There Are Alternatives To Four
Still, for many, the economic and opportunity costs of attending college are outweighed by intangible benefits.
The desire to conform to a social norm is what often pushes students to costly four-year colleges, said Ryan Craig, author of A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College and founder of University Ventures, a private equity firm focused on higher education.
So what are the alternatives to a four-year college? Community colleges offer short-term certificates and help high school graduates land jobs and earn credits to transfer to a four-year university, if they so wish, later in life.
In a novel approach, the Make School in San Francisco offers a degree in computer coding but collects tuition only if a graduate gets hired.
Students do not have to pay tuition up front but must pay back 20% of their wages for five years after they graduate if they land a job offering more than $60,000 a year. Make School graduates earn a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science in 2.5 years, compared to four years at typical U.S. colleges.
Ultimately, the decision whether to attend college depends on individual circumstances that are hard to generalize. Investing in college has both perks and drawbacks for students and families. If, like me, youre in your last year of a U.S. high school, the choice, while difficult, is yours to make.
Questions to consider:
The Majority Of Jobs Require A College Education
A college degree wasnt always necessary to earn a good living, but times have changed. According to a recent report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 70 percent of jobs will require a college degree by 2027. Without higher education, it may be difficult to secure a high-paying job. Additionally, having a college degree may put you ahead of other candidates for jobs where a degree isnt required.
Its Not Always About The Career At Least Not Right Away
College doubters also point out that nearly half of 20-something college grads work in dead-end retail or restaurant jobs.
To that I say: So what? Many of these grads were probably liberal arts or communications majors. Engineering may be the best major to land a job the week after graduation, but not everyone wants to leap straight into 9-to-5, wall-to-wall math for the rest of their life. That sounds like my nightmare.
Working a crap job in your early 20s is a time-honored tradition among the creative class. After graduation I worked at a bookstore, and then as a van driver for a radio station, both at minimum wage and while splitting housing costs with literally a dozen different roommates, before finally landing a job in my field as an editorial assistant. But those mundane jobs were some of the best Ive ever had.
Now I have a real job on the straight-and-narrow path of adulthood, on the road to retirement and frankly I miss those carefree days of driving a gaudily painted van around town and ringing up beach reads and bestsellers. Youre only young once, but youll have 30 years or more to act like a grownup and work in a cubicle or some other professional environment God knows theres no need to rush into it.
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Why Is College Education Important
On a personal level, a college education can be a significant contributor towards improving the quality of ones life by helping one become more resourceful, responsible, and conscientious besides helping them develop knowledge and a particular set of skills in certain areas. These claims are supported by the Lumina Foundation report which established that:
1. College degree holders are demonstrating healthier habits than non-degree holders.
According to the Lumina Foundation report, higher education also means healthier habits which leads to a healthier lifestyle they reported that based on their studies, the proportion of adults practicing smoking actually significantly decreases with an increase in education:
The proportion of working-age adults smoking daily falls from 20% of high school graduates without college to 12% of holders of associate degrees, to 5% of those with bachelors degrees as their highest education credential, to 3% of holders of graduate degrees.
Additionally, they continue to support this claim by providing a report from another NHIS survey that established a correlation between college education and exercise as well as college education and healthier eating habits.
2. College-educated citizens provide more help to society through volunteering.
Since this enriches their resume, many students see volunteering as a win-win situation.
3. College degree holders are better citizens: they donate 3 times more to charity.
How College Does Not Prepare You To Be A Grown
Ive seen the argument that college is necessary to prepare 18 years olds to grow up and to become an adult. No, getting a job or joining the military is how to prepare an 18 year old for the adult world.
College is an alternate reality its the scenario least like reality or all realities. Reality doesnt let you live on borrowed money to rehash your high school years. In reality you mix with people in a host of different ages, occupations, and socioeconomic groups. You get good at reality by living in reality.
As an adult, youre going to be learning new things constantly and college is not good preparation for that either. You are never going to live a college life again because who has the time to take 4 years off to learn new skills full-time in their 30s? No, online education is more like reality than college.
College is not reality and it doesnt help to prepare you for reality. And its an expensive fake reality at that.
