Social benefits of college outweigh financial burdens

From a young age, people are told their ultimate goal is to go to college so they can become what they want to be in life. Once it’s time to go to college, there are, of course, many benefits, but it also comes with a great financial burden.

College is about growing, maturing, finding out who you are as a person and figuring out where you want to go in life. With more and more youth encouraged to go to college these days, guardians are finding out that cost has increased significantly since they went to college.

An increasing number of students in undergraduate programs are forced to take out loans to help pay for school. Most people who graduate from college leave with a massive amount of debt.

With the economy still in tough shape, recent grads are finding it more difficult than ever to find jobs and pay off their loans. According to, 48 percent of students who take out college loans and are no longer in school said repaying the debt makes it harder to make ends meet.

The studies also show that 71 percent of adults say it is harder for today’s youth to pay for college than it was for their parents’ generation. In addition, it mentioned that 82 percent of all adults say it is harder for young people to find a job than it was for their parents’ generation.

Constance Smith, a recent college graduate from New York, is living proof that there is a real struggle to find jobs after graduation.

“I graduated from New York University in May of 2013,” Smith said. “I have interned and worked for different companies. I’ve had many interviews, but still it’s been hard to get a full-time job.”

Just because you go to college doesn’t necessarily mean you will be successful once you graduate. It also doesn’t mean you will be truly happy with your career choice.

After seven years of practicing law, Nirvana Dove, from Washington, realized that law was not her passion.

“I graduated undergrad from the University of Pennsylvania and went to law school at Emory University,” Dove said. “After starting my career as a lawyer, I soon realized I spent a great deal of money on school, and I did not really want to be a lawyer any longer.”

Although there are many issues with attending college, there are also plenty of benefits. Undergrad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The experiences that students gain from college are instrumental to the way their lives will play out.

Also, when college graduates do get jobs, they will make more money than people with just high school diplomas. Even though it may be hard to find jobs after graduation, college students are given plenty of opportunities for internships and other great experiences, such as studying abroad, that would otherwise not be afforded to them.

Lafayette College gave Tristan Thompson, a teacher in Teach for America, a number of opportunities to expand his horizons, including studying abroad.

“College offered me many opportunities that I never in a million years thought I would be able to do,” Thompson said. “I was given the chance to study abroad in South Africa my senior year and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.” 

Another great opportunity that college students have is networking. Students in college often have the chance to meet alumni from their schools who are usually trying to recruit for the companies they work for.

Alumni can be beneficial in connecting students to other influential people, which may help them with their career choice. Many college students also get to network when companies come to recruit talent at career fairs and workshops the colleges may hold.

Though college may have a heavy financial burden, there are still plenty of great things that come with it, such as an abundance amount of opportunity and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.