Is College Worth the Cost?

In today’s society, a large emphasis is placed on the importance of college and why it is crucial to attend. The school system instills this message from a young age, but why is college so important, and if it is, then why is it financially unachievable for so many?

It is projected that about 10.4% of American adults are currently enrolled in college according to College Enrollment Statistics [2021]: Total + by Demographic. Now it would be assumed that because the importance of a degree is stressed so much, that it is the key element in securing a job; however, this is not the case. A lot of people who get a college degree still struggle to get a job, and they are able to get a job, it is common for it not to be in their desired field.

“I have been graduated from college for a couple years now, and even with my good grades, I have been unable to find work. It’s very stressful,” said Noah Teaf, a physician’s assistant graduate from West Liberty University.

In addition to the struggles of finding a job is the cost of tuition. According to How Much Does College Cost?, the academic year in the United States includes the average price of tuition and fees at $37,650 at private colleges, $10,560 at public colleges (in-state residents) $27,020 at public colleges (out-of-state residents). Most of the population does not have that much money lying around to spend on an education, so the alternative is taking out loans. This means that students can have mountains of debt before they and after they graduate. For a new college graduate who is struggling to find a job in their field, paying student loans can be very stressful. The only option is to take any job in order to gain some income.

Current student at Robert Morris University, Kyrie Nestle said, “It is a lot to keep track of, and it’s such an inconvenience. Every time a loan is mentioned my heart sinks just thinking about the debt I will need to repay.”

At the end of the day, most people who get college degrees struggle still struggle to get the career they want. It leaves many in crippling debt and pinching pennies in order to make ends meet. So if this is an understood norm in the United States, what truly makes college so important?