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is college worth it or stupid?

should I go to college?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Paul’s Answer

It can provide some very important experiences that can become valuable later in life.

It is true that college graduates earn more money over their lifetimes.

It can teach you skills that you may need. Like how to research something or the skills required to manage finances or purchase a house.

The writing skills you will acquire will help in attaining a job.

It can train you in a technical field, which will provide the skills required to attain a good job.

The fact is you can never stop learning and acquiring knowledge. College can broaden your range of skills and enable you to attain employment in many different areas.

Instead of limiting yourself to lower skills positions, I would look into a college and increase your marketable skills and education.

Yes, in my opinion, I think it would be worth it.
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Doc’s Answer

Calista earning a college degree is the most common pathway to a better career. Entering college, not everyone knows what they want to do when they grow up. But most know they want to have a better job-not only one that will pay more, but one in which they are more satisfied and secure. That combination of benefits is why so many people make the investment of time and money to go to college. Because college gives you a broad range of skills, many college graduates end up in fields that are not what they studied in school. College can open up unexpected opportunities that aren't always there for those who haven't engaged in a higher level of education.

Oftentimes it's not necessarily what you study, but the fact that you studied something at all. Aside from training you in an expert field, college trains you to think analytically, understand complex subjects and communicate your own critical ideas about them. It also instills crucial skills like organization, self-discipline and the ability to complete tasks from start to finish. In other words, college helps mold you into a more professional individual.

Hope this was helpful Calista
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Anthony’s Answer

Hello Calista,

"Is college worth it or stupid? Should I go to college?"

There is no correct answer to this. It all depends on your situation and what you want to do with your future. (As you read the responses to your question from others you already see everyone is leaning toward, 'yes, it worth it.") As for me, it worths every penny I put into my education and is living the American Dream (and NO, despite people complaining and news reports, the American Dream is not dead. It is still alive very strong.)

In general, people are not satisfied with their college education for several reasons, amongst them are: 1 - not able to use their college degree, 2 - getting into the wrong field or 3 - what they earn after graduation does not enough to pay for what they owe (whateve debt they get themselves into.) If you look at your college education as an investment in your future, then it will allow you to make better decision and get to your own answer.

1 - Do you want to invest in college for my future? A 'No' answer would be something like I can take over my family handyman business and make pretty comfortable living or I can make a pretty comfortable living right after high school, etc... then, by no mean, college would not be very valuable for you. Assuming that the answer is 'Yes'. then you need to ask further questions:

2 - What interest me? Remember, you are asking investment question here (similar to invest in stock market.) Now you ask what major or what career to go into (i.e. what stock do you want to buy?) Again, this will be a personal rational decision making knowing that to invest/buy this major/degree will come with a cost (money, time and mental/emotional cost) and risk. To determine what major is right for you is another question. Here we will assume that you can easily make your decision. If your answer here is: Yes, I want to go to college and No, I cannot (rationally) find anything interests me, then the college degree does not worth anything for you. Assuming that you find something you want to pursuit, then there are more decisions to make.

3 - Now that you have made your decision, do you have the money to invest? If you get a scholarship/grant then maybe this is easier decision to make (low or no cost investment.) Do your parents have the money to support you (college saving plan, or take out a mortgage loan, or cash) without asking for the money back? Do you have to take out student loan?

3.1 - So your parents have the money (let's say $100K.) There is opportunity cost here to consider. If they instead of giving you $100K, they take that fund and invest in something else (buy a rental house or mutual funds or stocks, etc...) And they have a crystal ball and pick an investment that can turn that $100K into a fortune for you, then your college degree is not necessary. But more likely, they do not have a crystal ball and instead invest in you.
3.2 - If your parents do not have or have very little fund to support you then do you qualify to take out student loan? If it is absolutely no, then your college path will probably end here (since there is no scholarship/grant, no family contribution and no way to get a loan.) If you still really, REALLY want to pursuit a college degree, it is possible, but very difficult for you (i.e. working while going to college is not easy.) So, let assume you are qualified for student loan.

