Working Isn't Child Abuse!

Dear Dave,

I’ll be starting college next fall. Is it okay to take out student loans if you have no other income to live on while you’re in school?

Mandy

Dear Mandy,

Wait a second! What do you mean you don’t have any other source of income to live on while you’re in school? Didn’t anyone ever teach you about a little thing called work? I worked 40 to 60 hours a week all through college, and I still graduated in four years. Nowadays, many people would call that child abuse. It’s absurd!

Don’t try to box me into a corner with the ridiculous notion that you have to take out student loans to go to college. You do not! Did you know that only 57 percent of people who start college actually graduate? That means 43 percent don’t. And guess what they have? Student loan debt and no degree!

Here’s what I want you to do. First, apply for every college scholarship you can find. Next, get a job! You may even have to take a couple of part-time jobs, but so what? Once you’re there, live in the dorm and eat dorm food, too. It won’t kill you. And a state college, where you can get in-state tuition, is always a good idea. If there’s one close by you can save even more money by living at home.

Is a college education important? Sure, it is. It’s a great thing, and I recommend going to college. But is student loan debt a necessary part of getting a degree and achieving success in life? Absolutely not!

— Dave

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