The average college graduate leaves campus with more than $27,000 in debt, thanks to the soaring cost of tuition. That's part of the reason self-made millionaire Grant Cardone says "most people should not be going to college."
"We have $1.3 trillion worth of college debt," he tells CNBC. "We have more college debt in America than we have credit card debt combined. It is a crazy program."
The value of college is a relevant debate, as a college education is now the second-biggest expense an individual is likely to make in their lifetime — right after buying a home, which Cardone also frowns upon. (Writer and entrepreneur James Altucher agrees.)
College grads earn about $1 million more over their lifetimes than those without a degree and the future is looking especially bright for recent graduates.
Cardone himself went to college for five years, and while he doesn't necessarily regret it, he wishes he had been more efficient. "There's no reason you need to be there for five years. You could do that curriculum in two-and-a-half years. Time is money," he says.
Plus, he says, "if you can get out of college and say, 'I did this in two years, not four,' you'd impress everybody more than your grades."
As for his own children, there are only a couple of schools he'll pay for them to attend: "I personally told my kids they can go to three colleges," big-name schools at which they will be able to network. What matters, Cardone says, is, "Where are the Bushes going? Where are the Obamas going? Where are the power players going?"
"I want [my children] to go there not to learn things," he continues. "I want them to go there to meet people — to get connected with the power players. The old adage is: It's not what you know. It's who you know. That's still true today."