It seemed like everyone was supposed to go to college if they had the means to do so. In 2017, our ideals are changing. Kids coming out of high school are now asking themselves, “Is college really worth the hassle?”

At a young age, we are told that the ideal path is to go to school and get good grades so you can go to college. Then once you’re in college succeed there so you can have a career. It seemed like everyone was supposed to go to college if they had the means to do so. In 2017, our ideals are changing. Kids coming out of high school are now asking themselves, “Is college really worth the hassle?”

A senior peer educator at University of Kentucky’s Student Money Management Services, Jeffery Heppler said, “A university setting will make you well-rounded, but going straight into vocational school or the workplace will make you specialized, and therefore increase your salary quicker.”

Heppler suggests that going to college will help you get a well-rounded perspective but if you know what you want out of life, and your career to look into a specialized school. However, knowing what you want at such a young age like 17-18 it’s hard to know what you want for your career. Which is why college is such a good option for most. You work towards your degree by taking all your required courses while trying out electives to see which field interests you most.

In a study by the US Department of Labor, 69% of 2015 high school graduates are enrolled in college for next fall. Making college the most popular option for the majority of high school graduates. But there are other options.

“If they can get by with the experience they get from going to trade school and working up the ranks throughout their career, then maybe that’s the best option for them,” Heppler said. “Maybe they’re not a very good student and they recognize that … so it depends on each individual’s situation.”

The main concern with taking on debt is that once college is over, whether you leave with a degree or not you have to find yourself in a well-paying job. “This debt really holds you back,” said Tommy Lawson, a senior biochemistry major graduating in May, “It will force me to take the first well-paying job I can find rather than doing something that I love, and that’s really disappointing.”

“Most kids with student loans are not getting their dream job right out of school,” Heppler said. “They’re not even getting a very high paying job — they’re going to get a starting salary which at best is going to be maybe two-thirds of what they’re expecting.”

If you do decide to go to college and take out loans, there are always options out there to help the borrowers. Whether it’s from an employer offering student loan assistance or a company like Ameritech Financial looking to guide borrowers to loan forgiveness, there is help.