One would say that college is a way to build a future, a way to open new doors of opportunity for yourself. Although that may be the case, it certainly does not weigh up to the time and money spent on it. This essay will cover why I believe College isn’t Worth the Investment. It wasn’t always extremely hard and expensive to go to college or university, that is until nowadays where college has become a serious and dangerous investment. Students are being forced to invest their time on school and work at the same time in order to just pay for school. We will also look at why a college degree is not the best way to guide you to your success.
According to the NCES (National Center Education Statistics) the average cost for tuition is $17,000 for public schools and $43,000 for private. That’s almost the average person’s salary. College is extremely expensive nowadays. Research shows that college is 5 times more expensive now. Not all students come from wealthy families and not all parents offer support for college to their children. Therefore, students who come from lower class families or have to live on their own have to work part time jobs to pay for college. Now this implies many things. Students who go to school should only be focusing on their grades and getting educated to be prepared for the “real world”. College is supposed to create a future and clear path for them, so that’s what they should be putting all their attention to. Instead students have to go to work to pay for school.
This not only makes college impossible to pay for this also makes it very hard to pay attention in class since you’re getting less sleep. Students may also be lacking in doing homework since most of their day is consumed by work. Sometimes a college degree does not pay off as one might hope, and sometimes the competitiveness of certain schools or programs make the cost issue even more prominent. When all is said and done, college might lead to debt and the shattering of dreams. Hence, the resounding question is, “is college worth it?” The answer to this question is even more daunting for today’s average family and prospective high school graduates.
A major problem for today’s high school graduates is the rising price in college education. Attending college can add up really fast; it can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars per year. No wonder, in Steven Barkan’s book of social problems, issues and problems in higher education take up a full chapter. In this chapter, Barkan states that only 44% of all students who attend a four-year institution is lucky enough to have annual tuitions and fees amount to less than $9,000 per year. The aggravating question is, “why does college cost so much?” Not only is tuition part of the cost of college but also fees housing and meals, books, school supplies, and accessories (“What’s the Price Tag” 1). All that tuition covers is the money for academic instruction. Fees are charges for specific services such as, internet access, and then the cost of books and school supplies add up.
Only 32% of college students graduate in 4 years. An additional 17% are able to graduate within 6 years. Only 43% of students graduate from the same college where they start. About 30% of freshman students don’t return for their sophomore year. 76% of students change their major at least once. 50% change their major twice. At the average college, 49% of the faculty are teaching on a part-time basis. Graduates of the class of 2015 left school with an average of $30,000 of debt. The average hourly wage for college graduates has risen only 1% over the last decade. This year college costs rose to 3% greater than inflation. (College Factual) The average college graduate leaves school owing more than $37,000 from student loans. In fact, Americans collectively owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt—far more than they owe in credit card debt. Low-income students of all races are far more likely to drop out of college than are wealthier students. Even with scholarships or free tuition, these students struggle with hefty fees and living costs, and they pay the opportunity cost of taking courses rather than getting a job.
One of the big reasons why I believe College is not Worth the Investment is because I feel that the degree itself doesn’t give you the success you want. Most people who went to college enjoyed the experience of meeting new people and trying different things and walking different pathways. Mark Zuckerberg also said the something along those lines in a speech for students. For most graduates it was the journey and experience in finding their passion. And while they were looking for their passion, they would find a person who would soon be their “soul mate” or best friend. Most people enjoyed the parties and get-togethers that helped them meet new people.
Nowadays, upon graduating high school, one simply thinks that college is just simply the “next step”. The reason why he or she think so is because his or her parents raised them to believe so. Therefore, that person would feel like a failure or disgrace to his parents if he or she did not decide to go to college. Most kids want to live for their parents. In other words, they want to make their parents proud since their parents have sacrificed so much for them, and if that means going to college and picking a major then that’s what they’ll do. Unless you’re aiming to become a lawyer engineer or physician, choosing a major can become very difficult. Research shows that psychology and philosophy majors have a hard time finding employment in their field since most jobs in those fields require years of school which they cannot afford.
Even business majors later on say learned that they learned more about business and entrepreneurship through experience and life, not school. Many of the most successful people of this world were mostly self-taught not needing to finish school such as Bill gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, John D. Rockefeller and even Henry Ford. Warren buffet actually complained he knew more than his professors after attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Business. (Investopedia). Even after students graduated it was shown that it wasn’t the degree that got them the job but more the situation you were in and the people you knew. Nowadays, people have been getting Jobs just by “knowing someone” having a certain link or communication from someone in the same field is a huge advantage.
It is not the degree that makes you successful but it’s your skills and knowledge and special ideas that differentiates you from everyone else. This is why interviews are so important in getting employed. Most employers want to see the person, the human behind that make the company or business grow. This has actually led to many non-business majors getting employed by many big companies which shows how worthless a degree can be sometimes. In fact, many students believe that students are just cheating and faking their way through college. One student says that this causes many students to end up becoming “wanna bees” instead of actually being passionate about what they do. There are many ways to make money and fulfill your dream. I believe one should chase something that they really want to do in life, whatever that may be. Someone should not be forced or pressured to do something for their life but it should be out of their own willing heart. This may lead to depression for not being satisfied or content with life. One should try to live their life doing what they love. But instead many people are wandering in college not knowing what they should do because of influence. This causes them to drop out, waste that money that was invested and therefore waste their own time.
Now in some cases college may be necessary, like when becoming a lawyer or doctor. However, this will only make debt increase and the longer it takes you to graduate from med school or law school the more years pass by before your start to earn money. When becoming a Doctor, you must complete an undergraduate degree of 4 years and then pass the MCAT exam, you will then enroll into a medical school where you must then complete 4 years and then continue to do your residency which may take 3-5 years. If all goes well, you will start working after 11- 13 years of education. By that time, one would be around 30 years old and be around $ 200,000 in debt (for the average Doctor). OfCourse the awards will then be plentiful but was it really worth all that time and money? That is for one to decide.
In conclusion, I believe that college is not worth the investment. In the long run, it is you that will determine your success, not a degree. One should be careful when deciding to go to college and realize if it is truly worth the effort and time. One shouldn’t have to work just to pay for school. You shouldn’t be forced to walk a path you do not want to walk. At the end of the day you should invest your time, money, and effort into yourself. Only you can change your future and remember that all of the great businesses out there started with one thought, one person. Therefore, there will always be opportunity to chase your dream and change your life for the better. Your ambition and drive will determine your fate. I encourage all to live their passion and strive to be the best individual one can be.
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