After reading a number of threads on the subject, I was just wondering what people are encouraging their kids to do and what circumstances would have a bearing? DD is only 16 so not a huge issue yet, but she is about to get her GCSE results and start college. She has worked really hard for her exams and is forecast to do very well. She has selected subjects for college that she enjoys and is excited about, so Fine Art and Philosophy, but did think about 'hard' subjects for Uni - so Maths and English.
However, she has no idea what she wants to do in the future for work or further study. Her big passion is travel (she is currently in New Zealand) so she has looked into going to Uni abroad.
I enjoyed my Uni days, and although found it hard to get a job afterwards (I didn't know what I wanted to do, either) it was invaluable later when I decided to retrain after DD went to school. But - I didn't come out with shedloads of debt.
I'd say that's a question for her to answer for herself, not one for you to decide and then to try to steer her in the direction you think.
It's good that you have an open mind about it and won't push her to go if it's not right for her, but please don't try to put her off. If she likes studying and likes travel then university is a wonderful opportunity. And despite all the scare stories no-one has to pay anything upfront.
i shall be very much encouraging ds to go. i am only going now (39) but have got by well without going but the job market has changed. in some areas you need to have a degree this was not always the case before and i know for myself it has held me back but not as much as it might do someone who is now in their 20's
i have travelled, lived and worked abroad but having a degree opens up so many more doors, the debt she will handle
I think I would encourage a teenager to have a year out working first. In my experience people get on better when they're committed to a course and have an ability to work independently. Unless you have a specific career in mind that requires a degree, I wouldn't do one just because that's what everyone else is doing.
I would encourage her to go if she's interested, but emphasise that she doesn't have to rush into it straight away- she can get some more work experience, save money, travel and things like that. There's no need to dive headfirst into it if she isn't sure what she wants to study and where she wants to go. Looking very very carefully at the types of courses and the city (or even country!) where she wants is just as important as the decision to go, imo.