College experience will benefit students in future

by News Editor Breanna Littrell

This semester, it seems midterms came quickly.

I imagine I am not the only student who feels this semester is blowing by. No matter how hard I try to stay on top of my work, I’m drowning.

College is expensive and also causes students an immense amount of stress. This is my last semester, and still I ask myself, “Is college worth it?”

I know it’s important to have an education to better one’s future. To look for the midsemester motivation I need, I decided to weigh some of the pros and cons of getting a college education with the help of an article from ProCon.org.

Money is the first issue I questioned. On average, college graduates make $30,000 more per year than a high school graduate, according to the article.

However, student loans are crippling. From 2003-12, the amount of 25-year-old’s debt increased from 25 percent to 43 percent due to college loans. The average loan for college students was $20,326.

Comparing these statistics, the extra $30,000 per year will, in theory, pay the loans off in a reasonable amount of time, depending on interest rates. Once the loans are gone, graduates can enjoy the extra money they will make per year compared with the amount of money they would be making had they not attended college.

Of course, to make money, one must have a job. According to the article, more jobs are beginning to require a college degree. Between December 2007 and January 2010, about 187,000 businesses began to require, at the least, an associate degree. This means there is a high probability the more desired jobs will require some sort of college degree.

Referring back to the loans student accrue, 30-year-olds who have student loans are more likely to move back into the parents’ home, according to a 2012 Federal Reserve Study.

In April 2013, the unemployment rate for 25-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree was 3.6 percent, 5 percent for those with an associate degree and 7.5 percent for high school graduates, according to thehamiltonproject.org.

On average, college graduates also live six years longer than high school graduates. This is due to a higher level of education and the knowledge of how to take care of their bodies, as well as lower stress levels and lower blood pressure.

I am going to count on this statistic because during this semester, it’s hard to imagine there will be a time with less stress and lower blood pressure.

Individuals with college degrees are not only healthier, but also live more satisfying live, according to northwestern.edu.

“People with higher levels of education are more likely to have rewarding jobs, more likely to exercise regularly, less likely to smoke, more likely to be active voters and volunteers, and more likely to engage in activities with their children,” according to the website.

Obtaining a college degree is part of the American dream. I look forward to the day my time at UNA will pay off, and I hope it will help to make a better life for myself and maybe even for my future children.

For any students struggling through a midsemester slump, continue to remember the grind of getting a college education will be worth it in the long run, as the pros outweigh the cons.