In fact, it’s one of the highest expenses, short of a home purchase, that most people will ever have to pay for. Paying for such a huge expense early on in life can have a crippling effect on a person’s financial well-being for the rest of his or her life. This is especially true if he or she will have to take out loans to pay for college.
College is expensive
Few people realize until it’s too late that they cannot escape paying off their college debt. There is virtually no way to discharge these debts in bankruptcy courts. That means your child will have to pay on those loans for the rest of his or her life. Even if he or she is unemployed or sick, the student loans have to be paid. Few 18 year-olds can really understand that burden.
College loans last forever
Increasingly, employers want to know what you can do, not what kind of degree you have. Already, too many college graduates are discovering that their degrees, particularly outside of technical fields such as Engineering, do not make them more appealing to recruiters. That means they have the burden of college loans and no job.
Degrees don’t get you a job
The time commitment for a college degree is rarely discussed, but it’s worth pointing out that getting one takes at least four years. During that time, a student’s earning potential is pretty much limited to part-time jobs. Using those years to learn a trade while getting paid to work, on the other hand, can have a much bigger pay-off.
Four years is a long time
Skilled tradesman and women are in high demand in pretty much all sectors of the economy. Knowing how to weld, fit pipe, or run a lathe are skills that fewer people have, and they’re not taught in most colleges. Furthermore, these are skills that allow someone to work in a variety of different settings. That means that when one area of the economy is down, they can find a job in another sector.
There are plenty of good jobs that don’t require college
If your child is on the fence about going to school, point out that if he or she decides to quit halfway through, it will mean that he or she will still have to pay back the college loans they took out. Only now, they’ll have to do it without the benefit of a college degree. People in this situation account for the highest number of lion defaults.
Dropping out of college is worse than never going at all
There are hundreds of inventors and business owners who never went to or quit college before they got a degree. Many of these people were highly motivated to start a business or do something other than sit in a classroom. If your child just doesn’t have the patience for school, then it makes more sense to support him or her in some other way.
Many successful people never finished college
If your child isn’t sure what he or she wants to study, then college is one of the most expensive ways to figure it out. Taking classes for several years until deciding on a major will cost tens of thousands of dollars and eat up a lot of time that could be spent earning an income. If your child isn’t sure what he or she wants to do, tell him or her to work for a temp agency where they can try a lot of different jobs while earning money, not spending it.
College may take more than four years
Despite what the glossy college brochures imply, most college graduates don’t earn more money than people who work in a skilled trade. This is particularly true for liberal arts majors, who often find jobs in low-wage public sector work. Many people who have these degrees with they had chosen something else.
Very few degrees pay more than vocational training
Many schools will offer college credit for industry experience. In some cases, several years of work can replace a semester or two of courses. That can save a student a lot of money over the long-run.
Work experience can bring down the costs of college
A college degree means graduating with a high level of debt. That means having to find a job that can pay off those loans. Without a degree, however, it’s possible to work and save for a few years, then take the time to travel or start a business. Not having to pay back loans is freedom to do what you want.
Your child will have more freedom
While you may learn a lot, most graduates say they barely use what they learned in college at their job.
College classes don’t prepare you for a job
Instead of devoting years to getting an education and then paying for it, your child can start pursuing their interests the minute he or she graduates from high school. Without the burden of debt, it will be easier to get a loan for a business, car, and/or a house.