College Isn’t For Everyone

As a junior in high school, it’s hard not to think about college; it’s always just sitting there, in the back of my head. It feels as though every single test and quiz will effect what college I get into. Maybe that’s crazy, but it’s hard to not think about it. It isn’t just about going to college anymore, it’s about going to a good college, so you can go to a better grad school. It’s scary to think that this one decision will seemingly decide how my life ends up. Sometimes, I admit, I do feel that college is everything, but then I snap myself back to reality, and think about what’s really important.

It’s already been decide for me that I will go to college, but that doesn’t mean everyone should go to college. Listening to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton give their speeches on sending everyone to college for free (or at least subsidized) it makes my stomach turn. The truth is, higher education is becoming an issue, and throwing money at it isn’t going to fix it.

College is becoming more expensive, while the actual value is going down. More and more college students are becoming unemployed, and a third of college graduates are underemployed. Much like currency, the more people who are educated, the more the value of education decreases. If everyone goes to college, college has essentially become the new high school.

This is the issue with sending everyone to college. The average student debt is over 20,000 dollars. That debt might not be necessary if we supported small business, and helped to rebuild a healthy middle class. High skilled labor is becoming an undervalued option for high school graduates. Plumbers make around $54,000 a year on average, and that’s higher than those who just graduated college, which stands around $50,000.

Plumbers, electricians, and other high skilled labor jobs need more workers, yet everyone is too focused on college. If we subsidize college, there will be less motivation for people to pursue careers that can pay well, without the burden of student debt.

I’m not saying nobody should go to college, I’m just saying we should re-evaluate how we look at higher education, and how we can deflate higher education over time, and rebuild a strong and healthy middle class.

Sources:

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/current_issues/ci20-3.pdf

http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/plumber/salary