College is an investment that pays off on average at 15% over the lifetime of a student. That's a great payoff. But some students get much less of a payoff because their chosen occupation pays less in relation to their investment.
Students and their families should consider the average salary for the occupation the student will pursue when deciding how much to invest on college costs.
For example, if an occupation in art or public service will pay on average $35,000 per year, the student could choose a college with a lower sticker price. Since many students borrow, the lower sticker price would result in more affordable student loan monthly repayments.
A student whose expected salary will be $70,000 could decide to invest a little more in college costs because he will be in position to pay more in monthly student loan repayments.
To further maximize investment in college, students should consider college a four year job interview. Meet individuals who are in the field. Network with them. Consider what they will be looking for and how to prepare. Look for intern and summer job opportunities in your field. Focusing on future job prospects now is another way to make college payoff later.