The Benefits and Purpose of Higher Education Essay

The Benefits and Purpose of Higher Education Essay

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The student population that attends college today is quite different than those who attended college in the past. Decades ago, those who were privileged were the only individuals that had access to higher education. Today, students of all socioeconomic statuses attend for multiple reasons. Some students want to provide more than their parents had, some think they will make more money with a college degree; some have an occupation that they are passionate about, want to go through college as quickly as they can to get a job and have an income. With today’s economy many students are spending thousands of dollars to attend college to receive a degree. Gutting (2011) suggests that in a survey that seventy-four percent of graduates from four-year colleges say that their education was “very useful in help them grow intellectually.” Moreover, sixty-nine percent said that “it was very useful in helping them grow and mature as a person” and fifty-five stated that “it was very useful in helping prepare them for a job or career”. Lastly, he noted that eighty-six of these graduates think “college has been a good investment for them personally.” Is it an institutions job to teach skills students should already have at their age? Do college graduates really have more options in careers, a better chance of attaining a job, and a greater chance to advance in their chosen career? Why do individuals attend college and what do they expect to accomplish once they have graduated with a degree? What is the purpose of higher education in today’s society? This paper will take a look at many of these questions.

Chan, Brown, Ludlow (2013) explain that past research of what drives the student in college such as instrumental motives (e.g. att...


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... at is the expectations of students enrolling in college. What are their goals and expectations for attending a particular college? I would also take a deeper look at the institutional goals and expectations. If the student and the institution have different goals then will the student not benefit from earning a degree at that college or university? Additionally, I would want data on the students who are graduating and look at what they feel was beneficial, a waste of time, if they thought it was worth it, and what they got out of college. It would be interesting to see how many would say they learned skills that would help them with their chosen careers or what experiences influenced them. Furthermore, I think it would be helpful to see if the students think they grew professionally or personally over the course from being a freshman to being a senior.


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