This tip should be blindingly obvious, and people in the United States are already starting to follow it. Many children of relatively affluent parents are flocking to less expensive colleges, sobered by the news of astronomical, crippling debt. Yet still, there are tens of thousands of parents throughout the world who think that their children must go to the most prestigious college possible.
One could make the argument that some, with emphasis on some, of the departments in Ivy League or private schools are better than public ones. They may provide something of an advantage in job-seeking. However, these arguments are rarely measured against the cost – either of the heavy debt, or of the diminishing value of a BA in an age where an increasing percentage of the population has a BA.
In my opinion, there are two major reasons to endorse a university because of its prestige. The first is ignorance of the present situation of college debt and degree inflation. The second is social prestige. A degree, hell even getting into a BA program in a well-known university is cause for bragging rights – not just for the student but for his or her parents.
What you, the student, need to ask yourself – yourself and no-one else – is how much you’re willing to pay for social bragging rights, as opposed to real skills and knowledge? $50,000? $100,000? $150,000? How much are you willing to suffer, possibly for decades, for what amounts to the academic equivalent of a rolex or a Porsche?
If you have decided what profession to pursue, and you believe college is necessary to train you for it, then you must ask yourself this question and answer it to your satisfaction. Because four years down the line, if the answer is negative, then it will be too late.
NEXT: Tip #4: Get some real world experience first