The College Perspective: Is College Worth the Cost?
By Evan Merida, Business Student at Everest Institute Pittsburgh

At some point every high school student will ask, “Do I need to go to college? It is very expensive and is it worth it?” The answer is simple…yes. Though it may be time consuming, and costly, college graduates will find better jobs and make more money.

The College Board shows that as of 2010, the average cost at a community college for an associate’s degree is $2,544.00 per year. For a four year degree in-state education would cost approximately $7,020.00 per year; out of state $11,528 per year. Private Universities can cost as much as $26,273.00 annually. Full-time students can expect completion of a degree to take 2-6 years.

Despite the cost and time it takes to complete a degree, studies show that college grads will have a wide variety of career choices. The University of California, San Diego compiled its fifth annual list of “Hot Careers for College Graduates.” Jobs on this list range from Insurance Sales Agent to Public Relations Specialist to Management Analyst. Salaries range from $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 per year. The list also includes titles such as Software Developer, Market Research Analyst, Accountant, and Elementary School Teacher.

A college degree means more money. Statistics show that with a degree graduates can earn several hundred thousand to a million dollars more over their lifetime. The United States Census Bureau shows that a median salary for a PhD is $100,000.00 or more; with a Masters it’s $63,000.00 annually; with a Bachelors it is $55,700.00. An Associates Degree holder can earn an average of $42,000.00, while those with a high school diploma will bring home approximately $32,500.00. Clearly, according to this source, those with more education can earn more money.

Yes, students will have to commit a lot of time and money into a degree but having a satisfying job that pays well will make it worthwhile. The late Nelson Mandela said “Education is the Most Powerful Weapon Which You Can Use to Change the World.”