The financial crisis of 2008 left an indelible mark on the economy as well as society on the whole. Not only did the banks and financial institutions meet with terrible losses, the general populace was affected just as well. Downsizing left millions of Americans unemployed and the failing economy was not able to produce enough jobs to deal with the unemployment upsurge. It has been almost 4 years since then and although the recession is over, the tepid growth of the economy hasn’t been able to ease up the employment sector.
Moreover, employers are now concentrating on the quality of employees rather than the quantity. The demand for graduates with college degrees is on the rise as recruiters are setting their sights high and making employment offers to those lucky few with bachelor’s degrees at least.
Acquiring a college education is by no means an affordable affair. The average cost of going to a 4 year college stands at around $35,000 and for an average undergraduate, it is impossible to afford without the aid of student loans. Given the current condition of the economy, the employment sector is not especially liquid as of now and only a handful is fortunate enough to score jobs that pay top dollars.
A substantial number of fresh graduates from some of the top colleges find it difficult to make ends meet and end up drowning in student loan debt. The good thing is that there are actually ways to get through college without having to bear the brunt of high interest student loans.
- Plan your course to suit your ambition – You may like the idea of studying liberal arts or anthropology but you need to fist see if these degrees will earn you the job you want when you get out of college. In most cases, students go in with idealistic study plans which, at the end of 4 years, don’t enable them to find suitable employment. The primary point of concern should be to study something which will later justify its cost. Technical degrees in engineering, medicine and business are the most lucrative and in-demand options as of now.
- Consider studying in a public college – The cost of education at a 4 year or a 2 year public college stand somewhere between $7000 and $14,000 which is far cheaper than going to a private college. Some of the top ranking universities like University of Virginia, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan are some of the best colleges in the country.
- Consider alternatives to 4 year colleges – The traditional school of though would suggest going directly for a 4 year college once you are out of high school and have your SAT scores in hand. In case you don’t want to acquire a significant student debt load right away or at least lessen the amount you would owe, give some thought to attending a 2 year college to begin with. You can easily transfer yourself into a 4 year program after finish 2 years in community college. Some of these public universities have tie-ups with 4 year colleges and offer guaranteed admission on the condition that you maintain a certain GPA.
- Work while you study – While you are in college, you can work to pay your way through at least a part of the expenses without having to depend solely on loans and aids. Getting into the habit of working will also enable you to adapt faster to the working environment after getting out college. You will also require a smaller loan if you can work to pay for food and lodging.
Higher education doesn’t always have to be an expensive affair. There are cheaper alternatives to student loans and private schools. You don’t even need to spend years on end to pay off heavy debts. All you need to do is weigh your options, choose wisely and work hard.