Is a College Education Financially Worth It — Or Is It a Giant Scam?

Is a College Education Financially Worth It — Or Is It a Giant Scam?

2 min read
Sterling White

Sterling White is a multifamily investor, specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded, Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units.

Experience
Sterling is a seasoned real estate investor, philanthropist, speaker, host, mentor, and former world record attemptee, who was born and raised in Indianapolis. He is the author of the renowned book From Zero to 400 Units and the host of a phenomenal podcast, which hit the No. 1 spot on The Real Estate Experience Podcast‘s list of best shows in the investing category.

Living and breathing real estate since 2009, Sterling currently owns multiple businesses related to real estate, including Sterling White Enterprises, Sonder Investment Group, and other investment partnerships. Throughout the span of a decade, he has contributed to helping others become successful in the real estate industry. In addition, he has been directly involved with both buying and selling over 100 single family homes.

Sterling’s primary specialities include sales, marketing, crowdfunding, buy and hold investing, investment properties, and many more.

He was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast episode #308 and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to mindset and scaling a business online. He has been featured on multiple other podcasts, too.

When he isn’t immersed in the real world, Sterling likes reading motivational books, including Maverick Mindset by Doug Hall, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, and Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone.

As a thrill-seeker with an evident fear of heights, he somehow managed to jump off of a 65-foot cliff into deep water without flinching. (Okay, maybe a little bit…) Sterling is also an avid kale-eating traveller, but nothing is more important to him than family. His unusual habit is bird-watching, which he discovered he truly enjoyed during an Ornithology class from his college days.

Education
Sterling attended the University of Indianapolis.

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Is it smarter to go to college or jump into real estate to invest full-time?

Has college in America become one of the biggest financial scams in world history? Or is it still a smart step on the path to financial security?

While college can be a great way to find your life’s passion, I also believe it ultimately should not be one of the select few options pushed upon young adults.

Of course, this opinion may be a little biased, considering I grew up uninterested in school. I was far more excited about the periods between classes. That was my time to come alive and hustle. One day, you might be buying Pokemon cards from me on your lunch break. Another day, it might be candy or CDs for sale.

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How Many College Students Are Simply Following the Herd?

However, I think that I also have a unique point of view on this — an educated view that entitles me to portray the options fairly. This debate is often waged between the schools and their sales machines versus real estate elites who never went to college. Sometimes I feel like I may be one of the few who went to college but has also become a real estate entrepreneur.

Related: How I Used Real Estate to Pay for My Newborn Daughter’s College Education

I lasted 4 years in college studying for a degree that absolutely could not be applied to my everyday life. Period.

In deciding to go to college, I simply followed the herd without a second thought. That, of course, is always a mistake. Today, this is a mistake being made in every type of community in America, from the most privileged to those who have never had a family member attend college. Fortunately, during my stay in college, I found my interest in the real estate world.

College is Big Business

Obviously, I do believe certain occupations require a college degree. Few of us would want to find out our doctors or lawyers had never been to school. Yet other than that, I believe it’s a big business. From the universities’ perspective, it’s all about business. We’ve all heard of the student loan crisis — the crisis that could next cripple our economy and that is the primary reason many Millennials cannot buy homes. Yet tuition keeps going up. Thankfully, there is student “aid” and financing, right? Of course, although tuition keeps going up, students keep coming out of school to find their degree doesn’t help them get a job.

Education is important, no question about that. However, considering our ever-changing world and new technology, there are many learning options. There are options that won’t leave you with a big lump of debt for the rest of your life. College can be great. We’ve heard billionaire Peter Thiel pays people $100k to quit college and that many successful entrepreneurs have dropped out to build prosperous companies. But at the same time, the connections that are made in school can be very influential in any venture.
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Related: How to Pay for College Using Real Estate: A Definitive Guide

What’s the Right Choice for You?

So college or entrepreneurial investor? I recommend taking some time to think about it up front. What do you really want? What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? Avoid following the herd. Think for yourself now, and choose the path that will fast track you to where you want to be and provide you an enjoyable journey there. You shouldn’t feel obligated to burn years of your life and to take on the stress of mountains of debt just to figure out something you could with a few hours of devoted thought now.

What do YOU think?

Let me know your opinion with a comment!