Monday, March 17, 2014

Is College Worth a Bajillion Dollars (of debt)?

I am also a part-time comic strip artist.

Read this if: 

1) You want to read about my thoughts on college debt. 


Throughout my entire high school education, I was convinced that college was the only option after I graduated. At any cost, a high school graduate needs to go to college. That was my impression. But now I know that while it is absolutely true that it's hard to make a living without a college degree, it’s not impossible. 

In fact there is an even worse case scenario that many people sweep under the rug: what if you go to college, go into massive debt, and STILL DON’T FIND A JOB. 

Statistics on College and Debt 

"As of Quarter 1 in 2012, the average student loan balance for all age groups is $24,301. About one-quarter of borrowers owe more than $28,000; 10% of borrowers owe more than $54,000; 3% owe more than $100,000; and less than 1%, or 167,000 people, owe more than $200,000." (Source: ASA)

"A third of grads don’t feel that college prepared them well for the world of work.” (Source: Forbes

"48% of employed U.S. college grads are in jobs that require less than a four-year degree.” (Source: Forbes

...Isn't that scary?

What’s My Point?

If you are truly miserable in college, or you know that you will amass a ginormous amount of debt, there is little reason to keep going, or to enter college at all. I don't think it's fair (in general) to expect 18-year-olds to know what they want to study and do for the rest of their lives, but it's especially unfair when college is so expensive for so many people. 

What are some other options? 

No one really talks about what else you can do, but there are other options:
  • Joining the Armed Forces
  • Getting a job and saving for college 
  • Going to a (much cheaper) community college 
I call these "options" because I've seen people choose them and end up in a happy life, or in a much better financial position to go to college. I'm not saying it was easy, but they did it, and were still able to be happy.

Bottom Line

I'm not saying, "Don't go to college." I'm saying, "Don't go to college if you're going to go into debt and graduate with a useless degree because you have no idea what you want to do." Debt should be the last option, and only if you really, really want it. 

P.S. If you're interested, this is a great video on the education system today. 


What are your thoughts on going into massive debt for college? What are some other options after high school besides college? Let me know in the comments. 


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Photo Credit: Money Matters 


  1. John Green made a pretty interesting video analyzing the cost of college versus the salary bonus (among other factors) resulting from going. Check it out:

  2. Thanks Amelia! I've seen this, I love John Green. #dftba