Perpetual Students, Perpetual Debt

I recently read an anonymous comment from a person who is going back to college after spending two years buying expensive products from Internet marketing gurus. He/she writes,

The light at the end of *my* tunnel is that losing two years of my life to these jokers has made me serious for the first time in 10 years about going back to school.

Upon reading this, I felt I had to say this:

If you are considering “going back to school” as an alternative to Internet marketing or any other kind of business, please BE CAREFUL.

Being a perpetual student is a costly endeavor, no matter who you’re paying for your education. At some point, each person has to get down to the business of using their education instead of acquiring more of it.

In my humble opinion, the only difference between expensive Internet marketing courses and college education is… college costs more.

Of course, this isn’t true for all colleges (there are a few good ones), but it’s true of many colleges. The one you especially want to steer clear of is University of Phoenix.

Just search “University of Phoenix scam” on Google to see what I mean.

There have even been recent television programs revealing that University of Phoenix uses predatory practices to squeeze as much money out of each and every student as they can.

Not to mention, a lawsuit alleging University of Phoenix committed fraud was recently settled for $78.5 million, “the second-largest settlement ever in a False Claims Act case in which the federal government declined to intervene.”

Start doing some research and you’ll discover that many students leave UoP with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and a worthless education. Worse still…

First time freshmen have a 7% program completion rate, according to a June 2005 report of the National Consumer Law Center. Hundreds of thousands of former University of Phoenix students without degrees are obligated to pay back high interest loans for decades.

I mention all of this because these days “going back to school” is often synonymous with “going to University of Phoenix.”

Now, I’m all for good education.

In fact, learning and the acquiring of knowledge should be a lifelong pursuit so long as it’s balanced with an equal share of work and implementation.

But “education” shouldn’t cost you a king’s ransom or turn you into an indentured servant.

Unfortunately, many colleges are designed to put you into debt so they can have a claim on your future earnings for much of your life. And if you take the bait (e.g. student loans), you could literally become a slave to your alma mater for decades.

Caveat emptor.

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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