The College Experience: is it worth the cost?


For years in America, college has been the primary option for students who want to further their education after high school.  With 65% of all jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, college seems like the best option for high school seniors that are ready to become independent.

However, the national student loan debt has increased six-fold over the last 18 years and there is no end in sight.  Trade jobs such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC have a large demand of workers which has caused salaries to skyrocket.  Along with other factors, many concerned students and parents have started to question whether or not the financial effects of attending college is worth it in the end.

College has been pushed for years as the best option for students to earn financial stability and be a member of the middle class; however, the evidence proves otherwise.  Around 53% of college graduates have a job that does not require a bachelor’s degree, rendering their college education useless.  Also, almost 53% of millennials have not bought a house due to student loan debt along with 52% of students who feel that taking out a loan was not worth it.

With these figures coming to light, students in high school now have to face a new question.  Are they aware of the financial sacrifice of college?

College-ready students at Bellwood-Antis are also asking the same question as their high school career nears the end.  Senior student Sean Mallon stated, “I am concerned about the cost of going to college, but the high price is a reality that comes with every school.”

All around America, high tuition rates are inescapable.  Although Pennsylvania has one of the highest costs of education in the nation, schools in all 50 states have increased their tuition by almost 37% since 2008.

Another rate that is climbing is the shortage of workers in construction companies.  66% of construction companies do not have enough qualified workers even after the President Biden signed an executive order that raised minimum wage for federal contractors.

Any form of post-secondary education is a good option for students who are looking to better themselves after high school, but at what cost?  Whether it be a trade school, the military, or college, the individual will gain experiences that come with whatever path they choose.  However, a student’s mindset of what to do after high school may have to shift from the college experience that has been suggested for years.  With rising prices and trends that show it will continue, society’s view of a college education may have to be re-evaluated.