specultr wrote:I usually like your advice, but those of us considering professional schools normally have no choice but to go into debt. The law school you went to can be more important in your career than class rank. In fact, the top law schools don't even rank students.I got a near full scholarship to a mid-30's ranked law school and no scholarship at a top 20 school. I would say 90% of law students would go to the highest ranked school no matter the cost. And then would try to transfer to an even higher ranked school depending on grades. So many doors close going the prudent route.
Hubby's FICOs when we started: high 400s (June 2008)
Hubby's FICO NOW (04/06/09): TU: 679 EQ: 608 EX: ???
My FICOs: TU: 643, EQ: 606
Closed on new home: 1/20/2009 -- If we can do it, YOU can do it!!
Incidents like this are why I recommend against student loans. As one friend of mine put it (with tongue only partially in cheek), it's better to borrow from the Mob because at least then you know where you stand.
The OP had probably gotten the same spiel most Americans get growing up: education is a ticket to a higher income, so if you have to go way into debt, it's worth the sacrifice. Well, my response is "not so fast."
There's nothing wrong with education. A college degree does look good on a resumé. Getting the degree is a fun, learning experience. But a diploma guarantees nothing in the way of earning, or receiving, income. Nothing, nada, zilch. You see, most American companies aren't interested in your education. They're more interested in who you know, how much experience you have, how well you suck up to the boss, how well you suppress any independent thought, and to what extent you can deify the Almighty Clock. That's what gets you hired, and gets you ahead: being a very dependable, obedient drone.
Again, this isn't to say you shouldn't get an education. Just remember the following points:
1) There's no law that says you MUST attend college as soon as you graduate from high school. Look it up. Nothing at all wrong with getting a job, saving your money, getting some experience under your belt, getting out on your own. You might find when you turn 20 that the field you were so gung-ho about when you were 17 and 18 really doesn't inspire the same enthusiasm, and that you actually want to do something different. Best to discover that with no money invested.
2) Nobody says you have to go directly to an expensive four-year school. Community college is a perfectly respectable way to knock out those lower-division "drudge" courses...and it costs a LOT less. True, a few snobs may look down on you...but they're not paying your tuition now, are they? Do your upper-division at the U, and if your major is truly your passion, you'll have two years as an undergrad, another 2 as a master's candidate, three years as a Ph.D. candidate, and (perhaps) umpteen years as a lecturer or professor to soak in the university experience and enjoy the ambiance of academia.
3) There's also nothing wrong with a vocational certification. Knowledge is knowledge. If you like working on engines, then by golly go to vo-tech and get certified to work on engines, even if your parents think you're "wasting your time." Bank your money, and when you turn 21 or 22 and decide engines are no longer your cup of tea, community college and the four-year schools will still be there. In the meantime, you'll have a tidy stack of money saved up so you won't have to borrow (or at least can borrow far more sparingly) from the student-loan Mob.
4) You also don't have to finish a degree in four years. Many struggling students out there go on hiatus every third semester or so to work full-time and save money. Nothing wrong with this, and most colleges and universities have a protocol you can follow to do just that.
holuh3 wrote:Seems like the thread's already on a tangent, so, yeah...If you want to be a physician, usually people want you to go to medical school, which can only be attained by going to undergraduate school. Obviously, there are a lot of people who have good and satisfying (and lucrative) careers without the benefit of higher education...