As the cost of college continues to increase, people are calling into question whether the massive costs are worth it. For many people, going to college means either themselves or their families going into debt. Although financial aid from the government is available, there is a “dumbbell effect,” meaning that those who are able to pay for college the most easily are those who are either very poor and receive a lot of aid or those who are very rich and don’t need financial aid (to clarify, it is never “easy” for the very poor even if they receive a full scholarship, as they are often still unable to pay for textbooks, social events, club membership, or transportation). As of this May, American college students owe a total of over 1.5 trillion dollars. Additionally, many college graduates end up with a job that does not require a college degree--as many as 1 in 3, according to a 2012 study.
However, there are clear benefits to obtaining a college degree. College graduates on average are paid better, are more likely to have insurance and benefits, have more job opportunities available, and have lower poverty rates. Additionally, some people argue that college graduates learn important interpersonal skills in college. The argument can also be made that learning more is always worthwhile, even if it doesn’t have a direct financial benefit.
I think that college is worth it for some people, but not for everyone. For those who plan to go into trade professionals, trade school is a much better option. I agree that college gives you interpersonal skills and is (often) a lot of fun, but that alone is not enough to justify going. I do think it is important to have a highly educated population, and I wish that it were less expensive and less burdensome on families.
Do you think college is worth the rising costs?