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The Value of a College Education

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The Value of a College Education

The value of a college education should not be under estimated. Behind many of the doors that are closed to non-college graduates lie the opportunities that can mean the difference between wanting to hit the snooze on the alarm clock for the fifth time and wanting to get up out of bed and get to work. The pursuit of a college education will have many impacts on one's personal life. There are sacrifices that will have to be made. These sacrifices include time away from family and friends, financial setbacks because of the cost of tuition, and the stress associated with keeping up with schedules. However, there are also benefits after receiving a college degree. These benefits include the doors that are opened to college graduates, self-esteem, and the many professional opportunities that become available. So the value of a college education cannot be calculated in dollars alone. There are other factors such as job satisfaction and self-esteem that make having a college education worth the cost.

The pursuit of a college education can have many effects on a student's personal life. The sacrifices that will have to be made to earn a college degree will be plentiful and sometimes painful. Going to classes, studying, and working on class assignments can take time away from family and friends. Some classes may require many hours of reading, writing or both. The time that is normally spent with family and friends might have to be diverted to school requirements that can quickly take the breath out of a sunny weekend that could have otherwise been spent at the beach with family and friends. Other sacrifices include those things that will have to be given up because of the costs associated with attending college. Taking the family or a girlfriend out to dinner or the movies may have to be put on hold while attending college. These type of sacrifices may be the most painful as they often require the sacrifice of both family and friends.

The cost of attending college in pursuit of a degree is continuously rising. The debt that can be incurred while completing a four year degree at either a public or private school can be intimidating to the soon-to-be college student just out of high school or to the adult returning to college. Tuition, room and board, books, and other associated costs can quickly lead the perspective college student to question whether or not the benefits of completing a college degree out weigh the costs. The Eric Digest (2006, para. 4) reports that "According to the U.S. Department of Education report, Think College Early, a full-time student at a public 4-year college pays an average of $8,655 for in-state tuition, room and board." For most individuals out of high school, this cost will most likely have to be deferred in the form of student loans. As with the college student attending college directly from high school, the adult student returning to school will also feel the impact from the rising cost of attending college. The cost of attending college no matter what the age or social status of a person can be an added burden and introduce unwanted stress into their life.

The stress of leaving home for the first time can be a great deal to handle for some. Both the student going off to college for the first time and the parent watching their son or daughter leaving the nest will probably be feeling some type of anxiety. The stress for the student might come from the unfamiliar territory, strange people, or having to share a room with a stranger. These factors can add up to an accelerated hart beat, sweaty palms and a headache to say the least but that is just the beginning. After getting settled in and surviving the initial shock, the challenge truly begins. The student is presented the task of juggling time between schoolwork, a social life and possibly a job. Not only will the amount of schoolwork be a great deal to handle, the student will have to decide between a social life and completing work assignments on time. With the added pressure from peers to socialize and do anything that is not school related, the student will have to choose between good grades and the party scene. This juggling act can place pressure on a student and could result in higher stress levels. If the student does not make good decisions, use time management techniques and other measures to control these stressful situations, the college experience will be a time to forget instead of a time to remember.

One of the benefits of having a college degree is that a college graduate is more likely to qualify for employment with a quality company that offers a more attractive compensation package than a non-college graduate. Good compensation packages normally include better pay, health benefits and vacation time. Having a job that offers this type of compensation

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