Is College Worth It


College education is one area that many people in the United States of America have invested and continue to invest in. It is widely believed that with college education, one has a better chance at life in terms of professional and personal development. College education has long been seen as a good avenue through which one may access and effectively exploit economic opportunities both domestically and internationally. However, the cost of acquiring college education has risen in the recent past and continues to rise even at present. A debate has thus ensued as to whether college education is really worth its cost in the prevailing economic situations. While there are arguments that college education is not worth it in the current society, this paper contends that college education is indeed worth it irrespective of the prevalent economic conditions.

College education is worth acquiring because those with a college degree earn substantially higher as compared to their counterparts who have secondary school education. The earning gap between the two groups only continues to become wider even as the economy transforms. As pointed out by Weston (2015), “High school graduates earn about 62% of what those with four-year degrees earn, according to a Pew Research Center study.” In the year 1979, those with high school education used to earn 77% of what college graduates earned; a proof that the earning gap is indeed increasing (Weston, 2015). It would thus not be advisable to forego college education and settle for high school education because in effect, that means settling for lower earnings. Under normal circumstances, an investment that attracts higher returns on investment is worth considering or pursuing and so is college education.

College education also adds on to the market value of college graduates making them more valuable than non-college graduates. As clearly stated by Selingo (2015), college degree is highly valued by the job market of today and prospective employers view it as the minimum educational requirement for employment. This then implies that in comparison to high school graduates, college graduates would easily secure job opportunities. With college education, one thus opens more economic opportunities for themselves. This is why Weston (2015) advises that in the current economy, everybody should “consider some post-secondary training if they do not want to fall down the economic ladder.” Irrespective of the program one undertakes in college, they would enhance their market value by amassing as much professional experience as possible and thereby commanding better earnings.

It is also worth pursuing college education because with it, one gets into a better position to acquire and enjoy the benefits of health insurance and develop their pension plans.  “In 2011, the percentage of full-time workers offered pension plans by their employers who chose to participate ranged from 77% for those without a high school diploma to 94% for those with an advanced degree” (Baum, Ma & Payea, 2013). It is further noted by Baum, Ma & Payea (2013) that higher levels of educational attainment put one in a better place to have a health insurance cover that is provided by their employer. With a health insurance, one can be sure of medical attention whenever they need it while with pension plans, one is sure to live a dignified life after they retire. Therefore, one would suffer less financial burden if they have these two provisions, both before and after retirement. As is evident here, the benefits would far outweigh the cost at which college education is acquired.

One argument against college education is that it plunges students into huge debt burdens. Selingo (2015) argues that the $400 average monthly wage that fresh college graduates get is not enough for servicing their student loans. The scholar contends that with such little earnings, college graduates may end up repaying their loans for long. Supporters of this opinion hold that being in debt overshadows the value the students might have got from the education given that it is costly to acquire. However, this argument ignores the fact that as they continue to work, college graduates develop professionally and continue earning more than their starting salary.

Opponents of college education also front an argument that the market value of students does not benefit from college education. Apparently, this explains why people with college education may find themselves in odd jobs such as being hotel attendants.  According to Selingo (2015),““Looking at the actual return on the costs of attending college, careful analyses suggest that the payoff from many college programs — as much as one in four — is actually negative”. However, this argument is off the mark because as revealed herein, college education increases the market value of students and that is why they earn more than high school graduates.


College education is worth it given the many benefits it sires. One should pursue college education at all costs even if it means running into debts. It would be satisfying to service the loan knowing very well that afterwards, one would continue reaping the benefits of the education. Increased market value, higher earnings, health insurance cover, and retirement plans all make college education a necessity. Deliberately failing to acquire college education is thus akin to deliberately settling for less in life.



Baum, S., Ma, J., & Payea, K. (2013). Education Pays 2013: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society (1st ed., pp. 1-48). The College Board. Retrieved from

Selingo, J. (2015). Is college worth the cost? Many recent graduates don’t think so.. Washington Post. Retrieved 21 November 2017, from

Weston, L. (2015). Why College Is Still Worth It Even Though It Costs Too Much. Retrieved 21 November 2017, from 

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