Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Is College Worth It?

The poor have always found higher education in universities to be too expensive, but now even the middle class are being squeezed out of most colleges. In the past few decades, the already expensive cost of higher education has increased in price at a rate surpassing inflation almost each year, while the average income of the middle class has decreased after inflation. As a result, the middle class is shrinking and less likely to afford college for their children, thus these children from middle class families are more likely to not be part of the middle class once they become adults. And if they do go to college, these young adults are much more likely to be crushed with huge debts before even starting a career. With the economy struggling with high unemployment and low salaries, these debts are even more difficult for young adults to pay off than ever before.

Even local community colleges, that were once easily affordable to the lower and middle classes, are becoming too expensive with the increases in the general costs of living. Therefore, it is much harder for college students to work through college to pay off their bills, including tuition, books, food, transportation, housing, etc.

Furthermore, there are more useless diplomas and jobless degrees than ever before. What I mean by this is that there are more college degrees that are less likely to result with a career in the chosen field of study or even a good job in any field. This is because of several reasons. First, there are more college graduates than ever before. Second, the number of new jobs is increasing at a slower rate than new college graduates are finishing school. Finally, when factoring in the high rate of job losses that current workers have, it is even harder for new graduates to compete with more experienced job seekers, thus new college graduates are less likely to find employment. Basically, off-shoring and outsourcing is causing a huge number of jobs to leave the country, thus there are fewer jobs for more qualified applicants whether they have experience or not.

As a result, this leads to the question: Is college worth it?

Financially, not all college degrees are worth what they cost, because future employment and future salary do not compensate for the cost of the diplomas. The number of college majors that fall into this category is increasing too, so choosing a college degree that is more likely to not be sent overseas is paramount when choosing a college major. For instance, I believe the services of doctors, nurses, and lawyers can not be easily accomplished in other countries; however engineering, programming, design, and manufacturing jobs will continue to disappear. Therefore, college is only financially worth it for a limited set of majors that are decreasing in number.

Furthermore, unless a child’s parents are rich and influential, it is no longer good enough to just do well in school. Competition entering colleges is much fiercer than ever before. In order to guarantee admittance to elite schools and to receive scholarships and grants, children must be the best in their schools to even be considered by the best schools. As a result, colleges and universities are much more competitive than they have ever been, and the decisions that students must make are harder than before too.

by Phil for Humanity
on 02/06/2008

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