Keeping college costs low

This information is courtesy Stacy Johnson, founder of Money Talks News.

What is the average income difference between college graduates and non-graduates?

Pew research did a study on this last year. Among people aged 25 to 32, those with college diplomas were earning an average median income of $45,000. Those with a high school diploma, $28,000.

Just as important note, the unemployment rate, those with a college degree, 3.8 percent unemployment rate. Those with a high school diploma, 12 percent.

How much debt does the average 4-year student rack up?

The average class of 2015 graduate with student debt is going to pay back a little over $35,000. Big number.

For some professions, does it make sense to pursue a 2-year degree, skip college, or find an apprenticeship?

You know, there are plenty of trades that pay very, very well. From air traffic controller to plumbers. You can skip the four year degree, have a rewarding career, and make a decent living.

For which major(s) does college give you the most bang for your buck?

That's an easy answer. It's engineering. Of the top ten top paying degrees, nine were in engineering. From aerospace to computers to petroleum engineer, that's the career that pays the most.

How do I keep student loan debt low?

Well, hopefully your parents did something like a college savings plan or a prepaid tuition program. That could help you avoid debt. But even if that didn't happen for you, there are plenty of things you can do.

You can take classes in high school for college credit. Those don't cost anything.

You can go to a junior college near your home for the first couple years. That can save you an absolute ton of money.

You can get grants, scholarships, any number of things like that and get free money.

Finally, keep debt down by just thinking about it. A lot of students just go out and borrow gratuitously. If you're going to borrow money, make sure you've got it earmarked, and borrow the absolute minimum that you have to.

Final advice for prospective college students?

Yeah, here's one thing. It's not a crime to take a few years before you go to college. There's nothing wrong with working, figuring out what you want to do and who you want to be and then going back and getting that degree that'll make it worthwhile. That's going to save you ultimately a lot of time and money. But while you're working, do one thing though. Keep your finger in the educational pie by taking a class or two at a local community college. That can also help you decide what you want your career to look like.

About the Author...
Money Talks News
I'm Stacy Johnson, founder of Money Talks News.

For more than 20 years, our mission has been simple: to give people like you both the information and inspiration you need to accomplish your goals.

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