Saturday, June 6th is National Higher Education Day. What better way to reflect on this day than to reflect on the pros and cons of getting a higher education. There are those college dropouts like a Steven Jobs or a Bill Gates and others out there who have gone on to make millions and billions of dollars, but they literally are the exceptions. Realistically, the value of a college education and earning a college degree for the rest of us, can open-up career opportunities that would not otherwise be available. A college degree can also generally provide a higher standard of living and as well as a better life.
College offers students with a life-changing experience that can broaden their perspective and deepen their understanding of the world around us. It is the most dependable path to an improved lifestyle. Whether you complete a college degree or not can play a significant factor in determining your career path. Most higher paying professions such as a doctor, engineer, lawyer, require a college education and for some of those a higher degree. Without a college education, most people find themselves working in lower paying jobs. And many of those people are not happy with what they do for a living, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, year after to year, to pay their bills and living expenses.
There are various numbers out that state what a college degree is worth over a lifetime. For National Higher Education Day, the number being used is $2.8 million dollars!
That is quite a lot of spending power. Those dollars can make a difference in the size of your home, where you live and if you can even afford to buy a home versus having to rent a home. It can also determine the possible size of a family you may have, the quality of the items you will buy and own, the ability to travel and explore the world, among a multitude of other decisions and life experiences you may have in your life. Essentially, it will determine the type and quality of lifestyle you will live.
The likelihood of being unemployed during your lifetime is greater for those without a college degree. We are living through unusual times now with the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Department of Labor Bureau, unemployment and job losses reached 20.5 million in April as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Many of those job losses were disproportionate of workers who did not have a college education. Hopefully, most of these job losses will be temporarily but not having a college education can make your life more financially precarious than having college education and a stable career.
College can be difficult. Many students are not prepared for the academic demands of college. Although college does provide a tremendous value to students, it can still be expensive. The total student debt in the United States is $1.5 trillion. And that kind of debt can have a huge impact.
According to a study conducted by Public Agenda, the number one reason for leaving college is money. It is not high tuition bills, though. Many students need to work while going to school. They find it difficult to balance both responsibilities. In fact, only 31% of those citing money as their reason for dropping out did so because of high tuition rates. 54% said they dropped out because they could not balance work and school. One-third of college students drop out entirely. Unfortunately, fewer than 6 in 10 students who enter college go on to graduate. Fewer still will graduate on-time. More than half of the students enrolled in college take more than 6 years to graduate.
It is often said that education is our society’s great equalizer. And here at Coastline College we are committed to helping everyone have the same access to higher education. We have an outstanding student-centered team of faculty and staff that is dedicated to our students and providing innovative and flexible learning schedules for our students. We have committed programs to help our students with their financial journey through their college education. Please contact our Financial Aid office that can guide you through the various options, Pell Grants, scholarships, grants, and loans available such as Coastline Promise, EOPS. Please read our other blogs that can also link you to these available resources. 5 Ways to Get Free Money for College, Ten Ways to Reduce the Cost of College, (LINKS)
Study after study, report after report about higher education, show the value of getting a college education. The personal and financial rewards to getting a degree and graduating from college far outweigh the costs for the average student. Despite the student debt derived from attending college, the positive impact on one’s life are enormous. Although college tuition is increasing, it is still the best investment you can make, which is in yourself. You cannot take away your education. It will always be with you. Bottom line, the cost of being a college dropping can cost you the chance of being a better person and having a more fulfilling life.