Have you heard any of the latest myths about college?
Because there is so much misinformation floating around about the subject, you have likely picked up a few comments and misrepresentations from people at health clubs, coffee shops, and social functions.
Unfortunately, there’s something about higher education that seems to attract myth making and urban legends.
What are some of the biggest offenders in this category?
Probably the all-time champion is that student loan debt represents a lifetime burden with no chance of renegotiation or improvement.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Other myths and falsehoods include the idea that it’s always better to learn a trade, tuition rates are prohibitively high, online degrees are unaccredited, entrance requirements are universally strict, it’s unwise to work while earning a degree, and more.
Here’s a quick review of the most common college-related myths, along with the corrected, true version of each one.
Trade School is a Better Option Than College
There’s no universal better option because people differ in their skills and career desires.
This canard has been part of the urban legend landscape for decades, and it’s still as untrue as ever.
The point is that there is no one-size-fits-all educational solution for adults who want to build long-term careers.
For many, the answer is a four-year degree from a college or university. Others discover that attending trade or vocational school is the more appropriate choice.
You can find high paying jobs that don’t require a degree but that shouldn’t be a reason to skip college if that is what you want to do.
There are partisans on both sides of the issue, but the truth is in the middle: the best path to a lifetime of financial security is different for everyone.
Student Loan Rates & Terms Are Locked-In for Life
It’s easy to refinance loans for lower payments and better terms. Student loans are a hot political topic this year, and so far, everyone has learned one lesson: you can’t trust the government to bail you out, even when they say they intend to do just that.
The silver lining is that it is still possible to refinance what you own for a college education and end up with lower monthly payments at the end of the day.
Graduates who are interested in refinancing student loans can view their options with a laundry list of reputable online lender and refinance companies, like NaviRefi, Sofi, and Earnest.
For example, a NaviRefi student loan refinance can gain access to not only lower monthly payments but also more advantageous terms and more time to repay.
The myth about locked-in rates, terms, and payment amounts for life has been around for a long time.
Fortunately, if you owe on one or more college loans, you can refinance those obligations into a brand-new obligation that fits your budget and helps cut down on recurring expenses.
Online Degrees are Not Accredited
Accredited schools offer fully legit diplomas.
More than a decade ago, a few unlicensed institutions began offering bogus degrees, and that stain on the historical record still confuses some modern individuals who want to earn diplomas but are afraid of falling for scams.
The good news is that in the 2020s, nearly every college, community college, and university offers valid, fully accredited coursework that leads to degrees.
Of course, it’s still a good idea to check on any school’s accreditation status before signing up as a student, online or off.
Tuition Rates are Sky-High
The cost of attending school vary widely among two-year, four-year, and university programs.
Both private and public educational institutions have raised their tuition and related fees in recent years.
That’s no secret.
But to paint the situation with a broad brush can be misleading.
While many top schools have upped the cost of attendance by huge amounts, community colleges and four-year online programs at hundreds of colleges remain excellent bargains, even in 2023.
Working and School Don’t Mix
Millions of people hold down jobs while getting degrees.
Some people are almost phobic about mixing work and school. The reality is that it’s an individual choice.
With self-paced online courses growing in popularity, it’s now easier than ever to take a few classes at a time, even while holding down a full-time job.
However, the most common practice continues to be attending school full or part-time while working about 20 hours per week to offset the cost of tuition and fees.
If you want to work and earn a degree simultaneously, experiment with different combinations of job hours and course loads.
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