Common (& Expensive) Mistakes
One common reason for college costing more than it could is that students spend time and money on college courses that do not count toward their degree. In fact, up to 80% of college students start without a clear major or plan in mind. As students explore courses and potential majors, they may be racking up tuition hours that could have been more strategically chosen.
Another common financial concern is that students run out of funding before their degree is complete. In my experience as a university administrator, I've seen too many students borrow the maximum possible amount in federal student loans before they have finished their bachelor's degree. I have found that this often affects students who have left their academic program because of personal circumstances, like work or family responsibilities.
Creating a Strategic College & Career Plan
One of the keys to not spending more on college than you intended is to have a good plan in place before paying tuition. While your friends and family have likely given you input about your career choice, career tests and career consultants can offer objective, well-researched insight. These resources can inform you of the career titles that are most likely to provide you a lifetime of career satisfaction. In addition to describing actual job titles, they describe your preferred work environments, team roles, and workplace values.
Whether you are about to graduate from high school, are an adult thinking about retiring from your first career and building a second, or are somewhere in-between, this knowledge can help you make the most informed possible decision about what college and what major to choose. A little career guidance can offer you a great deal of information to help you feel secure in your career choices and get the most out of your time and money.