A College Education is Worth the Cost

Despite the debate about whether college is worth the money, college education is one of the most reliable paths to financial success for graduates. The discussion is often divided along political lines, perhaps as a result of college graduates’ voting habits (Bennett, John, and Wilezol 234). When the nation is in debt to the tune of over a trillion dollars, it’s easy to lose confidence in the importance of a college education. College graduates, on the other hand, have higher lifetime earnings and are more employable than those without a degree. This paper explains why college education is still worth it even with the high cost involved in acquiring it.
The important thing to note is that few individuals pay the actual price for college.  There are a range of means through which universities and colleges as well as the federal government make it easy to attend college (Bennett, John, and Wilezol 235). A college education still remains one of the surest ways to advance your income power and your family’s financial condition, in the future and currently. If your family has been in financial hardship, obtaining a college education will provide the opportunity to increase your earnings, gain financial independence for your family, and improve their financial situation in future.
  A recent Georgetown University study indicates that as the economy has become more knowledge- based and less industrial, there have been dramatic increase in the demand for employees who are college degree holders. In 1973, 72 percent of occupations needed a high-school education or less (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 338). In 2010, that figure reduced to 41 percent, and projection by 2020 has it at 36 percent. College graduates get 84 percent more in earnings during their lifetimes as compared to high school graduates. As a college graduate the possibility that you will find a job is much higher than a non-graduate even during these times when the economy is tough. Normally, the joblessness rate for college graduates is nearly half in comparison with that for high school graduates, and this statistics is true today (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 338). If you have a college education, you are far more likely to secure a job that is fulfilling and pleasurable for your whole life.
The fate of workforces having less than a college training is worsening even more quickly than the fate of their colleagues with college degrees (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 338). Therefore, people have found themselves in a situation where they have to choose between paying the high price to go to college or earn far little over a lifetime and confront a greater possibility of being jobless for long period of time. In that tradeoff, persons choose going to college.
It is true that wages are falling. However, the fall is lower for those without degrees. Between 2001 and 2013, the decline in the average wage was at about 10% for workers having bachelor’s degrees, and 8% for those with high school diploma (Leonhardt 14). Even with those drops, employees with a degree still earn approximately 75% more than high school graduates, and this payoff is big over a lifetime. Workers with bachelor’s degrees earn about $1 million above high school graduates while those with associate’s degrees earn like $325,000 more in a lifetime.
Many employers require college degree. Only 34% of jobs in America require a high school diploma or less as at year 2017, as compared to 72% in the 1970s (Leonhardt 14).At the time of recession between 2007 and 2010, there was a rise by 187,000 of jobs that needed college degrees and a fall by 1.75 million those that required associate degrees. Jobs that required high school diploma or less fell by 5.6 million. According to a study in June 2016, 99% of job growth between 2010 and 2016 went to workers having graduate, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees (Leonhardt 14). Founded on economy and job projections calculated in 2018 by Georgetown University, about 63% of jobs will require some degree or college education.
College graduates make more money as pointed out by Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds (345). In 2016, the average earning for individuals 25 years of age and above with high school diploma was $35,615, whereasthose with a bachelor’s degree was $65,482, and $92,525 for workers having advanced degrees (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 345). Families headed by a bachelor’s degree holder registered a median income of $100,096 in 2011 which was twice that of a high school graduate. The median rise in earnings for accomplishing the first year in college was 11% while the senior year was 16% in 2007.
College graduates are exposed to more and better job opportunities. In Jan. 2017, the rate of unemployment for college graduates with 25 years and above having bachelor’s degree was 2.5%. For individuals with college or associate’s degrees it was 3.8%, 5.3% for high school graduates, and high school drop-outs had 7.7%. In 2015, the unemployment rate was 6.2% for college graduates, 12.9% for high school graduates, and 18.7% for those without a high school diploma (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 345). 58% of associate’s degree holders and college graduates reported being very contented in their work compared to40% of persons lacking a high school diploma and 50% of high school graduates.
