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The Idea Of Going To College Has

The idea of going to college has been a major obstacle for many individuals for the past decade. People are told that if they want better jobs, they should pursue a higher education. No matter how simple this may sound, there are many challenges standing in the way. One of those obstacles is the price it costs to gain a college degree. For instance, due to the weakening of the economy in the United States, the tuition fee has skyrocketed to unbelievably unaffordable costs. Consequently, the rate of graduates has decreased dramatically. So is it really worth it? Despite how intimidating a college education might sound, the claimed oppositions against it are merely cover-ups to the economic, financial, and social benefits.

Back in the 1980s, about 64% of college graduates had a chance to find jobs with a decent wage. After 30 years, this percentage inflated to 94% and continues to increase with time (David, 2014). So what’s the secret behind this drastic change? It all has to do with the increase in variety of jobs and the demand for skills that one can’t obtain without some kind of training after secondary school. Unfortunately, this answer is not a sufficient argument for certain individuals. The vision of college is clouded with financial problems and a variety of other issues some people claim as enough reasons to not even try. This report will investigate each claimed arguments to understand why people don’t think they need to obtain a higher education.

To begin with, a common statement some critics claim about higher education is that it is a waste of valuable time. What they lack to comprehend is the actual meaning behind giving value to time. Yes, having a job instead would financially be better but would prevent people from gaining numerous benefits.

In the years a student spends working to obtain a degree, he or she develops as a person in ways that cannot be measured by the ‘investment’ of going to college. Whether through group projects with fellow students, an internship with a company, or individual research on behalf of a professor, the college experience educates the whole individual, and helps to develop the person’s values. (Franklyn, 2013)

Participating in research projects, seminars, and numerous academic organizations on campus provides students with several ways to change their outlooks. This allows them to connect with experienced individuals who can open the path to becoming distinctive people on the long run. Another factor that opens the doors to success is learning tolerance towards people from a variety of backgrounds. In other words, being exposed to different ethnicities helps overcome biases that society implants with the help of media.

Another opposition people claim against obtaining a higher education is that they think it’s more logical to have a job rather than graduating with a six-figure debt. They state that there’s no point in trying if eventually one will graduate with a tremendous debt. Although, a general tuition fee intimidates many individuals, eventually after graduation students are faced with better occupational opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for high school grads with no college degree is 8.4% while it’s only 3.8% for those who obtained a degree (Driscoll, 2012). Also, high school dropouts are three times as likely to be unemployed than those with a bachelor’s degree. So what’s the point of complaining about getting a debt if a higher wage job is guaranteed? In reality, the debt an average student has by graduation is not over $25,000 on average (Leonhardt, 2014). There are also financial aid opportunities for those who come from a low or average income family, which makes paying off the debt more convenient. On the long run, there will be more gain rather than loss for an individual financially speaking.

Who needs a college degree if Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dropped out of college and still managed to soar to the top? On the contrary, there’s a higher risk of being jobless without a college degree in the current generation. A study done at Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce discovered that between 2007 and 2012, Americans who didn’t go to college lost 5.8 million jobs; among those with bachelor’s degrees or higher, there was a gain of 2.2 million jobs (Bissonnette, 2012). Also, the rank of entrepreneurs whose start-ups have received an impressive amount of success is too small to even consider this option of dropping out to be more successful. Not everyone can be recognized instantly for his or her skills and neither can they afford to waste that time of trying to get recognition.

A common misconception in our society is having the assumptions that age and qualification in all areas is required in order to get into college. First of all, age should never be an issue when thinking about whether or not a person should get a college degree because there are several individuals who went back to college at a shocking age. For example, Nola Ochs got a degree in general studies with an emphasis in history from Fort Hays State University when she was 95 years old. She also continued to pursue her education by doing her masters at age 98 years old. Another example is Wally Taibleson who first attended college when he was 70 years old and has earned a bachelors degree and three master’s degrees (West, 2014). Aside from age, there are also individuals who think they are not qualified enough to get into college. On the contrary, those who can’t get into a 4 year degree program can always go far community college as a second option. They can finish two years there and transfer to a university junior year. And than there is those people that feel insecure about their performances in certain subjects. Similarly, there is always a second option like vocational schools designed specifically for certain career skills and exclude the most feared subjects like math. Community colleges offer many vocational programs, which differ, from much of the work you did in high school and are directly tied to your career such as automotive training or criminal justice (Kezar, 2008).

When considering the issue of the importance of college, it is clear that there are numerous benefits behind getting a degree. It’s essential to recognize the economic, financial, and social such as the drastic difference in unemployment rates when compared to high school grads. Before one see the inner world of college life, they assume its waste of time, money, and energy. In fact, it’s proven to be quite the opposite according to research. So when it comes to deciding whether getting a higher education is important, let’s consider this quote: ‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.'(Dr. Seuss, 1990)

Freelance Writer

I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.