Opinion: Is College Worth It?

Joe Trujillo

Overnight, the COVID-19 has changed the post-secondary educational world.

During these unprecedented times, how pertinent are academic degrees? Are they worth the time and effort? Should people explore other ways to learn? Should higher education institutions compensate their students for the seismic shift in the way these businesses operate due to the pandemic?

The relevancy of a college degree depends on the goals and circumstances of each person.

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There are professions that require a degree or multiple ones like, physician, lawyer, teacher, accountant, nurse or engineer. This also entails planning how to finance education, selecting lenders and getting into student debt. A global crisis will not stop this particular group from pursuing their objective. Such degrees are significant in accomplishing these goals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that individuals with college degrees make more money than those who only have a high school diploma. The BLS data also shows that college graduates experience lower unemployment rates, versus those who do not possess a college degree.

A few months ago, the academic world was forced to close their campuses, cancel some classes and go online with the remainder of their courses. This has caused an uproar among students globally and nationwide.

These learners are protesting this radical change. Transitioning from the traditional on-campus setting to the new world of cyber education. They argue they did not pay for digital courses. As a consequence, some are seeking legal action, demanding refunds for certain tuition, athletics and activities fees, room and board.

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Higher education institutions have a history in dealing with pandemics spanning centuries. The University of Oxford in England closed during the 14th century due to the Black Death. During the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, several private and public universities shut down.

Currently, the collegiate population living through COVID-19 is being accommodated by their schools to the best of their abilities. These entities did not shut down. They adjusted and stayed open for business. In some instances, it is more expensive for these organizations to transition into virtually.

These organizations should not have to give their students a refund and have made a good faith effort to help out students by going online.

People’s pursuit of knowledge and progress is part of the human condition. Attending schools of higher learning is one way of fulfilling this need for enlightenment. Getting a college degree is an investment in yourself. That is why they are worth it.