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Miller

Ryan Miller

Mrs. Cramer

Comp Pd. 4

7 December 2018

Every Student’s Life Changing Decision

After high school, every student must make a choice that will change his or her life

forever. This life-changing decision is whether to go to college. The decision to go to college in

modern society is one of the largest decisions a student must make. Many people believe college

is a waste of time and money today, but others believe college is well worth the investment

because a college degree correlates with higher wages and more job opportunity. Moreover, the

benefits of a college degree outweigh the expense and time needed to pursue one. Students

should pursue a college education even though it is expensive, and people can find jobs without

one, because people with a post-secondary education earn more money and are more likely to get

a job in modern society.

First, people who have a college education are more likely to get a job than people who

do not have one. For the last thirty years, technological advances have increased the demand for

skilled workers with a college degree (Oreopoulos and Petronijevic 14). The constant new

technology that is invented and used means that jobs require more training, and a college

education prepares students for the world of modern employment. Businesses are looking for

workers who can understand these new advancements that people who just went to high school

will never understand. In addition, those with a bachelor’s degree have an unemployment rate of

about half the rate of those who just have a high school diploma (“Is College Worth It?”).



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Students leaving college with a bachelor's degree are twice as likely to get a job than a person

who never went to college. Another way to look at it is that twice as many high school graduates

are unemployed compared to college grads. On the whole, it is worth getting a college education

because people with a post-secondary education are more likely to be employed than those

without.

Conversely, some people believe college is not worth the time because it is possible to

get some jobs without a college degree. Many people understand that students just getting out of

high school do not want to go through more school, and would prefer to stop there than to keep

going1. However, students must understand the benefits of a college education. Although it is

possible to get a job in today’s world without a college education, it is harder to find a job, and

these people will not make nearly as much money as they could have made if they had gone to

college. The National Bureau of Economic Research says that in 2010, there were about 36%

more workers who had a college education in the work force than there were workers who just

got a job out of high school (Oreopoulos and Petronijevic 15). This shows how there are more

people in the workforce who have a college degree than there are people without one. This

expresses how much more likely businesses will be to hire people if they have the college

education these businesses are looking for. Overall, it is worth going to college even though it is

possible to get jobs without going, because people who go to college are more likely to find a

superior job and will make more money.

In addition, students who have a college education and get a job also make more money

than their less educated counterparts with just a high school diploma. In 1980, people with a


1
Parallelism- This uses parallelism to keep the sentence structure similar and keep the clarity
and rhythm of the sentence.


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college degree earned 43% more than people without one. In 2011, the wage gap increased to the

point where college graduates earned 61% more money (Daly).2 This shows how the wage gap

between college grads and high school grads increased by 20% in the last three decades, and is

continuing to increase today. This 20% difference in wages could be the difference between just

scraping by in life, and being able to have a comfortable, stable life. Additionally, returns of a

college education are greater than ever before in terms of how much is earned over a lifetime.

(Oreopoulos and Petronijevic). This means that over a person’s lifespan, the returns in terms of

what this person earns because they got a college education is increasing from in the past. This

expresses the high value of a college education and how the value is still increasing. These

returns should be taken advantage of by students to help them have a better future. Overall, the

value of a college degree today is increasing because the wage gap is higher than it has been in

the past and the returns of a college education are greater than they have ever been in the past.

In contrast, there are people who say that it is not worth going to college, because tuition

cost is expensive and is still on the rise. This tuition rate scares students away from ever pursuing

a college education. Galegroup learning says, “For most Americans, educating their offspring

will be the largest financial outlay, after their home mortgage, they’ll ever make” (Hacker and

Dreifus). This shows how big of a decision college is because it is one of the most expensive

endeavors a person can do in life. Though it is true that college is expensive, it is the same as any

other investment. Money must be put in to get profit out. This is not just any regular investment.

This is an investment into a student’s future3, and should not be overlooked just because it has a


2
Logos- This sentence uses statistics and logic to help get the readers to appeal to the
reasoning and understand the factual differences in wages.
3
Analogy- This is an analogy that compares getting a college education and investing to give a
relatable example that makes it easier to understand why college’s cost is worth it.


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high initial cost. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco says that for most students, tuition

costs for many colleges can be paid off by the age of 40 (Daly). This means that students can pay

off their student loans relatively early in life, and everything that this student earns after age 40 is

profit from their educational investment. Even though college is an expensive investment, it is

one that is well worth it in the long run and helps pay for itself eventually.

To summarize, Students graduating high school should pursue a post-secondary

education even though it is expensive, and it is possible to obtain a job without one, because

those who have a college degree are more likely to get a job, and make more money than those

who do not. The wage gap between people who have a college education and those who do not

has been increasing for several years and is still on the rise. In addition, those who have a college

degree are more likely to get a job. It is like any other good investment. You must put money in

to get money out, and this is reflected in the wage gap between college graduates and high school

graduates. Even though people may find jobs without a college degree, they will not find a good

career as easily without a post-secondary education. The benefits of a college education are

increasing to rates never seen before and the demand for a college degree is still apparent in

modern society. The decision to go to college is a life-changing one, and it is one that if students

take advantage of, can pay off and help make a student’s future better.



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Works Cited

Daly, Mary C. and Leila Bengali. “Is It Still Worth Going to

College?” polkgoestocollege.web.unc.edu Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Web.

20 Sept. 2018.

Hacker, Andrew, and Claudia Dreifus. “Are Colleges Worth the Price of

Admission?” Galegroup Learning (2010): Web. 20 Sept. 2018.

“Is College Worth It?” Csuglobal. Colorado State University. Web. 20 Sept. 2018.

Oreopoulos, Philip, and Uros Petronijevic. “MAKING COLLEGE WORTH IT: A REVIEW OF

RESEARCH ON THE RETURNS TO HIGHER EDUCATION.” National Bureau of

Economic Research (2013). Web. 20 Sept. 2018.