A college education is extremely important, but it shouldn’t break you. Too many students go into major debt in order to get a degree that they will never use. That’s ridiculous.
Education is absolutely wonderful and vital, and everyone who wants to go to college should figure out a way to get there—without debt! But it’s naïve to think that a diploma will solve all your problems and become your ticket to a successful life.
When Dave hires people for his company, he pays attention to more than just their degree and what school they went to. Their degree is part of the equation, but there’s much more to consider. Attributes like desire, attitude, diligence, people skills, and on-the-job experience are extremely important. These are the things that will determine if a potential new team member will be successful.
So how do you really know if you should go to college? Focus on a couple of things. First, think about whether or not a degree in your chosen field will actually open up career opportunities. The truth is that, in many fields, a degree won’t open doors for you. Consider whether the cost of the diploma will bring you a financial return in the long run. Is that General Studies degree worth the amount of money you are paying for it?
Second, you should go to college if you believe that your quality of life will improve. Maybe you think college will be a good personal growth experience for you, or maybe you thinking God is leading you down that path. No matter what your reason, remember to go slow and pay cash. You’ll avoid getting into financial trouble down the road.
In other words, don’t make your future hostage to student loans. When you are choosing your school, don’t go to a caviar school if you have a tuna fish budget. Make wise choices based on the amount of money you currently have, plus your income while you are attending school—assuming you’ll be working.
What about saving? Dave covers college saving more in-depth in Financial Peace University, but the basics are simply this: As much as possible, use Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) and 529s to save for your children’s college. Never use insurance, savings bonds, or pre-paid tuition.
Remember, college is extremely important, but you have to make smart financial decisions before you go to school—or else you’re going to pay the consequences when you get out.
You can be a part of simply challenging the way students view money and empower them with the education they need to graduate on a solid financial foundation. Find out how.
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