5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Go to College

Peyton Gouzien | @pgouzien

As the school year ends, many high schoolers prepare for their transition into college life. American high schools have encouraged the idea of going to college as the only option. Around 65.9% of high school students enroll in college after high school, though this large push for Americans to go to college is actually counterproductive. In reality, most Americans have no reason to be going to a traditional University or College. 

1. The Cost

The cost of college should immediately cause financial considerations to come into play. In-state, public colleges, at the lowest average, cost around $25,290 for one year. When weighing the costs of college you must keep in mind your projected income after college, loans you take out and if you can pay them back, and scholarships that decrease college cost. The price tag is already around half of many Americans’ incomes. The U.S.’s median income comes around only $60,336, making this cost a steep toll for most Americans.

This has led to many students taking out student loans, though they typically have high interest rates. The high interest rates on these loans came from guaranteed government loans and most Americans not paying off the debt until they are into their 40’s. This is concerning as 65% of college seniors graduate with student loan debt. A further cause for concern is that 11.5% of student loans are 90 days or more delinquent or default. 

2. Your reason probably doesn’t justify the cost

Unless you know for a fact your career path requires college, you may be wasting money and sinking yourself into debt. Earning a degree with no career path in mind is setting yourself up for failure. There are many alternatives that are cheaper yet still meet the goals of locking down a successful career, finding a career path, or the “college experience”. Wasting money at college for these things when you have no post-graduation plans simply burdens a student with debt.

3. The alternatives are probably better

Several paths exist that will likely be a better fit for you if college may not be part of your career path. Taking a year to mull over choices while working an entry-level job can help you save money to put toward your choice. Trade schools are cheaper than college and are focused on learning a trade. Out of their apprenticeship, Welders make six figures, a more promising prospect than most college grads. Online classes are a cheaper and more economically sound option for obtaining most degrees, outside of graduate degrees and trades.

4. More students, higher cost

The high cost of college can be explained by several factors, including the number of people going to college. Increased student body size requires more student loans to be given out. With an increase in students taking out loans, the government guarantees student loans, regardless of credit and other factors that private loans are given out on. This forces private lenders to charge higher interest rates to be able to make returns. Colleges must make up what is not paid off on loans, driving up tuition costs in conjunction with an increase in demand leading to price increases.

5. College is a scam

College is one of the biggest scams of the modern day. As Economist Bryan Caplan explains in his book “The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money”, education has not led to better jobs. Schools and universities have been focused on enhancing a student’s skills.  Instead, higher education should give you the traits that make a hireable and effective employee. These traits are what enable people to get people high paying jobs, but they are not the priority of the education system. Society ends up making a huge investment that yields little return in most cases.

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