College is expensive, of course.

But is it worth it?

Internationally acclaimed author and speaker Donald Asher addressed this question Thursday afternoon in the UC Ballroom.

Asher, who specializes in professional development and higher education, travels 200 days out of the year to speak at college and universities, corporate events and various other functions all over the country.

UT's Career Services has hosted Asher for approximately 12-15 years.

"Donald Asher is an obvious choice for us," Career Services Director Russ Coughenour said.

While only five students attended this lecture, UT films Asher and broadcasts it to several other colleges and universities across the nation.

Asher began his lecture, titled "Is College Worth It? Only If You Do These Eight Things!" by stating 85 percent of students move back home after college graduation, with most not looking for a job.

Even those proactively looking for a job, he said, take an average of seven months to find employment.

Asher then delved into the eight most important things students should do to make college worth their time. At the top of the list was, "go to school 40 hours a week."

"It is more intelligent to borrow a little bit of money than work your way through college and miss everything," Asher said.

Asher then discussed the importance of writing and interaction.

"Modern technology has reduced the college-aged generation's comfort level with just talking to people face to face, there is no question about that," Asher said.

The fourth tip Asher offered was "become a 'T-shaped person,' by having both broad areas of knowledge and in-depth specializations.

"Employers want it all," Asher said. "They no longer hire for personality and train for skill. They already expect all of it from you."

Asher also focused on treating summers as a part of college, gaining global perspective, mastering the job market and starting a company.

Persistence, Asher said, is vital.

"Persistence is a matter of grace The more graceful and clever you are, the more persistent you can be," he said. "What you can't do is call someone four times a week because they may decide that you are perhaps mentally unbalanced."

When asked the college party scene, Asher recommended that students explore the social side of the undergraduate years.

"I definitely would not recommend that anyone miss out on partying in college," he said.

Trey Alley, junior in marketing and international business, said that Asher's lecture was positive reinforcement to take advantage of his remaining years in college.

"I have two years left," Alley said. "Once I finish school, everything that the University of Tennessee has to offer me is behind me, and a job is in front of me for the rest of my life."