The Price of an Education is Patience

The Price of an Education is Patience

Price Is Not Value

How much does an education cost? How much is it worth? The price of college tuition is always rising (faster and faster, it seems), but is that the same as the education you get from it? As a gardener, you could ask me how much money I’ve spent on plants, but the amount of worth I get from my garden is so much more. An education is more than the sum of your credit hours, and the cost is more than your tuition. Like a gardener, you also have to invest that most precious resource: patience. 

Education Is a Slow-Trickle Expense

Student loans are a unique idea; you don’t pay for anything the same way. When you buy a car, you put money down and borrow a fixed amount plus interest. You do the same when you buy a house. For what else, besides an education, do you borrow money without collateral? Like other large-ticket items (such as a car or house), you receive the benefit up front and pay for it later, but it’s a risky investment for all parties: the government (or bank) can only hope that you’ll put your education to good use, which will allow you to pay them back; you don’t necessarily know that the thing that you took money out to study is what you want to do with the rest of your life. Either way, both lender and lendee have to trust that the money was borrowed in good faith, and have the patience to believe the education the borrower receives made it all worth it. 

Growing, Not Spinning

Patience doesn’t always come easy, and its rewards aren’t always readily apparent. Lilies of the Field is one of my favorite movies, starring a young, dashing Sidney Poitier. It’s a classic story of two groups that have little in common with one another, but who come to care for and support each other as they see their shared humanity. Throughout the film, the characters experience conflict as their differing viewpoints clash, but find resolution through beauty, hard work, and community. Poitier, almost against his better judgment, finds himself building a Chapel for a group of East German nuns who’ve fled from Soviet oppression. In the end, all have grown, a community is built, and harmony abounds, in spite of the trials along the way. 

Like any uncertain investment, patience is key to reaping the rewards of an education. The fruits of your labor may not be what you set out to find, nor what you thought you needed, but, whatever you reap, you’ll need patience while it grows.

If you have Federal Student Loans, schedule your free 15-minute Discovery Session to find out if your loans can be forgiven after 25 years.