Is College Worth the Expense?

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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This paper will be debating whether the cost of college is worth the expense. There are several factors that go into debating whether you should attend college or not. The stress associated with financing college in the United States has raised a big red flag for many people. Not only can college put you in debt, but it can also cause you a lot of stress.

As many people know college is very pricey. You can go several thousand dollars into debt from just student loans, not including books, housing, and food.

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Student loans have caused several people to remain in debt for many years after they have graduated. Student loans can create problems for students, especially when they don’t graduate on time. This can still be a problem even when they do graduate. The cost of attending a four-year college in the United States has increased from around $3,500 in the early 1980’s to around $24,000 in 2018. Whether you go to a college in your state, or if you go to a public school, those prices can vary. The price of college has risen more than gasoline, health care, or even housing. As I have read, I found factors that have caused prices to increase. First, there are more administrators at colleges today than several decades ago. Their salaries have increased a lot between now and then. For Latino Americans and African Americans, the effects of student loan debts were higher. Student loan debt, and debt stress, may be part of what is shaping the health of African American and Latino American students. “”Other large-scale data analyses also have suggested that Black/African Americans and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Hispanic/Latino Americans express greater regret about student loan debt (e.g., wishing that they had borrowed less, making changes in career plans or feeling limited in educational choices due to student loans, feeling burdened by loan payments) than White and Asian Americans (Baum & O’Malley, 2003).( At what costs? Student loan debt, debt stress, and racially/ethnically diverse college students’ perceived health). African Americans seemed to be more stress about student loan debt rather than White students, despite not significantly differing from other racial/ethnic groups in outstanding loan amount in mean differences testing (ANOVA). The racial/ethnic role may be due to a relative difference in risk incurred when taking on student loan debt. The risks for taking on student loan debt is higher for African Americans Latino Americans who are more likely to leave college without a degree. They are more likely to run into more problems because of their student loans.

The annual earnings for full-time workers with a B.A. degree summed up to about $67,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those without a college degree, annual wages came up to less than $40,000. If you do the math, you can make about $27,000 more if you graduate college. “”Ingrained in American society is a belief that higher education is an investment in human capital (De Young, 1989), which benefits individuals who earn college degrees. Leslie and Brinkman (1988), in their metanalysis of individual rates of return on higher education, conclude that college graduates earn 12-15 percent more than the average high school graduate when high school and college graduates of similar ability are compared”” (3). College graduates have higher annual earnings. For example, people with at least a bachelor’s degree have annual earnings that are double the earnings of people without a college degree. College education is expensive but is one of the best investments a student can make. Investing in college is a more reliable return than most other investments. College may be expensive, but not going to college is even more expensive. People who do graduate college report being happier in life and not having as many problems financially. Not only has the earnings of having a college degree continued to increase, but the average earnings of people without a college degree has been decreasing. Many people would agree that you benefit from going to college. “”These benefits include workforce planning and enhanced economic competitiveness, government revenues, and social and economic equality”” (Hossler, Schmit, & Vesper 4).

I feel that college is worth its expense. You will remain in debt for a bit, but you will make that money back over time. Graduating college gets you a higher paying job and more benefits. If you only graduate high school and don’t attend college, you could end up with a low paying job or even no job at all. College is stressful and very expensive, but it is worth the cost.

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Is College Worth the Expense?. (2019, Sep 20). Retrieved from