Affordable Alternatives To A High Priced College Education

Photo by Claudio Hirschberger on Unsplash

The total cost of attendance at some private colleges now exceeds $70,000 a year.

Even state colleges and universities can come with a hefty price tag. The University of MN Twin Cities has an all-in annual cost of about $28,000.

Today, more and more parents scratch their heads and ask, “Is it really worth it?”

Perhaps a better question to ask would be, “Is a traditional 4-year college education really necessary?”

For some students, another path may be the smarter career (and financial) move to make.

While many career fields require a traditional college education and even advanced degrees, many do not. Healthcare, the building trades, and mechanical industries offer many career opportunities that require less than a 4-year college degree, but also offer reasonable pay, a high level of job security and advancement opportunities.

Consider this: Tuition, fees and books cost just under $7,000 at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College and other similar schools in our area. That’s less than half of what students pay at The University of Minnesota, and a fraction of what many private schools charge.

Wondering how much the schools on your list cost? Click here for a complete listing of tuition and related fees at every school in MN.

Not surprisingly, graduates of 2-year community college or vocational programs tend to graduate with less debt than their friends at 4-year colleges; $10,000 total student loan debt on average compared to over $28,000 for the typical college grad.

Not only do students spend less per year for fewer years at community and tech colleges, but they get into the workforce sooner and start saving earlier than most traditional college grads.

A 4-year college degree isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, today there are many other options. To learn more talk to your school counselor or attend a career and college fair at your high school, if one is offered.

Career and College Fair. On February 26, Centennial High School will host its first annual Career and Technical College Fair. It’s an opportunity to learn more about various community and tech colleges, explore different careers, and talk to experts who understand that a 4-year college degree isn’t the only path to a secure future.

For more information: click here.