I was reading this article http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/cost-of-freedom/2012/03/05/college-worth-cost when I got to thinking about the cost of college. Now, I’m not sure that my blog post directly relates to that post but…..
I have a theory that one of the reasons people complain too much about the cost of college is because they are getting nothing out of college. I went to a school were education costs were around 30K a year and, with some financial support, I paid it all. Does college cost a lot? Yes. Is it worth the money? Yes, but only if you are going to a school that truly values undergraduate education and helps students grow as individuals.
So, when I hear someone say that the cost of college isn’t worth it, I argue that the cost of the school you went to might not be worth it. Not college as a whole.
I think a big part of the question is how we calculate worth. From one perspective, we could look at it from a perspective of sales – this value would be derived from from a potential future benefit, which may or may not happen. So if you go to medical school, you are bound to make a lot of money and therefore the knowledge and skills learned from school should be priced appropriately. This of course is based on a profit scheme.
In contrast, I would say people approach it more from a cost recovery perspective – how much does it actually cost to bring a person in to teach the class as well as pay for the building we are teaching in. So many of these costs have not changed at the same rate as our tuition. This is the real story we should be focusing on since costs are climbing with no real explanation.
So is education worth it? If you are a salesperson, I’m going to call you a liar. If you are in academics and want to tell me how the long term plan hasn’t panned out, then I’ll call you dishonest because you haven’t told me the whole story all along.