College graduates have higher probability of getting health insurance and retirement plans. In 2008, 70% of college graduates had right of entry to employer-provided health insurance against 50% of high school graduates(Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 346). 70% of college graduates with 25 years and above had access to retirement plans compared to 65% of associate’s degree holders, 30% of high school drop- outs, and 55% of high school graduates in 2008.
College allows people to learn interpersonal skills. Students have the chance to interrelate with their colleagues and faculty, to be part of clubs and student organizations, and to participate in debates and discussions. Referring to Arthur Chickering’s “Seven Vectors” student development theory, “developing mature interpersonal relationships” makes one of the seven steps of the progress students go through in the college. In a 1994 survey that involved 11,000 college students,”interpersonal skills” was rated as the most important skill widely used in a student’s daily life (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 346). In the statement of Vivek Wadhwa, MBA, technology entrepreneur, “American children have parties in college. But you know something, by partying, they learn social skills. They learn how to interact with each other…They develop skills which make them innovative. Americans are the most innovative people in the world because of the education system.”
College graduates live longer and are healthier. Report shows that 83% of college graduates indicated being in excellent health, while the same report was obtained from 73% of high school graduates (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 347). In 2008, the total adults who were smokers were 20%. 9% was made of college graduates. 63% college graduates aged between 25 and 34 reported exercising vigorously in week at least once compared to 37% of high school graduates (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 347). College degrees were connected to decrease in blood pressure in a 30-year peer-reviewed research and reduced cortisol levels in a study carried out by a Carnegie Mellon Psychology department. 23% of college graduates aged 35 to 44 years old suffered from obesity against 37% of high school graduates. Averagely, college graduates live six years longer than their high school colleagues.
College graduates depict lower poverty rates. The poverty rate for individuals with bachelor’s degree was 4% in 2008. High school graduates recorded 12% poverty rate. In 2005, the probability of married couples having bachelor’s degrees to be below the poverty line was 1.8% (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 347).Associate’s degree holders2.7%, 4.6% for couples with some college education, and high school graduates had 7.1%. According to the US Census Bureau, 1% of college graduates took part in social support programs like, National School Lunch Program, Medicaid, and food stamps against 8% of high school graduates in 2008.
College graduates portray high productiveness and efficiency as members of society. Henry Bienan, PhD, President Emeritus of Northwestern University explains that a college education leads to better citizenship, greater productivity, better health, and low crimes for more educated people. A research carried out in 2009 found that 16 to 24 year old high school drop-outs had 63% possibility of being incarcerated than the people with a bachelor’s degree or higher (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 348). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the period between 2008 and 2009, 43% of college graduates performed volunteer work against 19% of high school graduates and 27% of adults in overall.
College students are exposed to diverse people and ideas. Students go to classes, live, and socialize with their colleagues from all over the world and pick up from lecturers with a variety of expertise. The population of persons on a college campus shows that students haveprospective to have diverse friends and make business networks, and, possibly, meet a spouse or mate. Access to people from a variety of places allows college students to appreciate and to learn about various religions, cultures, and personalities they may not have been exposed to in their lives, which widens their information and viewpoint. 70.7% of college first years in 2015 said they anticipated to meet people of another ethnic group or racial in college (Jackson, Brandon and John Reynolds 348).59.1% expected college to help them enhance their understanding of other cultures and countries.
In a nutshell, college education is worth the high cost involved in obtaining it. Even though there have been issues of unemployment with regards to college graduates, the advantages of this tertiary education far outweigh its demerits, one of the pros being the fact that it lowers poverty levels. The training increases the probability of getting employment because many employers require college degrees. Additionally, college degree holders make more money, and live healthier and longer. Furthermore, the individuals will have more likelihood of getting health insurance and retirement plan. Moreover, people with college education show increased participation in their position as members of a society.

Work Cited
Bennett, William John, and David Wilezol.Is college worth it?: A former United States Secretary of Education and a liberal arts graduate expose the broken promise of higher education. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2013.
Jackson, Brandon A., and John R. Reynolds. “The price of opportunity: Race, student loan debt, and college achievement.” Sociological Inquiry 83.3 (2013): 335-368.
Leonhardt, David. “Is college worth it? Clearly, new data say.” The New York Times 5.27 (2014): 14.

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