You’re In A Bad School: Should You Drop Out Or See It Through?

Sometimes I get calls from students who are still attending their school.  They are frustrated that the school isn’t giving them what it promised.  This raises a hard question:  should they drop out or complete the program?

On the one hand, dropping out reduces the amount of student loans you will have to repay.  However, it exposes you to the charge that you weren’t serious about your studies, and makes it even harder to get a job.  There may be a very good reason for dropping out, but even if there is, it’s something you’ll have to explain.

On the other hand, finishing the program ends up costing you more, and if you know the school isn’t delivering, it can be hard to stomach paying the additional amount.  But, if you finish, you have a better chance of getting a job, and you don’t have to explain why you dropped out.

So, generally I favor completing the program.  You have to repay the loans whether or not you drop out, so you might as well get the benefit of completing the program.  However, if you are really early in your program, and you already know it’s a bust, then you should consider dropping out.  Yes, you will still have to pay for the time you attended, but you will reduce the total amount of your student  debt, and give yourself time to find something else that works for you.

The moral of the story is:  pay attention early on to whether or not the school is delivering.  If it isn’t, get out and find something else.  If it is, see it through and work hard to get a job in the field.

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