The Real Costs of College
As November comes to an end, the deadlines for applications to many colleges across the nation are slowly approaching. With thousands of options for applicants, it is hard to narrow it down to just one. However, with the rising cost of colleges in recent years and the huge difference in price between in state and out of state tuitions, it only makes the decision harder. Some people question if college is even worth all the money. These days, with all the jobs and opportunities in the real world that require college degrees, it is better to go to college and spend the money to get the degree than go find a job straight out of high school.
College would be considered monopolistically competitive, as there are thousands of colleges in the US alone and all of them offer the same basic experience, however they don’t take their price from the market and there is a wide variety of costs.
There are many different opportunity costs that are paid when one decides to go to college. Instead of going to college, a person could find a job right out of high school. This would allow said person to make more money in 4 years instead of spending money to attend college. However, nearly 65% of jobs in our economy require some sort of degree besides a high school diploma, so not going to college would be giving up the opportunity to find better jobs (Carnevale).
Student loans are also another huge factor for deciding whether or not it is worth it to go to college. In June 2016, there were roughly $1.3 trillion worth of debt for Americans, and the average student finished school with $28,950 in debt. Because of all the debt, “45% of people with student loan debt said college was not worth it”. (“College Education”)
Although tuition is gradually increasing, there are still a lot of ways to avoid the high cost. Many schools across the country offer scholarships, both academic and athletic. There are even random scholarships, such as scholarships for tall people, that people can apply for to help pay for their tuition. Financial aid is another big way people can save money on tuition. Also, some high schools offer college level courses (such as AP classes) that allow you to save money and get college credit by passing a cumulative test at the end of the year.
Most of the costs of college are variable costs, so cutting some things out can help save money. For example, buying used books instead new books, living at home instead of in the dorms, or buying the 9 meal’s a week plan versus the 15 meals can all help in the long run nm
to save a little extra cash.
Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to deciding whether or not it is worth it to attend college. Even with the high tuition and many opportunity costs, the experience you will receive in college will help tremendously when applying for jobs as many careers nowadays require higher level education. College will give you so many connections and opportunities that you can’t receive anywhere else. In order to give everyone an equal chance to receive these experiences, tuition should be lowered to a more affordable price. It is unfair that there are so many smart and talented people in the world who are unable to go to college because of the money. Lowering tuition would allow even more people to go to college so no one would have to ask themselves that question: is it really worth it to go to college?
Carnevale, Anthony P., et al. Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020.
Georgetown University, cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/ 2014/11/Recovery2020.ES_.Web_.pdf.
“College Education - ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines, college-education.procon.org/.