now than you ever will again. Make it count!
  • If you need to make a degree change you aren’t going to still be paying for it 20 years later!
  • The process of self-discovery will teach you as much as your college degree.
  • Living at home will motivate you to stay focused!
  • You may graduate with a savings rather than debt!

Is There a Creative Way to Lower Costs?

Don’t let peers and adults pressure you. Look for other ways to get your degree. You might be surprised!

Now is not the time for fear, and now is not the time to do what everyone else is doing. As you can see, this isn’t an either/or decision. You can get an education, but you don’t have to go into debt. Check out this amazing blog that promotes debt free living. Debt is a huge problem, but you don’t have to be a part of it.

Tell me your story. Leave a comment below. Join me on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to connect with you. Thanks for reading!

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About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!