Each year my hometown newspaper does a special feature at graduation time. Now, keep in mind that I’m from a town of about 1,200 people. The paper publishes all the high school graduates’ photos and includes their activities and honors, as well as their future plans.
As I read about the class of 2009, I had some interesting reactions: First (since I remember the birth of many of the graduates), am I really that old?
After that shock wore off, I started reading their future plans. To be honest, I got a little judgmental. So-and-so is going to a technical college to learn a trade. “Good for them,” I thought, “saving money and getting the education you need.” So-and-so is going to study elementary education at an expensive private school. “Well, that’s not a smart choice,” I thought, “probably over-borrowing considering their chosen field.”
Obviously, there is much to consider when you’re choosing your college. You want to make sure that you’ll feel comfortable on campus, that it’s the right size, the right distance from home, etc. However, you also should make sure you’re in the right price range for the degree you want to get.
Of course, there are some reasons you may want to attend a more expensive school that make perfect sense — like if your chosen program is one of the best around or if you were awarded a better scholarship package.
But if you’re going to be borrowing $30,000 annually for four years to end up with a degree and a job that pays a maximum of $30,000, you might want to think again — and consider a lower-cost option.