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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Edgar morales on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Econ 105A at University of California Riverside taught by Marcelle Chauvet in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see INTERMED ECON I in Economics at University of California Riverside.
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Date Created: 09/26/16
Edgar Morales Professor Rob d’Annibale English 4 L01 9/11/16 Essay 4 With our current college enrollment at an alltime high, author Caroline Bird, asks whether the 52 million enrolled college students are making the most ideal career choices. The University of Wisconsin graduate, questions what the purpose of college really is. In her essay written in 1975 “College in America” Bird claims college to be a bad investment not only financially but morally as well. She dismisses the prospect of a better future through a college education as nothing but a myth and a waste of money. Bird instead urges readers to consider an alternative for high school graduates. I disagree with Birds belief towards higher education as redundant for all high school students. Since 1975 Birds argument to discourage people from college holds little accuracy or relevance to today’s college environment. Although there may be some cases in which college may be unnecessary. Bird fails to recognize that having a college education is far more beneficial, because college allows for Americas youth to develop their ability to become productive members of society and holds an even greater economic value. As student debt rises and college enrollment increases in the millions every year, it is no surprise that we would begin to question whether or not college is worth it. The reality is that it is evidently worth it. Economically it has proven itself to be valuable and in many cases even essential to the daily lives of induvials. Take what happened during the Great Recession of 2007, more than 8.7 million jobs were lost. Catherine Rampell writes about economics for the New York Times, she points out that those who took the biggest loss were people who didn't have a college education. Unemployment peaked as high as 7.5% for those only with a high school diploma, in contrast it was only 5 % for those with a college degree. Economically the numbers clearly state what is much more safe and stable when it comes to employment. It proves as evidence that college not only provides job opportunities that others would not have, but also provides security even in times of economic downfall. You will not be as likely to be left unemployed. To ignore this fact would be to undermine a relevant benefit of attending college. Thus putting the argument of colleges efficacy to rest. Perhaps even more important once you graduate than whether or not you have a job is what you take out of the college experience. Leadership, independence, selfmotivation, and prioritizing have all been elements that I have personally improved on while my attendance at college. When I first arrived at my university, I was a very shy person, didn’t really know how to study efficiently and hadn’t really learned to take care of myself. After my first year however all of that had changed. I had learned to be more open and social with my hall mates and as a result I am much more confident, thanks to the workshops the university offered I was able learn to study in a more efficient way and I learned things I had no idea I had to learn. Like doing my own laundry, making a schedule, and learn to work with others efficiently. Aside from the academic knowledge I have acquired, I would say attaining those skills are noteworthy in making college an ideal place for high school graduates. The support and help you need to grow are all available. I would say many students could use improvements in any of those and college had is an ideal environment to hone those skills, which are not exclusive to academia but are everyday life skills. Because those are all universal tools that will be used no matter what career path you decide to choose. Even if I were to never again pursue my major and go off to be a monk, they would be important to daily life. This fact alone is strong to continue to incentivize students to pursue a college education. Attending College although expensive can influence largely the differences in living standards. The continuously increasing average student debt stands at $37,000 according to Time magazine. Many would make the misleading statement that you are off better taking all of that money and letting it stay in a savings account. Although that would have been somewhat true 50 years ago, today it wouldn't be such a smart idea. With saving interest rates being at an alltime low, you could even lose money due to inflation. Yes college is expensive but most fail to realize that it is an investment, which from the point of graduation only increases in value. The US census Bureau reported that those will a college degree on average earned 2 million dollars and those with only a high school degree made 1.2 million during their careers. Making the initial $37,000 investment doesn’t seem like a bad idea when it would mean an almost double increase in income throughout your career. Those who feel college is too expensive, are not recognizing the fact that it is in investment in your future, which evidently does pay off. In attending college you not only allowed to pursue your interest but then are also rewarded by making more money along the way. As a result students are better off investing on their education than to someday cash out a savings account. Another concern many would have in supporting a college education is the argument of a surplus of graduates and a deficit of jobs once you graduate. After all is there really a job for each and every one of those graduates? The reality is that college graduates are more likely to be employed than those with no college education. To not have a college education places you at a disadvantage. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, those with only a high school education had an employment rate of 61% compared to those with a college education at 89%. The gap between those are very significant and could mean the difference between being able to live a life and struggling to survive. It’s important that critics of the college system understand how important it is to consider your chances of being employed if you decide to give into the false belief that college is worthless. The truth is college isn’t perfect just as many other factors of America, However to say that college is not a valid institution worthy of high school student’s time or money is simply based on outdated and misleading information. It’s important that instead of trying to flee from the current education system, as Bird prefers it we should seek ways to improve a college system in which is benefiting millions of people who seek to further their knowledge. Through my own testament of learned skills and the benefits that it has brought to millions of graduating students, it is without a doubt in my mind that it is for the greater good that college remains a vital part of our students lives.