College may not be worth the major debt

Matthew Carroll's view

How many college graduates does it take to screw in a light bulb?


How many high school graduates does it take to screw in the same light bulb?

You guessed it — one.

So, what is the difference? The college graduate paid $65,000 for a piece of paper that says he is more qualified to screw in the light bulb. It sounds to me like someone got played a fool.

My whole life people have told me that I had to go to college in order to succeed. But when does the cost of education become greater than the benefits?

I am a print journalism major. If I wanted to write for a newspaper, I could do it whether I had a degree or not. Putting words down on a piece of paper isn’t brain surgery. So is the extra bit of knowledge I obtain from college actually worth the small fortune it costs to go there?

My family is too poor to pay for my college outright, and too rich to be eligible for any need-based grants. We fall through the cracks of the system, and in Ohio, those cracks make the Grand Canyon look like the space between Danny DeVito’s head and shoulders. As a result, I will be paying back student loans for the rest of my natural life. I feel like Denzel Washington in the movie John Q., but instead of fighting for a heart for my dying child, I’m fighting for a brain to donate to Gov. Taft.

According to a report released by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education last year, Ohio’s grade for affordability of higher education was a big, fat F. In response, Taft has proposed a cap that would limit how much universities can raise their tuition; however, this problem does not lie with the universities, but rather with the governor’s unwillingness to support higher education. By limiting the source of funds even further, Taft is forcing universities to cut needed programs. This, in turn, makes college even less beneficial to students and does nothing to remedy the real problem of affordability.

So, many students are left with a dilemma. Is a college education really worth it? On average, college graduates have larger salaries than high school graduates. But how big a difference is it really? Remember, you must take into account the fact that high school graduates didn’t pay $65,000 for school, and they started working full time four years before the college graduates did.

I, for one, am worried that all of this might not be worth it. It seems like my only options are either to go into vast debt for my education, or to put on a uniform and play “dodge the jihad” in the Middle East to get the U.S. government to pay for my education.

So the burden lies with Gov. Taft and the state of Ohio to ensure that a college education is really worth our time and money because if they continue down this same path, Ohio will become a state full of educated homeless people and flag-draped caskets. I think it is easy to see that the benefit here outweighs the cost.

Matthew Carroll is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].