Is College Worth It?
College in the United States seems to be becoming an expectation that is increasingly unattainable for many people. In the case of most jobs with a medium to high salary, employers look for a college background before even considering to hire someone. There is an increasing pay gap between people who have gone to college and who haven’t gone to college, but many people can’t afford to attend college in this country as the prices just keep on increasing as more time passes.
In the time that I started my application to the time that I heard back from a college, the price for dormitories on campus had increased on average by $200, and I was obtaining more and more fees as I went through the process of preparing to accept an offer of admission. By the time I finished all the steps to some of the offers I was made, I had spent close to $700, and that is before college has even started!
College itself can cost tens of thousands of dollars every year in tuition alone. Although many parents try to keep a college fund for their child, the majority of college graduates come out with loans and debt that can take years to recover from. Not only do college graduates have to come up with the money to pay off their loans when they first get a job, most of the loans available come with increasing and exponential interest that makes paying them back even harder.
College may be so incredibly expensive in the states, but it is often worth it as well. College graduates are more likely to be considered for a job rather than non-college graduates which is leading to an increasing pay gap between college graduates and non-college graduates. Over the past 15 years, this gap has been increasing and in 2013, college graduates were measured to be getting paid 98% more than non-college graduates. For the average graduate, it takes about 10 years to pay back fully the cost of college, and often it can take even longer than that to see a return on your investment.
The experience of college is often a point that is argued to justify the enormous investment that college is. As a senior in high school this year, many of my friends and even my own brother have gone off to college the past few years. This is giving me first hand, close-up evidence that college is an experience that changes someone. Whether it be to make somebody a more responsible student, change their social behavior, make different friends, or get involved, it provides an opportunity that students would not have otherwise. College is a gateway of sorts from a life that is dependent on teachers, peers, and parents to creating your own unique, self-dependent life well also obtaining the necessary skills to acquire a job to support yourself in the near future.
On average in the United States, 40 out of every 100 students who enroll in college drop out and the 15 bottomed ranked of the remaining 60 are considered far less desirable to employers than those ranked above them. In this way, even if you have made the sacrifices of time and money to go to college, the return investment falls short.
There are so many pros and cons to going to college, personally, it was never a choice for me because the field that I am interested in requires a college degree, but that’s not the case for many people. There are so many jobs in this world that don’t require a college degree or, if they do, a degree from a two-year community college would be more than enough to get hired for a good paying job. One of the biggest things to look at however is weighing the cost of college with the benefits of the experience. Almost always, the social, growth, and job benefits of college far outweigh the price.