Commentary: Is College Really Necessary?

The MSU Spokesman

DiplomaTagGoing to college is an experience one would never forget. But, the price tag attached to it makes anyone wonder if it’s worth getting buried financially.

According to the College Board, at an instate public college a student pays an average of $22,261 in 2012-13. In that same year, a student pays $43,289 at an private college.

Yes, college is exciting and gratifying for anyone who can’t wait to leave their parents’ home and be on their own, but in the end is it offering anything significant in return?

We obtain a college degree, but in many cases the cost of getting that degree is too steep with a job market that isn’t guaranteeing a stable career. For families who can’t afford to pay for college out of pocket it’s easier to try to achieve your professional goals on your own.

“About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years,” according to several institute researchers and data provided by the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and U.S Department of Labor.

Who would want to go through four to six years at a university, acquire debt, and be handed a broom after graduation? That low income job could have been an option fresh out of high school. Not to mention the bundles of weekly mail and phone calls you will receive from debt collectors asking for half of your next paycheck.

“College graduates carry with them an average of $26,600 in debt,” according to a report from the Institute of College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt.

College should be a time where you position yourself for a career. Now, it seems America is in an era where colleges are awarding students their degrees, dragging them into debt for their own profit and not helping them establish their careers.

A recent article in USA Today, “Columbia flunks relevancy test,” discusses how students at one the most prestigious graduate schools in the U.S are suffering post graduation. Columbia’s School of Journalism is recognized as a school that produces the “cream of the crop” but their graduates aren’t finding success as quickly as expected.

In attempt to save the “J-School’s” relapse, the school hired a new dean, New Yorker writer Steve Coll. However, popular opinion believes the new hire won’t help and there is a larger issue at hand.

“The school takes students’ or their parents’ money to train them for a livelihood that it reasonably can predict will never exist,” wrote Michael Wolff, in USA Today. “But it is also an intellectual failure: The information marketplace is going through a historic transformation, involving form, distribution, business basis and cognitive effect.”

With all the education tools that are placed online daily, the best bet is to educate yourself through free tutorials and videos most often seen on YouTube. It has become popular in recent years with modern technology to practice self-learning and save those bucks. For professions in media, video editing lessons can be found easily on any device, free of charge at a moments notice.

Some may argue professors are needed to push students, and challenge them. But at the college level, if such is required chances are you’re not going to achieve in the workplace regardless.

Through technology and practicing consistent dedication in an interested craft you could be “the” effective teacher. Websites such as “” is a free software training website that helps you learn critical skills in animation, writing, business, design, photography, and other fields.

Still think you need to enroll at that high-priced university guaranteeing you nothing but a debt slip once you walk out of those halls? I didn’t think so. Think logically. Avoid the headache. If things don’t work out the first few years, you can always go back. Times have changed. You don’t necessarily need the university.

Today, universities need you.