Go to school. We don’t care if we sound like your old man, you need to hear it. There’s been too much talk recently about the cost of education and student debt. Don’t let this blather discourage you.
Fortunately, we’re preaching to the choir, about 40% of returned missionaries in the US earn a bachelors degree, compared to the 24% national average.
Yes, tuition is ridiculous but a kidney and your first-born son are a small price to pay for the increased earning potential.
Going to school is smart but don’t be dumb about it. Know the right steps to avoid excessive debt, better position yourself in the job market, and — imagine this — learn something along the way.
Super Easy Money
Everyone wants to give you money—they just want it back and then some…and then some more. So before you sign over your everlasting soul, consider your options.
Your best option is you. First, get a part-time job and if you can juggle like you belong in the circus, work full time. Second, ask your school about scholarships and grants—hint: it’s not all for smart people. Third, if your family has the means, ask them for support.
If you have to borrow do it in this order:
- Federal Government. The Feds will be the nicest and most flexible when it comes time to pay. (Apologies to our international readers, we’re not really sure how this works for you but in areas where the Perpetual Education Fund is available that would be a great option.)
- Private Lenders. Get counseling from your school’s financial aid department on this.
Credit Cards. Don’t rack up credit card debt. This will kill you faster than anything.
They, the colleges, all want your money. Be a savvy shopper. This means you need to do your homework. Simply choosing a school based on geographical location won’t cut it. And remember “you get what you pay for.”
Typically state schools are the cheapest option for getting a quality education. Don’t forget the benefit of instate tuition when shopping around.
Private institutions, are usually more expensive but can provide an excellent experience. Look for a nonprofit organization. You might pay more but you’ll have a good experience.
If you go with a private for-profit school, think long and hard and do plenty of research to determine graduation rates and job placement results.
Finally, consider the community college. The community college can be a great way to start your college career.
“We Don’t Need No Education”
Great lyrics but bad advice, economically, and intellectually. Besides if you’re an RM where else are you going to meet girls?