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Why Choosing The Right Major/college/internships Isnt The Answer
As Ive said above, if college is only worth it if you do X, Y, and Z, then youre essentially agreeing with me that college is a risky investment. Why would you pay so much money only to be led down a road full of booby traps? Why would you fault a 17-year old for assuming that organizations backed by the federal government and society would lead her astray? One would rightfully believe that the money youre spending on tuition provides some guardrails from ruining your life and career.
The problem isnt choosing majors or picking the right college or getting the right internships- the problem is college itself.
What You Can Do About It
So what can we do to prevent these increases? Online courses are a great place to start and are just as effective as traditional college. Online learning not only reduces real estate fees, but is also more productive. Schools can also aim to bring costs more in line with revenue, making fees more realistic so that students dont leave in severe debt.
There is also a new concept known as the two-step college option, in which students start off their higher education at a more affordable college for two years, and then transfer to a four-year program to finish their bachelors degree.
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College Is Not Worth The Cost
College is a great place for many to experience new things and to further education. However, college is not for everyone. According to the film Ivory Tower, college teaches people valuable skills such as networking with peers and extensive knowledge. College also provides students, upon graduation, with a degree and proper credentials. Based on a survey done by the Pew Research Center the article The Rising Cost of Not going to College, states that economic analysis consistently find that college
Is College Worth The Cost
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian gave some advice to young people in a recent interview with the New York Times:
Whats your advice for college grads?
Do you really need to go to college? There is a huge student loan debt problem in this country. I think theres going to need to be a drastic change in how these universities work. And I also think weve lambasted the trades for way too long. You can make six figures as a welder.
These kinds of statements irk me, especially when they come from rich entrepreneurs. This line of thinking reeks of survivorship bias.
Successful entrepreneurs must understand theyre the minority. Most businesses fail and most 18 year-olds dont have what it takes to start, let alone run their own business. I certainly would have been lost at that age trying to make a go at it on my own.
I get what Ohanian is trying to say here. There are plenty of problems with the higher education system. Its too expensive. Most students arent given enough guidance in terms of how their preferred area of study will lead to actual employment or how much that employment will pay. Student loans can also be a huge burden after school for many.
In many ways, much like personal finance, people are mostly on their own when it comes to figuring these things out, which is a shame.
Here are the facts:
While student loan charts look increasingly scary
A few more random thoughts on this:
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Quality Of Life Benefits
While a college degree does not guarantee leisure time, frequent vacations, or opportunities to engage within one’s community, it is indisputable that college graduates are more likely to enjoy these amenities of a high quality of life than those who have not finished college. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the children of college graduates are the beneficiaries of a high quality of life, as demonstrated by the following. When compared to the children of high school graduates, children of college graduates:
- Are more likely to have annual physicals and comprehensive healthcare.
- Spend more time with their parents
- Are more likely to be involved in extra-curricular activities including sports, clubs, and the arts,
- Are more likely to have college funds, put aside by their parents, available for their own educations.
Going To College During Covid
Because of the switch to online learning in college, students are starting to wise up about the lack of colleg e value.
Because of COVID-19 students are questioning the value of a college education more now than ever before. College students say that online classes arent worth the high cost of college. And administrators have not done much to offset this thinking.
Some students are withholding spring tuition payments until the college reduces tuition due to the shortened year. As one student striker notes: If the university truly needs our tuition, this will be a big blow and they will be forced to lower tuition. If this isnt a big blow, then it proves what weve been saying they have a huge fundraising arm, and if this doesnt affect them, they can afford to reduce tuition.
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Is Going To College Worth It
It’s a valid question – but in short, the answer is yes. You might look at the list above and think that there’s no way that spending all of that money on a college education will be worth it. However, while the cost of college is admittedly high, there is still enormous benefit to obtaining a four-year degree. Here are the top reasons why college is worth it.
Is College Worth It A Concluding Thought
Going to college is worth it if the experience will help you to achieve what you want in life. There are times when a degree from an institution at any level can help to break down doors to get into a job that someone with a high school diploma will not have a chance to earn. Some creative careers can benefit as well because colleges and universities offer opportunities to practice skills in meaningful ways.
It is essential to remember that most college graduates do not regret their decision. Only 3% of students who graduated in 2011 and said that they wished that they have not gone to college in the first place. You will have more options if you have a college degree hanging on your wall. Sometimes the decision is that simple.
