Sample Term Paper on do the Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs?

Do the benefits of college still outweigh the costs?

In recent years, it has been the trend that while college fees are surging upwards, wages have either been decreasing or stagnant. Moreover, when other factors such as increasing unemployment are considered, the debate on whether going to college is worth it kicks in. Many big-time entrepreneurs have not gone to college, causing a wave across the globe that it is not worth it. This paper thus looks at the issue from both the financial perspective as well as the intellectual, the teaching of life skills.

From an economic viewpoint, the return that one gets from attending college has on average been decreasing (Abel &Deitz, 2014). Wages in the formal sector, which is the white-collar jobs that many college graduates go for, have on average been stagnant. This even with increasing demands from employers to meet targets. There are more people graduating college today than there has been in history, and the number of jobs is not growing at the same rate. With high demand for jobs and low supply, employers have more power on job-seekers. Moreover, many of the job-seekers today cannot find jobs, meaning that they are either jobless, even with a college education, or are underemployed, earning lower pay for a job for which they are over-qualified. Many college graduates today spend the first few years of their life paying tuition loans while their colleagues are busy investing their money.

At the same time, their colleagues who honed their skills at home and started their companies are driving Maserati’s. A few years ago, having a college education always meant having more money than the person who did not. Presently, that reality is not so certain. It may be that the average college person earns $1 million more over their lifetime than the one who did not, but it can be argued that this is more due to the nature of the person who can manage to attend college (Bialosky, 2015). Some of the wisest computer geeks around do not go to college; they did not have to. Information in the current world can be found anywhere. What one needs are a computer and some internet, and the world is open to learning. People have been self-taught for decades, but the world of today has made it more of reality, the sources of information are almost infinite.

The reality is that college education today is ill-equipped for the demands of the modern workplace (Peralta, 2014). Where college education is theoretical, the modern workplace is more practical. Where college education teaches students what to read, the modern workplace demands people who know how to think. Where college brings out soft individuals who do the minimum to earn good grades, the world out there requires toughness, determination, and perseverance. Perhaps the biggest reality of how ill-equipped college education today is that many corporations still have to conduct intensive training exercises for new hires before they can assimilate them into the workplace.

In conclusion, college education today is too expensive for the benefit it derives. While the economic return to college still outweighs the costs, this has been due to stagnation or decrease in wages which has kept the college wage premium high. The modern world has created numerous opportunities for learning, and the benefits far exceed those of going to college. While the curriculum of self-learning is perfectly fit your needs, it is also way less expensive and is flexible to one’s other demands. College is getting more expensive but does less in the way of preparing one for work and life.



Abel, J. R., & Deitz, R. (2014). Do the Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs? Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 1-20.

Bialosky, B. (2015, May 31). Is a College Education Still Worth the Cost?

Peralta, K. (2014, June 24). Benefits of College Still Outweigh Costs, Fed Study Says.