I have a deep love of learning. I have multiple degrees, and so far, each has served me well. I know that pursuing another degree would be challenging and rewarded. But I'm on a FI journey that forces me to weigh the pros and cons of paying more money for college. After crunching the numbers and weighing the pros and cons, I’ve decided I’m done paying ridiculously high prices for higher education! My plan? Well, after I finish the course I'm currently in, I am dropping out of college!! Let me give you some context.
Just this year I gained acceptance into a state university Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Curiosity, a desire for more nursing training, and increased earnings incentives led me to apply to the program. I admit that receiving the acceptance letter made me smile. But I knew I could always decide to accept or refuse admission at a later date. Applying was a huge deal for me. I’ve been to college three times already, and I paid those loans back in three years using the Ramsey Snow Ball and other life hacks. Obtaining (and PAYING for) three college degrees led me to zero interest in more schooling. However, for altruistic reasons, the desire finally returned.
When the acceptance letter arrived, I posted the good news on Facebook, sharing this wonderful milestone with family and friends. I thanked those who wrote recommendations, and spoke excitedly to callers and well-wishers. Honestly, though, I immediately felt the quiet reservations pulling in the back of my mind.
Eventually, I floated down from the acceptance “high” and returned to reality. It was then that I began the logical process to answer the question, should I accept this expensive challenge? I began a fervent writing session of compiling the pros and cons of accepting my spot in the program. Unfortunately, it didn’t lead me to a final answer. I knew, in FIRE theory, that this was not the best use of my money, but I still needed more time to decide. I accepted admission and I enrolled in one summer class in order to buy more thinking time. Now four weeks through that $2,200 class my decision is complete. I won’t be registering for the Fall session.
The Pros and Cons
|$Salary Lane Increase current job||Cost $63,000|
|Nurse practitioner License||Time away from family for studying|
|Nursing Professor–Able to Teach once done||Same or less salary|
|Student Loan forgiveness for Nurse Educators||Five year commitment for forgiveness-Locked in Location|
|Kids get to see me study–good role model||Takes money away from kids’ schooling, activities, etc.|
|Learn more about interventions for current job/future jobs||Money could be used to start something else more lucrative and more in line with FI|
|Love the content||4-5 year commitment|
In the world of F.I.R.E, there is recognition and acceptance of the concept of finite resources. Time is finite, and money represents a valuable asset to buy yourself more control over your time. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience use so many of my dollars to pay for a degree that will take away from my overall goal to become financially independent. FI, for me, means time with my family, time for my interests, and a separation from work (in order to do what I love, instead) without worrying about paying the bills. So, I will secure my expensive ‘A’ in the class, and then I will drop out of college for the first time in my life!
Surprisingly, I am happy to do so.