The rising cost of higher education: Is it worth it?


By Olivia Estes

It is no secret that college tuition has undertaken exponential growth in the last century in America. With growing tuition and a recent recession in 2008, people are less and less inclined to invest in a college education.

People are now realizing that college is not what it used to be; people are finding alternate ways to join the “real world” instead of facing the large prices of higher education.

Today, the primary instinct is to seek a higher education in order to be more attractive to potential employers and be in a better position to get a job.

Although higher education is still highly sought after, it is increasingly becoming unattainable because people’s incomes are not exponentially growing at the same rate as college tuitions. The cost of attending college is too high, and it is unfortunately becoming a worthless investment. The gap between income of college graduates and high school graduates isn’t as wide as it used to be.

Today, college tuition and fees are 559 percent larger than they costed in 1985. In other words, they have nearly sextupled, while consumer prices have roughly doubled.

Incomes have not increased nearly as rapidly as college tuitions, so it is becoming increasingly harder for people to afford college. However, not only the price of attending college serves as a deterrent. Recently, it has become evident that of the 29.9 percent of recent high school graduates not in college, 70 percent of them were successful in finding jobs in America without a college degree.

Furthermore, it seems that an American higher education is one of the most expensive in the world. In Mexico, the college tuition can be as low as $5,077 according to the Business Insider. Likewise, in Japan the median tuition is $22,790.

American education is becoming less desirable, especially for those that can travel to another country to receive an education for a substantially lower price.

Students are slowly moving away from the option of attending college as tuition continues to increase.

Since the recession caused governmental cuts in higher education, student loans increased.

People are therefor less inclined to invest in college. College becomes less necessary as the gap in income decreases between high school and college graduates.

If colleges were to consider specializing in one particular field, engineering or business for example, these schools would be able to stream line their operations and increase their quality of teaching.

Accordingly, colleges would be more attractive to  students with more specialized interests.

This approach could also help schools operate at a lower cost while still providing a high-quality service.


Leave a Reply