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It is not surprising that there are websites that show the best return on investment for colleges.  On the first website I investigated https://www.payscale.com/college-roi, surprised me on how many of the top listed where military service institutions.

MIT was number 3 on the list, but was the first private institution listed.  But with a 4 year cost of $249,000 the average loan amount of only $30,200 does not seem to gel.  There is a lot of cash being paid or scholarships being given.

When I talk about return on investment or ROI, what am I actually talking about?  I am addressing the total cost of the college tuition and living expenses if you fled home and lived in a dorm, along with your job prospects and career salaries.  Then looking at what you will earn over your lifetime working.

If you got an anthropology degree and are working in a Starbucks your ROI will be low.  But if you continued on and became an LPN or RN your ROI will be much higher.

I feel the biggest problem with this process is when you are an 18 years old and are expected to make decisions that will dramatically affect your lives long-term. I was lucky I had parents that encouraged me to dabble a bit before I made my final decision. Though, costs were significantly cheaper in the “Dark Ages” to allow this flexibility.

Though I don’t believe that my father completely understood where an accounting degree would lead me, neither did I really.  But then the only graduate with an accounting degree my father knew was a manager of a shoe store. But I digress again.

With a vague notion or a firm belief of what you what to do for the majority of your working life, you need to determine where you will get the biggest bang for your dollars.  I also suggest that you look at ways to reduce the costs.  Community colleges, accredited HS course credits; testing out of lower level courses may also be possible.  Then look for any and all options to use other’s people’s money; preferably money that does not need to be paid back, like loans.

Good schools don’t necessarily mean good jobs, first you need to graduate and most colleges do not have 100% graduation rates. Everything about college these days is about balance and fit. Choose wisely.

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