The growing cost of education
With students taking on more debt, the cost of education has grown to have more than just significant financial implications. In these clips, you’ll hear about the rising costs of college and the ultimate question: "is it worth it for me?"
MALE: Absolutely. Learning how to make friends and going to parties and all those kinds of things are an incredibly important part of the college experience.
FEMALE: And community building and networking.
MALE: Right, but you can do that in Thailand for three months you know, for two thousand dollars as opposed to going to college for sixty three thousand dollars.
FEMALE: It’s not the same thing. It’s totally not the same thing. I mean the group work, there’s a group dynamic. An economist here at Harvard, Larry Katz talks a lot about how even like liberal arts degrees teach you a lot of very important soft skills. It’s hard to quantify that. It might be hard to see that five years out of college, but it does teach you how to be adaptable, how to think critically, how to think analytically and these are going to be really important to thrive in the modern labor market.
FEMALE: I got my Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting and I’m currently a waitress in a bowling alley and I graduated with Latin Honors from Boston University but I serve beer to other college kids.
HOST: If someone comes to you and says that I’m going to do this. I’m going to take out X amount of money and I’m going to get a third level degree. The return on investment on that is quite different, isn’t it?
FEMALE: Well not necessarily. I think that’s taking a short term perspective. I mean she graduated during a tough economy but in a rough economy, your best hedge against downturns and risk is an education.
MALE: Well think about it like this. We have the highest high school graduation rate in American History at 81 percent. 86 percent of those students actually end up going to college. Out of those 86 percent of students who graduate high school and go to college, what we’re finding is that only 56 percent of those students actually stay in school and graduate.
That doesn’t mean that those students who don’t complete high school or don’t complete college, don’t have a place in the work force. What it means is that we have to come up with alternative routes for these students to actually be able to pursue a learning experience.
What Dale is pursuing is one option, it shouldn’t be the only option and I think one of the tricks here is making sure that the options we create aren’t for just those who can afford to not go to college. College is a safety net. That’s why I’m going to college. But there are opportunities that students who don’t have the privilege of having the familial support to go on and pursue other learning experiences but there needs to be a development of those opportunities.