No it's not. I don't care how much admissions offices spin it, or how much your grandparents or parents claim it is. It's not.
Back in the 1930's both of my grandfathers dropped out of school after the 8th grade. They went to work to help support their family. They saw the world from a dirty place, a place where your muscles were sore at the end of the day. They pushed for college. College was, in their mind a ticket to a better life. They looked for ways to pay for their kids and grandkids education.
Key words: "pay for". Not borrow money for. They didn't mortgage the house. They paid for it, by working for it. They took an old coffee can and put money in it. It wasn't a lot and it wasn't enough, but it was a start. My college fund smelled like Sanka. I'm damn proud of it.
When it came time for me to go to college, I picked the school that gave me the most scholarship money. That's it. That was the criteria, money. I also worked 40 hours a week for almost the whole 4 years. I didn't go to the best school I could get into. I didn't even go to a more prestigious school that was willing to give me some money but not as much. I went where I could afford the bill.
That's why I don't get this guy:
Guy With USELESS Degree From $62,965-A-Year College Is REALLY SAD About His Student Loans
The fool is over $200,000 in debt and bum'd out because he's paying around $1,500 a month for the next 30 years. He can't file bankruptcy and he can't get a job paying him enough to finance the lifestyle he wants.
Clues that you are not smart enough to go to college:
- You are borrowing money that you won't be able to repay quickly after graduation. Yet you do it anyway
- When you finish your education you will owe more money than a house costs and don't have the letters MD after your name
- You mistake "prestigious" for "practical"
- You make fun of the kids working at McDonalds or taking work study jobs on campus
- You pick your major based on how cool it sounds without giving any thought to what job it will get you
I'm not anti-college. I have three college degrees. My associates degree was pursued so I could transfer from one college to another without losing credits. When the President of my school found out that I was leaving to save money he kicked in a scholarship to get me to stay. Which I did.
I foolishly borrowed money for grad school, then being burned out didn't finish. When I finally went back I had paid off the loan and cash flowed tuition from my job. I didn't accept an opportunity to do post grad work at Stanford because I was $3,000 short at the time. I kinda regret that.
I'm not anti-college. Ask yourself why you are going. If its to get a good job when you graduate ask yourself some questions. Will the job I want pay enough to make this worthwhile? Is this school giving me the most bang for my buck? Is there a better way to get this job?
If a good job is what you are after consider tech schools and apprenticeship programs or the military. Take the ASVAB, it's free. Then look at what occupations they will train you for based on your score. Take that information and compare it to the expected pay ranges for similar civilian jobs. Sign a contract to go into that MOS. Do your hitch and bail out into a high paying civilian job. That's the whole reason we have the US Air Force. Maybe not the whole reason, but its a better deal than $200,000 in debt and no future till you pay it off.