4 - Will the money you invest generate a good return? If your parents give you the money and you know with some certainty that you will not finish college. Please do not waste their hard-earned money! You will need to work really hard here to make sure it worths your parents' invest in you. If you are going to take out a loan, will you be able to repay that loan? You have decided to be xyz, but cannot find a school that you can afford so there is a unknown privately run school (accredited) offered you an admission, but the cost in hundreds of thousand dollars (in student loan) stay away. You are going to be a doctor, but with a $500K loan, you will have to make careful decision to see if it will be worth it. (In some case it does: with what doctor makes, payments over 10 year and the type of low interest loan it is not a bad deal! In some cases, it will not if the interests on the loans outpaced the ability to pay down the principal.) The worst decision you can make is get your degree that you cannot earn enough to repay your loan. And bankruptcy does not discharge student loan debt. If you are going to finance your degree with loans, you must make careful decision and commit to what you are doing. Hopefully, when you get to this point, you will have answer if going to college is worth it for you.

Just a side note: Gold is very valuable (it worths something,) right? I visited a gold mine in Colorado a few years back. The mine had seized operations for a number of years and was operated as a tourist attraction. According to the tour guide, there are tons and tons of gold still awaiting in the mine. The question was: why the owner (or owners) of the mine did not start the mining again but decide to operate the mine as a tourist attraction? The answer from the guide was: the current gold price does not justify the cost of mining. Something may be as valuable as gold (your college degree) in the gold mine, but getting it (cost of your education) does not yield a profit (your ability to repay your loan and make a good living) then it is better run the mine as a tourist attraction (something does not require getting the gold.)

I hope this will get you thinking about your college decision. Good luck.
Anthony.
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Ray’s Answer

College is not worth it if you want to be, say, a tree stump for the next 40 years. Why bother. On the other hand if you desire to be a physicist, it isn’t happening without at least a masters if not a PhD. So what’s in between? That’s for you to decide. Frankly although college can be a great life experience; football games, dates where you are really on your own, life away from home, it’s lots and lots of work. Some schools will try to stuff you with knowledge. You will be talking to yourself. If you can’t do that, then don’t waste your or mom and dad’s money. You are not there just to have fun. You are preparing for a career.

If you want to be a server at a restaurant, and that is a fine occupation, college is probably superfluous. If you expect to be rich being a server, it isn’t happening. You will probably make more money at any job if you have a college degree. If being just financial comfortable is important for the rest of your life, you can go to school for another four to six years or be a very successful bank robber.
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Eugene’s Answer

No! It will ruin your life.
Thank you comment icon Hey Eugene, this is a valid opinion, and college is not for everyone, but can you please elaborate on your answer? Why do you think this? Gurpreet Lally, Admin
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Kimanu’s Answer

This would all depend on how you look at things and where you are in your life. Just a few things do you have an interest in secondary education? Is there something else you would like to pursue other than college? There are many advantages to go to school and there could be a few things that just don't peak your interest. I would start simply by just taking a tour see a few campuses and find out for yourself. Also put down a list of other things you have a passion for. There's always a plan B. Good luck
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Rodolfo Elias’s Answer

There is no correct answer to this. The basic answer is: It Depends.

1) It depends on the college and path you choose.

Ask yourself these questions:

- Is my college going to be free?
If Yes:
Most likely worth it!

If No:
Ask yourself:

- What can I do to make college affordable? Is it something I can reasonably do? (Scholarships, Work, Etc.)
- Is my college going to give me a bang for my buck?
- Will the career I developed from my college experience pay the college bills/loans quickly?

If Yes:
Maybe worth it!

2) It depends on your specific goals.

Ask yourself these questions:
- Can I reach these goals reasonably without college?

If No:
College may be worth it!

If Yes:
You may want to consider an alternate path

3) It depends on your current life situation.

- Can you afford the bills for college?
- Can you afford to be away from home for some time? (If you're leaving for college)
- Does your community require college degrees for most jobs?

If Yes:
College may be a good idea!

