Values of college education

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What is the value of a college education? Many have asked that question over the years when they were considering pursuing their degree whether as a student leaving high school or the adult learner completing their degree. The question becomes even more prevalent as the cost of a college degree continues to increase. There are many reasons why people put value on a college education. John Immerwhar (2000) states, "Higher education is perceived as extremely important, and for most people a college education has become the necessary admission ticket to good jobs and a middle-class lifestyle. Parents of high school students place especially high importance on a college education..." The value of a college degree for many is based upon the ability for advancement in the workplace, monetary value, and to show future and present employers your dedication and commitment.

There are many reasons to value a college education. Some reasons are for enhanced knowledge or better job opportunities. Other reasons maybe, just for the satisfaction of completing a college degree, or to be a role model for your children. One reason could be you being forced to go because everyone in prior generations obtained a college degree. Your family might be very influential in the community and you are expected to set the example. Another reason may be that they are the only one in their family to go to college and you want your family members to be proud of you. From experience, most people you have met will change

their careers at least four times or more in their lifetime. Therefore, the value of a college education means something different to each person.

What is it really worth? The value of a college education is greatly dependent upon how the individual feels regarding further education. There are also views that their family instills upon them as to its value. Today in America, most individuals feel that a degree is a key factor to their success. There are also other reasons that individuals feel a degree is important. Everyone has his or her own reason for attending college and obtaining an education. In the early 20th Century it was not necessary to obtain a college education, and only those that had the money or athletes attended. Toward the latter of the 20th Century, it was almost necessary to go to college to get hired for a job. Everyone coming out of high school was expected to go get a college education.

How valuable is college education anyway? Although, many people are questioning whether the value of education is worth the investment and time, the number of people attaining college degrees is increasing each day. It would be impossible to tell individual reasons of receiving higher education, but one thing is for certain; college education brings many benefits. The benefits of college education can be grouped in three main categories such as, economic, employment and social.

Is the high level of investment worth the return? There are doubts when comparing the investment needed for college education and the level of return upon completion. In particular the decision is much more difficult for low budget families. However, recent studies show that investment on college education is very valuable and one that will continue to appreciate over time. According to U.S. Census Bureau (2002) in 2001, the average income for a person age 18 or over who holds a bachelor's degree was $59,683, compared to $32,906 for a person with a

high school diploma. Therefore, people with 4-year college degrees were making $26,777 more income annually then those with high school degree. Taking this data as a basis we can conclude that college graduates will make roughly $1.4 million more income during their lifetime than high school graduates, however, this estimate does not include salary increases. In addition, the annual earning gap between college and high school graduates is increasing each year in favor of people with bachelor's...
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