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Is College Still Worth the Cost?

Student loan debt is the Godzilla of all financial regrets for our younger generations. 85% of young people who created student debt now regret doing so. Let me be quick to add, the younger generation said they do not regret obtaining an education, they just regret the debt they racked up to procure it.

The sad part is, when these students created their school debt, they likely did not know or understand it would take them decades to pay it off. For example, the average college debt ($20K to $39K) takes twenty years to pay off. The average student loan payment has been calculated to cost around $393 a month.

Essentially, you end up paying interest on the interest when you make your student loan payments over a long period of time. This creates a growing payoff amount and a longer-lasting payment period. Paying out that kind of money each month on student loans will have a significant negative impact on your financial life both now and in the future.

Many people now feel that the advantage of a college degree is now much lower than it used to be because of the constant rising cost of education. Also, a college degree’s return on investment (ROI) is entirely dependent upon the type of degree you obtain, where you get it, how much you paid for it, and the type of job and industry in which you begin working.

Additionally, almost half of those who attend college (almost 50%) do not finish their degrees. Once they leave school, officially or unofficially, their student loan payments begin whether they graduated or not. Now they have all the handicaps of a student loan without any of the advantages of a degree. This information is vital to your future because at age thirty, the average millennial uses 45% of their total income just to pay their student loans. Therefore, they live in near poverty, with no savings and no opportunity to build prosperity in their immediate future.

Check out the below stats you rarely see:

The most common ways to obtain an education without debt include:

  • Obtain grants and scholarships.

  • Work for an employer that will pay part of your tuition like Apple, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, McDonald's, Starbucks, and Amazon

  • Join the U.S. military and utilize the GI Bill

  • Attend college part-time and pay as you go.

  • Attend a community college first to save money

  • Go to a state school in your home state within driving distance of your family home to avoid housing costs.

Cost of college according to

  • The average cost of one year’s tuition (only) for a public, in-state college is $9,377. The average cost of one year’s tuition (only) for an out-of-state college is $25,707.

  • The average cost for a student living on campus at a public, four-year in-state college for room and board is $25,707 per year or $102,828 for 4 years.

  • Out-of-state students who are living on campus pay $44,014 per year or $176,056 over the same four years.

Top 16 degrees (in order) calculated by the number of degrees issued,

according to Additionally, a check of the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( reveals an average salary paid to a person who is working in that general job field.

  • Business and Management, $93K (Mgt. Analyst)

  • Nursing $77.6K (Nurse)

  • Psychology/Social Work, $50,390 (Social Services Case Worker)

  • Biology, $48,130 (Biology Technician)

  • Engineering, $95,300 (Mechanical Engineer)

  • Education, $61,820 (Teacher)

  • Communication, $62,800 (Public Relations Specialist)

  • Finance and Accounting, $77,250 (Accountant)

  • Criminal Justice, $66,020 (Police Officer)

  • Computer Science, $57,910 (IT Technical)

  • English, $69,510 (Copywriter)

  • Economics, $102,120 (Financial Risk Specialist)

  • Political Science, $56,230 (Legislative Assistant)

  • History, $39,345 (Park Ranger)

  • Art, $50,710 (Graphic Designer)

  • Math, $95,570 (Financial Analyst)

Highest paying jobs requiring either a two-year degree (associates) or a trade school certificate to start (

  • Executive Assistant $60,025

  • Licensed Practical Nurse $60,367

  • Carpenter $60,665

  • Drafter $64,934

  • Occupational Therapy Assistant $74,002

  • Physical Therapist Assistant $75,405

  • Aircraft Mechanic $75,513

  • Commercial driver $77,480

  • Real Estate Agent $94,497

  • MRI Technologist 102,826

  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist $108,326

Average Wages:

According to ZipRecruiter:

  • The average wage for a high school graduate is $34,750.

  • The average wage for a person with a bachelor’s degree is $48,254.

  • The average wage for a trade school graduate is $48,226

  • $26,000 is the average interest paid on a student loan

Opportunity Cost of Attending College:

  • The opportunity costs of attending college would be the number of years of college x the average wage of a high school-educated worker.

  • 4 x $34,750 = $139,000 (likely, higher when annual salary increases are considered)

Graduation Rates:

  • A bit less than 50% of college freshmen actually graduate (

  • Trade schools have over an 83% graduation rate (

Student Loan Statistics (

  • Avg. loan debt per student $37,574 upon graduation

  • Avg. student loan length is 20 years.

  • $26,000 is the average interest paid on a student loan

  • 92% of student loan debt is federal, the rest is private

  • One million student loans enter default each year

—Larry Faulkner

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