Some good news for liberal arts majors. It turns out that two of the jobs that most often employ liberal arts majors have been the largest growing employment sector since the recession! Those jobs? Retails salesperson and cashier with a median salary of around $ 25,000 a year. Assuming you accrued the average national student loan debt of 27,000, a 10% down payment for $ 270,000 home or a low level luxury sedan, and depending on how you chose to payback your loans, you would have to take an additional $ 2,040 to 3,480 a year off your paycheck for about 10 to 25 years.
Now imagine, that instead of acquiring that degree in creative writing, and you simply started working a retail job, perhaps studying on line on the side or simply practicing your craft, and you took that money you would have spent on college and instead invested it in an investment with a 3% return rate; I know that is asking for a lot considering how expensive some parts of the country are. After ten years you would have had between $ 23,386 to $ 39,894 in wealth. After twenty five years you would have had $ 74,376 to $ 126,878, enough to start your own coffee book shop or whatever.
Bump that up to 5% and you would could conceivably have $ 166,090 after twenty five years. More importantly, ignoring the possibility of becoming a successful writer because you actually took the time to practice rather than simply study your craft, or ignoring the prospect of pay raises and promotions, and assuming around $ 20,000 in living expenses, you would have 8 years of living funds racked up. Considering that retail is a job where large periods of unemployment wouldn't hurt your prospects for future employment, you could live large for those 8 years, or do whatever you want that makes you happy.
You may really want to be a writer/actor/artist and you may really not want to study math. Fine, most likely you will work a low wage job while you pursue your dream; nothing wrong with that. But you are an absolute fool to get a college education in a field that yields you no greater employment prospects in a field where the information can easily be gained for free or simply acquired through practice.