The Value of an Education

Contrary to popular belief, having to take out a loan in college is O.K. Many students shy away from taking out a loan, and end up either stretching themselves very thin, or eliminating the prospect of college entirely. As an admissions counselor, I am sometimes very saddened by this, because it means that a student with great potential will miss out on opportunities that will affect his or her future. So in order to try and convince students otherwise, I try and help them look at the situation with a different perspective.

Unfortunately, college is expensive, and students rarely wind up with a full ride to their most prized institution. As a result, taking out loans for the purpose of gaining value has become normal for adults. Value items might consist of taking out a loan to attend college, buy a house, or buy a new car. The good thing about taking out a loan for college is that you are investing in your future. You won’t necessarily see this investment up front, but you will be more valuable as a college graduate than you would ever be as an adult with a high school diploma. The amount of monetary value that you would gain will increase with every degree you get. PhD students make more than Master’s students, Master’s more than Bachelor’s, and Bachelor’s more than Associate’s.

A shocking statistic- students who graduate from college will, over a lifetime, make over 1 million more than a high school graduate. Read this article for more information: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/08/college-gradutates-pay.html

As a college graduate and a student who had to take out a loan for college, I really do encourage you to consider the benefits of going to college- whatever that may cost. Work hard in your high school careers to get the highest GPA you can, and get involved in your school’s extracurricular activities. Those two items alone should help increase your chances of being admitted to an institution and receiving some sort of academic aid. If loans become your last resort, of course, learn about what a loan is and the types you can have, the consequences of taking out a loan, and plan out how you think you will be able to pay off your loan.

-Cassie

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