You are on page 1of 6

Janelle Leppek Mrs.

Elliott English 111 10, December 2013

The Great Debate After a student graduates, they are expected to go to college and get a good education, but is that really necessary for everyone? High school students, especially seniors, believe that the right thing to do after high school is go to college. Commercials on TV and about anywhere else push students to attend a college and say it is necessary for anyone to succeed in life, but is that always the case? Some people agree and say that today a good education is key to succeeding, but others say just getting trained is enough. There are many jobs that do not require a college degree and that just going to a trade school or getting trained is better than wasting money for college. I believe that college is important but only for the students who are serious about what they want to do. If a student does not know what they want to go into or just want to go to party they should not go. Students also need to be mentally prepared for being away from home, having all the bills, the homework, and the exams. College is a plus for anyone to attend but is a bachelors degree necessary? Many people believe that college is not necessary for everyone and that society today is just making it seem like it is. Going to college has become a national fad, a rite of passage, millions hope, into the world of hefty salaries and McMansions. The trek to academia has now spread to the working class, who see sending their kids to college as a sign of respectability (Reeves). Being a high school senior I have found what he says to be very true because many adults have pushed me to attend college or have told me college will help me tremendously in

life. High school counselors and parents push students to go to a four year college because they say it is necessary in todays economy for a good job. A study done by a group from Harvard shows their view on how this is not always the case. The study explains how there are lots of jobs out there that do not require a bachelors or higher degree. Anyone with an associates degree or occupational certificate can get middle-skill jobs that pay as well as or even sometimes better than jobs that require bachelor degrees (Pathways to Prosperity, pg 2-3). In other words, someone does not need a big degree to succeed in life like most people think and that getting trained or getting a two-year degree can make them just as successful. To go along with what this study shows is Thomas Reeves, a well-published U.S. historian, who wrote the piece, College Isnt for Everybody, and It's a Scandal That We Think It Is. In this piece he talks about reading a piece on a mechanic whose high schools counselor told him he was going to ruin his life by not going to college and going to training instead. But now this man is in demand and is happy with his decision (Reeves). This shows that many Americans are pushed to go to college that do not need to because training can help them go just as far. Going along with what Reeves had to say is President Obama. He wants everyone to at least attend college for one year after high school to further their education (Higher Education). Unlike pushing students to go to a four year college or university, the President says that a community college is just as important. "In the coming years, jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience. We will not fill those jobs or keep those jobs on our shores without the training offered by community colleges (Obama).

Clive Crook, a graduate of the London School of Economics, who wrote the article, A Matter of Degrees: Why College Is Not an Economic Cure-All, also supports these ideas by saying that shortages of skills in specific industries are increasing and sending kids off to college is not the cure for it. Crook says that young people who enter the work force after high school just need to be flexible and willing to learn and they will succeed. He states that the country is so college driven that jobs that used to require little to no training now recommend degrees in those fields. Crook says that these types of things in our education system need to be questioned. Along with that subject, other points about college need to be questioned. Many students who are not mature enough for college and still get shipped off by their parents, end up only partying and dropping out. Kids need to be mentally and emotionally ready for going to college and if they are not, then they should not go. Thomas Reeves agrees with this, saying, The impact on college and university campuses of legions of unprepared freshmen is never positive. Millions of dollars must be spent annually in remedial education. And the rate of failure is still extraordinarily high. Reeves also states that many incoming freshmen attend college not knowing the kind of academic challenges they will be pushed into while they are there. W. J. Reeves, an English Professor at Brooklyn College says that some students who are not ready for college should not go because it is a waste of money. Higher education is very expensive, taxing the resources of the already overtaxed, middle-class family. In addition to the cost, the college years are a moment in time that will never return. Again and again, in my night classes, I encounter adults, now burdened with kids and dead-end jobs, who, 10 years ago, wasted their time in college with adolescent behavior (Reeves). Reeves also makes a point that many students who go to college who are not ready or do not want to get an education tend to be

late for class or skip. This shows that money is being wasted on students who have no ambition towards an education, and that students like that should not be attending college. Although there are students like that there are also students who want to attend college but cannot afford it. The National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good says that students who are willing to work for it should go to college no matter what they have to go through to get there. There are many students who want to attend college but cannot afford it. Those students should still be able to go and get a good education. Jay Matthews, author of Multiplying Benefits of College for Everybody, adds in on this point, saying that students who come from a low income family cannot attend college and get a good degree because of the economic state they are in. The example he used was about when the City University of New York let anyone who graduated from a New York City high school into college there. This showed how the lower class families brought themselves up into the middle class and started a trend in their families to go to college and get an education. When this happened it helped many students get a degree in something they were passionate about and it showed that they are the kind of people who should be attending college. Matthews argues that college graduates have more choices that non-college graduates with what jobs to go into. He used an instance about a woman who got a degree in English literature who decides to become a fry cook. A point was made that she can develop the skills for that job by being trained but she can also enjoy English literature in her spare time. Adding to the benefits of going to college, Matthews also says that when parents go to college, their children tend to also go to college and they end up in a better economic situation than if they did not attend.

With all this information, the question still stand, is college for everyone? Some say everyone should go to help them succeed and be all they can be in life. Others think that college is a waste of money for students who are not prepared or do not have the ambition. I agree with the people who say students should go to college if their job requires it, they should go to training school or get an associates degree if their job does not require it, and if they have no ambition for college they should not be wasting their money on it.

Works Cited "Building American Skills Through Community Colleges." The White House. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
Crook, Clive. "A Matter of Degrees:Why College Is Not an Economic Cure-All." Exploring Relationships: Globalization and Learning in the 21st Century. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013. 36668. Print.

"Higher Education." The White House. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
Mathews, Jay. "Multiplying Benefits of College for Everybody." Exploring Relationships: Globalization and Learning in the 21st Century. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013. 355-57. Print. Reeves, Thomas. "College Isn't for Everybody, and It's a Scandal That We Think It Is." Exploring Relationships: Globalization and Learning in the 21st Century. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013. 346-48. Print. Reeves, W.J. "What and Who Is College For?" Exploring Relationships: Globalization and Learning in the 21st Century. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013. 341-45. Print. Schwartz, Robert B., and Ronald Ferguson. Pathways to Prosperity. Harvard Graduate School of Education, Feb. 2011. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. "Who Is College For?" National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.