Why You Should Go To College in 2021

Why You Should Go To College

Welcome to this post about why you should go to college!

This last week I spent some time going back and forth on whether or not I should go to college. It’s a decision that I have been going back and forth on for the better part of a year now.

College is expensive, and it sounded somewhat appealing to take my college savings and invest them into a retirement fund instead. With 40+ years of compound interest, I could have quite the nest egg from just investing my savings.

I know several people who didn’t go to college and are very successful. I don’t believe that it is necessary for success.

However, I also know that college provides several benefits as well. Nonetheless, I had a tough decision ahead of me.

So, I reached out to a few forums with a message that laid out my life circumstances. Within a few hours, I had hundreds of responses, and people had a lot of good stuff to say.

How To Decide Whether Or Not To Go To College

Decision Making Technique

Why You Should Go To College

In order to make a decision, I used the Weighted Average Decision Matrix from The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco. It involves ranking the factors that go into the decision from least important to most important. Then, you go through each factor for each option and rank it on a scale from 1-10. Then you multiply the factors by the rankings and total it up. Whichever option gets the higher score, is the option you should pick! If that sounded confusing, don’t worry, just read this article and it will make more sense.

I’m going to explain my decision, but before I do, it’s important that you find a way of making decisions as well. There was a lot of factors that went into it, and it is a fairly complicated decision to make.

That’s why I used the Weighted Average Decision Matrix. It focuses on the factors that are most important and the ones that aren’t as important.

I recommend that you list out all the pros and cons, and use a technique like the one I mentioned to help make your decision!

Research and Reach Out

A few other things that I did that helped a lot were researching and reaching out to others. I did much research and thinking before I reached out so that I was aware of what people were going to say. It’s important to understand both sides to make an informed decision.

After I had researched, I reached out to 3 forums. I picked 3 forums with different backgrounds. One forum was an entrepreneur forum, one was FI/RE forum, and one was a general finance forum. I believed that each of these forums could offer different opinions and perspectives.

Once I received many responses, I felt overwhelmed. But, I carefully read each one and dissected it to the point where I completely understood it. I then copied their main points over to my pros and cons list.

It was super helpful to compile my pros and cons, research, and feedback all into one document. There, I could read it, analyze it, and digest it.

Now that you know how to make this difficult decision, let’s talk about my decision.

Why I Am Going To College

Why You Should Go To College

So over 80% of the forum responses advocated for college, with only 20% advocating against it. On my pros/cons list, I came up with 11 reasons to go to college and 5 reasons to not. After I completed the Weighted Average Decision Matrix, I tallied up the results. Going to college got 384 points, while not going got only 277 points. Between those 3, I felt like there was enough to tell me that I should go to college.

Why You Should Go To College

Now that you know what decision I made and how I made it, let’s talk about the factors that went into that decision.

Advantages Of Going To College

The first factor that led to my decision was my GPA and test scores. I have a very high GPA and high test scores so I feel like I wouldn’t be putting that to good use if I decided not to go to college. Plus, that will make me eligible for tons of merit scholarships which will help reduce the cost.

The next reason why I decided to go was because a degree is very important when it comes to getting a job. I myself want to own my own business, but if I ever wanted to get a job, it would be a lot easier to do it if I a degree as well.

Perhaps the main reason you should go is for the education. While you could learn everything you needed to learn on your own, it’s a lot easier to have a structured environment to learn in. Professors also have a lot of personal experience that you might not be able to read about in a book.

Speaking of professors, college is also a great networking opportunity. You’ll meet professors, other faculty, and fellow students who will present you with new oppurntunites for the rest of your life!

You’ll also meet some lifelong friends at college. I know that most people keep in touch with their college friends a lot more than they do with their high school friends.

For myself, I also know that it’s probably the best chance I have at meeting girls and finding a future wife 🙂

A more interesting perspective for my fellow entrepreneurs: many businesses actually get a ton of funding through college as they are connected to many alumni and are presented other funding opportunities through the school.

I kind of touched on this earlier, but college is a great backup plan for entrepreneurs. I’m looking to run my own business, but if that doesn’t work out I’ll have a degree that will help me in getting a job hopefully.

Last but not least, college will be fun! It is one of the most fun times of your life with late night studying, football games, parties, and more! There’s really no other experience like college when it comes to fun.

Advantages Of Not Going To College

There are a few advantages to not going to college and the biggest one is obviously that you can save a lot of money. Public university costs an average of $10,000 per year and private colleges cost an average of $35,000 a year. That means that you could save tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands by not going to college.

Not to mention, you could be working during those college years as well which will give you a massive headstart on saving and investing. If you’re like me and you have savings set aside, you could invest those into a retirement account and be looking at a massive nest egg by the time you were ready to retire. For example, if you had $20,000 set aside for college but decided to invest that instead at 18, that would be worth $480,000 by retirement age at 65!

There’s also this thing called opportunity cost which means that you could make a lot more money investing your college cost else instead of going to college. For example, if you were going to spend $80,000 on college in total, you could invest that instead at age 22 and have it be worth $1.5 million at age 65!

One of my bucket list goals is to travel to every country in the world, and there’s really no better time to travel than when you’re young and lacking responsibility. That’s why I considered traveling stead of going to college, and it could be a great reason not to go for many people.

Finally, going to college doesn’t mean that you will automatically be successful. Just because you have a degree does not mean that you are guaranteed a job. While it does improve your changes, it still is a reality that many graduates have to face and it something to keep in mind.

When College Is Absolutely Necessary

There are a few situations where going to college is a must. The first of which is if you want to go into the engineering, law, or medical professions. You won’t get much success in those areas without a degree.

Another situation when college is a must would be if you live in a foreign country with a weaker economy. For a lot of people, it is the only way to dig yourself and your family out of poverty.

If you find yourself in one of those situations, college is absolutely necessary.

When College Isn’t Right For You

There a few instances when college might not be right for you. The first of which is that you and your family aren’t in a great financial position. If you are struggling financially, and can’t get access to financial aid, it’s probably not the best idea to put yourself into student loan debt. It can be a good way to land a job that pays well, but that will be long term and it will most definitely hurt your short-term finances.

The other reason college might not be right for you would be that you don’t like school or don’t do well in school. College is only going to get harder than high school, so if you’re already struggling in high school, college probably isn’t right for you.

College Alternatives

If you’re looking for an alternative to college, there are two options that I recommend. The first of which is going to community college first. Community college is a much more affordable option than a 4 year university and it could be a great start to get your associate’s degree and potentially transfer to a 4 year university if you want to.

The other thing that you could do is go to a trade school. People working in trades make a lot of money! Trade school is also a lot more affordable than traditional college as well so it’s something to look into!

Can You Be Successful Without A College Degree?

Why You Should Go To College

Even though I’ll be going to college, that doesn’t mean that I think you need to go to be successful. I know several successful people who didn’t go to college and there are many other stories as well.

To name a few: Michael Dell (Dell), Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Evan Williams (Twitter), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). These are some of the richest people alive today and none of them went to college.

There are much knowledge in books, on the internet, and other resources for you to learn everything you need. The only question is, are you motivated and driven enough to learn it?

If you are, then you don’t need college to be successful.

The Takeaway

The bottom line is that I can’t tell you whether or not you should go to college. That is a personal decision that will vary for each person based on that person’s life circumstances and future goals. Hopefully, you learned a few new things about why you should and shouldn’t go to college today. Now that you have those reasons, use a decision-making technique to help make your decision. I hope this helped and best of luck with your decision!

Next Steps

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