Everyone says that getting an education is the best way to earn more and have a better life. While statistically degree holders do earn more than those without a degree, many people graduate college buried in student loans and then struggle to get out for many years after. How can you determine if a college education is right for you and how much you can afford to spend?
Examine Your Options
Is college or an online university something that you are interested in? What do you want to do with your life? To determine if you should head off to college, first you have to figure out what you want to do. Going to college, spending years working toward nothing and then dropping out is a huge waste of money and should be avoided at all costs. Before you make a decision about school, first make some decisions about life so that you will know what you want.
Figure Out a Budget
When it comes to education, there are some huge variations when it comes to cost. Some schools, like community colleges, are fairly inexpensive and you can go to school for just a few thousand a year. Other schools, like private universities, can be very expensive and cost tens of thousands or more each year. If you are going to graduate with $100,000 in loans, you may be getting in over your head. On the other hand, if you can pay your expenses and tuition while going to schools, it may be a financially achievable option. Education just like any other financial decision should be carefully evaluated to determine its place in your budget. Student loans unlike other forms of debt are not eliminated in bankruptcy filings. You will be responsible for paying back these loans no matter what. Do not get in deeper than you can handle.
Many times, funding for education is available. If you want to go to school, you are foolish not to examine your possibilities. Does your employer pay for classes? If so, it may be a good idea to take a class or two on your boss’ dime. Do you qualify for scholarships or grants? There are available options for school goers that don’t have to be paid back. Look into these and see what you qualify for. Sometimes an education is more affordable than you might think.
An education is great, however it is foolish to get an education without thinking about if you need it and how you will pay for it. Debt is debt, and if you don’t have a plan, student loans can quickly decimate your financial goals. Before jumping into debt for an education, first consider all your possibilities and find the option that is best for you.