Preparing for College

Is college really worth it?

In the preface of their book, Funding a College Education: Finding the Right School for Your Child and the Right Fit for Your Budget, authors Alice Drum and Richard Kneedler say:

". . . a college degree does not depreciate. In fact, the college degree is increasingly the sine qua non of successful American life. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data confirm that holders of bachelors degrees have lifetime earnings nearly twice those of high school grads, and that holders of graduate and professional degrees do even better. There are also strong indicators that those who have benefited from higher education feel happier, are more fulfilled, and make greater contributions to our society."

Perhaps an often overlooked plus of a college education is the network of friends and professional contacts developed after four years among faculty, staff, and students. The staying power of that network can be quite significant over a lifetime of job contacts and friendships.

A college education is a major investment in time, resources, and money. An undergraduate degree takes at least four years and can cost up to $125,000. The knowledge and skills gathered from a wide range of teachers serve the student and reward him and her for a lifetime.

In the job market today, as qualification inflation grows, a college degree is an important, if not an indispensable, part of any career seeker's tool box. Often, it's not the specific skills themselves that employers are looking for. Many companies take on a new-hire and immediately begin in-house training in specialized skills.

The possession of a college degree implies that the holder has endured a rigorous set of requirements and has managed to satisfy them. Most have "learned how to learn" thanks to a core curriculum that has imparted an appreciation for both the practical and finer things in life. College graduates are more interesting personalities, because they have more knowledge of life.

Is college really worth it? Of course it is.

Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.