As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently trying to convince my sister, a high school senior, that all of her teachers and advisers are wrong and a college degree is not worth going into debt for. I have also been working on one of my brothers, who is a sophomore, and he is listening to ol’ Moose a little more than his sister. I think I have convinced him to take his GED this summer, and start his life as a wage earner while his contemporaries are sitting through two more years of useless propaganda disguised as “education.”
Some might wonder why I am so opposed to something that society in general holds up as a good thing. The answer is simple: society is wrong. I never had any debt before I went to college, but everyone told me that college was “worth” going into debt for. So I worked as much as I could, and graduated with “only” $35,000 of debt out of the $100,000 I spent getting the degree. Simple math shows that had I simply worked the many part time jobs I had in college without going to college, I would have had $65,000 in savings rather than $35,000 in debt at the end of four years. Of course, without having to attend classes I would have had more time to work, and could probably have come out even further ahead. Let’s leave that aside, and assume that I worked the same hours at the same jobs, with the only difference being not paying for college.
After college, I spent almost a year working for a temporary employment agency due to moving out of the state in which my college jobs were located. Despite sometimes going a week or so without work, I managed to work 40+ hours most weeks, and begin aggressive payments toward my loan principle. I then secured a salaried position that does not require a college degree, but is doing exactly what I want to do. Currently I am on track to have my loans paid off a little less than four years from my graduation date. When I finally climb out of the pit of college debt, I will have paid $42,000 in principle and interest. Thus, eight years after graduating high school, I will have $107,000 less money (minimum) than if I had chosen to forgo college. That’s assuming that the saved money sat in a checking account and didn’t even earn any interest–even a tiny interest rate would have added substantially to that amount over the years.
Maybe that $107,000 dollars would have been worth it if I had learned a lot of valuable information in college. I didn’t. Even with my work schedule, which pretty much ensured I never studied, I graduated Magna Cum Laude, and only .01 below the GPA cutoff for Summa Cum Laude (I had a 3.89). I learned much more valuable material from my part time jobs (which were related to my career field) than I did from my actual classes.
When a con man steals a hundred grand from the old lady down the road, the whole town goes up in arms, and the news is flooded with stories on avoiding cons. But when millions of naive 18-year-old kids are fleeced with the college swindle, there is not a peep from society. Crazy old Moose is the only one who seems concerned. Teachers tell my sister and brother “don’t pay attention to Moose, he’s off his rocker. Everyone knows you have to go to college.” Meanwhile, millions of kids sell themselves into a life of debt-slavery in order to purchase a piece of paper as worthless as a forged stock certificate.
College is a scam, and I’m doing my best to keep others from being fleeced the way I was.