The Guaranteed Way To Be Broke After College

by on October 20th, 2012

How will you guarantee being broke after college? What’s the one step to finish college in massive debt?

While nobody wants to be broke ever, especially after college, I’ve found out how you can end up screwed over in your 20s. How’s this possible?

By picking up major student loans to earn a degree that has a history of a low income

I know that this sounds obvious. I decided to do some research to share some numbers with you guys. CNN Money compiled a list of college majors that pay well. This list details the degrees that lead to the big bucks and which programs don’t even offer any work.

If you pick up $50,000 in debt to earn a degree that won’t even land you a job, let alone a well-paying job, you’re going to be broke for a long time in your 20s while you try to dig yourself out of a hole.

Should you bother with college?

Is college even worth it anymore? Should you just avoid school? While plenty of information has come out on the negatives of college and why you should avoid an education, I still believe that college is worth. You just have to be smart about it.

One line that really stuck out to me in the piece was:

“The average employed young person with a bachelor’s degree earned 81% more in 2011 than his or counterpart with a high school diploma. The earnings premium of individuals with college degrees persists over their lifetime.”

What this means to me is that college is still worth it. You’ll make more money if you pursue a degree than just accept a minimum wage job according to these numbers.

Do you have to earn a degree that pays well?

It would make sense.

The good news is that you don’t have to become an Engineer if you hate numbers. You don’t have to pursue a degree that pays well but you can’t stand. The trick is to focus on the other side of the equation:

Student loans

If you don’t want to be broke and don’t want to study a program that pays well because you have other interests, then your goal should be to eliminate student loans from the equation.

How can you avoid student loans or keep them to a minimum? This is a topic that would take hours to cover, so I’ll just share my top five secrets to finishing college debt free:

  1. Take some time off to work and save up the money.
  2. Apply for free money (bursaries, grants, and so on).
  3. Take a program with work-study terms. You’ll gain experience and make money at the same time.
  4. Work during the summer like an animal. Pick up as many shifts as possible to avoid student debt.
  5. Work part-time throughout your college career so that you can dent those student loans.

Do you want to be broke after college? I doubt it. I don’t want to see you be stuck with limited options in your 20s. I really want you to prosper and get ahead in your 20s.

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