If Not:
It's okay to consider alternate paths!
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Brianna’s Answer

You can find a job without attending college. However, it really depends on what job you can see yourself doing in the future. Many jobs that didn't used to ask for a college degree oftentimes require at least a Bachelors degree (4 year college) nowadays. Many other professions, though, can be pursued with an associates degree (2 year college), certification (specialized training usually less than 1 year), apprenticeship (shadowing a professional), or trade school (1+ years). Other jobs are available that allow you to be self-trained or to be trained after being hired. It all depends what your preferred career path is.

A few examples: if you want to be doctor, that's not happening without 12 years of school after high school. If you want to be an electrician, that's not happening without trade school. If you want to be a tattoo artist, you need an apprenticeship. If you want to be an accountant, you can go to community college. If you want to be a CNA, you need a certification. If you want to be a manager at a local store or restaurant, you don't need any educational background, just on-the-ground experience. All of these jobs offer the chance of stable income and all of them ask for different types of education.

Brianna recommends the following next steps:

Create a list of jobs you find appealing
Research what education and/or training they require
Determine which route best fits your timeline and budget
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Eric’s Answer

Depends. If you know what you want to do and it doesn't require college, sure. Most people don't know what they want to do even in college but a lot of people find their passion during college. So if just depends on your personal goals.
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Shariyon’s Answer

It would depend on what you plan to do as a career. There are a lot of trades that doesnt require a college degree but you can obtain certain certification that will help. College is expensive so it depends on what your future goals are! Good Luck!
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Ashley’s Answer

If you are able to go to school for free, then I would say go for it. There are lots of positive experiences and networking that can come from going to college.

If you are paying to go to college- think long and hard. One thing to consider is, will your major put you in a position to get a job that earns a good living AND pay off student loans? I would not go to college personally for a dance or a liberal arts type of degree. Especially, if I am paying for it.
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Tiffany’s Answer

If you do decide that you want to go to college, but need to find funds to pay for it (like most people), I highly encourage you to look at employment with companies that offer college tuition as an employee benefit. NGL, it is hard to work full time, or almost full time and go to school. However, you will not have all of the student debt that some people (like me!) graduated with from college. For instance, Verizon reimburses full time employees with up to $8,000 a year to cover their higher education expenses. So, if you want to do it, there are ways to make it less painful on your wallet.

In closing, I hope you find a career that makes you happy and you are able to pursue your dreams.
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Phillip’s Answer

For many people, college is well worth the expense. Not only do you gain valuable life experience and make lifelong connections, but a college degree also offers the following advantages:

1. College Graduates Earn More Than Non-Graduates
Despite the rising cost of post-secondary education, a college degree still pays off for the majority of graduates. On average, those with a bachelor’s degree earn significantly more than their peers with only a high school diploma.

Just how much more? The median salary for workers with high school diplomas is $38,792, and they have an average unemployment rate of 3.7% as of 2019, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Northeastern University. By contrast, the median salary for workers with bachelor’s degrees is $64,896, and their unemployment rate is just 2.2% on average.

Over the course of their careers, college graduates can earn hundreds of thousands more than those who don’t attend college.

2. The Majority of Jobs Require College Education
In past generations, a college education wasn’t necessary to earn a middle-class income. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, two-thirds of jobs required a high school diploma or less before the 1980s.

That’s no longer the case. Georgetown University predicts that 70% of all jobs will require some college education by 2027.

Without higher education on your resume, it may be more difficult to find a high-paying job, and competition for available opportunities will be fierce.

3. College Graduates Are More Likely to Have Health Insurance
With skyrocketing healthcare costs, having quality health insurance is essential for your well-being. However, purchasing health insurance on your own can be prohibitively expensive. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the benchmark premium for single-person policies purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace is $462 per month or $5,544 per year.

What does that have to do with college? You may not realize it, but there is a significant correlation between college education and healthcare coverage.

College graduates are far more likely than high school graduates to have employer-provided coverage, offsetting their healthcare costs. The College Board found that 64% of workers with bachelor’s degrees and 70% of workers with advanced degrees had employer-provided coverage, while employer plans covered just 52% of high school graduates.
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anahi’s Answer

The value of college depends on various factors, and the decision to attend or not is a personal one influenced by individual goals, circumstances, and preferences. Here are some considerations to help you weigh the pros and cons:

### **Reasons College Might Be Worth It:**

1. **Career Opportunities:**
- Certain professions require a college degree for entry. If your desired career path mandates a degree, college is often necessary.

