With tuitions on the rise every year, college is becoming more and more of a dilemma for students all over the country. The cost of the college experience, from tuition to textbooks, forces people to pay off loans every month for years after graduation. The opportunity to achieve a degree from higher education has been coupled with an inseparable risk. The risk, many college students and graduates are coming to realize, lies within the costs and career implications of a college degree. The costs of going to college can be upwards of $50,000 per year at some institutions, totaling at a whopping $200,000 over 4 years. For most households, that is more than three years net income after taxes. Thousands of college graduates are without jobs and struggling to pay off student loans. Of those thousands, many of them are now wondering whether their college degree was worth the burden of debt they are now facing, which is accentuated by their unemployment. While college has certainly become the traditional norm and natural step for high school graduates, the controversy of its benefits is becoming more and more evident. Here are three reasons why college may not be a good option for the new generation.
1. College is extremely expensive
Whether you go to school in state or out of state, tuition and additional costs have become crippling for many students. Including tuition, fees, and room and board, some institutions charge over $50,000 per year. Tufts University in Massachusetts, Oberlin College in Ohio, and Amherst College in Massachusetts, are three examples of private colleges that charge over $50,000 per year for tuition and fees. When you add in room and board, food, and other costs, the total becomes tremendous. Are the fees really worth it? For someone attending Amherst College, their total costs for tuition and fees over four years come out to $202,000. If they receive 50% off for financial or academic scholarships, they will still need to take out $100,000 in student loans. The minute that they throw their graduation cap in the air, the clock starts ticking. The current average student loan rate is just under 5%. This means that after their first year as a graduate, they will owe $105,000. After the second year, they will owe $110,000. Thus, their loans can stick with them for twenty or thirty years, as they struggle to pay it off each month. This can prevent them from saving that money for retirement, or otherwise spending it. There are a few companies who are trying to help the loan process for students, including SoFi Student loan review and Gradifi. With the help of these companies carrying some of the burden, hopefully college will one day become more affordable for students.
2. College doesn't necessarily prepare you for life
Despite the incredible amount of money that students are forced to pour into their college education, the shocking thing is that often times their college degree isn't worth much more than the piece of paper they receive on graduation day. When it comes to making money, paying taxes, supporting yourself and navigating the corporate world, college often underprepares students. Many graduates find that their careers and lifestyles are more or less irrelevant to the experience they had in college.
3. College is often irrelevant to your career
The ten most popular majors in 2015 were history, English, humanities, accounting, criminal justice, teacher education, biology, nursing, psychology, and business. However, when you look at the number of college graduates who become historians, writers, mathematicians, biologists, nurses, psychologists, and who work in education or criminal justice, the numbers are shocking. The vast majority of the time, what you major in during college has little correlation to what you choose as a career. Each year, thousands of college students graduate with the unfortunate realization that their major is something which they will never include in their line of work. Especially in the liberal arts schools, majors like sociology, history, and English have often little to no correlation with what the graduate chooses for a degree. For the graduate who studied art and now works for a bank, he wonders to himself whether the $200,000 he put towards his college career was really worth it. More and more, graduates are leaning towards entrepreneurship. This trend and excitement towards starting and growing new businesses is a field that is underdeveloped in the college curriculum. Many graduates leave college, start their own business, and realize that all of their studies in college are now of little practical value.