Is College a Scam?

Coming from a student in their third year at a University of California-- yes.

My take on this could change of course, given I have yet to graduate or enter the professional field that I am majoring in, but I highly doubt it will. Firstly, I believe college should be free, especially for the "public institutions" all across the United States. Why is it that the government funds public school to be free up until the 12th grade?

More specifically, I am speaking in terms of attending school in the United States, and I believe that whether or not a college is scamming you depends on a multitude of factors. What country you're in, what you're majoring in, your financial background, your family's socioeconomic status, and other factors all play a role in whether you're being bamboozled by these multi-million dollar institutions.

We can all agree that the United States' priorities when it comes to budgeting their trillions of dollars available are askew. If the money that the U.S. government uses to fund areas such as the military and law enforcement instead went to education, there would be no current collective student loan debt of $1.56 trillion USD. Instead, universities get little assistance from the government and make up the deficit of funds by charging students ridiculous amounts per year.

One of my main issues with college in the United States is that for the average person coming from a low-to middle-income household, college is painted as your only ticket to a good future all throughout high school. This is absolutely false as I've come to learn, as most people with bachelor's degrees do not even work in the field they majored in or feel as if they had not really learned anything from college. Quite honestly, the biggest complaint from every student I have met these past three years in University has been about the price.

In high school and continuously throughout college we are fed "facts" about how much more money we are supposed to make with a bachelor's degree, that we'd easily be able to repay the tens of thousands of dollars in loans you need to take out, and that we would be more appealing to a job with a degree from an actual university compared to a community college. Lies I tell you!

Firstly, what is failed to be emphasized is that a Bachelor's degree does not guarantee a starting rate at any corporation, yes-- there are companies that require it in order to even apply, but depending on what field you are entering that is not always the case. Secondly, a prosperous career right out of college is not as common as it is made out to be. More times than not, people enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree but stand at the same level of others without, the only difference is the person that went to college is tens of thousands of dollar in debt and has a later start.

Of course, there are many instances where people--such as my aunt, have graduated from college, secured a high-paying job, and managed to pay off all their loans in under 5 years.

But alas, not every person is the same.

Ultimately, there needs to be more emphasis during primary and secondary school in cultivating interests amongst the children and creating an environment where their true passions can be grown and taught to be a source of their survival, instead of rigid, standardized curriculums being forced upon them. Additionally, high schools lack providing students with proper preparation for real life challenges such as building credit, paying taxes, applying for jobs, and believing in themselves.

What do you think? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and we can keep the conversation going.