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< Back to question Is college education worth it? Show more Show less

The ever-rising costs of a university degree, coupled with increasing numbers of unemployed graduates, has left the latest generation of students pondering over whether a college education is worth it. Do the benefits of a college degree outweigh the costs?

Whether college education is worth it depends Show more Show less

The value of a university education depends on several factors including the financial assistance available, the field of study and the higher educational institution.
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Whether college is worth it depends on available financial assistance

Different governments and financial providers offer different financial assistance and loan terms. These affect how much a student pays out of pocket for their university education and therefore, impacts the return on investment.
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Context

Some governments and universities offer financial assistance or favourable loan terms to eligible students. The amount of financial assistance available to a student is a significant factor in assessing the value of a university degree.

The Argument

Someone who has to pay for all of their tuition and living expenses out of pocket will have a different threshold for assessing the value of university than someone who has received a significant sum of financial assistance or very favorable loan conditions. Many students have left college with tens of thousands of dollars of student loans to pay back, if not hundreds of thousands. Having large amounts of outstanding debt can burden someone for decades, especially if they don't immediately find a salaried job upon graduating. Finance companies may not allow you to mortgage a home, even if your credit is good and all of your student loan payments are up to date. Federal loan services also can make it difficult to understand exactly how much you will need to pay before taking out the loan. For instance, one woman has made public her student loan nightmare, in which she was told repeatedly by her financial aid office that the monthly payment would be "about $50 per loan," and then upon graduating, she found out that she would need to pay $200 per loan. There was no legal protection for her for this occurrence.[1]

Counter arguments

Even if one does not receive sufficient financial assistance to go to college loan-free, that doesn't mean that choosing to go to college is a bad financial decision. Having a college degree gives graduates access to many high-paying jobs that require degrees. On average, people with bachelor's degrees earn about $32,000 more annually than those without a bachelor's. Additionally, this earning gap between college graduates and those who have not graduated from college has been steadily widening.[2] Thus, it will be even more financially beneficial to have a bachelor's degree in the future. Securing a high-paying job as a college graduate can balance out the financial consequences of taking out loans. So, even if you don't receive financial assistance, going to college may be worth it because you will be able to get a higher paying job than someone without a degree.

Premises

[P1] To calculate the value of a university course, you must know the investment. [P2] Different financial institutions, governments, and universities offer different financial assistance and loan packages. [P3] The value of a university course depends on the financial packages available to the individual student.

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.savingforcollege.com/article/night-of-the-living-debt-five-real-life-student-loan-horror-stories
  2. https://www.aplu.org/projects-and-initiatives/college-costs-tuition-and-financial-aid/publicuvalues/employment-earnings.html#:~:text=On%20an%20annual%20basis%2C%20bachelor's,is%20a%20high%20school%20diploma.&text=The%20earnings%20gap%20between%20college,less%20education%20continues%20to%20widen.

This page was last edited on Monday, 20 Jul 2020 at 21:51 UTC

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