Friday, March 31, 2017

Is Higher Education Too Risky?

I have a friend who returned to school to complete a master's degree a couple of years ago. Her degree is expensive, but not as expensive as some of them out there. I have heard her say repeatedly, I hope this is worth it. And I have wondered recently is higher education just too risky for some individuals?

I've thought about it quite a bit, and I've decided it depends on what you are studying. And it also depends where you go to school.

And I have come to the conclusion that for profit higher education schools may not be the right fit for many individuals.

I have another friend, whose husband went back to school at one of these for profit schools. He took out huge loans for an education. The school had contacted him quickly and encouraged him to take out these loans. They even encouraged him to take out loans for more than he needed. He completed one semester, and then life happened. He couldn't make it to classes for various reasons, and then he dropped out. They were stuck with these loan payments at a time when they lost some of their income. It caused a huge financial strain on the family. And of course he couldn't return to the school with an unpaid bill.

I asked if the school had done anything to assist her husband during the time he was missing classes. She told me no. She felt as though they had got exactly what they wanted. The money for his tuition. Nothing else seemed to matter to the school.

I do believe that  higher education is important, but when a school becomes overly pushy it might be a red flag. If they are pushing you to spend more than you planned. And they don't take no for an answer. You might want to think twice about the financial risks of higher education.

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