There are many reasons to go to college. Going to college can help you to land a career you love and to make money to pay your bills. For many people, it is a great way to meet people, to learn more about the world, and to learn the necessary skills to succeed. However, college isn’t right for everyone. While some people attend college to find their passion, others already know their passion and they don’t need college to achieve it.
College is a large financial decision, and while it often pays off, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Many people find that they can challenge themselves without attending college, and going just to seek a challenge can be a poor financial investment. Going for higher education can also be a poor investment if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Here are five reasons you should not go to college, or at least hold off on the decision.
1. You need to work now
While many students hold a part-time job while they are in school, and some work full-time, this path can be very demanding. It can be especially difficult to juggle a full-time job and a full-time course load. A 2013 New City and Seventeen magazine survey found that nearly four out of five college students are working while attending school.
If you feel that you can handle working and going to school, you can certainly try it. However, many people don’t want to take on loans, and they can’t afford to go to school without working, but they find that trying to work while going to school is too much at once. Others find that they need to start working immediately after school, perhaps because they have bills to pay, they have family obligations, or college is just too far out of reach financially.
2. The potential loans are overwhelming
College is expensive. According to the College Board, the average 2014-2015 tuition and fees at a public four-year in-state college is $9,139, and $31,231 for a private nonprofit four-year school, which doesn’t even count room and board. While loans are often an expected part of the college experience, not everyone wants to take out a loan. It’s important to remember that when you finish college, you will have to pay the loans back with interest, and it’s possible that your job will not pay as well as you hope, or that you may not find a job immediately.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, it can help to research starting salaries in your field and to think about how your payments will affect your future finances. If you need a loan in order to attend college, but you don’t quite feel comfortable taking out a loan, college may not be right for you, at least for the time being.
3. You don’t know what you want to do with your life
Many high school students go to college because it’s expected of them, but that isn’t a good reason to go. If you are facing peer pressure from your parents, friends, or teachers to attend college, but you don’t feel ready, then now is not the time to go. You shouldn’t take on such a large financial and time commitment just to please other people. This is especially true if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. College is expensive, and it doesn’t make sense to spend money on a college degree if you are unsure of your path. You also risk taking extra time to finish your degree if you switch your major multiple times. You are better off waiting to attend college when you know what you want to do with your life.
4. You don’t need a degree
There are several jobs that pay well without a degree. The specific job requirements will depend on the company, but according to University.com, Web Developers and Network and Computer Systems Administrators are two examples. There are also several careers that pay well but only require an associate’s degree or certificate. If you don’t need a college degree to do what you love (or to bring in more money), then you shouldn’t enroll in classes. Many people find that they have a specific skill that translates well into a career without requiring a college degree. Others simply start at the bottom of a company and work their way up, and others join a family business and learn the ropes without going to college.
5. You’re not prepared academically
If you blew off most of high school, or you simply had a difficult time understanding various subjects, then college might not be the right choice for you. If you attend college and you end up failing multiple classes, you will only be wasting money. Community college is a great idea for many people and for many reasons, and if you had a hard time in high school but you are ready to take your education seriously, then community college can be a great place to start.
A college degree can be a great way to boost your chance of a successful career, but it isn’t the right choice, or the most lucrative, in all situations.