A recent survey has highlighted the challenges students face in dealing with mounting debt from tuition rates that seem to be steadily creeping higher and higher. Although students polled in this survey were generally excited to return to school in a couple of weeks, it seems their financial woes are weighing heavily on their minds. In fact, their accumulated student debt is causing more stress than maintaining good grades and finding a job post-graduation.
The survey indicated that 27% of students are very stressed about covering their tuition costs — and with good reason. College and University tuition costs, including room, board, and living expenses, for a four year program can amount to over $40,000 (U.S) and close to $60,000 (Canadian).
However, the news is not all bleak. There is some hope on the horizon. Some of the burden faced by students today can be eased by the confidence of knowing that they’ve chosen the right career path. It can make all the difference in the world to know your education investment is sound, and to have a career plan in place, as well as a plan for debt repayment upon securing a full-time job. It can be worth every penny to take that extra step to seek guidance from a professional career or guidance counselor and to take a career assessment that can help point you in the right direction or validate your decision.
I can appreciate and empathize with those who are unsure about their career goals when they first enter college or university. And for the most part, that’s okay. But it can certainly be a useful exercise to set up a career plan and a financial plan with a counselor or advisor before heading off to school. At the very least, this plan will help you fully understand the consequences of taking a wrong turn or having to start over on a new career path and the toll these readjustments can take both on your well-being and your pocketbook.
So as you embark on another year of studies, my advice is to take a few minutes to map out where are you going and how you plan to get there. And stay tuned to the blog for updates, as we continue to work on resources that can help you develop and refine your career plan.