The four-year college bachelor’s is the unicorn of educational achievements. Another interesting college myth- that you can’t save money for college, or else you won’t qualify for financial aid. Here are several facts and fallacies about starting out at college that will help you breathe easier.
College Myths: Debunked!
You’ll graduate in four years. According to the US Department of Education, less than 38% of students seeking a 4-year’s bachelor’s degree graduate on schedule. “Approximately 58 percent of first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution in fall 2004 completed a bachelor’s degree at that institution within 6 years…” – U.S. Department of Education.
All colleges cost a fortune. The average college major price tag can range between $48,000 for a public college education and $250,000 at a private university.
If you save money for college, then you won’t be eligible for a student loan. Federal financial aid is based on your income, accessed up to 47% and only 5.64% of savings. Tip: Use a 529 plan to save for college- the money grows tax-free and withdrawals are tax-free, too, as long as the cash is used for school.
You have to choose your major right away. Actually, most college students change their majors during the course of their studies at least once. Study up on which majors are most profitable. Try not to be too wishy-washy though- each time you change your college major you risk wasting credits on graduation requirements.
You’ll gain a ton of weight during your first year. The fearsome “Freshman 15” is in reality more like 3 or 4 pounds. To knock it off, join a gym that offers student discounts, walk to school, and join more charity runs.
Professors are unapproachable. Don’t shy away from asking your college professor to clarify a point he made in class. Just don’t ask during his lecture! Wait until after class, and then ask him for 1 minute of his time…and keep it that way. Don’t rattle on. Be precise and direct, and he may become one of your best advocates.
It’s okay to skip 8am classes. Many freshman students make the mistake of signing up for an early morning class and then ditching, or just showing up at finals. Don’t make this mistake! Many college professors take roll, and your attendance can affect your grade.
American colleges rule. According to Jeff Selingo, author of College Unbound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students, a US education isn’t really all that. “American higher education has lost its way…costs are spiraling out of control and quality is declining, just as increasing international competition demands that higher education be more productive and less expensive.”