Several new studies found that an American college education may not be worth the money. The Pew Research Foundation polled 2,142 adults and about what they think of higher education and its hefty price tag.
- More than half (57 percent) of Americans polled said that a college education isn’t worth the money.
- A large majority (75 percent) said that a college education is unaffordable.
On the other hand, the majority of Americans still believe that a higher education is important, as further research showed:
- Ninety-four percent of parents said they want, and expect, their children to go to college.
- Eighty-six percent of graduates said their degree was a good investment.
These polls may seem like night and day, however I read them loud and clear: The majority of Americans want and value that coveted degree, but they don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it. With the average student debt at roughly $23,000, it’s no wonder Americans are skeptical.
“The debt picks at your brain,” said 27-year-old Erik Peterson. He graduated from the University of California and took out more than $85,000 to get his computer science degree. “For me, college has been worth it, but it does have a cost and if you come out owing money, it holds you back from starting the rest of your life.”
Pew found that the majority of those polled know that a degree means making more money. College grads reportedly earn $20,000 more a year than non-grads.
“It goes to show that the public understands that the only thing more expensive than going to college is not going to college,” said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.
It seems that expensive tuition is the necessary evil to getting a degree. However, there are ways around that huge price tag.
Fastweb.com, for instance has made it easy for college hopefuls to find every possible scholarship out there. As for grants, meeting those deadlines is key to getting the most federal aid. College doesn’t have to be expensive; it just takes a little work to receive that free education money.