Pursuing higher education and going to college to get a degree may seem like a wise decision, but not everyone is ready to start college education at the same time. Normally we are pushed to start college right out of high school. There is a lot of pressure to know exactly what college degree we want to pursue, or at least start college coursework, and make a career choice as soon as possible. With the choice of a career field also comes the pressure to take out student loans and get into debt. It is time to start guiding our youth to a better financial path, and not let student loan sharks take them down like they have been doing for years.
The glorification of going to an ivy league school needs to be decreased. Unless someone has the funds to pay their way through an ivy league, such as with parent funds and scholarships, it is best to start higher education at a community college. In addition to a lower or government funded tuition cost, community colleges offer the option to explore introductory classes for various fields. It is hard for a person who is ending their teenage years to fully understand what it means to be a psychology major or what kinds of jobs an art degree can provide. Honestly, most recent high school graduates tend to look for ways to socialize with friends, be independent, and balance those with work and school.
Early high school and college education must also incorporate life skills, learning how to make wise financial decisions, and how to manage your life financially. Students need to be taught how to open a bank account, pay with debit cards or cash, pay essential bills such as rent on time, and how not to accumulate debt. It is time to guide our future work force towards a healthier financial path and not let them fall into the old student debt hole.
Editor: Melinda Kovacs