Should I take loans to pay for more than tuition (and go full time) versus part-time to college? Yes!
Establishing and applying the principle Proverbs 27:23-27 = What you do I the present should be determined by its payoff in the future.
1. You should take enough to cover tuition, books, and room + board (if not living at home). (If you live in the dorms the college will force you to apply to cover tuition, books, and room + board)
2. Going part-time (to college) is not ideal or wise if you can go full-time (and are getting loans) since the money/debt compounds over time. Better to get done as quickly as possible.
- Statistics show the odds of you ever finishing are not in your favor. Why? Because life (marriage, kids, moving out, etc.) will get in the way.
3. A 2015 National Center for Education Statistics report states:
3.1. Those with bachelor degrees will earn 56% more than without one.
3.2. Unemployment is much higher among those without degrees.
3.3. More people with degrees today means those without are losing more jobs since employees are more likely to hire those with degrees over those without.
3.4. Without a bachelors degree, fields of high quality jobs ($80k+ a year, average 40 hour work week, good benefits, and vacation) are extremely limited.
- Private studies show less than 2% of people without degrees are making that kind of money.
4. A full-time vs. a part-time student at the end of 8 years:
4.1. The full-time student will have approximately $65,000 of debt, 4 years of employment/experience, and $123,000 cash in the bank.
4.2. The part-time student will have $65,000 of debt, 0 years of employment, and no cash in the bank.
Conclusion (full-time versus part-time): The full-time student is in the better position since in 8 years, each have the same debt (though the part-time took less) and the full-time has $123,000 in the bank and is in their field and moving up.
5. Concluding thoughts on college:
5.1. Getting good grades matters more today than before due to the number of people with degrees. Good grades (nothing below a 3.0 GPA) are what set you apart.
- Good grades should be the focus (not work, sports, etc.). If you are going to go to college then getting good grades should be your highest priority – study over anything else.
5.2. Better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. I.e. get good grades and stand out at a less prestigious school rather than going to a prestigious school and not standing out.
5.3. Reverse engineer your degree choice. Discover the exact jobs or careers you want to have, then determine what degree you need to pursue. Not the other way around.
5.4. Don’t pick degrees with low earning potential or low availability and demand.