Back when I had a college loan, I consoled myself with the fact that it was a brain debt–the best kind of debt to have. Now, after paying it off–and seeing the benefits from the degree which I purchased–I would really question doing it again with today’s dollars.
Brain debts in the US are now approaching a total of 1 trillion dollars. That is also more debt than US residents are currently carrying on their credit cards. I’ll grant that the interest rates are probably much better on the educational debt, but that is still a great deal of risk.
Seth Godin makes a good point:
The question is whether a trillion dollars is the right amount for individuals to spend marketing themselves. What would happen if people spent it building up a work history instead? On becoming smarter, more flexible, more self-sufficient and yes, able to take more risk because they owe less money…
I’m thinking of two friends who went the non-college route. By the age of 25, each of them had achieved the same financial base as college graduates who were 5 to 10 years older.
With the rapidly increasing costs of higher education, my friends may well be in the vanguard of the movement.