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Is Higher Education (College and University) Still Relevant and Is It Worth the Time, Money, and Effort?

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Is college worth it? With tuition costs rising five times the rate of inflation over the last three-plus decades, more families are asking this question. For most students who finish and earn their degree, the evidence suggests the answer is ‘yes’ — says new research conducted by Ipsos and Navient. The study, “Money Under 35,” explores the financial health of Americans between 22 and 35 years of age

The study reveals that college graduates have higher levels of employment and income. In fact, the study found that 80% of bachelor's degree holders are employed full time, compared with just half of their peers who started college but did not finish.

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People in the past did not stress value of receiving a higher education because it was not as indispensable as it is today. Now, people perceive others not only by their appearances, but by their accomplishments. Employers always hire people with the most education and experience. The majority of students are concerned about getting a higher education throughout the years. Nevertheless, some people question the purposes of getting educated, and consider it meaningless. The concept of education has a significant meaning. It enables one to take control of knowledge and apply it. It is education what prepares the mind to comprehend and learn important ideas. College students get to analyze other subjects that they may have not shown an interest in before; that will help them construct their career. Getting the necessary skills students need, will assure their success on anything they choose to do

“It is the education which gives a man a clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, and a force in urging them”. Education gives students a better understanding their own opinions, and judgments; it creates anxiousness in developing them, a fluency in expressing them, and a power in urging them. The economy will grow if the necessity of getting a higher education is reinforced. Education is the foundation of a country’s economic growth and the key to rid a nation of poverty. To illustrate, Japan is a country with no resources, but since it has a good educational system; Japan has the second richest economy worldwide. On the other hand, Nigeria is a country that is rich in resources, but low in education; as a result, the majority of people there are poor. A higher education creates a quality workforce,; besides it will promote economic stability by growing and training students for success. Such training will capacitate hard working people, which will do well to The United States economy. The government should invest more of its money on helping those students that cannot afford college.

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Given the findings in my literature review, I have concluded that whilst the question of whether higher education leads to a higher income has been asked and studied on a number of occasions, a conclusive result is yet to be published. The indicative findings are that generally, higher education does procure a higher income however; it is still undefined as to the extent of its impact and whether it improves the quality of living for the individuals concerned. For instance, a study carried out by O’Neil (1995) indicates that there is a strong relationship between higher education and higher income which compounds the view held by De Gregorio and Lee (2002) who state that higher education went some way to reducing income inequalities. Many of the studies I researched were interested in looking at different countries as an independent variable including Blaug (2001) who in a study of thirty countries found that the correlation between higher education and higher income was three-fold: economic, sociological and psychological – all of which led to a strong relationship between the two. However, it is clear that the despite numerous studies, the main gap in findings is the extent to which higher education improves an individual’s earning prospects and this would be my central focus. My study would preoccupy itself with filling this gap by focusing on the extent to which higher education would improve the potential to attain higher earnings.

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In fact, students often underestimate the long-term cost of college, according to a recent survey of recent and upcoming graduates by Cengage, an education and technology company based in Boston. The survey found that on average, near-graduates think it will only take six years to pay off their student loan debt, but other data shows it will likely take 20 years. Students also overestimate the likelihood they will land a job related to their education shortly after graduation.

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Blaug, M. (2001). The correlation between education and earnings: What does it signify?. Higher Education, 1(1), 53-76

Card, D. (1999). The causal effect of education on earnings. handbook of labor economics, 3(1), 1801-1863.

De Werfhorst, H. v. (2011). Skill and education effects on earnings in 18 Countries: The role of national educational institutions. Social Science Research, 40(4), 1078-1090.

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