College Education: Is It Still Worth the Investment

A lot of people are asking the question: “Is a college education still worth it?”  This has been an ongoing concern for some time now.  College educations have been getting more and more expensive as each year has gone by.  They are now absolutely unaffordable for the average American high school graduate.  This has entered in the difficulty of student loan debt, a trap that many college students fall into and then take years to come out of.

While the quality of an education at an American college has remained mostly the same, the cost of such an education has skyrocketed, and not just in tune with inflation either.  It has been shooting up, up, up and in a big way too.

I’d like you to consider the following figures:

  • University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus,   $17,772
  • College of William and Mary, $17,656
  • Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus, $17,502
  • Colorado School of Mines, $16,918
  • University of New Hampshire-Main Campus, $16,552
  • University of Vermont, $16,226
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology, $15,648
  • Virginia Military Institute, $15,518
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology, $15,450
  • The College of New Jersey, $15,024
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, $15,020
  • Temple University, $14,696
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College, $14,588
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona, $14,588
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Berks, $14,588
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg, $14,588
  • Miami University-Oxford, $14,287
  • Winthrop University, $14,082
  • Michigan Technological University, $14,040
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Brandywine, $13,942
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Abington, $13,942
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Lehigh Valley, $13,930
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State York, $13,930
  • University of California-Davis, $13,896
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Hazleton, $13,882
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Worthington Scranton, $13,882
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Schuylkill  , $13,870
  • University of California-Santa Barbara, $13,865
  • St Mary’s College of Maryland, $13,824
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick, $13,813
  • University of New Hampshire at Manchester, $13,768
  • Rutgers University-Camden, $13,683
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny, $13,648
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Mont Alto, $13,648

Those are the prices for some of the U.S. colleges I could think of off the top of my head, and those are the prices for one academic year.  Now, imagine a high school grad who wants to get a generic, four-year degree in business management.  He or she will enter the business field four years later and get an entry level job with possibly a forty to sixty grand a year salary and over sixty grand worth of college debt.  On average, that will take them a good five to ten years to pay off, if they are lucky.

I strongly feel as though our college education system needs to change.  I do not believe necessarily that it is too expensive or unaffordable to the point where college is no longer worth it.  In fact, for some careers, it is absolutely crucial to get a college degree, but I scoff at the idea of students getting four or six-year degrees in a field and then not pursuing a career in that field.

Our college system needs to change to make it about the student, not about the owners of the college.  Our future rests in the hands of our students.  Our quality of living will be and is determined by the success or lack thereof of our students in achieving a good education.  The only thing that stabilizes the civilization of mankind is the ability of man to become educated.  I strongly believe that we are losing sight of this basic, very human tenet and goal, and that hard work needs to be done to get us back on track again.

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