9 Key Practices to Make College Pay Off

One of the biggest investments families make is the money they spend on college. Here are nine things college students should do during their school years to help ensure the best return on that investment.

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Many parents and students wading through college applications are experiencing sticker shock (opens in new tab). Couple that with 44 million Americans owing $1.5 trillion in student loan debt and anyone can see why there are growing concerns about the cost and value of a college education.

But there is consistent and compelling evidence that earning a college degree still remains the best path to improve one’s job prospects. It’s a fact that college graduates earn on average 84% more over their lifetimes (opens in new tab) than high school graduates.

The question is not whether college is worth it but rather, how do students get the most from their investment, especially with an eye toward building a post-college career?

I believe families need a road map. Let me offer nine essentials for maximizing the return on your tuition dollars.

Written by Adam Weinberg, the 20th president of Denison University (opens in new tab). He previously served as president and CEO of World Learning, one of the premier international education, exchange and development organizations, and as vice president and dean of the college at Colgate University, where he was a member of the sociology department for more than a decade.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC (opens in new tab) or with FINRA (opens in new tab).

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Adam Weinberg, President of Denison University
University President, Denison University

Adam Weinberg is the 20th president of Denison University (opens in new tab). He previously served as president and CEO of World Learning, one of the premier international education, exchange and development organizations, and as vice president and dean of the college at Colgate University, where he was a member of the sociology department for more than a decade.