Students Should Still Stay in School

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Sabrina Abesamis

Sabrina Abesamis, Opinion Editor

It’s practically guaranteed that everyone knows at least one person struggling with student loan debt. However, it’s also safe to assume everyone knows at the very least two people with a successful career, all thanks to their college degrees. We cannot allow the recent uproar over the rising cost of higher education undermine the true value of receiving one. Although costs may be spiking lately, the opportunities made available by a college degree undeniably increase your chance of success later in life.

One only needs to look at the numbers to see that college graduates are better paid and more financially stable. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they earn twice more on average over the course of a career than those with only high school degrees or less, the average difference in income accumulating to $1 million. In addition to meeting future business contacts through networking, college clearly puts an individual on a good path for the rest of his or her life. Especially with unemployment rates these days, a college degree can give you an edge over competition. People who went to college also have a lower chance of drug abuse and are more likely to exercise and volunteer in their community. College can open doors and the mind in ways that a high school education can simply not suffice. Even artists and actors know the value of a good higher education, with almost 70% in that field still obtaining a higher level of it after high school.

Despite the increase in national student loan debt, college remains a safer investment than the stock market. Research by the Brookings Institute found that if you had about $100,000 as a high school graduate, spending that money on higher education brought twice the returns than simply investing in stocks. Even if you do not end up taking a job that requires a degree, on average you will still make significantly more in that field than a high school graduate.

Of course, critics love to point out the unique exceptions to the general rule such as Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and billionaire, who did not finish his degree at Harvard. But, unless you already consider yourself as brilliant as Bill Gates, without getting any further instruction, it’s probably still best to hit the books.