In the time I have spent in higher education, I have noticed that educators generally encounter three categories of students. The first category, about 10 percent of the student population will always succeed because they have the attitude that failure is not an option. The second group, another 10 percent of the population, will inevitably fail, lacking the personal motivation and drive necessary to reach educational goals. Approximately 80 percent of students make up category three. A group full of bright minds that could lean toward either success or failure. This group will most significantly be impacted by changes and improvements in education. The differentiating factor in this group is that each student's response to the same question: "Is investing in my education really worth it?"
Some people are deterred from pursuing higher education because of the price tag attached. Even though student loans are often available, the idea of repaying student loan debt, with high interest rates and low job prospects is a significant roadblock for many. For students with young families or those who have never considered post-secondary education, it is often much more appealing to take a job out of high school and immediately generate income. These are the students who begin to feel that an education is simply not worth it.
People who have obtained a college degree will earn an average of 74 percent more over the course of their lifetime than people who have not. A college graduate's educational value is not based on the salary received for their first job. Students must realize the big picture: the most significant returns on educational investment come from the jobs following their first post-college position. Three years will not appropriately gauge how much education is worth; five or more years will offer a much more accurate picture of the actual long-term benefits that accompany education received.
The recent recession is a prime...
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