As senior year arrives, students find themselves becoming anxious about which colleges they will attend. But as the fear of what college you attend subsides, and r your rejection/acceptance letters and college bills appear. You apply for student loans putting yourself in deep debt. You find yourself going to college because you think this will help you get a job and become successful, but as you finish college, you face the crushing realization that thousands of other college graduates are competing for the same job you want. College is becoming increasingly pointless and expensive every year. Today, over 60% of students in the United States attend college after graduating high school. A 4-year college tends to cost on average $20,000 per year or more depending on the school. The most competitive schools cost upwards of $60,000. Let’s take a look at college.
Student Debt is at an all time high in the United States. The average student loan debt a student experiences is $37,000 and today's total federal student loan debt balance is just over $1.6 trillion. While some are eligible for grants and financial aid. These incentives tend to not cover the full school tuition. The maximum amount can be in the low tens of thousands of dollars per year. Average amounts are about $9,000, with less than half of that in the form of grants. Not even savings can cover the full tuition because there are often other costs such as textbooks that could range from hundreds of dollars and the transportation costs. A person who can’t afford to pay the full tuition of college often apply for financial assistance but even at times people cannot afford the full tuition and find themselves in debt.
After four years of studying and working to pay tuition, many find themselves looking for a job. Jobs are competitive and it’s expected by many that you’ll find one since you went to school. You think this would set you apart, unfortunately one out of a million students who have gone to college. The reality is jobs are looking for experience over a college diploma and many college graduates find themselves working in places that have nothing to do with their major. 28% of recent college graduates are working at jobs that only require a high school diploma; 6% have jobs with no education requirements at all. 1 in 5 recent grads are working at jobs that are unrelated to their major. 84% of recent grads say finding a job was ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ difficult. 40% recent grads still seeking employment have lowered their salary expectations.
Life is difficult when you're finishing college because a majority of college grads are now fully independent adults. Many students find themselves only going to college because of parents expectations or because they don’t know what exactly they want to do.
An anonymous stevenson student states, I wanna get into an ivy league college because my parents want me to be successful. Me: What career are you hoping to pursue and how will an Ivy league college help you achieve that? Anonymous student: Well I’m not sure what I want to do yet but my parents say that if I get into a good college I’ll figure it out.
College for some students is the right path for them. Especially if they know what career they want to pursue. But there are many students who can’t be expected to make such a huge decision at only 18 and then expected to pay 60,000 or more in tuition a year. Tuition is constantly increasing. There are many opportunities for success and college is no longer the only one.