Why risk malinvestment in college?

Another characterization of a college education, that might give students and parents pause to reflect on why they want to attend college is as follows:

There is an amazing opportunity just waiting for you, and you can get in on the ground floor for only $120,000. If you act now, you will be virtually guaranteed an income for the rest of your working life. There’s one small caveat: We can’t tell you how much you will actually earn in the 50 years or so after you make this investment because, let’s face it, there are a lot of variables. But hey, it’s only $120,000. And you can’t put a price tag on your future, can you?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 9, 2012

And, I would add that the cost quoted above, which was published in 2012, for a college degree is now $175,000 to $250,000 for current college students.

While important to become a more learned person and to nurture aptitude, both which can be achieved by attending college, understanding one’s motivation is important. If one’s reason for attending college wasn’t clearly defined, then the costs could exceed the total value obtained, leading to a mal-investment that could have marked impacts throughout a student’s life. Nearly 70% of the Class of 2019 graduated college with an average of $33,000 in student debt which many speculate is delaying Millennials getting married, buying homes, and generally living The American Dream. 

Thus, understanding how a college degree suits your particular life’s goals and purpose is increasingly prudent, given the risks for financial mal-investment, if the value of a college degree is to be obtained. 

Or as James R. Harrigan and Antony Davies state:

Chosen poorly, it [a college education] is [could be] nothing but a waste of time, effort and money.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 9, 2012

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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