How to decide whether a four-year degree is right for you.
In a post from May last year we pondered the question, should everyone go to college? And what might still be surprising to some, the answer was a resounding no. As eNotes editor and college professor Jamie described it then,
I believe anyone who wants an education should pursue one. But I also see many incredibly gifted students who have skills that they are actively discouraged from mastering because they are supposed to have a Bachelor’s degree. I see young people who have no real interest or desire to stay in school another four years who are miserable and many who are racking up debt when they could be doing something they enjoy, avoiding debt, and making money.
The prevailing opinion in America is that every student must go to college; if they don’t, they’ve somehow failed, or been failed by the system. Yet the cost of an American college education is among the highest in the world. So, if that college degree does you no favors in the job force, or if you drop out before completing your four years, you’re burdened with a mass of student debt to shoulder for the next twenty years.
That’s why it’s important to look at the costs of a college education, weighing out the pros and cons of each side and determining what’s right for you. If you plan to spend your life in academia, of course a university education is a necessity. But if you’d be better suited to a skilled trade, would the debt and time spent out of the workforce pay off? Here’s an excellent infographic from affordable-online-colleges.net to help you weigh your options. You might be surprised by what you find, like the high success rates of those who choose a two-year college over pursuing a Bachelor’s degree.
Read on and let us know your thoughts and questions!
Reuters reports that President Obama will today sign into a law an overhaul of the nation’s student loan programs. The new rules cut banks out of the equation, which the President says will benefit students and taxpayers. From the article:
The White House said the change would save taxpayers $68 billion over the next decade. The money saved will help expand and strengthen the federal Pell Grant program for students.
The change will cap college graduates’ annual student loan repayments at 10 percent of their income, spends more at community colleges and awards $2.55 billion to historically black colleges and universities.
Obama’s fellow Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives got the measure through Congress by tucking it into a package of changes approved last Thursday to the sweeping U.S. healthcare overhaul.
So how can you benefit from the overhaul? Most of the benefit will come in greater availability of student loans and Pell Grants. Pell Grants are need-based grants made to low-income students and you can apply online. Also, if you have an existing student loan, you will benefit from only having pay a maximum 10% of your total income to service the loan payments.