Some of the benefits of the new for-profit schools emerging all over the nation are the ease of acceptance for mature adults and the availability of class flexibility for working adults.
However in the new age of education where high cost for-profit colleges and universities are popping up everywhere, one has to ask the question:
Is an adult education still cost effective?
The cost of adult education can be cost-effective, but just like buying a new car or a used one, you have to shop around and consider all of the details.
If for example, you are going to go to a for-profit school offering an expensive degree in medical technology you will need to research the projected job market in your area, the expected salary and then way it against the tuition that you will be paying back in the end.
What will the job market look like when you graduate?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps careful data predicting job trends. Make sure you search your new career path to see what the job outlook is for several years to come.
You certainly do not want to pay $30,000 to become a medical transcriptionist if paper medical records will be eliminated before you graduate.
You can also do a Google search to see what the analysts predict the top career fields will be and then search job shortages in those fields.
Will your starting salary be enough to pay back your loans and your living expenses?
Use a salary tool to search your expected job title the starting salary for your area; do not just take the schools word for what your starting salary will be.
It may be difficult to hear but it is important to consider. It would be very discouraging to go to school for four years and then find out you can only make $10 an hour in the field you chose.
Many of these sites will also tell you what the expected benefits are. Should you do a search and find that most of the people in the field you are considering are listed as independent contractors than you may want to consider whether or not the field pays enough to cover medical insurance and taxes.
What will your loan payment be?
Carefully calculate what your end loans will be and then plug them into one of the many payment calculators on the web.
By most estimates, your total loan amounts should not exceed your first year’s salary. While this may be a difficult number to stick with in this tough economy, you certainly do not want your loan payments to be higher than what you expect to make.
At the very least, you should make sure to do a sample budget based on your expected salary and your projected loan payment.
Ways to pay for school without taking out loans.
You may also want to consider ways to pay for school without taking out student loans; such as getting a job at a local hospital or university.
Many employers will pay the cost of your education even if you go to a pricey for-profit school.
Should you be under qualified to find a job with an employer who will pay such benefits you may consider going to school for an Associates degree that has a high employment outlook and then let that employer pay for your Bachelors and Masters degrees?
Adult education is still cost effective, you just have to do your homework.