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Was College Worth It?


5:35 pm
February 8, 2012


New Hampshire


posts 5

I go back and forth on whether I think got a good ROI on my college education. I loved college, I wouldn't trade the friendships and the experiences for anything in the world. Looking back though I could've save A LOT of money if I had done two years at a community college and then transferred to a four year school to get my bachelors degree. I wish I had gone into college knowing what I wanted to do with my life instead of changing my major half way through, after my sophomore year I changed my major from Psych to Accounting which added a year onto my college experience. While I think getting a college degree is important I think I'd be happier with my investment if I had made smarter monetary decisions during my senior year in high school. 


PS… Does anyone else find it crazy that you make such life altering decision as a senior in high school!?

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10:13 am
February 9, 2012



posts 327

Working in IT, having a college degree is pretty huge. Regardless of performance– without one, I would likely be stuck in a tech support/operations role.


We are interviewing many candidates right now, and for there really aren't many opportunities for folks that don't have a degree. It doesn't even have to be a Computer Science degree.. Just something that says "I am willing to work hard and stick through some adversity to meet a goal".

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8:58 am
February 12, 2012



posts 31

Getting a degree, certainly allowed me to get my foot in the door. But how much of what I learned I use today? Not much. I think the ability to learn counts more, than being able to regurgitate what you memorized from a textbook in order to get an "A" on an exam.

11:29 am
February 12, 2012



posts 24

At one time, I actually thought that my first degree (psychology) wasn't worth the piece of paper that it was printed. My accounting degree, and CPA license, were much more valuable; weren't they?

Once I left E&Y, and started applying for Controller and CFO positions, I quickly realized that having a Psychology degree, in addition to an Accounting degree, really helped me to stand out from the other applicants. The trick to anything is positioning it in a way that helps you the most.

To summarize, the $25k I spent on my first degree was a complete waste of money until I leveraged it with my second degree. When all is said and done, the ROI is amazing and well worth the effort.


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7:34 am
February 14, 2012

Mark D. Cook

East Sparta, Ohio


posts 87

jaicatalano said:

I graduated collage with a psychology and human communications degree.


I became a dancer/actor/commentator/photographer.


I could have saved 20kCool

I'm sure the communications degree helped (not financially) you in those fields though.

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8:17 am
February 14, 2012

The Single Saver


posts 689

Okay, honestly, my undergrad experience did little for me except to actually help me focus where my talents and interests were.  For that, I am thankful.  I can't say I learned a lot of useful skills (with the exception of a few classes, which I could have always taken independently) with my undergrad degree.  However, my master's degree taught me a lot of useful skills.  Do I make a lot of money?  Not by a lot of standards, but I still feel both of my degrees were worth it, if only for the fact that I was able to find a career I love and hone my skills so I can be a success in what I do.  I wouldn't trade it. 

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11:01 am
February 14, 2012

This That And The MBA


posts 240

I agree with simply investing.  It opens the door to many hallways you didnt know existed.  It shows that you have the capacity to learn. Sure there are somethings I use that I learned but most was on the job!





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1:01 am
February 16, 2012

Fig (Figuring Money Out)


posts 76

I went to school and got a degree in history. Now I work for a tech company with skills I taught myself. Good lord I was dumb in college – I could have saved myself at least $20-30k by not going or at least graduating sooner (could have done that but advisers kept me in full four years).

7:38 am
February 16, 2012



posts 45

In one word – Yes. The reason as many people have said – I wouldn't be in the job I am in today. Simple. Big companies won't even look at you without a degree. I did a Masters in Mechanical Engineering as I believe in keeping my options open as much as possible. It is crazy to think  I am qualified for a graduate accountant program whereas someone with the 5 years experience doing an actual accounts related job is not!

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8:46 pm
February 17, 2012



posts 105

Going now for my associates.  I've been working on it for a while, but "life" kept getting in the way.  I'm doing it with grants and scholarships, though.  No school debt for me.  My chosen career path simply won't pay enough for it.

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3:00 am
February 23, 2012



posts 8

For me, personally, college was worth it.  While I have a lot of student loan debt ($79,000), I also have a BA, BS, MS, and PhD.  I would not be able to work in my current position, earn this level of income, and have the career options that I do without that education.


Besides that, I really love learning.  I found my undergraduate and graduate degrees to be challenging, interesting, and motivating.  I enjoy my full-time work, and I appreciate how my education has opened a lot of doors for me.

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7:10 am
February 23, 2012



posts 41

The answer to the question comes down to what major you choose and what your tuition rate it.  If you choose a major with low income earning potential and attend an expensive college, the answer it no, college is not worth it.  If you choose a major with low income potential and attend a community college, then I'd aruge that it is worth it….


Major and Tuition….All it means is to have an understanding of the future earning potential and the number of years it will take to pay back the tuition.

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7:43 am
February 23, 2012


Middle of Lunch


posts 34

Post edited 7:50 am – February 23, 2012 by bax

Really?  a whole bunch of discussion on return on investment?


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4:15 pm
February 23, 2012

Off-Road Finance


posts 6

I got an engineering degree and masters from a state school in 4+2 years.  Total marginal cost over living on my own without going to school was probably about $40,000 total.  I basically covered that (plus living costs) working programming jobs and playing poker and gin nights, weekends and summers – my dad kicked in about $5,000.  No debt.


Marginal salary increases from those degrees over typical highschool education jobs probably total about $1.5M at this point.  Plus my current trading activities would be much more difficult if I didn't learn the things I learned in engineering school.


Yeah, it was worth it.


That said, taking 5 years to get an upper crust parties degree from Yale and paying $300,000 or whatever for the privilege might not be a good play.

Off-Road Finance – Education For Thinking Traders

4:47 pm
February 26, 2012

Freedom 48

Ottawa, Canada


posts 59

Not worth it for me.  Although I was able to graduate without any debt…it still delayed my start in the workforce for four years.  I could be so much further ahead in life.  It doesn't help that my job does not require a university degree.  I'm happy I have a degree, but regret the TIME it took me to get it.


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6:10 pm
February 27, 2012



If I was to judge going to college for me as a financial investment, then I'd probably have to say no, it wasn't a great investment for me as far as return on money spent, as I'm not exactly working in the field I studied.


However, there are so many intangibles that can't really be measured from what I experienced and gained from college that certainly has lead to me being more successful in other endeavors.


So it was a good investment from a personal standpoint, but not necessarily a financial one.

7:43 pm
February 28, 2012

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap

Toronto, Canada


posts 121

I went to College and University. I think they were both worth my time. Most of my tuition was paid for by companies I worked for. I started working for a company in my field of study while I was in high school. Luckily for me, once I graduated they kept promoting me.

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5:25 am
February 29, 2012



posts 723

Off-Road Finance said:

That said, taking 5 years to get an upper crust parties degree from Yale and paying $300,000 or whatever for the privilege might not be a good play.

I would trade my college experience for this.  

JT McGee – MoneyMamba


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4:34 pm
March 5, 2012

Afford Anything


posts 56

In college, I learned how to learn. My degree itself — taken at literal face value — hasn't had good ROI, but the skills I learned (critical thinking, analysis, etc.) have helped me immensely.

5:54 pm
March 5, 2012

Freedom 48

Ottawa, Canada


posts 59

Post edited 5:58 pm – March 5, 2012 by Freedom 48

That's so true.  I definitely perfected my analytical thinking skills in school!  Perhaps I should think of it that way =)


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