Here at College Candy, we’re huge supporters of the college experience. Whether you’re navigating the sometimes-choppy waters of freshman year or dealing with a horrible roommate, dealing with an LDR or preparing for graduation, we think all these experiences are crucial to shaping post-high school you.
Apparently not all of you agree with us, though. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that only 63.5% of those aged 18-29 believes college is a good investment. Somewhat more shocking is that 61.5% of those over 65 agree that college is a worthwhile experience. These numbers have dropped significantly since 2009- from 76.7% and 82.1% respectively.
Given the current economy, it’s not difficult to see why young people regret or want to avoid strapping themselves with hefty student loans. But for people who went to college over forty years ago, have they not enjoyed receiving a significantly higher paycheck? Or working in a field that requires a degree? Do they think that spending four years among other educated young people, sharing ideas and growing together as a generation, isn’t important?
I know we often talk about the more lighthearted highs and lows of campus life, but the truth of the matter is that colleges genuinely benefit those who graduate from their hallowed halls. Between tailgating and hooking up, five days a week you’re sitting in a classroom actually learning something and working towards a degree that will help you earn almost double what you would with only a high school diploma. Prior to reading this study, I would’ve felt this is the point at which you’d all be shouting “Duh!”, but I question that now.
College is considered an investment for a reason. While you may be feeling the financial strain of debt now, know that down the road you’ll make out better than your non-degree-toting counterparts. The jobs you receive will likely include a more complete package of health benefits, your salary will be higher, and frankly you won’t be working at Baby Gap until you’re able to retire at 75.
I realize college isn’t for everyone, and I’m not suggesting you force it to suit your lifestyle. But if the reason you’re reconsidering four years of bunk beds and communal bathrooms is because of the bleak job market we’re dealing with now, perhaps you need to think again.