Wednesday, January 26, 2011

College Woes – Rising Tuition Costs and Poor Standards of Education (Guest Post)

There was a time when you didn’t have to worry during your first few years of college; it was only the final year in which you had to start thinking of a job and how you were going to find one. But as the years went by, jobs started getting outsourced, the cost of college skyrocketed, and all of a sudden, college became a stressful affair. Not only did you have to choose a degree that would give you an edge in the job market, you also had to be able to afford it at a decent and reputable institution. Students were faced with tough economic decisions even before they were out of high school and debt-ridden before they set foot in college. The average college student of today grapples with the following challenges, which are a mix of financial and academic concerns:

They are unsure about getting into the college and course they want.

They are hesitant about taking out student loans because they know it takes a lifetime to pay them back and that they’re going to be saddled with debt for the better part of their lives.

They’re plagued by unscrupulous recruiters who work on behalf of private, for-profit colleges and tempt them to enroll in courses by making false promises about jobs with fat salaries when they graduate.

These recruiters also talk them into taking out loans even when they’re not really necessary and their savings will cover the cost of college.

They face poor teaching and academic standards if they settle for colleges that are new and relatively untested and inexperienced.

They are forced to work at part-time jobs in order to stay out of debt and have enough money for necessities and luxuries in college.

They struggle to balance academics, social life and work and keep them on an even keel, but it’s always a difficult task because they have to make many sacrifices to keep their grades up.

If you’re a student just about to finish high school and enter college, there are ways to tackle this academic conundrum if you can plan ahead and endeavor to make your plan work:

Start looking for scholarships in high school.

Work on your grades in high school.

Take college-level classes in high school – this allows you to spend less time in college and save on tuition and living costs.

Learn a trade at community college – the pay may not be extremely high, but if you think about it, it’s the hands-on jobs that cannot be done with computers and the Internet that cannot be outsourced, and which are soon going to be in great demand. Any blue collar job will earn you a steady salary and a steady stream of work. It may not be prestigious, but it will allow you to live in comfort and take care of your family without a debt hanging over your heads.

If you want a four-year degree, choose wisely and opt for a college that does not charge exorbitant tuition fees. There’s no point in incurring a large amount of debt which you’re going to struggle to pay back.

Choose to study online if your employer will accept the degree – it’s a great way to earn and learn simultaneously, and stay out of debt.

If you’re in college, plan your career and establish a network through which you can find suitable jobs – it’s the connections you have that help you find a good position.

Take up an internship during your breaks to see if you like working in the industry of your choice. This also helps with your experience when you’re searching for a job.

Use your last year in college to find a job; if you know where you’re going to work when you graduate, then you know that college has not been a wasted experience.


This guest post is contributed by April Davis, she writes on the topic of Accredited Degree Online . She welcomes your questions and comments at her email id: april.davis83(@)gmail(.)com.

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