Is Going to College Worth It?
When it comes to higher education in America, it is no secret that our nation is home to some of the best educational institutions in the world. Students from across the globe are attending our schools with one goal in mind, to obtain a top quality education and degree, which will open doors for a successful and fulfilling career. Going to college is not just a choice, it is the beginning of a lifelong journey, one that will shape and determine ones future.
Although higher education could be extremely costly, finishing college and receiving a degree will be very beneficial in future. Whether it be from a community college, or a four year institution, receiving higher education is worth the price. The key to understand the value of an education is looking at it over a long period of time. Studies have shown that people who have obtained a college degree of some sort will earn an average of 74 percent more than someone who hasn’t.
According to the Census Bureau, a college graduate earned $57,181 in 2007, while the average high-school graduate earned just $31,286. Even in this economy, college graduates are much better of than high-school graduates. The unemployment rate for people over the age of 25 years old who hold at least a bachelor’s degree is 4.4 percent, compare to 9.9 percent for a person the same with only a high school diploma. Most people feel the value of their education is based on the salary they get from their first job, which is not the case. The most significant educational returns come from following their first post-college position. A more accurate picture of your long term benefits will show five or more years post graduation. Promotions, pay raises, and even change in workplace are all factors that come into play when financial income. (Boyers 1).
The few painful horror stories you hear about college graduates in debt after college may be very true, but they aren’t the typical American college student experience. In fact, statistics show that one third of graduates leave college with no debt at all for their education. And for those who are in debt, on average they owe are $20,000 dollars. Just around the same amount as a starting price of an average motor vehicle. Why do some students borrow more than $40,000 for a bachelor’s degree when the national average is one half of that? One reasonable explanation is some students are determined to attend their dream school, regardless of the price and financial deficit they will have upon graduation. “People don’t pay attention to debt.
They want to pay for the school they have wanted to go to for as long as they can remember,” Says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid, a student aid website. (Wilson 257-258). High school graduates need stop leaning toward the top private universities, that will land them thousands of dollars in debt. Public four year universities are on average $18,326, which covers tuition, room and board, textbooks, and other living expenses. If you are a low income high school graduate and these prices still seem outrages, community college is also another option instead of not going to college at all. Community college is a hidden gem in America’s education system that many students overlook. “The community college system to be one of America’s uniquely great institutions,” says Liz Addison, a graduate of Southern Maine Community College.
“For some students, from many backgrounds, would never breathe the college experience if it were not for community colleges.“(Addison 214). Instead of spending thousands of dollars at a private institution on a major you are not sure of, spending two years at a community college is something to consider while you are exploring majors. Also, many well paying careers only require an associates degree. For students who want to become a software designer, accountant, high-school teacher, or journalist a four year education is not necessary. (Murray 230).
Confusion over the student-loan issue arises when undergraduate debt is frequently associated with graduate and professional-school debt, which is much more expensive. For example, the average medical school graduate owes and average of $113,661 after graduation. Experts say the reason it is much higher is because, students who study law, business and medicine are more capable of paying off these loans with their higher paying jobs. The students who have a hard time paying off their loans are usually the ones who either, start graduate school and end up not finishing, or those who do finish and end up taking jobs with a low pay wage. For example, Robert Applebaum nearly a $100,000 in education debt by attending an expensive law school. Mr. Applebaum struggled because, after he graduated he took a low paying job at a district attorney’s office in Brooklyn, NY. (Wilson 259).
Higher education degree is the greatest gift anyone can have. Obtaining a high quality education from one of the thousands institutions we have in the United States is an honor. Although it may be extremely expensive, it will benefit in the long run. Whether it’s just an associates degree or a Master’s degree, getting some type of education beyond a high school diploma with put you in a much better financial situation, compared to those who feel it is unnecessary.
Addison, Liz. “Two Years Are Better Then Four.” They say/I say with readings. 211-214 Birkentein, Cathy, Durst, Russel, and Graff, Gerald. They Say/I Say with Readings. New York. Norton and Company. 2 Ed. 2012. Print Boyers, Jayson. “Is Higher Education Even Worth It?” Huffington Post. 14 Jul. 2013. Lexis Nexis Academic. 27 Oct. 2013 Towner, Betsy. “An Education Worth the Price?” AARP. 20 Sept. 2010. AARP Bulletin. Web. 28 Oct. 2013 Ungar, Sanford. “The New Liberal Arts.” They say/I say with readings. 190-197 Wilson, Robin. “A Lifetime of Student Debt? Not Likely.” They say/I say With readings. 256-273
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