“The Cost of College”

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So for today’s Tuesday Talk, I’ve decided to discuss the article, “The Cost of College” in the New York Times from May 28th, 2012. Being a current college student, I know the stress that the cost of college brings. In a year when I enter “real world”; a place I’ve been taught to fear with the failing job market, high expectations, and a world of no mercy, I will be slapped with tons and tons of student loans. Did I mention that the job market sucks? I feel as if I’m singing a tune way too many people know too well.

The article discusses Obama’s speech he gave at the North Carolina commencement ceremony and I agree when he said: “In today’s economy, there’s no greater predictor of individual success than a good education” (23). Can that statement be anymore true? People name drop college names like they do cars. “Oh my son goes to Yale.” “How nice, my daughter goes to Cornell.” Who wins in that situation? Both schools are great. Interestingly enough, the article comments on the rising tuitions costs and says how these elite schools could actually charge more than they already do. In my opinion, this is how the elite stay elite.
But then what about those who go to trade schools or people just as I who go to a state school? Are we less important or not viewed as successful, especially compared to the ivy league students? People like my sister, who is going to cosmetology school and is getting a license in 9 months (and we are very proud of) should not be looked at as not as important as someone else. After all, she is doing something.
I think that this article brings up an important question. Within an education lies “status, prestige, an intellectual excitement ” (24) and for all of that, education “seems like a small price to pay for the kind of society it buys” (24). So how much should education be? Are we paying too much or is it worth every penny? If higher education were cheap or free it would decrease the worth of a diploma. But should we value our diplomas based on skill or how much money we are willing to pay to get one?


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