When evaluating the decision to enroll in a college institution, whether it is for you or your child, the true value of the education must be considered. What is true value you may ask? It is basically an assessment of the long term value of the education vs. the actual cost of tuition.
While certainly the college experience has value all on its own. It is also important to look at it purely from an economic view. Especially as the cost of tuition continues to rise, analyzing the actual value of a degree is an important financial process.
Ultimately the goal is to gain the best education for the lowest price, although this is easier said than done. Many students graduate with over $60,000 in debt, which can take them sometimes ten years or more to pay off. When evaluating the college selection, also ask yourself how much debt can you afford to incur?
The best way to come out ahead doesn’t always mean you have to go to the least expensive college. But, it is important to evaluate your earning potential vs. the cost of the education. It is also crucial to consider all the additional benefits that are inherent in a college degree.
It could potentially mean that you wait. Wait for a time that your financial picture is more stable or that you have a better idea of what degree you want. Certainly a college education is valuable, but it isn’t always necessary for some professions. These days, with the variety of learning opportunities, paying top dollar to go to a prestigious university isn’t the only ticket to success.
While the decisions around college involve more than just economics, it is worth your time to invest a little cost-benefit analysis into the equation. Whether you are 18 or 80, make a list of what college will do for you and the corresponding costs. Use this comparison as an evaluation of your options. Make sure that your choices are the best ones for your financial future.