• Kaley Plaxton

Is College Worth It?

Although there is much to be admired about the evolution of America’s education systems throughout the decades, our society has reached a point in which higher education is no longer guaranteed to benefit every individual. 


College education has always been valued as an American tradition, but nowadays college investments do not always ensure the success and happiness that they advertise. Attending college after high school can be extremely risky depending on an individual’s situation because the amount of money and time they spend on furthering their education may be more effective if used in other ways.


The unrealistic representation of college in America is pressuring millions of students to choose their future based upon monetary value and traditions of success, rather than happiness and experience.


Despite the fact that higher education struggles to keep up with the growing needs of employers, college is still advertised as the best or most sensible option for young adults following high school. Our society needs to change the way college education is displayed because students expect to have greater success with schooling than experience, and that is simply not a guarantee.


Furthermore, questions regarding the worth of a college degree have grown exponentially since universities around the world have transitioned to a predominately online format due to Covid-19. Digital classes are limiting communication, resources and opportunities.


According to a SimpsonScarborough research survey of 1,100 high-school seniors and current college students, four-year institution enrollment could decline by 20%. One out of ten high-school seniors say that their plans to attend a four-year institution have been altered.


Taking online courses in order to abide by social-distancing guidelines, is causing many students to feel disconnected and confused. Many are raising concerns that they are paying full tuition for an online education while they are already financially vulnerable. 


Some colleges have offered discounted tuition, recognizing that the quality of many courses is lower. However, many schools actually implemented unfair increases in fees that are adding to financial strain.


A survey conducted by OneClass revealed that of 13,606 U.S. college students interviewed, more than 93% believe tuition should be lowered if classes are held entirely online. The survey also uncovered that 75% of college students are unhappy with the quality of online classes, while 35% have considered withdrawing from school altogether.


It is quite sensible really, that college is advertised under the facade of being the perfect path for high school graduates. After all, the expectation of complete prosperity following education is the main reason why students are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to receive degrees. 


But if a college education wasn’t necessary for Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs, then why is it necessary for young adults today? We hold these great leaders in such high esteem, yet we are pushed forcefully to enter institutions that weren’t even necessary for these great minds. 


Universities should share accurate college success rates, and more advertisements should be promoted for alternative business and education routes. They should also provide the level of learning that they promise, despite economic struggles. 


The education system needs to prioritize student health and growth, over the monetary success provided by overwhelming tuition costs.



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Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School.