We have been taught, for years, that higher education is the only route to a successful career with high compensation. “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates are Harvard College dropouts. Apple founder Steve Jobs quit Reed College after one semester. Albert Einstein barely made it through high school. Walt Disney didn’t make it at all” (Weingarten). As shown in Weingarten’s quote from the article “Too Many American Kids Go to College,” this statement is not always true. The declaration that college is necessary is not the only idea being questioned. “With $864 billion in federal loans and $150 billion in private loans, student debt in America now exceeds $1 trillion” (Johnson, Van Ostern, and White). People are questioning whether a college degree is worth the price and all the debt that comes with it. The overall discussion is on the value of a college education.
The cost of college has risen over 1,000 percent in the past three decades. An increasing amount of students have to pay for their college degrees through student loans (Johnson, Van Ostern, and White). It costs, on average, $42,500 per year to attend a private four-year university. That is triple the 1990 price and almost a year’s salary for today’s median household. The average state school costs $19,000 per year, which over the past 25 years, has increased beyond 100 percent (Barrett). The increase in cost comes with an increase in student loans and debt. Over half of bachelor degree holders graduate with debt over $25,000. 10% of students owe even more than $50,000. Private student loan debt rose from $55.9 billion to $140.2 billion just from 2005 to 2011 (Johnson, Van Ost...
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...deral Government pay for 67% of the cost and states pay the remaining 33%. This is $47 billion and $23 billion per year, respectively (Schramm and Stoetzer). Federal funding has been decreasing at the same time tuition has been increasing. Majorities of people believe that something needs to be done to help decrease the cost of college for students who may not otherwise be able to attend.
The value of college is not explicitly defined for all people. There are a number of factors to consider when determining whether college is worth the cost: debt, major, and probability of completion. Hard work is being put into the process of finding a way to help students reduce the cost of post-secondary education. If tuition prices continue to increase at this rapid rate, the opportunity cost of attending college simply will not be worth it.
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