Aaron Gouveia has worked as the Content Manager of Salary.com since 2011. Prior to that, he was an award-winning journalist at several prominent New England newspapers. Read more...
"What are your plans after you graduate from high school?"
For most recent graduates over the last few decades, the answer has been automatic and unequivocal -- college. With more and more jobs making a bachelor's degree a minimum requirement, there has never been a greater emphasis on higher education. And for the most part that's a good thing as more education is almost always better than less.
But times are changing.
First of all, the sheer increase in cost just to attend college has been steadily climbing year over year. College Board's survey of college pricing found a "moderate" cost to attend an in-state public college is $22,261 per year, while it'll cost $43,289 per year to attend a private institute of higher learning. Assuming you're like most Americans and can't foot that kind of a bill out of pocket, you'll have to take out student loans. Which means depending on what you choose to study and eventually make a career out of, your return on investment might not be worth the high cost of college.