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Going Back to College This Fall? Buy a Lottery Ticket.

by Abby Thompson
August 18, 2016 | Our Future

Moving into the end of August means a somber conclusion of summer, but also the cue for back-to-school season to begin. You get to embark on that satisfying journey of getting all your school supplies in order, maybe you’re moving into a new place, and oh your tuition payment is due. LOL *Backs into corner* *covers self with blanket* *laughs uncontrollably until your eyes start sweating*.

Anyone have a winning lottery ticket you want to slide my way?

It’s the worst kept secret that college tuition is already incredibly expensive and on the rise. Luckily most people plan for it, it’s not some impulse buy at your local Urban Outfitters in order to keep your edgy hipster aesthetic tried and true. Education is an investment and according to a survey completed by CentSai Adulting, 76 percent of participants believe a four-year degree is worth the cost.

In the same survey, however, 73 percent said they’d be willing to incur between 10-20 thousand dollars in debt for college, despite the average amount of money owed after students graduate from a four year university is up to at least 30 thousand dollars.

College students are in for a rude awakening as the cost of college increases.
College students are in for a rude awakening as the cost of college increases.

Essentially the data shows that fewer teenagers are seeing the investment of college to be worth the cost and are looking to other options for careers, like entrepreneurship.

"It's great that teenagers are thinking ahead about alternatives to a four-year degree, but I'm concerned about the realistic expectations of the respondents," says Doria Lavagnino, co-founder and president of CentSai. "The majority of those interested in starting their own businesses say they already have the skills they need, and nearly half (45 percent) would fund it through personal savings," says Lavagnino.

It could be that some students really do have the skills they need, or maybe they’re a bit naive, whatever the case may be I know that when I graduated high school I would not have been prepared to start my own business no matter how many honors and AP classes I took. Sure, I graduated knowing how to complete the square for my Algebra 2 class, but I haven’t had to use that since I walked across a stage wearing a strangely roomy gown with a little rope over my shoulders.

That’s the disconnect that shines through from this survey, high schools are not preparing students for what they need in preparation for the future. Whether it’s college or entrepreneurship, young adults are not prepared nor informed on how to manage their financials.

It’s strange to me, for my whole life I feel I have heard how “knowledge is power,” yet is that apparent power students are receiving worth it for a life of debt? I’m going into my second year of college knowing little about strategies for paying back my loans. What I do know? I’m going to be in debt for a long time, but I hope the education and the investment in my future is worth it.

Abby Thompson
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