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In our society, many students feel as though college is a necessity rather than an option to meet the middle-class standards in the United States. There is such a high pressure by parents and counselors that they only way for the young adults to be successful is by attending college. Perhaps attending college is a worthy investment that will result in making more money, but how many of those that attend college truly find a job or at least one they like? It goes deeper than finding a job because, “students are paying more than ever” to attend universities which is causing students want to attend to not be able to due to the high cost (Siegel).
Some claim that going to college is the best option. However, students shouldn’t be pushed to attend college, but instead be taught how to look at their skills, strengths, and weaknesses to help them assess what options would suit them well. In addition, students should be informed by their guiding counselors and professors of the alternatives that are available to them and not be discouraged when choosing a different path. The cost of college is high and continues to grow throughout the years. Students need to be educated about the outcomes and dangers of borrowing large amounts of money. College representatives will not be the resource that students need because they are just looking to get them to attend their institution without worrying about how the young adult will pay for their education down the road. This means that students need to look elsewhere for those resources such as their guiding counselors. But how well are they doing at teaching students about loans? People assume that guidance counselors are too afraid to inform their students that they simply can’t afford college.
Therefore, there needs to be a change in the way that it is taught in high school to suit all students. This does not mean that student loans and not good or evil. This is just simply that students should be more educated on student loans to understand how not to misuse them. In the report by Owen and Sawhill, he emphasizes the negative context that students aren’t being informed by when they attend college by stating that, “We emphasize that a 17 or 18-year-old deciding whether and where to go to college should carefully consider his or her own likely path of education and career before committing a considerable amount of time and money to that degree.” No matter how many scholarships, grants, or any financial assistance a student may get, they are still bound to reach tuition cost of up to 6 figures. The truth about this is that students should be more focused on their education and learning rather than their financial expenses.
Although I agree with Owen and Sawhill that students should be mindful of their education and career commitments, students should be given the guidance to other options as well that don’t involve going to college. Attaining a college degree requires a lot of sacrifice. However, having a college degree is a huge investment that will continue to pay back and open a lot of opportunities. It is said that those who have college degrees have better job security, knowledge and more money. By attending college one can ensure that they have a better job than someone who doesn’t. Our society is constantly changing and one of the ways it is changing is the way we use technology. We have advanced so much in the past decade that we use a lot of technology to do things in the workforce. So, what does this mean? This means that having an education is a lot more valuable to employers because they want their workers to be skilled and attain more than a high school education. On the contrary, many students are being brainwashed into thinking that attending college is the only way to open doors to be successful in life. The truth about this is that many degree holders who worked so hard and sacrificed so much money, and time, are now just another job-seeker in our society. There are so many people getting college degrees that it’s just seen now as something that you can just purchase. For example, think about a diamond ring. When only a couple people have it the diamond maintains its value, but when everyone has it the diamond loses its value.
Education can feel devalued and for some that makes them feel as though their education is now worthless. Luckily, the American dream is a lot more than attaining a college degree and luckily there are a lot of alternatives for high schoolers that don’t want to attend college. It is so ingrained in people’s heads that those students who do not attend college are admonished or even consider themselves failures. On the contrary, students should be encouraged to look at the alternatives rather than just being informed to go to college. A student can start working right after college, join the armed forces, start an internship, travel, do an apprenticeship, start a business, and so much more. The miscommunication comes from people that don’t see the alternatives being a good success outcome. Let’s look at what’s currently happening in Florida. Florida currently ranks under the average of the 25 year olds who attain a college degree. However, in Florida there are more employers who want their employees to have a college degree so in result, students can complete certifications or degrees that will prepare them for their real jobs that will prevent them from having to attend college if they don’t wish to. Although college may not be for everyone, “the fact that just about anyone can find an affordable degree program or certification to increase their earning potential, enhance the quality of life and meet the work-force demands of the community.” Being an apprentice is something that students who believe college is too expensive can consider or simply someone who wishes to continue towards a job they desire to do without going through college.
Doing an apprenticeship leaves people with a career lined up in front of them and little to no debt unlike college graduates. Apprenticeships used to be more about training people to become plumbers, electricians and more but that has changes. At this point, one can study almost about anything that they can study in college. For example, one can study business, administration, marketing, and finance. When you do an apprentice, you gain more experience than those who attend university. The job experience that one gets is far more than those who carry on with their education. This also gives students who aren’t sure what they want to do a great opportunity to experiment through different fields to decide what works best for them. With giving them the freedom to make their own choices, those who chose to go through this route are swinging away from going with the ‘flow’.
College can be a very difficult thing for students to accomplish due to the high tuition cost and many other circumstances. It’s important that students learn the different options they have after high school if they wish to not attend. On top of that, it is also important that students should be well informed of the perks college must offer and see if that will be the best fit for them. Parents and guiding counselors should be trained to be more open minded when guiding their students or children in the correct path to success. It’s a big step for such a young adult to make such a big investment on their education so it’s important that they know all the different options. It is up to the students to be informed, do their research, and be aware of all the benefits that all sides must offer before deciding so big.
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