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Kristen Williams

By kwilliams15 Mar 12, 2013 1630 Words
Kristen Williams

Growing up, most parents and educators tell children to be successful and live a happy life you have to attend college. However, this is not always true. People who do not obtain a college degree are not necessarily unsuccessful. Some people are intellectually challenged and have disabilities that do not let them perform at a high level. Also, America’s economy has risen drastically that some households cannot afford college tuition. College is not for everyone, and there are many things students and families should consider before enrolling. College is hard enough for those who are ambitious, however; those who do not want to be there it is almost impossible. One writer states, “I’ve known students who were brilliant but were either incapable of performing the tasks necessary to succeed in required courses or were perhaps unwilling to do so.” (Sobel). The transition from high school to college is a new chapter, because it allows students freedom they have never experienced before. Most new college students cannot understand the realities of living a college life and will not be able to react to the new environment. However, college is not only about education but also about personality, getting involved in clubs and organizations, and being able to be independent. Everyone is not blessed to have the abilities to attend college and do well. There are people who are mentally challenged, lack of study skills, or have some type of disorder. Many people lack the skills and discipline to benefit from attending college. Upon entering college a student is required to take a standardized test, commonly the ACT or SAT. The score you receive on these standardized tests and the outcome of your cumulative GPA will determine if you can get accepted into the college you are interested in attending. Also, the test looks at the student’s ability on how they will succeed in school. An associate professor at Miami University discusses, “In 2012, only 25 percent of the ACT exam takers were ready for college level work in math and science, and 28 percent failed to meet the college readiness benchmark in any of the four subjects in the benchmark” (Sobel). If you lack the skills to take standardized test it may not be a good idea to attend college. College tuition is steadily rising and making finances play a large part in student’s decisions to attend college. Len Penzo states in his article, Smart Spending: 4 Reasons College isn’t For Everyone, “Over the past 30 years, the cost of college has risen more than 1,000%, far outpacing inflation in general.” The price of tuition becomes more difficult, sometimes impossible, for families to decide if they should invest that amount of money for their child’s degree. According to CNN, “To attend an in-state college for the 2012-13 academic year, the average overall cost for students who don't receive any financial aid rose 3.8% to a record $22,261.” (Clark) The rise in tuition steadily increases in other expenses and has pushed public and private schools to a higher peak.

There are many different types of colleges, which include: private, public, community, trade, etc. The type of college you choose to attend matters because each one has different types of degrees and tuition is diverse. Although the federal or state government is willing to lend money to students qualified for receiving financial aid does not mean it is best for them to be in college. Every student will not be able to qualify for financial aid because of the amount of income their parent(s) make which may consider them to get loans. CNN concludes, “Thanks to rising tuition and a tough job market, college seniors graduated with an average of nearly $27,000 in student loan debt last year” (Ellis). Unfortunately, college students obtain debt while attending college and may not be able to pay all of their loans back.

A college degree is not necessary for everyone and students should not feel forced into getting a degree of their personal view. Degrees do not always guarantee a job with the expected salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, “that 25% of college graduates are currently in jobs that do not require a college degree and of the 30 jobs projected to grow at the fastest rate over the next decade in the U.S., only seven typically require a bachelor’s degree” (Driscoll). Those students not interested in pursuing a college degree can attend trade school, earn certifications, gain life experiences, or start their business. Students should be confident to follow their interest whether a degree is required or not. Professions, like medicine, engineer, and lawyer, require college degrees. A 2012 report by MSN states, “Statistics show that people with a bachelor's degree will earn 1.66 times more over their lifetime than someone with only a high school education. Then again, there are plenty of millionaires out there -- and approximately 30 billionaires -- without college degrees,” (Penzo). College students gain skills by going to college, but those who do not decide to take that path get jobs that just require a high school degree, while making more money than the college student because of debts. Attending college does not guarantee you will graduate. One article notes, “a goodly proportion (more than 40 percent) of those attending four-year colleges full-time fail to graduate, even within six years” (Vedder). Instead of putting so many finances towards a college degree, that you are not guaranteed to get, there are other pathways you can choose without going to college. In some instances, some college graduates, although all have at least a bachelor’s degree, lack the knowledge of searching for jobs and maintaining jobs. For example, according to Jordan Weissmann, “fifty-three percent of college graduates are jobless (one and a half of million graduates).” In turn, regardless of college students, who obtain the necessary tool, or a college degree, to work within society, does not grant each student with the success needed to live comfortable lives. Weismann states, “College graduates with at least a bachelor ’s degree are not provided with the proper job opportunities for their fields, in which those students are forced to settle for low paying jobs such as, fast food and bartending jobs.” Maintaining a degree does not guarantee you to receive full salary and have the proper job you think you will have. Although speaking that college is not for everyone it does not mean everyone should skip college. “Washington State Gear Up” notes higher education also improves your chances of having the life and job you want. In most cases, the more education you have, the more careers and jobs you can choose from, and the more money you can earn. Having a degree puts you at a higher standing in life and have more options getting an occupation and keeping them. Earning a college degree is a huge accomplishment. College teaches you responsibility and how to be independent since most high school students have never worked, never paid bills, or learned about finances. Most importantly college lets you have fun and figure out who you are. Attending college gives you a fresh start on life, gives you experiences to meet people, learn things, and get involved. Author Kathleen Manning states, “Reasons why students should attend college include the fact that it is a place to develop a lifelong passion for learning and to prepare for living in a diverse world.” A college education gives you the opportunity to learn what you love. College is a place where students can structure their social and emotional attitudes. Having the opportunity to attend college you can choose to move out of your city or state and travel, meet new people, places, and experience the world. Instead of being pressured to getting a college degree, students should seek to be the best they can be. Although, it does not hurt to have a college degree under your belt, you should not encourage students to pursue a degree if you are only setting them up for failure when it is not a necessity for their career. There are numerous career paths for a successful life. We should push students to do whatever makes them happy, not speaking on how much salary is, because money will not make you happy. Doing what you love to do will make you happy. Rather than focusing on the single goal of retrieving a college degree, we should help them find the best option for them. Works Cited

Clark, Kim, writer. “Tuition at public colleges rises 4.8%.” Natl. CNN Money, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2013
Driscoll, Emily, writer. “College Not For Everyone: 4 Alternatives.” Natl. Fox
Business, 5 Nov. 2012. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.
Ellis, Blake, writer. “Average Student Loan debt nears $27,000.” Natl. CNN Money, 18 Oct. 2010. Web. 16 Feb. 2013.
Manning, Kathleen. "Why College? Answers For And From Student Affairs." Student Affairs Leader 37.15 (2009): 6-2. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
Penzo, Len, ed. Smart Spending: 4 Reasons College isn’t For Everyone. MSN. Money, 5 Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.
Sobel, Ann E.K. "Should Everyone Go To College?" Computer 45.10 (2012): 82-83.
Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.
Steinburg, Jacques. “Plan B: Skip College.” The New York Times. 15 May. 2010, natl. ed.: Week in Review. Print.
Vedder, Richard. “Why College Isn’t For Everyone.” Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 9 Apr. 2012. Web. 16 Feb. 2013.
Weissmann, Jordan. “53% of Recent College Grads Are Jobless or Underemployed-How?” The Atlantic. The Atlantic, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2013.
Washington State Gear Up. Home Page. Washington State Gear Up, 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.

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