These days, the cost of university is just going up and up. If you think that these costs are rising faster than inflation, you are absolutely right.
There are many factors that drive up the cost of education these days. Increased salaries and entitlement packages for people who work there, increased regulatory burdens and rising insurance costs are just a few of them, for example. But the big question is, at what point is it no longer feasible to go?
The answer is certainly a complex one and depends on many things, including which field you are in, which degree you get, exactly which institution you choose to go to, etc. but it’s clearly less and less worth it every semester.
Recently, My Voucher Codes performed an extensive study on the subject. You can read more about the study here, but I would like to just look at some key points of it for now.
The most shocking statistic is that in the UK where the study was performed, the average length of time for a student to pay off his or her student loan debt in full was a whopping 30 years. That means that a good many future graduates can look forward to paying down debt almost up until retirement, if not right up until retirement. Obviously this means savings are going to be exponentially less than they would have been without that burden.
Of course, this assumes you get a job soon after graduation. Some fields are so saturated, it’s possible for it to take years on end just to find a decent job in your chosen field. For this reason, if you do choose to go to a university, it is very important to choose a field where the earning potential for graduates are high, and the ratio of open positions to qualified applicants is more or less in your favor.
People often think that getting a degree is the best way to ensure you will be paid well in the job market, but the fact of the matter is that this is very often no longer the case. Trade schools these days often graduate people (especially electricians and plumbers) who paid a lot less to have a lot more earning potential on the market.
It should also be pointed out that in any given place on Earth, people who are self-employed make many times more than people who are earning a salary. As a matter of fact, 400 or so of the 500 richest people on any given year have no post-secondary credentials whatsoever!
A university education may be a very valid option for some people, but looking at all your options in 2016 would be a very smart move.