Is college really worth deep debt, high cost, uncertain career?

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 9.03.11 AMBy Emily Cheatham | Staff writer

Throughout a high school student’s years, a mention of college is brought up at least every single day by counselors, teachers, and even students. College is so important in life, basically the deciding factor in how you transition to adulthood, many of these people say.

But rising tuition rates, the increasing student loan interest rate, the extremely high price of college textbooks, and disappearing majors make the college experience become more and more depressing each year.

At the moment, the average student loan debt is about $26,000, which is roughly enough money to buy groceries for a family of four for nine years or pay the average rent for an apartment for three years. Then there is the ever-increasing interest rate on student loans, which currently sits at about 7 percent, about 10 times more than the interest rates on the money the banks borrowed during the Depression. Even with online textbooks making their wave, college textbooks, by school year, will cost about $900 total. And that’s only one year. Majors like journalism have become almost non-existent in most states, Wisconsin only having two journalism programs throughout their list of schools.

Another resource to consider is the internet. With one search word, you can become an expert in essentially any and all fields and walks of life. You don’t need a degree in statistics, not when you can just google it and learn everything about the topic on the first page of results. Why become thousands of dollars in debt when you can just google it? And then to prove it, take a $50 placement test, commonly offered in colleges to prove your knowledge on a subject, and boom! If you pass, you are certified to do statistical work. If you fail, google it again and practice more.

Getting your degree in anything arts or communications related is just a huge waste of money. If you want to direct plays, unless you plan on becoming a teacher afterwards, don’t bother with school. Go out in the world, start working as crew for local shows, make connections, and in no time at all you’ll be direct- ing shows and making a name for yourself. A lot of careers require connections — connections you aren’t going to make sitting in a classroom taking notes.

Post-secondary education is an important path to learning, but in recent years, the system has begun to fail us. Tuition prices skyrocket constantly. The same with interest rates, textbooks, room and board. Everything about college is going to send you into mass debt before you even get your first real job. Is it worth it to start your post-secondary life swimming in more student loan debt than the average person with credit card debt?