Forgoing College Can Make Sense

College is still the safest way to a good income and career. But for some students, other options will also lead to success.

Jordan Boone did everything right. She studied hard in high school, earning the attention of her teachers and guidance counselors. She enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kiplinger's long-standing best-value school. And in May, she graduated with a degree in environmental studies -- plus $28,000 in debt and a very critical take on the economics of education.

"No piece of paper is worth your quality of life and peace of mind," she tweeted after getting her diploma in the mail. "College was fine, but it wasn't worth the price. How much do you lose to debt? How much of yourself do you lose to stress?"

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Online Associate Editor, Kiplinger.com