Student loans are often necessary (you can read about some of the best options for those here) but it's being debated more and more if new college students should be amassing a lot of debt in order to attend a high profile school when a less prestigious one can offer a similar experience and degree for a lot less money. These are valid questions that should be asked, but people shouldn't forget that there are still at least some cases in which an expensive school is the smoothest path for you as you pave your future. Here are instances when it might be the wise choice to splurge on pricier post-secondary education.
When Prestige Matters
As much as the tuition of Ivy League schools might make you wince, sometimes it's a necessary expense so you can stand out to prospective employers. If your field is super-competitive then being able to name a high-profile school on your resume can get your application closer to the top of the pile. Research the industry you're pursuing work in, learn if you'll need some kind of extra edge to succeed in it and, if so, consider going to a school that will make you shine brighter than the other candidates for the jobs you're competing for.
When You Need to Build Connections
In some cases, the connections you make in college are more important than the things you learn there and the degree you graduate with. Take the comedy industry as an example. Very popular, influential television programs like Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons actually tend to look for the next generation of writers at the comedy groups and organizations at prestigious schools like Harvard and New York University. If a certain school is a proven path to your dream career, or if you know that the expensive school is abound with possible connections, then going there might be worth taking out more student loans.
When it Offers New Experiences
It can be very tempting for young college students to live at home as they go to a community college or another local, affordable school. While that certainly keeps your debt to a minimum, it might not be a good idea for a lot of people. Learning to live on your own and meeting new people is an important part of the college experience, so it could be worth it to either live on campus even when your home is rent-free. The same goes for going abroad for a semester, even if it costs an arm and a leg. If you really think you need to experience new cultures and you have a legitimate educational reason for going, school abroad can be a wonderful, nourishing experience. A lot of student loans are scary, yes, but even scarier is looking back and realizing you didn't take advantage of some of the amazing opportunities that were available to you. That's another instance when more student loans will pay off in the long run.