Mind Over Money
As expressed in Bloomberg and a multitude of other sources, the cost of college tuition in the United States is indeed on the rise. While students begin returning to college campuses, nation wide this fall, many of them will be bombarded with mixed messages about student loan debt. For many these messages could mean the difference between going or not going to college.
I would be lying if I said the sticker price of my college tuition didn't scare me. Like many students I've met, coached, mentored... taking loans out is inevitable. The truth is most college students are unable to work their way through college - thus student loans (for most students) becomes inevitable. I'm convinced that for many families, somewhere during the loan transaction borrowers become fearful and anxious about taking (grants) and or borrowing money to pay for an education. Rightfully so, but at what point do borrowers begin to forget with what they (hopefully) receive from an education - KNOWLEDGE, NETWORK, and CAPITAL.
Here is what I learned from my own journey...
1.1 A budget is essential.
Go figure it is the ONE thing you didn't learn in high school.
So now is the time to structure a strict budget and only borrow what you need. This includes but not entirely limited to:
Textbooks, Sensible Living Arrangement, Food, Sensible Transportation, *Childcare (if applicable), and any other college related expense you may have during your time in school. Remember: The goal is to stay in school, get good grades, and GRADUATE!
1.2 Knowledge = power
Yes, I said it.
Sure, knowledge can be learned by reading a book, interacting with people, places and attending events...but the ability to think critically about differing world views, values, and critical events in life is priceless.
You will meet people-many people. If you're lucky you will realize the value in locating networks that can last throughout a lifetime. Some of these examples include alumni networks, sorority/fraternity networks, and professional mentors like professors.
Human Capital consists of people's health, knowledge, skills and motivation. All these things are needed for productive work.
Enhancing human capital through education and training is central to a flourishing economy.
Social Capital concerns the institutions that help us maintain and develop human capital in partnership with others; e.g. families, communities, businesses, trade unions, schools, and voluntary organizations.
Financial Capital plays an important role in our economy, enabling the other types of Capital to be owned and traded. But unlike the other types, it has no real value itself but is representative of natural, human, social or manufactured capital; e.g. shares, bonds or banknotes.
Lots of memories!
5. Gratification = you did it!
Truth is college isn't easy, at any age, but you did it and that proves you had the ability to stick with a goal and finish it. So what is next?
Bonus: 1,000,000 more in earnings over a lifetime (Newburger, 2002)