October 5, 2010 | Suzanne Shaffer | Leave a comment Have you ever heard someone say, “College is a waste of time and money”? Or, “There’s no way I could afford to go to college”? These are some common myths about college that many people believe to be true. But the reality is that neither of these statements is true. Following are some common myths about college, examining the reality of each of them: Myth #1: College is a waste of time and money. College is only a waste of time and money if you waste your time and your money. Choose the right college at the right price, and you will recoup your investment tenfold. Choose the wrong college and incur a tremendous amount of debt, and the myth could become a reality. Waste your time drinking and partying without devoting time to academics, and that tuition money could fly out the window. Myth #2: There’s no way I could afford to go to college. Many students and parents believe that financial aid is only for the extremely poor or highly gifted students. That’s simply not true. Everyone qualifies for some form of financial aid and there is an affordable college solution for everyone. Community college is an affordable option. Winning scholarships can decrease your college costs as well. Working during college can also help defer some of the costs. If college is your dream, there is a way to finance it. Myth #3: The college with the lowest price is the most affordable. This is not necessarily true. Colleges with high sticker prices often give the most financial aid based on alumni contributions and generous donors. After taking financial aid into consideration, a seemingly more expensive college may be more affordable than one with a lower sticker price. Myth #4: The only good degree comes from a 4-year college. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many satisfying and good paying jobs that require 2-year or technical degrees. If those type of careers interest you, then you should not discount that type of education. Getting the degree you need for the career you want is more important than graduating from a 4-year college. Myth #5: Small colleges offer limited opportunities. The size of a college isn’t enough to make a complete judgment. Small colleges and large universities all offer unique opportunities for the students who are looking for that perfect fit. The philosophy and vision of the college and its leadership is much more important that the size of the student body or campus. Don’t believe everything people say about college. Do your own research and evaluate using the information you gather. Separate the myths from the realities.