College is a valuable investment

Though four-year universities require payment of high-cost tuitions, the value of attending a university is worthwhile.


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Tuition costs may be high but the education and experience of college is worthwhile.

Marc Dejagger, Staff Writer

According to Forbes, college admissions prices increased by 800% after inflation in the past 50 years. It now costs an average of over $100,000 to attend a university for all four years. The cost of tuition is not news to college students and it does not endear college to many people, and no wonder. 

Student debt is a massive detriment to young graduates seeking career opportunities. The investment required to attend a four-year university means the decision to enter a four-year track in pursuit of a college degree should not be made casually. A reasonably guaranteed return on investment is essential. 

That being said, a good return can take many forms. It may look like a six-figure salary, but it may also look as simple as a fulfilling career and a fruitful ministry. This is why when students are considering college they must think carefully about their return on investment, but also keep an open mind to the leading of the Spirit, not just to the bottom line. College is pricey, and not always necessary, but it is almost always helpful.


Something that I am usually asked by my friends who elected not to spend four years at a university is something along the lines of, “Is it worth it? Are you really learning anything there that you couldn’t just learn on the job?” The answer to the second question is simple— not really. 

With the exception of high-expertise fields such as medicine or engineering, most of the information and skills college students learn in universities are not exclusive to the halls of higher education. Learning on the job is almost always faster and more efficient than a classroom, and actual employees in a particular industry have far more reliable and accurate experience to share and from which to learn. 

It is clear that very little of a college education is exclusive to academia. With that in mind, people sometimes arrive at the conclusion that college is a total waste of money for anyone outside of a highly technical and specialized degree. While it is certainly true that college is not essential, and there are plenty of other options for emerging adults, those considering higher education or an alternate route must not throw the baby out with the bathwater and abandon the practice entirely. 


College is accessible enough nowadays, mostly because of the abundance of scholarships. Most people manage to meet the criteria and apply for state and federal student aid or merit scholarships through universities. This has made it possible for employers to discriminate heavily in favor of college graduates because of the opportunities for students to attend university through access to these resources. The employee market is so oversaturated with college graduates that there are more than enough to fill every new job’s season worth with employees. 

Regardless of the practical usefulness of attending university for four years, a college degree is still beneficial, even if it is for nothing more than checking a box on a job application. College may not often feel very helpful, but at the very least, it will be useful in getting your foot through the door for a career, not to mention the gathering of social capital and networking with other college students that will also have careers in the future.

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