Summary Report 1: Cost and Benefits of College
One of the biggest questions in today’s economy with the rising price to attend college is will going to college be the smart thing to do? There are arguments both ways for this question, but the overwhelming statistics and evidence prove that even with the increase going to college is clearly worth it. In this paper I will attempt to prove, through data and statistics, that the benefits of going to college well outweigh the cost.
One of the biggest reasons if not the only reason to attend college is to get a better job out of college than you would have not attending college. A lot of people want to question, is the pay increase worth all the debt and time college incurs? According to the Pew Research Center after surveying 2,002 people, ages 25-32 with college degrees and without, people with bachelor’s degrees earn on average $17,500 more per year than people with only high school diplomas. On top of that people with bachelor’s degrees make on average $15,500 more than people with a 2year degree/some college. Pew Research Center also conducted a survey with the same people about unemployment rate and poverty rate. 3.8% of people with a bachelor’s degree were unemployed, absolutely miniscule compared to 12.2% of the people unemployed with just a high school diploma. As it pertains to poverty, 5.8% of these people with a college degree live in poverty versus 21.8% of people with only a high school diploma. These statistics are greatly different than 20 or 30 years ago where not going to college and just getting a job straight out of high school made more sense. As these statistics show in today’s economy it is much more vital to attend college than it is to not.
If the statistics about money and unemployment aren’t enough to tell you to go to college than the statistics on satisfaction and happiness in people’s jobs just might. According to the same study by Pew Research Center 86% of people with bachelor’s degrees have a career/career track job opposed to 56% of the people with high school diplomas. In those jobs the survey states that 63% of people with bachelor’s degrees feel they have enough training to get ahead in their job versus 41% of people with a high school diploma. The last and final statistic about satisfaction in their workplace might be the most compelling argument, 53% of people with a bachelor’s degree are “very satisfied” with their job versus a whopping decrease to 37% of people with only a high school diploma. 2 in every 3 people in this survey were not satisfied with their jobs only having a high school diploma.
A very intuitive question could be asked “If college was not worth it as much 20 years ago, but is now, will it still be worth it in 20 years from now?”. According to an article by David Leonhardt in the NY Times it is extremely worth it to attend college and will be worth it for a long time to come, “The pay of people with a four-year college degree has risen compared to that of those with a high school degree but no college credit. The relative pay of people who attended college without earning a four-year degree has stayed flat”. This quote from the article refers primarily to people with a bachelor’s degree vs people who attended college but did not earn a bachelors, one can only imagine the statistics of people who did not attend college at all.
In conclusion the data and statistics can factually show that attending college in this day and age is the smartest thing to do. Whether it be the more money you will earn, the unemployment or poverty you will not have to deal with, or simply the satisfaction you will experience in your job, attending college and getting a 4-year degree is the overwhelming best thing to do for your future.