College education is worth debt

By Angie Burkhart |Staff Writer|

P1020319The benefits of attending college far outweigh the debt that is accrued when we consider the opportunities and knowledge we gain.

Statistics show that college graduates are financially more successful than those without a degree.

When I asked fellow college students why they are pursuing a degree, I got a variety of responses.

Some said it was just to land a job, and others said it was to better their life altogether, whether financially or intellectually.

CSUSB graduate Genna West said she originally pursued higher education to make more money, but found purpose in her career that during her time at CSUSB.

Some say that “knowledge is power” or that “money can’t buy you happiness,” and the drive behind my own pursuit of higher education, debt or not, lies within these cliches.

Whether the benefits of education surpass student debt, has become a very important question. I have reason to believe that the benefits do outweigh the debt.

“Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. It’s up from 89 percent five years earlier,” stated David Leonhardt in The New York Times.

Leonhardt also added that “among four-year college graduates who took out loans, average debt is about $25,000”, which in his opinion, is “a sum that is a tiny fraction of the economic benefits of college.”

My own student debt falls at about half of this average because I attended community college before transferring to a university, which is a route I would recommend to all prospective students who want to save money.

Aside from the costs associated with higher education, we have to ask ourselves what we are facing if we decide to not pursue a degree: Is the grass really greener?

“In the work world, many employers see a four-year degree as a must, even in clerical jobs,” stated author Don Lee, in the Los Angeles Times. Although there are doubts about the value of a college education nowadays, “what’s clear is that the alternative is much worse,” added Lee.

Of course, debt is undesirable, however, nothing worthwhile comes easy, let alone free.

I would like to ask you to consider this: “An alarming 70 percent of those surveyed in a recent Gallup poll either hate their jobs or are completely disengaged,” stated Beth Stebner in the New York Daily News.

Although this may not exclude college grads, a degree may give you options that individuals without a degree may not have, such as flexibility and a career path choice.

Higher education gives you the opportunity to commit your life to something you love, instead of something that is merely a means to an end, and I believe that is enough to justify the price of higher education.
West concluded with, “I absolutely love what I do. Is my debt worth it? Yes, it is.”




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