My parents have no money to send me to college. I can borrow the amount to go to a top university. How do I figure out the pros and cons?
From: Jenny Clark
That's a very big question, and your feelings are probably mixed. But no matter what you decide, you'll learn that there are good student loan investments and bad ones, and nobody is better qualified to decide your course than you.
Here are a couple of things to consider.
Do you really know what you want to study? If not, don't get into debt now. It may mean you don't have borrowing power later when you find out what you really do want.
Is your chosen career likely to bring you enough money to repay your student loans? If not, you may be making an unwise deal. If you haven't researched what you'll be making, start now.
Are you the kind of person who's really driven to experience new ideas and new places? Not everybody is, you know. If you're happy where you grew up, doing a job that doesn't demand an expensive education, that may mean that you're the smartest one of all -- because you really know yourself.
On the other hand:
Have you always felt driven to know and do more, even when your parents aren't watching? When somebody gives you a puzzle or problem, do you stubbornly persist until you solve it? These are the kinds of traits that might make a big university investment worthwhile for you.
There's much more to it, of course. Bottom line: Don't let anybody tell you what to do about how much to borrow for college. They won't be paying it back.