Is College Worth The Expense? Essay

1438 words - 6 pages

Throughout the years, America has always debated whether education is needed- if it helps people succeed or not. The argument in the past was always over high school education, which is now mandatory. That decision has helped the US rise economically and industrially. Today, the US is in the middle of the same debate- this time, over college. Some, like David Leonhardt, a columnist for the business section of The New York Times, think a college education creates success in any job. Others, such as Christopher Beha, an author and assistant editor of Harper’s Magazine, believe that some college “education” (like that of for-profit schools) is a waste of time, and can even be harmful to students. Each stance on this argument has truth to it, and there is no simple answer to this rising issue in an ever changing nation full of unique people. Any final decision would affect the United States in all factions- especially economically and socially. However, despite the many arguments against college, there is overwhelming proof that college is good for all students, academically or not.
Contrary to popular belief, a college education can help with any job, regardless of whether the job is within a certain major or not. In fact, a college graduate even benefits if they take up a job as a plumber or a police officer- not only from their academic education, but also from learning important skills such as persistence and discipline (Leonhardt). Having a college experience and exposure to the world creates well- rounded people with higher skills and work ethics- and therefore better workers. Though they aren’t immune to being turned down, college graduates are more likely to actually get jobs, and be paid more for them, as shown in a study done at Georgetown in 2011 (Leonhardt). Last year, according to David Leonhardt, full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree made about 83 percent more than those with only a high-school diploma. Even excluding success in the job market, a college education seems to simply make people happier, due the psychic income earned when accomplishing their degree. I believe this last fact alone gives proof that college is a good thing. But many people, it seems, think differently.
Families are now aiming low when it comes to college- or are simply not going at all. Money could play a huge part in this decision- after all, the cost of college has skyrocketed over the years, and so has the amount of student loan debt. This is something even Leonhardt admits, stating that, because of this, only about 33 percent of young adults get a four-year college degree today, while another 10 percent receive a two-year degree (Leonhardt). And even though many colleges offer financial aid packages, that money may soon be cut and the cost of college will continue to grow. It is true that, in my personal experience, just because a student is awarded financial aid does not mean they have a golden ticket to University. This leaves many desperate...

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