Higher Education: Is It Worth the Cost

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  • Topic: Higher education, High school, Secondary education
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Higher Education: Is It worth the Cost
Margit Brackin
Athens State University


Studies show that students who get a college education attain a larger range of benefits, including higher wages. Likewise society derives benefits from the citizens who have access to college education. There is the societal benefit of more taxes being paid in to the government. Also a benefit to society is the fact that there are fewer persons incarcerated that have a college degree. The unequal rates of involvement in college education among different sectors of the United States society should be a concern to both individuals and government officials at all levels of the government.

Higher Education: Is It worth the Cost
Benefits from going to college are many and the variety is anywhere from fiscal to cultural. There are even some surprising benefits of higher education. For students still in high school it may be hard to visualize what the benefits from going to college could be. College is daunting. The work that lies ahead and being around so many new people is overwhelming. (McGuire, 2010).

Considering different levels of education will allow the achievement of diverse educational credentials that have an effect on earnings. Different levels of education will provide for different returns. It may merit pointing out that the focal point is on the private return of education. Many times the benefits to the economy are ignored. Gasper, J., & Schweig, B. B. (1987).

Once people start realizing what benefits they have obtained from higher education, they think about when they made lasting friendships. They realize this is the time in their life when they started taking charge of their life. The benefit of getting to know professors is also a benefit, from the knowledge they pass on to students, to the connections you are making. (McGuire, 2010).

These connections with professors can prove beneficial when it is time to start searching for a job. Another benefit is all the people from distant places you will meet. Meeting people from other countries will help you gain awareness of different cultures. (McGuire, 2010).

When we think about people receiving a higher education we usually think of this in individual terms. There is a significant amount of time and money put into obtaining a college education. The hope of better opportunities and a higher living wage causes families to do such things as saving, sacrificing current spending opportunities, and going into debt in order to provide their children the opportunity to get a college education. (Baum & Payea, 2004).

The benefits of an investment in a college education to society get far less consideration, but are essential to the welfare of our country. (Baum & Payea, 2004).
There are benefits to a higher education in both the personal life and in society. The benefits have a disparity between college participation and completion. In 2009 there was a 5.1 percentage point difference in unemployment between a high school graduate and a four year college graduate. Even with this factor into play people are still wondering if going to college is worthwhile. Some people are even asking if it is appropriate to encourage young people who are unsure about continuing their education to do so. (Baum, Ma, Payea, 2010).

I personally think that encouraging the young people to further their education is the right thing to do. I know from only having a high school education that getting a job is getting harder. With no more than a high school education you are lucky to get a job at minimum wage. I know a lady who has an Associate’s degree and 25 years experience in the accounting field, but cannot get a job with one of the larger accounting firms due to not having at the least a Bachelor’s degree. She told me they won’t even talk to her. To me $15 per hour is not a lot of money for someone with 25 years experience. I also know a lady who retired after 37 years with a company...
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