Is College Worth the Cost?

Opinion Reporter, Grayce Nelson, weighs in on college costs.


There are many opinions about is college worth the cost or not. What is your opinion?

Grayce Nelson, Opinion Reporter

In 2019, approximately 19.9 million students enrolled in a U.S. college in the fall. Out of those students, more than 231,000 dropped out that same semester. Studies show that 30% of students drop out of college after their first year, resulting in them earning 35% less a year than those who graduate. College is not for everyone. While some may become more successful going on a different path, others may perform well in college. Attending college has a lot of advantages, but going or not going to college should not negatively affect your future.


There is always an elephant in the room…and that’s tuition costs. The average amount for a four year college is about $22,000 a year. Tuition prices always give students and parents something to think about when it comes to college. College can put many in debt, leaving people paying off loans for the rest of their lives. So is going to college worth it?


 “For most students, experts say it remains financially worth it to go to college, despite the rising tuition costs. The average college graduate earns a salary that is over $30,000 more than an average worker with only a high school diploma, according to new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” (source: U.S. News)


Many students believe that continuing their education after high school will benefit them the most. A lot of college graduates say that college taught them more than what’s in the books. It taught them how to face real life obstacles. It does assist young students in  getting an advantage to a better salary and inspires them to expand their knowledge.


Sara Rozzell, North Little Rock High School math teacher, stated that, “College is necessary for a lot of careers, if you want to be a lawyer, doctor, or teacher. College is worth the cost.” She continued, “If you want to be a welder, [a four-year university] wouldn’t be worth the cost because you could go to a trade school.” She added, “College was the best option for me because I knew early on that I wanted to be a teacher.”


On the other hand, a lot of people believe that college is a waste of time because it does not guarantee a job after graduating. Of course, there is also the debt. Some jobs do not even require a college degree, so why go? Not every student can learn in a college environment, so another option, like trade school, would be better for them. If a student chooses a different path, it’s just what’s best for them. A lot of people have become successful even though they never graduated from college, like Bill Gates, Travis  Kalanick (CEO and founder of Uber), and Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook). All three of these billionaires dropped out of college, and now they are all some of the wealthiest people in the United States.


In my opinion, I think that students should only go to college if it will benefit them in the future. I don’t think students should go to college only because their parents want them to, because society seems to look down on those who don’t attend or drop out. I believe that students should find an option that suits them and the future they want.