Paying For College – Is It Worth The Cost?

by Lilly Nelson

When preparing for college every student worries about getting into a good school, getting a degree they can be proud of, and excelling once the leave. But above all, paying for college has become a great burden for students. There is only so much money in grants and scholarships and even work study grants only pay for so much of your college education. Once out students are rushed into getting a job that pays well enough to pay back all of the college debt that has accumulated over the past few years.

While many students leave college and do find work, it is hard to find work in their field. With the current unemployment rate at 9.1% that $25,250 debt that the average 2011 Graduate carries is even harder to pay off. But that’s not all, even the 90.9% who were employed, only 60% of them were employed in a job where it was necessary to have a college degree. That doesn’t even include the possibility of them being employed in a field that has nothing to do with their degree. So 40% of people graduating from college are doing so without getting a job requiring a degree. ( I recently ran into a bartender who has a Masters in Business & Economics and can‘t get work in his field.)

So is it a good idea for students to put themselves into financial crisis in the hopes of joining the 1% instead of holding fast with the 99%. The answer is an emphatic yes, though the financial benefit may not be obvious at first.

Tax Deductions

First and foremost students get a tax deduction from student loans. A 1090-E should be received by any student who is paying on a qualifying loan which states exactly how much interest was paid that year in interest. Those paying on current loans can deduct the lesser of $2500 or the amount of interest actually paid. While this does not seem that much it is certainly worth making sure it is appropriately filled out in the right spot on the appropriate tax form. No matter which way the information is filled out, through an accountant or by a free IRS efile, make sure the information is there. If it wasn’t filled in this year, there is always the option to amend a previous years return.

Value of a Degree

Secondly, experts agree that lifetime earnings of a college graduate are higher than those of a high school graduate. In order to get into almost any good high paying job you have to have a degree. While there is some stipulation as to exactly how much more is made by college graduates versus high school gradates, the numbers don’t lie and a college graduate will make more than a high school graduate. Some experts say the amount is minimal though, as little as $200,000 over the course of a lifetime. This is such a paltry sum for four years of college and all the debt that accompanies it. It is still greater than the cost of college though. What great things can that extra money go to? Perhaps paying off the incurred college debt.

In this time when the cost of going to college is growing substantially and the amount of money to pay for that seems to be steadily shrinking, is college a must? A good education is integral to even the possibility of getting into most high paying fields and well worth the money. Plus it lends itself to lifetime benefits that should help along the way.

This post was written by Lilly Nelson

Lilly Nelson is a freelance writer adn college graduate who enjoys sharing her expertise and experiences.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Adriene Fabacher June 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.


Lilly June 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Why thank you!


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