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Is College Worth the Money?
After interviewing two of my friends, I have come to the conclusion that college is worth the money. Although since we are international students on scholarship, our opinions may be bias. That is, because we do not have to pay any of the expenses that occur. However, for those without scholarships, we have all agreed that it is not worth the cost. Many individuals who we know not on scholarships are still in debt many years after graduations. The only reason my two friends claimed it is worth it relies on the fact that we do not have to pay for our education or expenses while living here. If I would not have received the incentive from SACM, I don’t believe I would be studying currently. Our government deeply values education which is why many Middle Easter students are granted the opportunity to study for free internationally. Such value should be seen in more countries however, because more skills equates to more societal advances.
Is College Worth the Money?
Whether or not a college education is worth the money is a controversial topic. Some people believe that this route is the only way to ensure a proper future for oneself. Others challenge this position, claiming that college is just not meant for everyone, and even with a degree, one’s future may not be as bright as envisioned prior. Although both sides of this issue have merit, it seems clear that a college education is not a worthwhile investment because there are simply not enough jobs and debts are very difficult and time-consuming to pay off.
Dale Stephens makes a valuable claim in his article “College is a Waste of Time” by using the rhetorical approach of pathos. In this article he discusses how he quit school to peruse his own dreams independently and the success he felt because of this decision. According to Stephens: “I left college two months ago because it rewards conformity rather than independence, competition rather than collaboration, regurgitation rather than learning, and theory rather than application” (Stephens, page 43, 2016). From this quote we can understand numerous realizations on the education system. This quote also shows the rhetorical approach of pathos within. This relies on the fact that audience members realize the reality of schooling. It brings upon emotion as to the numerous problems within the current education systems. Amongst the most important ideas of this article would be that one does not have to finish school to be successful and have a bright future. If one has intelligence and motivation, just as Stephens had, they can easily find an alternative route that does not include college.
Nemko only furthers the discussion of why college is useless in her article “We Sent Too Many Students to College”. This article focusses on the fact that many students go to college, but many fails to graduate. She stated that individuals who are in the bottom 40% of class more often than not do not make it through all four years of schooling needed to obtain a degree. So why exactly are colleges accepting everyone, despite their unsuccessful situations in high school. Nemko answers that question by stating how schools are greedy and just want the money. They are very aware of these statistics, but at the end of the day, they get paid either way. That is whether the student graduates or not (Nemko,2016). Most of these students whom quit gain no value but accumulate years of debts. Not to mention, many are unable to pay such debt with the crappy jobs they acquire in fast food industries. Thus, showcasing why college is not the answer or worth the amount of debt that one racks up.
Although both claims appear to be highly relevant and hold true, many people still have the false hope that college is worth these escalating costs. In “Is College Worth It, clearly” written by David Leonhardt, he shows audiences how the value of a college degree is significantly rising. Even those with some college have a better chance at obtaining a job compared to those with just a High School diploma. Which is somewhat contradictive to the views held by Le. Which claims that only 4+ years of schooling is the way to go. This relies on the fact that bachelor’s degrees are so common in modern times, that there is so many fighting for one position. To stand out, one must further their education beyond the typical 4 years (Le,2016). Leonhardt also showed how many individuals who have obtained a four-year degree either have difficulty finding a job or feel overqualified for the job they do receive, which strengthens Le’s assertions even more. Therefore, only reinforcing the idea that college is not necessarily worth the associated costs in the long run (Leonhardt, 2016. Even if they are, being overqualified simply does not make the job any better or reimburse the individuals higher income for their added knowledge of components of the job.
Daly and Bengali approach these ideas through a different lens and look at the financial sides of both. These authors claimed that even with such high costs, the overall earnings exceedingly outweigh the debt incurred (Daly & Bengali, 2016). However, this is also very dependent on what job is obtained upon graduation. Logically thinking, any job will cover the costs of college eventually, but time is a far larger factor in all of this. I am certain that graduates are eager to get these debts paid off as quickly as possible in order to not increase the interest rates.
As we can see, there are many differ stances on these topics, however, the answer is not easy to take in most cases. It used to be a lot easier back in the day, people knew the answer with certainty. That is, that college is surely worth the costs associated. However, today’s generation is not so lucky, and part of that is due to the economy, as well as price increases overall. College use to be priced modestly, however, that is certainly not the case now. All the blame cannot strictly be blamed on these colleges though, because students are also part of the problem. Prior to going to school, they discover the costs and what will be expected of them as well. If a student knowingly agrees to attend school and later drops out, the school is not accountable, the student is. Nonetheless, I feel degrees are losing their value, despite what Leonhardt has claimed in his article. I personally know individuals who graduated and are working in places like Wal-Mart. Long showcases through her article that sometimes college is worth it, and other times it is not. It is very dependent on circumstances. Not only does the college one attends matter, but so does the major of choice (Long,2016). Unless one is taking a practical major like Engineering, college is not worth the associated costs. However, circumstances and demand also play a huge role in answering these questions as well. If more than usual amounts of students are obtaining engineering degrees, there will be many trying to fill the positions and then obtaining a job will be even more difficult. At the end of the day, I feel it is not worth the high costs and there are alternatives that will yield equal or greater results in the end.
Although there are several other factors that play into this question, I think such factors must be glanced at through a personal lens. That is, the answer to this question regarding college being worth it or not worth it depend on the individual at hand. To some individuals it is very worth it, and to others it is not. For instance, for me, personally, it is worth it because I am not paying the money our of pocket. However, very few are granted such luxuries, and to them, it is more than likely not worth it. College use to be a guarantee, however, now it is a risk that individuals must take.
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