Congrats! You’re going to college. All of those years of studying hard and living at home have finally paid off. Within a couple of months, the bags and boxes will be full and you’ll be ready to meet your roommate. What a time to be alive (lol). Well, it is as long as you make it that far. If there is one thing that we know about higher education, it’s the price. According to The Economist, the average student loan debt is $37,172. It doesn’t matter how many weekend jobs you have because you ain’t going to save that money.
So, this is where the government comes in handy and finally pulls its weight and lends you the money. And, you gladly hand it over to the college of your choice without a second thought. Wait a minute, though. What if that was a mistake? These are the signs that you can trust a college with your student loan, because things can go south very quickly:
Career coaches won’t tell you to do this, but what’s the point of being a teenager if you aren’t going to rebel (YOLO.)? Think of a college like property. Before you make an offer, the savvy thing to do is check the prices throughout the neighborhood. That way, no one gets conned over the price. Universities are the same because they will try and charge extra for a course which is no different to its competitors. They might have an “excuse”, but it has to be a good one. As a rule, the majority of the courses throughout the major colleges are the same, barring a feature or two. An establishment that is trying to milk you for as much as possible isn’t a trustworthy one.
The Paper Trail:
The foundations of a con doesn’t change from the bottom to the very top. Whether you’re dealing with a petty criminal or a rogue college, they all require trust. Not to be cynical, but keep your cards close to your chest. Again, not something a counselor would advocate, yet an important piece of advice, nonetheless. Fake unis and colleges attempting to improve their bottom line act like butter wouldn’t melt. So, the idea of education fraud doesn’t even appear on a potential student’s radar, not unless it’s on Call of Duty. However, it’s a problem which is impacting the school systems around the world. The good news, is that a receipt of payment is a simple fix. I know you wanted something a bit more James Bondish, but there are no fancy gadgets here. Nope, it’s just a piece of paper with the time, date, and a total amount.
Universities aren’t exempt from the rumor mill. Whether it’s Oxford and Harvard or a community college, campus gossip is something that you shouldn’t always take with a grain of salt. There will always be rumors and experiences from previous students. If you hear anything that sounds sketchy in the murky underworld that is higher education, don’t be afraid to investigate. A little piece of gossip can be the difference between tens of thousands of good debt, and a fraud case.
Keep in mind that all colleges aren’t the beacon of morality of which they claim. Some are dishonest and unreliable, plain and simple. Do your research, because your student loans are going to impact you until you finally pay them off.