Falcon HS Band and Orchestra

Don't Go To College

Does the title of this post make you mad? I want to get you to think. Not everyone SHOULD go to college. Everyone SHOULD get an education.

You need a plan!

You can do it for cheaper than you think!

You need to choose with wisdom, not with emotion!


Some of the facts


Our society has gotten to the point where college has almost become a god. We see things like this happening everyday.

  • Young people are told that they MUST go to college in order to be successful (and that they are not successful if they don't go).
  • Many young people come out of college with over $100,000 in debt! (The average is about $30,000).
  • Many young people choose a major that may not be the best given the cost/benefit ratio.
  • Many people choose careers based on the prospect of high pay rather than what they might enjoy. Many doctors and lawyers hate their jobs. This isn't how it's supposed to be.

My Story

I wanted to go to college but also wanted to stay out of debt, so I was working full time and taking one college class. I hated the job I had in construction. Plus at that rate, it would have taken me forever to finish a degree, so I joined the Army band.

I loved what I did AND it enabled me to continue to take college classes for free. It took me about 11 years, but I was able to finish my bachelor's degree in Business Administration.

(Side note...I have been in the music business since 1986. My first music degree was earned in 2012 when I was 45 years old. I have been a music teacher since 1998. What you major in is often not as important as many young people think).

I pursued college because I knew that was what I needed to meet my goals. To become a teacher, I needed a bachelor's degree. To become a better music teacher, I needed more education in that area and earned my master's in music education.

A college education can be a bargain

Does it really make sense economically for a student to go into debt of $150,000 for a degree in tuba polka history? What about someone who studies a vague subject, paying $100,000 for their college degree when the jobs in that field only pay $20,000/year? Use wisdom when deciding what the cost and benefit are.

Despite all the hype in the media, there are still bargains to be found. At Pikes Peak Community College, a student taking a full load would pay about $2,000/semester. If he lives at home and has supportive parents, he can earn his degree for about $4,000/year. Figure in books and expenses and it should still be less than $6,000/year.

If he turns off the tv and works a job that pays $10/hour for 20 hours per week, he will earn $10,000/year. This is enough to cover college costs AND transportation.

This doesn't even take into account the opportunity to work longer hours in the summer. A student with no commitments can and should work 50-60 hours a week in the summer. There are jobs out there. They require hard work and determination to find, but they are there.

Have a plan

My college days all had an end goal.

My oldest son is good at this. He wanted to become a lawyer. He finished his undergrad degree in math. 

He started studying for the LSAT about a year before he took it - and he studied a lot! When he took the test, he scored in the 99th percentile. Naturally when he applied to his college of choice - Yale - they accepted him.

Was it luck? Good looks? Money? None of those things...it was hard work.

Get an education, not necessarily a degree

Everyone should get an education. Even though I am finished with degrees for now, I am still learning. In the last year, I have been to over five conferences. How do you get an education?

  • Military members have courses they can attend to improve their skills
  • Conferences and workshops
  • Reading books (I read one a week)
  • Watching the RIGHT videos on youtube
  • Meeting with a mentor
  • Trying a job

In Conclusion

  • Get an education
  • Do it without debt
  • Read
  • Don't worry too much about what your major is
  • Worry a little about your major (there needs to be available jobs in that field)






Keep on giving that good advice Barbara!
Right on James! I have counseled students for years to NOT go to college right after high school. Chances are they have no clue yet what they would like to do with their lives. So I tell them to find a job, work hard, save their money, get life experiences, go on a mission trip, serve the community, join the military, etc...and then they will undoubtedly find their passion and calling. ..and life will be so much more satisfying! (Without the huge debt too.) Blessings on you and your family, and your calling in life!!
Very wise advice.
Thanks Scott! Hope that life is treating you well.
Well said James! I hope many young people read and take something from your wisdom.
Glad you liked it Kaycee! You will find that YOU are the one in control of your college education, especially the higher you go in college. A smart young lady like you goes to LEARN and not be taught. There's a difference between the two.
I really enjoyed reading that! I've realized lately that it's not all about the big league college you go to because they all teach the same things! Why spend so much when you can get the same degree of education at an affordable place?! Thanks for sharing!

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