Anyone considering college or who finished their college career recently, might be concerned about costs. There's no curtain in the way, though. Tuition and loan debt are not the best responsibilities to assume during or just after your college years.
From time to time, I've joked about a college degree and implied I'm so smart I traded $70,000 for a piece of paper that said I'm smart. However, the reality of higher education costs is a real concern lately, leaving many to wonder is college worth it?
Reality vs. Perception
Many articles have popped up lately around the topic of college tuition, such as this one, which consequently led to me thinking about it more. Trust me, even if I started to sell millions of copies of my books, student loan repayment would still be a major financial threat. But as I thought about it more, I guess the cost of higher education was on my mind as I toured McKinley at Ball State University.
Debt, no debt: I figured college was something I needed to experience, and a degree was well worth obtaining. Post college, I've been wondering if I was just an idiot.
Quite quickly, many of us start blaming institutions. The truth is, many schools needed to boost overall costs since many State endowments have been reduced. As the economy continues to revive itself, we should see more State funding and lower overall education costs, but for now the cost of tuition, fees, and little extras will remain higher. The thing is, it's not completely any institutions fault.
Not-for-profit colleges are feeling the blow much harder, since they're kind of at the bottom of the priority list for State funding. See, for-profit schools sometimes have a higher focus on bringing in well-performing students with some sort of aid than actually seeing the student finish all degree requirements. This means the school makes money. State funding often favors entities with capital.
Is a Degree Worth It?
No matter who's to blame, the cost of higher education still seems pretty steep. And let's face it: Graduates are experiencing one of the greatest periods of un- or underemployment. There's just not enough out there for graduates to be completely successful in a career that utilizes their skill sets. You could go to school and end up with nothing for awhile.
To be fair, it's worth mentioning those with higher education experience less un- or underemployment than those without.
The cost of higher education is always going to be higher than anyone really wants to pay, though. The fact is, if it's a good school, and utilizes great resources and highers on instructors will great backgrounds, experience, and prestigious degrees. These things cost more.
So while I'm still shaken by the after-effects of graduation, I have faith a degree is still worth it in 2013. Honestly, I think it's one of the few ways to truly improve yourself.
That's just my take, though. I suppose you have yours.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.