Ignorance: The One Thing More Expensive Than College
Although a good education for all Americans is essential for individual success and national economy, the truth is it has become increasingly expensive and doesn’t even guarantee a job after graduation. What exactly qualifies as a “good education?” Most people associate higher education with good education. Every year students will have to pay 3-4% more over inflation due to available subsidized loans and increased aid (McArdle). This means that because of the massive amounts of people receiving some form of aid, colleges are raising the costs to compensate charging more from the students who “can afford college.” As if anyone not in the upper 10% can attend some of these universities without struggle. Is the education they’re receiving 3-4% better, or what else could contribute to the higher costs of attending college? How much of the degree a graduate earns is “credentials, and how much [is] education?” (McArdle). A diploma should not be like Prada— based on reputation of school, rather than the effectiveness as learning the curriculum. Millennials grew up being told the only way to get a good job was with a college diploma. The effect of this mentality was our college systems being flooded making the value of a higher education decrease. With the increasing amount of college graduates and the decrease in amount of available jobs, is a college education necessary or even worth it? Assuming it is necessary and worth it, is it a “right” that everyone receives a college education? A common question is, how is a college degree worth the money when a graduate comes out with an immense amount of debt, and no guarantee of a job? “At one time people could be financially successful without going to college or a trade school, but today's economy and changing times now make it almost necessary to participate in some type of education or training beyond high school” (Bell). That’s lead to the increasing amount of students flooding college, and probably a main reason costs have increased as well. It’s the simple demand-cost relationship. The higher the demand is for something, the more people can charge for it. Having a higher education isn’t a luxury anymore; it’s a necessity. Bell and Michelau state that “the earning potential exceeds $1 million” giving graduates with a bachelor’s degree 81 percent more income than that of a high school graduate. A higher education gives someone more potential at a higher income and a larger range of jobs. In today’s time, anyone would be cutting their potential short by not participating in education past high school. Parsons and Hennessey quoted Obama in their article when he stated that “the only reason [he and Michelle] were able to achieve what [they] achieved was because of education.” Higher costs and tuition raises don’t necessarily mean it can’t be affordable though. Student aid opportunities have “financial need” options as well as “merit” ones (Bell). In addition to state and federal aid, Obama has made some promises on not letting schools “jack up tuition every single year” (in qt. Parsons). He threatened that the schools needed to keep in check their tuition or the funding they receive may decrease. Obama not only gives colleges an incentive to keep tuition costs stable or lose part of their funding, but he also adds in accountability to the billions of dollars of financial aid made available. Some of the critics would like to argue that Obama isn’t helping if he follows through with cutting funding because a huge reason for sharp tuition increases is a cut in state funding the school receives (Parsons). Mark G. Yudof, president of University of California system, states that despite decreasing the cost per unit by increasing classroom size and other system changes, tuition still had to be raised due to diminished support from the state (Parsons). The utilitarian would say that there is a right to...
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