As we near a post-COVID world, many of us have experienced a change in priorities. Financial and emotional strains have exhausted us as we're trying to get back to normal. When it comes to college, many families are taking a new perspective, either encouraging students to take gap years or choose state schools that are closer to home.
At a time when college costs seem to be skyrocketing, there are some that question its value post-pandemic. But instead of a reactionary view, it's useful to look at the question with a level head. College remains not just an expense, but an investment that gives back in many ways. It is quite possible for a student without a financially viable major and career path to earn more than their college costs long term.
College is not just a series of bills to pay and courses to complete. It is an experience that leads to a variety of door-openings. A bachelor's degree is the key to higher salaries and opportunities to have more diverse jobs in different domains.
Besides these directly related benefits, college also allows students to test their critical thinking skills while being exposed to texts that they might have otherwise not read. It allows students to develop independence and grow their confidence as they live with roommates and navigate taking care of themselves. There is so much more than an intellectual education that college offers, but a social one. These are critical experiences that college helps facilitate, and would be more difficult to recreate without the academic and social structure.
College also provides an opportunity to network within a group of like-minded peers (and different-minded peers, which is just as important), and can lead to fruitful relationships that can develop professionally. College is an investment whose long-term impacts are irreplaceable. While college is not the right choice for every student, it still has measurable value that goes beyond its cost. Ultimately, college is what you make of it. Students that fully take advantage of clubs, research opportunities and career fairs will truly be benefiting the most from what college can offer. College is also a platform that can allow you to find your group and get your voice heard.
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Neal Schwartz, Owner
College Planning of Westchester
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