“Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.”Mark Twain
“Go to college,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. Here we are $8600 later in student loan debt, with no degree to show for it. College isn’t for everyone, and it definitely wasn’t for me (both times). Here’s why:
Reason #1: Degrees have no guarantee
Would you pay five to six figures for a product that may or may not work?
So why does that change all of a sudden when it comes to a college degree? College degrees are not worth their weight in gold. Your frugal friend has seen too many red flags too many times.
First red flag: I used to work as a McDonald’s manager. One of my employees had a law degree from Howard University and was making $7.25/hour. I was 18, making $8.25/hour, with no degree, MANAGING A HOWARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE. Howard’s tuition costs $40,000/year and you can’t guarantee me a job?! He was $160,000 in debt flipping burgers at McDonald’s.
Second red flag: In August 2014, I worked as a licensed insurance agent at GEICO. I was 21 with no degree making the EXACT SAME SALARY as people twice my age with two degrees. What do I need school for if we’re on the same tier?
Third red flag: My father makes over $100,000 and has a high school diploma. He worked hard to get to where he’s at and didn’t need a degree to do it. Plus he doesn’t have the student loan debt to go along with it.
Fourth red flag: Seeing my friends unhappy and borderline depressed because they’re drowning in student loan debt. Some of them can’t even get a job in their field, yet they’re stuck paying the government back for the next 10-25 years.
COLLEGE IS A SCAM!
That’s right, I said it. Somebody had to. Don’t get mad at me. Get mad at how much money these institutions are charging for higher learning. Get mad that there’s no guarantee with your degree. Get mad that a large percentage of your repayments will be going strictly to interest. Seriously, the first five years are spent paying back compound interest from lenders.
(Disclaimer: if you’re going to be a doctor, lawyer, nuclear physicist, you should definitely go to college (still don’t think it should cost over $100,000, but I digress). A lot of other jobs you can do with or without a degree. Save yourself time and 20 years worth of debt)
Reason #2: College is overpriced
One semester at my alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) cost $6300 (housing and food not included). Tuition gets higher, financial aid gets lower. Plus when you apply for FAFSA, it’s based on your parent’s income (which is another part of the scam). Why should college tuition be placed on the parents? Because lenders know that college would be FREE if financial aid was based on the salary of an 18-year-old. My parents didn’t go to college, so they weren’t particularly thrilled when I got accepted to VCU. They asked, “How do YOU plan on paying for this?”. In hindsight, I should have done more legwork and applied for scholarships, or just skipped school altogether, so I’ll take the blame for that one. But I won’t take the blame for the cost of higher education.
Reason #3: Colleges could care less about your “learning style”
Did you know there’s more than one learning style? Fun fact: there are seven learning styles that differ among individuals. You have visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary learners. Unfortunately, a college education is a “one-size fits all” scheme. For tens of thousands of dollars, institutions should take the time to assess students and incorporate different learning styles in their lesson plans. Your frugal friend is a physical learner, meaning using my body, hands, and sense of touch helps me learn best.
In my experience, classes were filled with a professor reading a powerpoint presentation verbatim. Other courses were filled with reading assigned chapters that didn’t match the assessment. Words get really jumbled up when I read. Verbal lesson plans go through one ear and out the other. Social learning aka group projects is the bain of my existence. One or two people end up doing all the work. It’s a scam.
We are not in kindergarten. I am a literate individual. I’m not paying you $6300 to read a powerpoint word for word. We didn’t even need to come to class to do this. Also please stop making us pay $200 for books that we’re only going to use two times. Lastly, there is no group tuition rate, so we can cut out the group projects?
About to drop out… again
Reason #4: College was my safety net
“The concept of school seems so secure.”Kanye West
College was a safety net for my destructive lifestyle. It allowed me to roam aimlessly while still being “accepted” by society. From age 8 to 22, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I never wanted to go to college, but I figured it was better than flipping burgers at McDonald’s (which I actually did for three years).
Being in college sounded SO GOOD. I took pride in telling people, ” I go to VCU ” when they asked me what I was up to. I was literally enrolled for status, cause Lord knows I never went to class. One semester I stopped showing up to class. I withdrew from all my classes the following semester, then proceeded to lie to my parents about it. I continued to live in Richmond, came home during break, lived off my parents’ money, and attend parties at school.
I had no clue where I was going or what I was doing, but saying that I was in school got people off my back. It also gave me an excuse to party and live a mediocre lifestyle.
Reason #5: I wasn’t mature
College is something you have to mentally prepare yourself for. After 12 years of grade school, paying for four more years of school was the LAST thing on my mind. At 18, I was more worried about partying, making money, and moving out on my own. I attended a community college for a couple of years, but I wanted to go to a university with all my friends.
In community college, I was responsible and on the Dean’s List. My habits reverted at VCU, and I began doing childish things. I was partying every day, not going to class, sleeping in the classes I actually went to and putting the lifestyle I couldn’t afford on my Mom’s credit card. I literally paid $8600 to party and “fit in”.
Reason #6: This opportunity is for someone else
What works for me may not work for someone else and vice versa. I realized that someone may have gotten rejected or waitlisted while I’m out here partying. VCU may be the University of their dreams and here I am taking it for granted. It was time for me to face reality and admit that it was time to move onto something else.
Dropping out of college can be seen as taboo. I felt like a failure, I felt like I would be judged. That was one of the reasons I held on for so long. Then I got over other people’s opinions and started living in my truth. College wasn’t for me, and that’s okay. I’m actually proud of being a two-time college dropout because it made me a better person. It shows that I’m human and that taking the scenic route is okay. It also shows that you don’t need a degree to be DEBT-FREE!
What are your thoughts about college education? Any dropouts? Any undergraduates? Any student loans loaners? Let me know in the comments below!