Is college really worth the tuition?


During every senior’s last year in high school, the decision of what to do next in their lives looms and raises a big question: is going to college overrated? Although I have decide to attend college next year, I have always wondered if paying thousands of dollars for a few more years of school are really worth it.

On average, college students are paying close to one hundred thousands dollars to attend a four year university and the price increases even more if the student chooses to attend a private institution. According to the United States Department of Education, the annual cost of a public university has increased around six and a half percent each year. In 2030, they are projecting the same type of college tuition would be nearing two hundred thousand dollars.

In 2016, the average salary of a college graduate’s first year out was around fifty thousand dollars. Just think about that for a second. If a graduate would not use his or her money for anything other than paying for college, it would take two years to pay for their school or four years of their salary if tuition raises to the amount experts are projecting. That doesn’t include interest on debt or scholarships received by the student but to me, that seems pretty crazy.

In recent years, students have started to realize that attending college may not be worth the excessive amounts of money required. According to the National Student Research Center, the number of high school graduates that choose to continue their education at the college level have steady been decreasing the past four years. In 2016, the most recent estimate, only around sixty-five percent of high school graduates have chosen to attend college and just a few year ago in 2008, that number was above seventy percent.

Peter Thiel is one to believe that college isn’t for everyone.

With the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, two of the most successful men in the world of technology, deciding to drop out of school while attending college, students are starting to follow in their footsteps once the realize that college isn’t for them.

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and one of the first investors of Facebook, decided to give students like this a chance to follow in their footsteps by starting a start up company for students who are under twenty years old and want to drop out of college. These students will be given the opportunity to learn about the world of technology first hand while working with Thiel.

“We’re not saying everyone has to drop out of college. The problem in our society is the default assumption that everyone has to go to college,” he said.

Obviously, only a few will be given an opportunity to join him with the new start-up company but that’s not really the point. In my opinion, Thiel is encouraging high school graduates who don’t believe that college is for them to take a risk and not waste thousands of dollars on college if they don’t think it’ll help them. Some may think that a college degree is the key to getting a good job but in reality, there are a countless number of people who have worked hard to become successful without that degree.

Is attending college worth the cost of tuition?

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And for some who have decided to attend college, they may not be going just to get that degree.

Adam Noeth, a senior at Elder and future Xavier Musketeer, commented, “It is not overrated because over those years, people are able to build relationships and help prepare themselves for their career.”

Obviously, every person has their own opinion on whether or not attending college is worth the thousands of dollars being spent. However, I believe that each person should decide based on what they think is best for them, not to just follow everyone else.