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Editorial: Is College Education Worth the Financial Burden?

College students are in a phase of life trying to grow as people and finding their career path in an area that they are passionate about.

However, college comes with a lot of costs, especially when it comes to finances. A goal that many students have when choosing their careers is finding one that can see a return on investment which can often be difficult to achieve given that many students must take loans to pay for school.

According to Nitrocollege.com, as of 2022, there are 44.7 million students in college with an average student loan debt of approximately $37,172.

At VSU alone, as of fall 2021, the estimated in-state cost is $8,716 and an out-of-state cost of $15,625 per semester that includes housing, meal plans and approximate book costs.

This is where financial aid resources are important to become familiar with, yet this still begs the question: Is the cost worth the investment of your time?

Yes, it is important to acknowledge that it depends on each person’s situation. Even if it takes a while to find what track best fits one’s passions, college is a time to invest in an education that provides students with the chance to try different classes and opportunities across campus.

Another factor among many that can make or break the investment is how one is able to demonstrate their skills in the field upon graduation, especially if the career path is different from the pursued degree. Then it can be argued that it’s not worth the financial burden.

However, knowledge from one area of study often has transferable skills across multiple disciplines which can be great for employer opportunities.

There are some students who won’t find college worth the investment, but it is up to each person to assess a plan that fits their skills and abilities.

A lot of students that end up going to college, whether it’s a university, a community college or even trade school, know that all these options require some level of financial investment, so it is important to know what scholarships, grants and loans are out there for the taking. If you have the right balance of planning, support and understanding of what the college investment includes, the education and experience gained will make the sacrifice worth your while.

The Financial Aid Office through the University System of Georgia has taken steps to keep students informed about their personal student loan debt called the Know More, Borrow Less initiative.

This program provides information specifically to each student’s particular statistics in regard to student debt, but also provides information on the types of loans, ways to pay back loans and when repayment begins.

A college education is a big step for many students that with the right resources available and schools being transparent about what financial options are available, students can make informed decisions if a college education is the right choice for them.

This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator staff.

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