The Cost of Earning a College Education in the United States

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The protocol is that after high school, you go to college and earn a degree but in today’s world people question if it’s really worth going to college because of the high price tag. The amount of debt college puts you in can greatly affect your future and the choice you will make. Personally, I’ve had to make many tough decisions regarding college. It’s difficult for people in the US to go to good college’s because most of us are middle class, other countries have free schooling or help significantly. College can be a very hard thing to decide on for students.

College tuition has increased 47 percent over the last decade, factoring in inflation that’s still a significant increase of almost 27 percent (Covert). The average debt a graduate in a four year university is $31,000; which is hard to wrap your mind around when you’re thinking about going to college. These college students are also thinking about all the other things they have to pay for also, like clothing and gas. A student working part time at an average of 25 hours at minimum wage, that only about $11,700 a year or $225 a week. They give up an opportunity cost of $7,020 a year or $135 a week if they were to work full time. If they didn’t work at all that opportunity cost is $18,720 over the course of your four year at school that totals to almost $74,880. Giving up that much money to be in such a large amount of debt is insane for some people to consider which is why people choose not to go to college. It’s not that people don’t go to college because there apathetic, it’s because they can’t afford it. There is an economic benefit to getting a higher education, even if you are in debt for a while. If you have a bachelors degree you can make on average 54% more than a person with a basic high school education (How To EDU). A degree higher than a bachelors can get a varying degree of higher income, the possibilities are endless.

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Cost of an education can affect so many aspects of your education. Not only will cost affect whether or not you go to school but it can affect how long you go to school, what school you choose, and your major. A philosophy major is probably going to make less than a science major because of the limited job market for that field. If someone is trying to make there education pay off higher in the end they should look for a major in a field that isn’t flooded with people, where there’s always going to be a need, and generally pays well. The school you go to can affect which places higher you and how you will do but colleges can be very expensive so you should look into which one will give you the best bang for your buck. Personally, I had to leave a college I loved very much because I was already 20 grand in debt and couldn’t get a cosigner for another loan, which is another reason people might not go to college; because they can’t get loans out that they need.

The middle class is very much at risk of getting priced out of the market because people need to make a certain amount of money to support themselves and others, which they cannot normally do while trying to get an education; fixing this problem can be solved in a few ways. One way would be to increase the amount of financial aid a student receives or allow them to take larger loans out to cover the whole amount of their education. Another way would to be decrease interest rates for student loans so they’re not paying so much on something that should be considered a necessity. The obvious answer on how to make education not knock the whole middle class out would be to lower the tuition cost; these college largely aren’t non-profit, they’re multi-million dollar businesses. Instead of college’s focusing on things like not feeding kids leftover meat, there concerned with how much there donors are going to give them this year. The students don’t get what they pay for which is what they should be doing; if ever dollar isn’t spent towards them, they should only pay for what is. The United Stated makes you pay a thousands of dollars for an education while they should ne following the lead of other countries in the world. Norway will give anybody an education even if you’re from a different country because they care about people getting an education and feel it’s important; there are countries that follow there lead like Germany and Sweden. Some countries in Europe don’t make student pay until they have a job in their field making good money or after a certain amount of time if you can’t afford to pay it you debt is forgiven.

There are a lot of things that can improve regarding education in the US, whether it is lowering prices or helping students get through college. There are many countries the US can look after and follow there education processes. Financially it can help people significantly and improve the state people live if everyone could afford to have higher education.

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The Cost of Earning a College Education in the United States. (2022, Feb 01). Retrieved from

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