On Quora a while ago, I answered the question which forms the title for this blog post. Below is the answer I gave unedited with typos.
Ill say a couple of things. These answers assume they apply to this country:
- If you want to study something in the social sciences in college like history or sociology, Ill suggest you think hard if college is for you. Why not go do an apprenticeship in which you can come out of within about 2 years max with no debt earning what people coming out of college earn. Many people who study social sciences and come out of college with tons of debt end up doing jobs which absolutely have no match with what they did in college and in fact is bellow their skills level (e.g. working at Starbucks or Walmart).
- If studying something in STEM, the financial advantages are still there even with debt. But I will say before going into college, make sure your math (e.g. calculus etc) and science (e.g. physics and chemistry etc) foundations are rock solid so your freshman year is a relative breeze and you can max out all possible grade points you can earn in those classes.
To be honest – I guess this has its biase – if thinking about studying something outside STEM and maybe even finance or law up to a degree, think hard about the cost and benefits. Ask youreself if you are prepared or not.