Value of College Essay

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Is a College Degree Worth the Cost? As the costs of higher education continue to skyrocket, more and more people are asking, is a college education worth the financial investment? To answer this question, it is imperative to understand the economic, societal, and personal benefits that a college education unlocks. Many who choose to pursue a college degree face financial burdens from student loans and lost potential wages. However, evidence indicates that the long-term benefits from attaining a college degree vastly outweigh the costs, and these benefits extend past the individual to their families and society at large. College education is an investment that will never depreciate. Once attained, a college degree enables an individual to earn higher wages in the future. In general, college graduates earn more than those with only a high school diploma. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the median annual income in 2011 of male high school graduates working full-time was $34,303 and $24,970 for female-full-time workers. However, the average incomes in 2011 for males with a bachelor degree were $56,334 and $40,415 for females.1 Aside from highlighting gender inequality, it illustrates the drastic disparity in earnings between individuals with college educations and those with only high school diplomas. Individuals only with high school diplomas face difficulties when trying to advance in their career. Their wages are significantly lower and their stress levels are higher. This is often because a self-taught person must push themselves twice as hard to understand abstract concepts as someone who has had a formal college education. Higher learning leads to higher earning. The U.S. Census Bureau has determined that each successively higher education level attained is associated with an increase in earnings. Over an adult’s working life, high
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