Opinion: Price of College Isn’t Worth It
by Thinh Vuu
The national debt, immigration, gun control, government spending, and war are all hot button issues that have both support and opposition. But when it comes to education, everyone has to be a supporter. It is political suicide if you are not pro-education and pro-spending for education. It is amplified to the umpteenth degree for higher—college—education.
Why is that?
If you are a senior in high school, you are, for the most part, expected to make every effort to get accepted into a prestigious college in order to secure a high paying job and live a comfortable life. Students are savagely indoctrinated into fatalism with the “college stick,” pressuring them into choosing between the two extremes: college or failure. Those who do not go to college are stigmatized; they are branded as “lesser.”
What is the purpose of school, of education? The purpose of elementary school is to prepare you for middle school, and the purpose of middle school is to prepare you for high school. The purpose of high school is to prepare you for college, and the purpose of college is to make money. Oh, I wasn’t talking about the poor, hardworking student; I was talking about the colleges making money off of your blood, sweat, and tears. Private colleges are businesses; “education” is their commodity. If colleges were actually looking to help educate future generations, why are colleges so ridiculously overpriced?
Does the perpetually rising price of college equate to a better education? Do the laws of physics change because you go to MIT? Is 1+1 actually 7? Is college actually worth it? Expensive colleges seem to be enthralled with massive swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and student centers, but what part of this spending actually helps students learn how to function as productive members of the work force?
It doesn’t. They don’t care about you.
According to Time magazine, 75% of Americans cannot afford college, yet all of these people still borrow absurd amounts of money to obtain a college education. By the time they enter the work force, they are years behind their coworkers in experience, and carrying a crippling amount of debt. Student loans are the one type of debt that is completely unforgivable; it will not disappear even if you declare bankruptcy and will follow you to your grave. That slight increase in pay is required for the college graduate to pay off their debt, if they ever get a job.
In the wake of spreading doubts about the value of a college degree, universities have started spewing “facts” about how essential a college education is to attaining a high paying job. Granted, it is true that a college education is valuable, and a college graduate earns more than college drop outs, but the numbers concerning the average pay for college graduates are incredibly misleading without first acknowledging the whole picture. People that graduate college are generally harder working, more intelligent, and better off financially. It is not the colleges that determine a person’s success; it is the skills and traits of each individual person. A Harvard graduate enters Harvard with all of the skills and the work ethic needed to succeed in life.
Education is invaluable to humanity; however, the colleges of today, especially the “prestigious” colleges, are focused less on education and more so on making money, thus college might not be the wisest financial decision. A little caution and research can go a long way into deciding which college to attend, or if you need to go to college at all.
Thinh Vuu is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition