The Value of a College Degree

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Categories: Bolitics, For Discussion, News

With the difficult economic times that many people are facing, some are starting to question the overall value of a college education.

As millions of students labor over college applications this month, they and their parents are pondering just how big a tuition bill they want to pay.

Students are increasingly skeptical about the value of a college degree; the proportion who are willing to borrow money for college if necessary has fallen to 53% from 67% in the past year, based on a survey of 800 college students by Sallie Mae, Reston, Va.

Parents are thinking harder, too, about why they sign big tuition checks.

Yet, while some are pondering whether or not the cost of higher education is truly worth the expense, there are still many who feel that a college education is priceless and a valuable asset. They cite examples such as:

A path to a better-paying job: College graduates in general earn at least 60% more than high-school grads on average, both annually and over their lifetimes, and the income gap has been growing over time, says a 2007 report by the College Board, New York.

Finding work you love: James Landon, Apache Junction, Ariz., says this is a good reason to attend college, and he sees big public universities as the best and most cost-effective place to conduct such a search.

Gaining an influential network: Many graduates of elite colleges swear by the value of their network of campus buddies in opening doors after graduation, and say striving to gain admission to such schools is worth the effort.

So, what do you the readers think about this issue? Do you feel that the value of a college degree is suffering under these difficult economic times or do you feel that the economy is no match for the value of a college degree?

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