Going to college is a very big step in your adult life, and potentially can be very rewarding financially. Think about it. If you just graduate high school and start making $20,000 a year, over the next 40 years you will make $800,000. On the other hand, if you decide to go to college for 4 years, and are able to make $35,000 when you graduate, over the next 36 years since you spent 4 years in college, you could make $1,260,000. That is a pretty big $460,000 difference. Yes, I did not include the cost of college, but spending half a million on your education is unlikely, unless you are studying to become a lawyer or a doctor, in which case your starting salary will be much higher than $35,000.
Long story short, this calculation is pretty simplistic and doesn’t include for example whether you pursue future education while employed, whether your degree will be valuable to your career, and if the cost of not working for four or five years may not incur extra debt. Needless to say, you want to spend as little time and money as you can on a college experience, to maximize the return on your investment.
There are many ways to save on your higher education too. You can start by trying to apply for every single scholarship you find online, through your network, your parents’ job, and so on. That can save you thousands of dollar in tuition, and you may even get a full ride through college.
Another way to limit your tuition fees is to simply spend less time in college. That does not mean getting a lower degree, but trying to graduate earlier. In this case, if you are crunched for time, you may not be able to work a part time job on the side, but the savings might be higher than your paycheck flipping burgers. You can get expert help with research paper writing if you do not have the time to get it done. And if you don’t want to sit all day in a classroom, you can also study by yourself and pay only the exam fee. This requires a lot of effort and dedication, but the payout can be huge. Not having to attend class means that you can work a full time job, and if you are studying something that is valuable to your employer, they may even pay for you to go to college!
Something that students rarely think about are equivalences. Say you graduate from community college with a bachelor’s degree. You are free to pursue higher education in many more prestigious places. And your future employer will mainly look at where you graduated from, and not the path you took to get there. So instead of paying for a renown place for four or five years, try to get two or three years of cheaper education, then once you transfer, you can get the more sought after piece of paper. And if you get the best grades at a lesser known college, you may even qualify for a scholarship with your transfer!