College Problems: Is It Worth It

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The debate on whether college is worth the student loan debt that is attached to it and whether its effects on life later is worth it has become an issue that many people struggle with throughout their life. The continuing increase in the cost of college and the decrease in opportunities for help with tuition have created many issues for people who all wonder if the time spent for their degree was worth what they are receiving in the end. For many years, people have acknowledged the cost of college being high, but have not found ways or solutions to prevent leaving college with nearly unpayable debt and a lifestyle that truly isn’t a life because of the debt. Rising college cost have caused a great conflict and debate amongst people. The cost of college must be lowered or tuition will continue to be more expensive, there will be a loss of financial aid opportunities, and an increase in the amount of problems created for students in their future.

The cost of college has been a growing concern since the 1980s and is continuing to be a significant issue. Prior to the 20th century, college was considered a privilege rather than something that was expected. In the article ‘Student Loan Debt Levels and Their Implications for Borrowers, Society, and the Economy’ it was stated that, ‘Policymaker concern about levels of student debt is not new. As early as the mid-1980s, federal lawmakers expressed concern about the growth in student loans and the change in the ratio of grants to loans, in the sense that the proportion of grants was diminishing while that of student loans was increasing’ (Cornelius 36). In reference to high college cost and student loan debt some people believe that the cost needs to be changed so that things can improve. People have also realized that the student loan debt is causing greater issues besides debt and are affecting the lives of graduates causing them to get a later start on their lives post graduation. These issues have yet to be solved.

Providing more opportunities for grants instead of offering more loans will lower the number of students who are in debt. There would not be such an abundance of students leaving school in significant debt if over the years the federal government increased the number of grants to match the dramatic increase in college costs. The qualification requirements for student grants should be altered so that they are not only benefiting some but instead many people. When preparing for college there are many opportunities for students to recieve help for college funding. On the grant’s side of the spectrum there are two types, which are merit-based and need-based. The need-based scholarship is a scholarship in the form of money and the dollar amount is based on the family’s contribution to the individuals schooling, the college costs, and family’s income. The merit-based scholarship is based on the student’s achievements, academics and the student as an all round person. Fifteen thousand students are nominated for the merit-based scholarships every year and are awarded that money toward their schooling and preparations for college. More funding for these scholarships and grants can be gathered through fundraising, reaching out to community businesses for yearly donations, partnering with different sports companies, also offering manageable loan forgiveness and easier repayment plans that give people time to pay their debt off.

Critics argue that more people receive need-based scholarships than the number students receiving merit-based. Many of the students that need a need-based scholarship don’t have the resources that allow them to get a merit-based or come from such a low income family that college was once never even a thought. It is stated that ‘among those [are students]…with annual household incomes of less than $30,000’ (Adam 61). For example, a wealthier student can pay for and take the ACT and SAT as many times as they need along with buying study packages, whereas a student from a low-income family can only take the ACT twice because the fee waiver will only allow them to take the test two times. The fee waiver excludes the study packages, therefore leaving the student unprepared. In order for students to have a fair chance at receiving free money so that they leave college with little to no debt, students must be given equal opportunities from the start. Students should be offered equal opportunity for receiving financial help towards college especially in the form of grants.

The cost of college is something many students question when applying and often times the cost of college not only affects their lives at the time but also in the future. The amount of debt accumulated also alters their decision in major. Many times students will choose a major that will support them the best financially so that they are actually able to pay back their student loans. This has caused many students to go from ‘public service careers, to more lucrative employment’ (Cornelius and Frank 37). Changes in career choice due to money causes a shortage of employees in the educational system, public work, and social welfare (Cornelius and Frank 37). Not only does the large amount of student loan debt change the path of the student, but it also causes a change for the community and economy. With fewer people in certain work fields, a gap is created. If there are fewer teachers, this means that there are fewer people to teach students so that they are educated enough to make it to college. Lowering college costs so that the student debt is manageable will allow students to choose a career they are most interested in, best at, and overall enjoy. This will not only prevent the gap in the economy, but also allows more people to do what they are passionate about instead of something they feel obligated to do.

Because many disagree with the costs of college, they often ask themselves, is college worth it? There is currently one trillion dollars of student loan debt in the U.S and the number is continuing to rise. This number has discouraged many students from going to college and taking on the abundance of debt that may ‘doom [them] to a life of regret and ramen noodles’ (McGrath 1). One student talked about how he has asked himself the question ‘was college a waste?’ multiple times after receiving his bachelor’s degree in business. He says that ‘the debt of student loans has consumed [his] life’ (McGrath 1).

Many say that the general rule of thumb when taking out student loans is to not borrow more than what the first year salary will be. In some cases critics argue that borrowing more than the starting salary is worth it which could be true for some but usually is not the case for most students. Students are most successful when they have ways to prevent debt. Many students have adapted a mindset of going to a school that will still give them the same degree but cost less money; students choose not to commit to their number one school choice with a tuition that’s much higher. The choice to receive the same curriculum and fulfill the same purpose while spending less money creates less stress later in life. The thought process of committing to the second school choice helps to prevent putting life on hold after college because of the debt acquired.

Many students have and will continue to suffer from the cost of college being excessively high, the decrease in financial aid opportunities that do not have to be paid back, and will create problems for students in their future. People have failed to realize that there is more to the cost of college being high and the causes of student loan debt have become bigger issue for most graduates and families. The way to change the college problems that people face today is by realizing the issue and implementing change for a better future. Without change there will never be a positive outcome; there will be more cons than pros to college. The change in college cost will provide a better life for students, their futures, their aspirations, and also the economy.

Works Cited

  1. Adam, Michelle. ‘Is College Worth It?’ Education Digest, Feb. 2012, pp. 58-61. ERIC.
  2. McGrath, Maggie. ‘Money Isn’t Everything: When It’s Worth Taking on $50,000 Or More In Student Debt.” Forbes, 2014, pp. 11. Business Source Premier.
  3. Cornelius, Luke, and Frank, Sharon. ‘Student Loan Debt Levels and Their Implications for Borrowers, Society, and the Economy’ vol. 42, no. 2, Mar. 2015, pp. 35-37.

Cite this paper

College Problems: Is It Worth It. (2021, Oct 04). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/college-problems-is-it-worth-it/



Is it worth it to not go to college?
There is no one answer to this question. It depends on the individual and their goals.
What are some negatives of going to college?
Some negatives of going to college are that it can be expensive and time-consuming.
What are the top 3 major problems concerns issues specifically for college students?
The top three major concerns for college students are mental health, money, and relationships.
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