Ellen DeGeneres didn’t graduate from college. Neither did Ted Turner, Steve Jobs or Rachael Ray. The list of successful, non-college graduates is fairly substantial. However, not everyone has raw determination, rich families, otherworldly genius or just good old fashioned television appeal. For the rest of us, the key to making a good living naturally coincides with a higher education. For those who don’t have college aspirations, the times they are a’changing: employers are now asking for college degrees for jobs that never used to require anything beyond a high school diploma.
Therein lies the problem.
According to Businessinsider.com, the cost of an undergraduate degree has risen by 213% from late 1980 to 2018. One theory is that this increase is caused, initially, by a higher demand for college educations. More students means more hired professors, meaning higher payrolls, more buildings, more student services, and, of course, more student loans.
Where does that leave college students and recent graduates?
Very, very heavily in debt.
Credit.com has announced that, in the first quarter of 2019, student loan debt rose to $1.49 trillion. Not million, not billion. Trillion. And, just for fun, college grads can expect to spend the next ten to thirty years of their lives paying it off. Second jobs, scrimping, saving, roommates, deferment of gratification, hoping that 1988 Hyundai Excel GL (held together with duct tape and fervent prayer) will last one more year. Good times.
So. Is it all worth it?
I think so. It looks bad, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s worth it. Being a starving student isn’t fun (I was one), but I believe the experience of college, the experience of learning, even the experience of debt, pushes those seeking knowledge into the deep end of life. It teaches us that sacrifice and hard work are two really great ways to achieve lasting happiness and contentment. There is an old Scottish adage that says: The wounds give life. It may be harsh, but there is a certain satisfaction that comes from the completion of a grueling job (even if it takes ten-thirty years).
College doesn’t only teach Philosophy.
Look, Bourke Accounting isn’t going to make your student debt go away, sorry about that. Bourke Accounting isn’t going to lower student tuition. However, maybe one of our very capable associates can offer options to make the starving and hard work a little easier to bear. So why not stop by and see what Bourke Accounting can do for you?
Written by Sue H.