Start Up Costs Vs College Cost

by Bryan Regnier

Start Up Costs Vs College Cost

I’m getting this question more and more when I sit with families and young adults… Does it make sense for me to get another job, go back to school and advance my education, or find a way to get myself into business.

It’s a very good question. It really depends on where you want to go in life.


A Second Career

Getting a second job. Yes or No? Does it make sense? Well, how much money do you make now? Do you have a family? How much time are you willing to put into a second job? How much time are you willing to spend away from your family?

The issue with a second career is that you’re still a W-2 employee. Meaning, the first thing that comes out of your paycheck is what? You probably guessed it, a contribution to Uncle Sam, everyone’s favorite word, TAXES.

I don’t have a problem with paying taxes because they give us things like roads, police, firefighters, etc… I just don’t like overpaying them. The more you make, the more they punish you for trying to better yourself, unless you’re familiar with how taxes work. Which we will dive into later.

Going Back To College

Going to back to school, you can expect to invest $10,000 to $32,000 per year on average depending on where you go, private, public, or out of state. In four years time(an undergraduate degree), you’ll either have $40,000 up to $130,000 on average in student loan debt with no guarantees of a career upon graduation. That’s just tuition, not counting housing, meals, supplies, or transportation.

Then, if you’re like one of my last clients, who is in her 50’s, and went back to school to advance her education, hoping to advance in her career, later to find out that it didn’t help, and she got let go, ending up with an MBA and almost $100,000 in student loan debt, and searching for a new career, you’ll be looking for any way possible to make extra money.

People need to start challenging the accuracy of conventional wisdom.

Going to school, getting good grades, a piece of paper, and inheriting a lot of debt is a high price to pay these days. I have a piece of paper that I never used paid for by the GI BILL, thankfully.

I’m not saying that formal education is worthless, I’m saying that you may want to rethink your strategy.


Start It Up

Let’s look at the other side of the spectrum, starting a business, specifically franchising. I’m only using this as a hypothetical example. The franchisee has more incentives than a direct employee because they have an ownership stake in the business. Franchising(most of them) is like the school of business. It’s a proven system that you invest in that gives you the tools and resources of a successful business without having to start from scratch. You work for yourself, but not by yourself.

Start Up Costs

The start up costs of a franchise vary. There are franchises that you can invest less than $10,000 to more than $5 million, some more complicated than others and more requirements than others. It’s really not that hard to get into business these days. If you have the work ethic, you’re coachable, you’re competitive, and you’re willing to sacrifice, more than likely you’re going to win in business. That’s why going back to school or getting a second job, you’re going to do those things anyway. Why not do it for yourself?

The start up costs of a home-based business will be at your lower end, and franchises like McDonalds, Subway, and Dunkin Donuts are going to be at the higher end and depending on your location, an even higher investment.

Research done by found that the average cost of starting a home based business was $25,000 but 39% of owners said it took less than $5,000.

Unlike a W-2 employee, business gives you many tax advantages, and the last thing that comes out of your pay, is taxes.

Start Up Costs or College Cost?

So does it make sense to go to school or start a business? The question I would ask myself is, should I bet on myself or on a piece of paper? A college education is an accomplishment that you should be proud of but one thing I’ve found out, ask your bank account how it feels about it?

You know how hard you work, would you rather work hard for your dream or work hard building someone else’s? Whatever price you’re willing to pay, make sure that it’s something you love to do and something that is going to last a lifetime.

There’s a fantastic tool out there called “Google”. It’s been known to help with finding information on just about anything you’re looking for.

Look for the right things. Ask yourself the right questions. Read books and surround yourself with the right people. All successful people have mentors and coaches. Pro athletes, actors, and entrepreneurs all have mentors and coaches. I have business mentors, spiritual mentors, fitness mentors, etc… ! Why not learn from someone who has been there, done that, and still doing it. You won’t learn what they’ll teach you in school. Just make sure you’re as serious as they are, don’t waste their time, make it count.

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Successful VetrepreneurIf you’re looking for a way to increase your financial and business confidence, discover how you can, simply by emailing Bryan at

“I help VETERANS increase financial confidence, better position themselves financially, and achieve their financial goals and objectives through financial education and implementation.”

Financial Confidence
Student Loan Debt
Bryan Regnier | Vetrepreneur



Bryan Regnier
About Bryan Regnier
Bryan is a Financial and Startup Entrepreneur Coach and Mentor serving and helping VETERANS increase financial confidence, better position themselves financially, and achieve their financial goals and objectives through financial education, entrepreneurship, and implementation.
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Start Up Costs Vs College Cost
Start Up Costs Vs College Cost