My wife gets upset with me sometimes because I am not a huge proponent of college. I don’t tell our kids they have to go to college.
My biggest goal for my children is that they have some sort of plan in mind to provide for themselves and become a productive member of society. For many that is college. Yes, many professions require a particular degree.
However, I know plenty of people that are very successful without college degrees. I also know people that are entrepreneurs like myself that work in areas seriously unrelated to their degrees. I also know lots of people with massive student loans that are working in retail because that’s the only job they can find. And those are the same people that have 50k in student loans (which is generally not dischargable in bankruptcy).
I know the statistics. I know that people might make twice as much money in a lifetime with a college degree than without. That’s powerful. But it’s also not the entire picture. Earning money is only half the story. What about loans? What about delaying starting a business because you’re in school? And what about happiness?
I am in no position to preach. I don’t know what’s right for you. I don’t know what’s wrong for you.
What I do know is that I am a huge believer that you have to run cost/benefit or risk/reward over most things in life.
If you try to start a business when you’re 18 instead of going to school, what consequences will there be if you fail? Do you start school at 20 instead of 18? Is that the end of the world?
I am not a sports follower, but it gets me so upset when I hear sports stars choosing to go to college or finish college instead of going pro. There are so many unknowns in life. People get hurt. Knees get busted. Shoulders go out. These people very well may get a college degree. But are there any guarantees of going pro when they are done at school? Absolutely not.
I think people need to strike when the iron is hot. Opportunities have a shelf life. Whether that is with investing, college, sports, jobs, or business. They don’t last forever. Would someone turn down 1 million a year at 18 years old to go to school for free and hope you can do the same when you’re 22? Some do. Doesn’t make any sense to me.
So is college worth it? For some yes. For others no. I know that may not be the politically correct thing to say. I also know that lots of parents out there that will force their kids to go to college only to have them drop out and then be saddled with loans.
Only you know what’s right for you. Run the risk reward. Run the cost benefit analysis.
Figure out what’s right for you. If it isn’t what you parents want, too bad for them. You’re probably saving them lots of wasted money if you don’t want to go. If you’re 50 want to get your degree – do it.
Do you. No excuses. College included.