It may be a myth that college is too expensive, that college debt is not worth it, and that college is not affordable for most people. Just look at The Atlantic’s March 2013 issue and see for yourself.
Although costs for a college education have spiked dramatically since 1995 and outstanding student loans have soared to 1 trillion dollars, there are other factors to weigh in thinking about affording a college education.
First, although the cost of Harvard is $57,950 a year, the average cost of a four-year college is $27,453, a good deal less. On top of that, even Harvard students do not pay full boat usually. Students who attend four-year colleges and receive aid have an average yearly cost of $17,360.
But what about the entire debt students take on for their degrees over the years? Not as bad as you might think. Although some students do end up owing college debt costs of $75,000 to $150,000, they make up only about 4.2% of students who borrow for college. 43% of student borrowers owe between $1,000 and $10,000. Just remember the cost of that degree has pay back. A college degree reduces the risk of unemployment and raises weekly salaries from $600 (no college degree) to a $1,000 (with a bachelor’s degree). Over the years that increase can offset any acquired college debt. In fact, the average return on the stock market is 6.8% but on a bachelor’s degree it is 15.2%!
So borrowing money for a college education may be the best path to take. Don’t overestimate the cost of college or let applying for financial aid scare you off. One in every 6 students is eligible for student aid.