2. **Skill Development:**
- College provides an environment for skill development, critical thinking, and exposure to diverse subjects. These skills can be valuable in both professional and personal life.

3. **Networking:**
- College offers networking opportunities, connecting you with professors, peers, and potential employers. Networking can be crucial for future job prospects.

4. **Specialized Knowledge:**
- For certain fields, especially those requiring specialized knowledge (medicine, law, engineering), a college education is essential.

5. **Personal Growth:**
- College can contribute to personal growth, independence, and the development of lifelong friendships. It's an opportunity for self-discovery and exploration.

### **Reasons College Might Not Be Considered Worth It:**

1. **Financial Considerations:**
- College can be expensive, and student loan debt is a significant concern. It's essential to weigh the cost against potential future earnings.

2. **Alternative Paths:**
- Some successful individuals have pursued alternative paths, such as entrepreneurship, vocational training, or gaining experience in the workforce without a traditional degree.

3. **Changing Job Landscape:**
- The nature of work is evolving, and some industries value skills and experience over degrees. In certain fields, certifications and practical experience may be prioritized.

4. **Availability of Resources:**
- With the rise of online learning, there are alternative ways to acquire knowledge. Online courses, certifications, and self-directed learning are accessible options.

5. **Individual Goals:**
- If your career goals align more with practical experience, and you have a clear plan, college might not be the only pathway to success.

Ultimately, the decision on whether college is worth it depends on your personal and career goals. Consider your desired profession, financial situation, and the value you place on the overall college experience. It's also worth exploring alternative paths, such as vocational training, apprenticeships, or self-directed learning, based on your individual circumstances and aspirations.
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David’s Answer

I definitely believe that College is worth it, and I say that not ever having used my degree. My under grad was in Adolescent Education Integrated Social Studies (7 - 12 grade history), and while I have never been a teacher, I still greatly value my college experience. I believe a good liberal arts education is the key to creating a well-rounded adult and has been instrumental to the success I have experienced thus far in my life. Also, the social aspects of college are important too. Through no one's fault my experience growing up was not diverse, college introduced me to new groups and cultures that I don't know I would have experienced otherwise. My experience in the job market has shown me the value in my degree. Excluding technical career fields, most employers like to see a college degree because it means you haven proven your abilities and not necessarily because your degree is in a particular field. My life path of high school, then into the workforce, college late (23), enlisting in the Army and transitioning to the officer corps, and back into the civilian work force has shown me that the ability to communicate, write, and think critically are not the norm. You will find that the skills gained in college will be valued in any organization or team you become a part of and will help you stand out amongst your peers.

Will it cost you money? Yes, but it's an investment in yourself (if you take it seriously). Investments in personal growth are almost always worth it if it's pursued with enthusiasm and dedication. Depending on the circumstances, will it require you to acquire some debt? Yes, but so will most major decisions in your life (vehicle required for transportation, buying a house, etc...). Can you get through life without a college education, owning a car, or owning your own home? Sure, but unless you are independently wealthy there is a high probability that you will encounter things in life that will require acquiring some debt. Good news though, college can teach you how to manage the debt you will encounter throughout your life. Plus there are options, if I could do it over again I would have gotten into my college's ROTC program and had my school paid for. Everyone benefits from some public service.

Dollar for dollar, a person with an education will earn more over their lifetime then a person without an education.

Proud Kent State University Alumni. Go Flashes!
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Noopur’s Answer

It really helps like for example to become a doctor to become a researcher to become a teacher you need that training. You need that higher level of knowledge and understanding. In college you meet different people make friends it is overall a good experience .
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Patricia’s Answer

College would be the easiest, most straight forward way to earn financial freedom. There are very few entry level, which don't require qualifications. College allows you to experiment with different modules and gives you a deeper understanding of what you want to do in the future.

However, if you are contemplating college, maybe consider further education in the form of short term diplomas, Level 6 qualifications or community college because there is no point in subjecting yourself to 4 years of college and taking out loans for tuition if it isn't the right path for you.