Is your college education worth the investment? College tuition is one of the most expensive items in any family budget. These days, money has tendency to be tight all over, and it’s no secret that the United States’ education system is in some serious trouble. This means that it’s more important than ever for you to make sure you or your child’s college education is going to be worth the invest.
Much of this has to do with soaring tuition costs that stare directly in the face of a still-sagging economy. Thankfully, the Wall Street Journal just released an easy-to-use tool that will help you figure out how your potential schools stack up against some of the nation’s best bets. Use this online tool to plan for college and get the most out of your money.
Investing Wisely (and How You Can Do It)
It’s no secret that the professional world is changing in a very serious way, and many would argue that the college education system is still struggling to catch up.
Today’s career opportunities, assisted by new online connectivity like we’ve never experienced in the past, are becoming increasingly reliant upon things like raw talent and people skills, as opposed to an Important Piece of Paper from a Prestigious University.
Of course, getting your college degree is by no means an exercise in futility. All of this simply means that the decision about which university you attend is one that’s very much worth your time and careful consideration.
Things like student loans (pretty much a requirement these days, especially if you don’t have parents willing or able to pay for school) make the whole affair a lot more complicated, and many students find themselves continuing to deal with school-related financial issues well into their adulthood.
Let the Numbers Speak for Themselves
The Wall Street Journal‘s incredibly nifty tool makes it very easy for you to see how some of the nation’s top schools measure up against one another. The tool includes factors like median loan amounts, average costs, graduation rates, and total return on investment figures.
You can also enter specific information about the colleges and universities you or your child is consider. See how the colleges and universities on your list compare to some of the country’s most well-known schools.
This let you figure out exactly what you can expect in terms of a return on your college investment. According to WSJ, the calculation isn’t a very easy one:
“The financial return on a college education depends on a complex calculation involving the cost and the potential payoff.”
Change Is Exciting!
The important thing to keep in mind, as this tool illustrates, is not only the tuition that you’ll be paying as you or your child begins a college career, but also the fact that this figure is likely to change over the next 4-6 years actually spent in college.
Plenty of students make it out of school in the typical 4 years, but a 6 year stay in college is becoming more and more common.
This means that you could experience a significant amount of tuition change (most likely an increase, not a decrease) between enrollment and graduation, all of which impacts the ultimate return on investment.
Higher education is a costly and complicated thing, but with good, solid financial advice, there’s no reason you can’t make it out alive, whether you’re going to class yourself or are trying to make sure your kids have the brightest future possible.
Either way, you use helpful tools like the one offered by the Wall Street Journal, and check out other posts on our very own Scambook blog for more information about how to make the most of your money when it comes to learning.