Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 3

Is College Really Worth It?

by Katelyn To

The average cost of tuition for a four-year college ranges from roughly $25,000 to $50,000. That doesn’t even include dorm, food, and school supply expenses. All in all, it’s safe to say that college is generally very expensive. This leads to the big question that you or your parents may have pondered at some point leading up to your high school graduation, or even college graduation: is it really worth it, or is it just a scam? 

People attend college to learn, more or less. But universities want you to enroll, not to enlighten you with that knowledge, but for the money. Many high schoolers dream of getting in to an Ivy League college. Harvard, Yale, Princeton… we’ve all heard the big names. However, while these supposedly great colleges are associated with academic excellence and elite status, in reality, they don’t offer the incomparable education that you might expect from such highly-branded schools, especially while charging over $60,000 per year. Yes, being able to say that you attended Harvard is amazing; With an acceptance rate of 5%, people obviously have to be extremely smart to get in. Those colleges are in it for the money, and attending one of these prestigious schools might not give you as big of a boost in the workforce as you might expect. 

So, if Ivy League schools, the best of the best colleges, can’t provide the education you want to be able to get a decent job, what will? Turns out, smaller colleges could be the answer.Ivy League professors focus more of their attention on research in order to uphold the schools’ stature. On the other hand, small colleges have professors that mainly devote their time toward teaching. Also, smaller classrooms, as opposed to lecture halls, allow for a better ability to interact with the professor or peers. With this information, it’s clear that you won’t get scammed for your money.

I have heard many stories of people enrolling in college, getting a degree, and finally wandering helplessly with their degree that seems a bit useless. Now, this doesn’t go to say that all degrees are useless and that no one should attend college. When it’s time for you to make these important decisions after graduating high school, just take into consideration the high expenses and relatively unsatisfactory education at Ivy Leagues, potential benefits of smaller schools, and importance in choosing the right major. Following the typical college-path isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation.