There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether everyone should go to college. Some people may benefit greatly from earning an academic degree, while others may find that a different path is more suited to their needs and interests. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to attend college should be made based on what is best for the individual.
Those who do choose to pursue a college education will find that there are many benefits to doing so. A college degree can open up opportunities for better jobs and higher earnings, it can provide access to networks of like-minded individuals, and it can help develop critical thinking and communication skills. Of course, attending college is not free, and there is no guarantee that it will pay off in the long run. Nevertheless, for many people, the advantages of going to college outweigh the costs.
There are also some drawbacks to attending college. The cost of tuition and other associated expenses can be prohibitive, and not everyone is cut out for the rigors of academia. In addition, the transition from high school to college can be challenging, and some students may find themselves struggling to keep up with their coursework. For these reasons, it is important to carefully consider whether or not college is the right choice before making any decisions.
In Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill’s article, Should Everyone Go to College, published in Washington at the Center on Children and Families at Brookings. The authors explore both the advantages and disadvantages of attending college, with a focus on how most studies have increasingly emphasized the importance of quality education after high school.
The article also states that “college graduates earn about $1 million more over their lifetimes than do high school graduates.”
Additionally, the article discusses how college is not for everyone and that there are different paths that can lead to success. The authors end the article by giving three policy recommendations:
First, they recommend that we should make sure that all students have access to quality K-12 education so that they can be prepared for college if they choose to go.
Second, we need to provide better information to students and their families about the costs and benefits of going to college and different types of colleges so that they can make informed decisions.
And third, we need to do more to help students who start college but don’t finish. Overall, the article provides a detailed overview of the advantages and disadvantages of attending college and states that although college is not for everyone, it is important to provide access to quality education and information so that students can make informed decisions about their future.
But they also explained how some things go unnoticed, like the fact that not every college graduate or all college degrees are equivalent. “For certain schools, majors, occupations, and individuals, a college may not be a smart investment” (Owen & Sawhill). Although going to college is encouraged for many people because it often leads to success, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some people do not need a college degree succeed in life.
Some high school graduates go into the workforce, start their own businesses, or travel instead of attending college. There are many opportunities for those who choose not to go to college. “In some cases, students are better off pursuing on-the-job training or an apprenticeship” (Owen & Sawhill, 2013).
For example, someone who wants to be a welder does not need a college degree; they would need to attend a trade school. There are also many fields where experience is valued more highly than formal education.
People in these positions often learn through on-the-job training or internships rather than in a classroom. Going to college is a personal decision that depends on each individual’s goals and interests.
Some people attend college but do not finish their degree. “About 30 percent of Americans who start college never finish” (Owen & Sawhill, 2013). The cost of tuition and the time commitment are two reasons why people do not complete their degree. In some cases, people drop out of college because they are not interested in the subject they are studying. It is important to choose a major that you are passionate about because you will be spending a lot of time and money on your education.
Attending college is a big decision that requires careful consideration. There are many factors to consider when making the decision to go to college, such as the cost, time commitment, and what you hope to gain from the experience. While a college education is not right for everyone, it can be a great way to develop new skills and knowledge.
According to Owens and Sawhill, “Someone working a STEM job (science, technology, engineering, and math), with only a high school diploma can expect to make more over a lifetime than someone with a bachelor’s degree working in education, community service and arts sales office work health support blue collar jobs or personal services” (Owen & Sawhill 2013).
In addition, a study done in 2011 concludes that “a majority of college graduates say their education was worth the cost” (Carnevale, Jayasundera, & Cheah, 2011). The return of investment may not be there for everyone when they attend college. It is important to know what you want to do with your life and if a college degree is necessary to attain those goals.
Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill primarily discuss how beneficial it is to have a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. They also touch on the social and mental benefits of pursuing higher education. As I was reading their article, I noticed that they always weighed the pros and cons before giving their opinion. For example, “One way to estimate the value of education is to look at the increase in earnings associated with an additional year of schooling.”
The average college graduate earns about $1 million more over the course of his or her career than the average high school graduate.” (Owen & Sawhill, 2014). This is a direct quote from the article which stated one benefit, but if you were to look at another section it would talk about how there are some people that end up not finishing their degree and struggle with finding a job in their field.
Another example they use is, “In 2012, 14 percent of Americans ages 25 and older had completed a four-year college degree, up from 10 percent in 1980.”(Owen & Sawhill, 2014). Which goes to show how much the numbers have changed and grown since attending college has become popularized.