Daunting price of college towers over students

Is the price of college worth the commitment?

Here at Blake, the vast majority of students move on to pursue a four year degree after graduating. Most students don’t think twice about applying to college, but instead worry about not being accepted by one of the many universities on their list.

Rather than worrying about not getting into a college, it may be worthwhile to consider whether college is worth the price of tuition. What does one really gain from an additional four years of schooling? Does the additional salary and job opportunities balance out the rising cost of college tuition? It’s easy to be discouraged when the unemployment rate for college graduates between the ages from 22 to 27 is 8.6%, only slightly lower than 9.6% during the 2007 recession.

Nonetheless, a study from the New York Federal Reserve shows that last year, despite the rising cost of tuition and increase in the number of outstanding student loans, a college degree is indeed “worth the cost.” Compared to those who do not pursue a college education, the study shows that the rates of unemployed college graduates decreases as the graduates grow older, while the rates for high school graduates remain high. The national unemployment rate for college graduates over 25 is 3.2%, less than half of the 6.5% rate for those who have only a high school diploma. It has also been revealed that over the course of a lifetime, college graduates make an average of $1,000,000 more than those with just high school diplomas.

Spectrum decided to take a look at which students thought about the value of a college degree, so we asked around the school. Tyler Jackson ‘16 comments that the cost-efficiency of college is dependent on what the student wishes to pursue: “If you’re going to college to be a doctor, I think it’s worth the cost because doctors make salaries that allow them to pay off any loans they had to take out.” Tyler Kossila ‘16 echoes this belief, saying “I think that the cost of college is worth it. There may be very few cases of very successful people in the world who didn’t attend college, but way more times than not if you don’t attend college you are set miles behind in the competition.”

In contrast to the sometimes depressing news headlines, the cost of college is outweighed by the benefits a college graduate reaps, and those benefits continue to grow.