How To Make That College Investment Pay Off!
I found myself nodding a lot in this PBS NewsHour article “6 Rules To Make The Best College Decision.” Ok, I know that these listicles (articles with lists) seem to be a tad overdone, but in this case, I found that we had created lessons around many of their rules.
So, what are the six golden rules?
- College is a better investment if you graduate.
- In this NGPF Activity, students estimate the value of a college education and compare it to other educational outcomes (e.g., some college, high school degree)
- College is a better investment if you graduate on time.
- Unfortunately, as the article indicates the four-year graduation rates depending on the study you look at is somewhere between 19-36% at public universities.
- Your major matters. A lot.
- This NGPF Blog post provides a chart and discussion questions to show how starting salaries and mid-career salaries differ by college major.
- Consider 2 year associates degree programs and 2+2 options.
- Keep track of your finances (particularly your debt levels).
- NGPF has an activity to help students estimate student debt levels (using a tool developed by the NY Times)
About the Author
Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.