Parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and school administrators alike are convinced that of all the phases in a child’s academic career, a university or college education is the best pathway towards a successful career and professional fulfillment. It is becoming less and less clear, though, whether a college education is worth the expense, or not.
Usually, the idea is that possessing an academic degree in a particular professional sector will give students a far better chance to secure a decent job, and receive a proper salary. Unfortunately, there are not so many people who will analyze the total costs of studying at a particular college or university in detail before applying to one. Often they realize only too late that they cannot handle the financial burden of that specific higher education. It leads to the question if pursuing a college education is always the best option for students or not.
Over the past decade, the deplorable state our economy was in has been leaving quite a lot of people in financial distress. It has led to more people than ever before applying for government grants, scholarships, student loans, or some other funding option for school. We can see that many funds have run out of resources all too quickly as the numbers of applicants were rising steeply. Many schools are offering need-based financial support through their financial assistance offices, but only very few students are receiving enough funding to cover the costs of books and tuition.
Most students are forced into a situation that they need to to take out pretty massive student loans provided by the government, banks, or some other private lender. Often, these loans are only available if there is a qualified cosigner and they usually come with relatively high-interest rates, and if the applicant is choosing to defer repayment until after graduation, which will lead to hefty monthly payments.
When students have succeeded in accruing enough funding to attend college or university, and if they are subjected to any unexpected financial emergency later in that year, they will be forced to go through that nerve-wracking and grueling process of finding a grant or a loan one more time. However, this time they are fighting for the chance to complete that academic year. And you know what’s the worst? Colleges and universities will add an extra ten or fifteen percent (or even more, sometimes) to the original bill for late payments! It will make it even more problematic for these students to make ends meet.
Emergency funds that most universities provide are generally under a thousand dollars, and this is in most cases not nearly sufficient to pay for due tuition costs. It is tragic, but in those circumstances, most students will be forced to quit college and start looking for low-wage positions while they still have to repay their student loan debt. All the money they’ve been spending in an attempt to get a continued education has disappeared forever, and this may very easily lead to a complete financial downfall.
The bottom line is that parents and students alike will promptly need to make some tough financial decisions when it comes to education. The gown, the cap, and the piece of paper that students will receive at graduation are becoming increasingly expensive year after year, and the financial resources that remain available to a continually growing number of desperate students are getting less and less. It won’t be long before the question whether attending a particular expensive college or university will be worth the cost, must, unfortunately, be answered more often in a negative way.
For exactly that reason, not only students but also their parents or guardians should be carefully investigating all their options before they will definitively decide on the future. So though it seems like going to college is the only way to become successful in life and career, following an educational path that is more and more a gamble on financial stability, think twice before you decide on an expensive school. There are more and better affordable options!