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Ask Dave

Is More Schooling Worth It?

Robin is 49 and interested in going back to school. If she returns to school, she'll receive a raise. Is it worth it to go back to college?

QUESTION: Robin in Georgia is 49 and interested in going back to school. She is a school physical therapist paid on a teacher’s pay scale, and if she returns to school, she’ll receive a raise. It would be an extra $9,000 a year. They make $110,000 a year with two kids in college and two more in high school. Is it worth it to go back to college?

ANSWER: You say the program takes 16 months and will cost $20,000. I would definitely do it if you can pay for it.

If you have to take out a loan, I wouldn’t do it until you have the money. With your income, you ought to be able to save up $20,000. I would do it and pay cash for it. You’ll have to figure out a way to squeeze your budget or get an extra job. Somebody has to do something different. But there’s not a chance I’m going to send you into student loan debt to do it.

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