The value of a college education

Essay by ballerali2003A+, April 2005

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The value of a college education

People are asking this question more and more these days. Is it worth it to get a College degree? Many people think about their opportunity cost of working full time right after high school, the job outlook and that they will accumulate thousands of dollars in debt and decide to skip college. This is especially true for low income families who do not need the burden of college tuition and other fees. People look at an education as an investment and as you may know, people look at investments differently some think it's a losing choice and some think it is the winning jackpot.

But as anything else before making a judgment on something, we need to examine what is known about the value of an education and the rate of return on the investment both on the individual and on society. There is credible evidence to show that the rate of return of a college education is worth the burden of financial investment associated with pursuing a college degree.

Individuals can say that the rate of return is not always constant but historically the return has always been worth the burden. These sizeable differences in lifetime earnings put the costs of college study in realistic perspective. Most students' today-- about 80 percent of all students--enroll either in public 4-year colleges or in public 2-year colleges. According to the U.S. Department of Education report, Think College Early, a full-time student at a public 4-year college pays an average of $8,655 for in-state tuition, room and board (U.S. Dept. of Education, 2002). A full-time student in a public 2-year college pays an average of $1,359 per year in tuition" (U.S. Dept. of Education, 2002). These static's from the U.S. Department concludes that...