Is going to college worth it? That all depends on your personal perspective. If the career you want does not require a certificate or degree, then the expense of earning this paperwork may not make sense. If you want to work in a specialized field, then the pros and cons of going to college would suggest that the investment you make in your tuition expenses is one that will provide a lifetime of dividends.
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Is There An Oversupply Of Qualified Job Candidates Are Schools Turning Out Too Many Graduates
Are there so many students getting degrees that the demand has flung tuition prices sky-high and this is the invisible hand adjusting things? At what price is a liberal arts, or communications bachelor degree too expensive? Some people say that you cant place a price on education, but tell that to the students who were rioting in London.
Is College Worth The Cost What 2020 Research Says
Despite the pristine togas and huge grins at graduation day,the facts paint a dreary picture of students post-graduation.
Theyre saddled with enormous debt, struggling to supportthemselves, and wondering why their dream companies arent hiring them.
- In the last 10 years, the price of college has risen .
- Whats more, tuition rates and fees are growing every single year. Heres a look at the difference between the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.
- Entering college doesnt guarantee youll earn a degree. In fact, only 59% of college students graduate in six years. In four years, the numbers are even slimmer only 41%!
- The average tuition at a public in-state college is $10,116. At a private college, its $36, 801.
- Huge, successful companies like Google, Penguin Random House, and Hilton prioritize skills over a bachelors degree in the hiring process.
These are sobering facts, especially if youre about toenter college.
But once youve completed your degree, youll get your dreamjob and quickly pay off all your debts. Right?
Not so fast.
- Recent graduates are experiencing the highest unemployment rate in 30 years. In fact, its higher than the unemployment rate of overall workers.
Put together, these facts make it crystal clear for you: A college education doesnt guarantee you a bright, secure future. In fact, it might be just the opposite.
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But Not Every College Is Right For Everybody Every Time
Not all colleges are worth the cost, though. If you get into Harvard or Stanford, by all means, take out the loans you need to go. But theres no sense in paying private-school tuition rates at a college thats no better than your state university or even your local community college and unfortunately, plenty of people do just that. By and large, the in-state tuition at your public university system is going to give you the best bang for your buck.
In particular, dont throw your money away at a for-profit college. That is and always was a terrible idea, and the only way theyve survived this long is through predatory marketing practices. Millions of the student borrowers Holly mentions who are defaulting on their debt hold loans not from a state university or community college but from these questionable institutions.
Plus, there are plenty of people who just dont need college. If youve always wanted to be a carpenter, you dont need to go to college: Go to trade school or better yet get into an apprenticeship program, where youll make money as you learn the trade.
If you simply hate school and always have, then good lord, dont pay all that money for more of it. Find a career that inspires you, where you can work with your hands or work with people. Many good, growing jobs dont require a college degree at all.
So Is A College Degree Worth It Most Signs Point To Maybe
As these sad events play out, students and their parents are right to wonder if the investment is still worth it. While many studies have proven that, overall, a college degree is generally a good investment, I would argue that all families should take a close look at their options and the potential costs before sending their child off to school.
A lot of people will say that higher education is always worth it. Its good debt, theyll say. Or theyll spew out this lie: College is a learning experience that all young people need to go through.
Or, theyll simply point out that many professional jobs actually require a four-year degree. When you hear someone argue that, unequivocally, college is always a good investment, ask yourself these questions:
- If a college degree was always worth it, would there be 7 million student borrowers in default?
- If college degrees always paid off in spades, would nearly 3 million borrowers be in some phase of loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment?
- If college was always a good investment, would 44% of new college graduates be working as baristas or waiters?
Obviously, the answer to these questions will always be no. Thats why anyone who says a college degree is always worth it is either unaware of reality or promoting their own agenda. Sadly, its always the students who pay when they believe this advice without doing some research on their own.
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Is College The Solution For Income Generation And The Wealth Gap
People will cite:
- Warren Buffett
- Steve Ballmer
- Michael Dell
- and Steve Jobs
When they talk about college being unnecessary, but do they have a point? Its easy to cherry-pick data. Yes, there are numerous, successful dropouts, but there are even more failed dropouts. The hard thing to quantify is how much more successful graduates could have been if they had pursued a passion. Additionally, the variables have changed.