Personal Finance

Going to college – Is it a good investment?

Some old adage says that education is wealth. Though this abstract noun as such has no direct linking with economics, but its effect has; in grooming a person to be productive and capable of offering services to his/her country and in today’s globalised economy, to the whole world. So the question, Going to College – Is it a good Investment – definitely gives a YES as the answer.

We make investment is return of profits or money at a later stage so that our lives remain secured over a period of time. The same logic applies with education. Education and higher college degrees are vital in safeguarding one’s place in the highly competitive world in terms of job and hence salaries. Higher education ensures more pay and better job opportunities, at the same time equipping and updating one in terms of skill and knowledge.

But what we discussed so far is the ideal situation – you paying and studying and subsequently is rewarded with a good, paying job. But realistically, higher education costs more and can be growingly difficult for low income groups to afford the cost of education, especially for those who struggle daily to get two ends meet. Is higher education a better investment for them? This can be a tricky question and it can be only answered in the backdrop of its rates of returns, both to the individual and to the society as a whole.

In the present scenario, studies have shown that the earnings of a person with higher education are more than those without college degrees. Hence, in some point of time in his career, the individual gets the money he/she once paid for his/her education. The time gap between these two factors can vary and depends much on the person’s skills and existing economic conditions.

On a social front, college education is seen to make people better individuals and responsible citizens in their attitude towards society at large. Public benefits out of attending college – as shown by some studies – includes higher tax revenues, greater productivity in the workplace, greater workforce flexibility, higher consumption, and less dependence on financial support from government.

To conclude, college education can put a lot of financial burden on the lower income groups. Especially those people who cannot assure a constant monthly income. For such classes, securing a loan itself is a distant possibility. But once done, the returns of a higher college degree can be rewarding and its long term benefits can outweigh the costs incurred while securing education.

It is true that higher education can benefit both the society and the individual. But how well it can be made to fall within the reach of a common man is what is going to make all the difference.