The Costs and Benefits of College

College isn’t cheap.  As obvious as that sounds, what can sometimes get lost is how beneficial it can actually be.  A person with a bachelor’s degree will earn twice as much as a person with a high school diploma over their working lives.  Come retirement age, that’s over one million dollars in extra earnings.  When put that way, shelling out the extra money for education seems like a no-brainer.

What does it cost to go to college?

The truth is that the cost of going to a four-year college varies greatly from individual to individual.  Some will stay in state, and therefore pay much less than someone going to an out-of-state school.  Financial aid plays a major role, as some students are eligible for much more than others.  According to collegeboard.com, almost half of all undergraduate college students attend a four-year college with tuition rates posted as less than $9,000 per year, including fees.  However, private universities run much, much higher; the tuition can be four to five times that number. 

For many college students, the cost of tuition is only the start.  Many live on campus and have to pay for room and board.  In many instances, this can be nearly as expensive as tuition.  Then toss books, supplies, and food into the mix, and the amount of money going toward college begins to soar.

What are the benefits of college?

Other than the obvious monetary gains that college will provide you down the line, there are many other reasons why choosing college is a smart decision. 

Networking

In today’s age of who you knows get you where you want to go, nothing is more important than networking.  College is an excellent opportunity to meet people who are going to be in the same field as you after graduation.  Building relationships can do wonders for your future career.  Colleges set up functions that facilitate these sorts of relationships, as well as giving you the opportunity to meet professionals in your field.

Personal Growth

The years of 18-22 are important ones for an inspiring young adult.  Many students are not only finding what they want to do with their lives, but who they are as a person.  Being surrounded at a university with thousands of others going through the same life decisions as you are can be very rewarding and helpful.  You will grow more in these four years then you have the entire 18 that have come before.

College can be intimidating, especially when the concept of money is thrown in.  Young students and their parents must remember that the cost of tuition, and other expenses toward college, is simply an investment for their future.  You will be hard pressed to find someone who will tell you that they regret getting their degree.