A lot of questions (complaints, mostly) usually surround the debate about whether college is worth the money, given how much it costs. The question is understandable. Over the past decade, private college tuition and fees have risen 70 percent, more than twice the rate of inflation, according to the College Board. Public college tuition and fees have doubled in the same timeframe.
However, while college debt has proven to be a chokehold financially for a large population, a four-year degree is still great insurance, especially within this competitive job market. Unemployment rate for people with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 4.5 percent in July, compared to 10.1 percent for those with only a high school diploma. In a study reported by the Economix section of the New York Times, a worker who obtains a professional degree will receive median annual earnings nearly four times those of a worker with just a high school diploma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that median weekly earnings for a person with a bachelor’s degree was $1,025 in 2009, compared with just $626 for those with only a high school diploma.
In addition, college should not just be measured in job satisfaction, but also should be documented through the roll it plays in personal development. There are countless intangible benefits students can get out of college. Ranging from friends and connections to an appreciation of subjects like art and philosophy, these benefits are never depicted within a chart or a poll.
What would the great political theorist think about this phenomenon? It seems to answer this question, one must take in the social and educational norms during these theorist’s eras. For someone like Hobbes, education led to pursuing a process of socialization, or of moral education. Likewise, Locke believed education provides the character formation necessary for becoming a person and for being a responsible citizen. Would most other theorist believe these claims?
Overall, the question surrounding the importance of education is a topic that is gaining more and more publicity. Here, I hope people can list their feelings on this ongoing affair.