Is a college education worth every cent?

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Sofia Moraga | The Daily Wildcat Old Main was the first building constructed on the University of Arizona campus.

When it’s time to for students to start thinking about applying for college, some will often think that attending a community college or major university is not worth it. Extraneous amounts of money is needed, the applyication process or even the amount of time and dedication needed to be successful are some of the daunting factors that lead students away from attending college. 

Many stray away from attending because they have been told that it is a huge waste of money. College however is a huge step and is always worth the amount of time and money put into it, whether a student has completed an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree, college is a worthwhile experience.

Attending a college or major university is worth the money because of the amount of knowledge a student receives with professors who have experienced the major or area of study hands on, the better pay a college graduate receives when going out into the job field and the well-rounded education that nothing else can provide a student than attending college. 

A lot of students and parents will say that college is not worth the amount of money that is needed. Student loans will pile up and a student will be left with an unmentionable amount of debt that is not worth the headache and stress. 

Most college students spend up to $9,000 a year for school tuition, when attending a four-year public university and that number is just for in-state students. Most out-of-state students can spend up to $23,000 on public university tuition alone, according to the article What’s the Price Tag for a College Education? by College Data.

There are ways to get around these costs and not pay so much out of pocket, scholarship and grant programs help students pay for their schooling along the way. Along with federal work-study programs, which allow students who are in school full time to have a part-time job in order to help with the cost of college, these programs and types of aid lower the overall cost of college altogether. Making grants and scholarship programs available to students make the thought of college more worthwhile and a huge factor in the question of deciding if college is worth it. 

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The question of going to college or not brings about a new set of questions: Who gets paid more? A person with a college degree or a person without? When it comes to going out into the career field, nothing looks better to employers than a college degree. 

With the mindset that college is a waste of time and money, some people have chosen to not go the college route, which could possibly lead to a bigger chance of unemployment and/or less pay than someone with a college degree down the road. 

“The earnings gap between college grads and everyone else has reached its widest point on record,” said the article Workers with No College Degree Fall Further Behind Than Ever, from CBS News.

There is a major gap in wages when it comes to employees who have a college education and those who don’t and that wage gap has been seen in the amount being earned every year. 

“College grads, aged 23-25 earn $17,000 more each year,” said the article Thinking of Skipping College? 

Here are 6 Statistics to Change Your Mind, by James Link from Cornerstone University. Many college grads with a degree do statistically better money wise in their chosen job field than a person with only a high school diploma. 

A college education is worth the money in the long run, because of the benefits of having the knowledge that only a college education can offer. 

Many college graduates earn more money in their job field or career solely because they have earned a degree, on contrast to others who may not have a degree. 

Other statistics have shown than economically, people who hold a degree have reaped the benefits of the job world and pay because of their degree.

 “College-educated workers have captured most of the new jobs and enjoyed pay gains. Non-college grads, by contrast, have faced dwindling job opportunities and an overall 3% decline in income,” said article Pay Gap Between College Grads and Everyone Else at a Record, by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press. 

Graduates with a degree from a college have the work ethic that others who may not have a degree possess. A college education requires a student to put aside time and a big amount of dedication in order to finish the strenuous amounts of work that a degree program requires. 

Many college students who are working towards a degree will agree that learning to handle many tasks at once, maintaining a heavy workload, and completing that work on a deadline is something that college can teach. Having a strong work ethic and learning the skills needed for a career is what a degree is useful for and something that not everyone holds, which makes it all the more important.

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 “On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the share employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education,” said article The Rising Cost of Not Going to College, from Pew Research Center. 

People who have earned a degree will be more satisfied with the job/career they have entered and are more successful than others without a college degree. 

Going to a university or community college is worth the time and money, mostly so because the learning experience that can come from college. In the long run, the experiences and knowledge gained from earning a degree has been proven to stand on its own: college graduates with a degree do better than people without.

With earning more money, finding the career in their chosen area of study, and overall satisfaction with their degree and job, college is a worthwhile investment. People who have earned a degree stand out, and with a degree becoming such a poignant thing to possess, spending the money for college and dedicating the time to be successful is going to be pay off in the career field in the future. 


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