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What to Consider When Preparing for College
Do I Need to Go....
... if we put every parent and teacher into one room, the answer would be a resounding YES! After all, what was the point of high school, however, it's not as simple as yes or no. Either they know this or they don't understand it.
You don't just wake up and say your going to college, unless you dreamt about it the night before. It takes time to decide. Most of high school is preparing for college (even if the US education system only focuses on junior and senior year) the colleges look at all four of those SOBs. So make a check list and look it over twice, what YOU want to do with your life is the only thing that matters, not what your family wants, YOU.
1. If you want to join the Military, then by all means do you. But don't attend a four university, get into debt, then quit and join the Military as a last resort to pay for it. You should be in the Military because it's what you want to do.
Yes, they pay for school, you have to give about 5 years of your life to reap the full benefits, but if it's something you want, it's worth it. For more information on that visit the Veteran Affairs or the Military site.
2. Are you enjoying the job you have now. Truthfully, some people get a good job without ever going to college, make 60k a year, from a job that trained you to do what you needed, and you can move up the ladder and get a better salary. If this is what you want then go a head. Great jobs are a dime a dozen. If you can build a life off of it then by all means do what you feel is right. But if you want the job you Love, the job you wake up extra early for, college is probably the place for you, not to mention you can get paid more with a degree.
3. And finally, what future career do you have planned for your self? Because your going to need to pay all those loans back. I'll be perfectly honest if I had a shot at becoming an expensive actor or musician I would have taken it because you can always stop, go to school and pay for it in a full swipe.
Which leads us too...
Can I Afford It?
Self explanatory really. Education costs. It has always cost, your parents were paying tuition for high school its called taxes, only difference is, your not paying for an individual unless you went to private school.
College is a pretty penny, a four year university is in the 40,000 dollar per year range, a four year degree costs around 160,000 dollars, not including scholarships.
This kind of money is what makes or breaks you college career, if you come out with nothing, then, its almost a waste, living paycheck to paycheck to pay loans back is horrid.
Sometimes you've got to think of other options, parents can only get you so far, unless they got the money, but if you're like me, life is not that nice. You may have to take a year off and work, you may have to work while in a program., but you've got to decide. A wrong decision could ruin your life, your credit, and your family.
Conversations about paying for school always remind me of James Franco. He got a four year degree at UCLA(i believe?) in two years, while filming Spider-Man 3 and Pineapple Express, how? Money.... and ambition.... but mostly money. He took up to 60 credits a semester. He had to get permission from the school to take that work load, the man is a genius. But he needed the money, extra credits a semester is extra money. Do the math.
At my school. Tuition is 15,000 a semester (rounded up) for up to 17 credits. After 17, each credit is worth 1,000 dollars (rounded down). If I were to take say 50 credits in one semester, that's 33 over the limit, it would cost me 48,000 a SEMESTER. If I did it for a year it'd be 96.000, and for both years he took, 192,000 dollars. A normal four year degree at the same price would cost 120,000 dollars, 72,000 dollars less. Of course these were ball park figures for another University entirely, but damn, he has money to blow, did I mention he's still in school. Must be nice.
Yeah they say education is an investment that pays off in the long run, but like all investments you could get a negative return, for multiple years.If not handled properly it could be a poor investment.
Long story short, get in a school in your price range, get a full ride, or start with Community College.
Is Community College a Better Fit For Me?
For some strange reason I completely over looked community college. Maybe because I wanted out of my parents house or because i wanted out of the crappy city we lived in either way it's a regret, but one I can't dwell on.
But if you don't know what it is, well if you don't know, some parents should consider home schooling because that's ridiculous. Community college, is just that, colleges in your community, they don't usually have dorms, and the campus is usually very small, they tend to have job corps and other aiding things for students ready to start life. And the pièce de résistance, the tuition is far cheaper.
Usually considered 13th grade instead of college, because the slackers or the hardly working workers tend to go. But the joke is on us. Those two years worth of core classes we took at the university for 25,000 a semester only cost up to 6,000 at the CC. Don't you feel crappy.
No seriously, regardless of if you want to go to college or not, go to 13th grade, I mean CC. It's worth it. Not because your less smart, but because you are smart, saving money is the first step to a clam, tranquil life. You get an associates degree and if you decide to get a bachelors you can dive right in at a university, your life may even already be in order.
Since this is running long, I'll end it here. I have far more options on the subject of education in America, but I won't share them all.
And they are just that my opinions None of our lives are the same we all have different struggles. You have to use good judgement, the guidance from your parents if you have it and be ready to commit because truthfully, there is no time to play around when you future is in question.