Will Cheaper Colleges Improve the Economy?


Our globalized world is demanding more professionals with great levels of skills, knowledge, and abilities each day. According to the U.S Department of Education, by 2020 more than 60% of the total of job openings will be requiring post-secondary education. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce states that by that time, taking into consideration the current graduate production, the U.S will fall short by 5 million workers with postsecondary education.

Higher education still represents the best decision that any student could ever make since it offers unique advantages. An average college graduate will probably earn 66% more than those with a simple secondary education and over the course of its lifetime, he will receive approximately $1 million more than the average worker that only possess a high school diploma.

It’s it the dream of most students to be able to attend a higher-education institution, nevertheless, a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the contrary since only 65.9% of people that graduate from high– school enroll in college, but if there so many benefits of holding a college degree, why would anyone would even consider about not enrolling?

Unfortunately, in this case, it is not about the will of doing it, but rather about the real possibilities of doing it. Even though there are several causes for this phenomenon (family environment, academic difficulties, teen pregnancy, etc.), the high costs of tuition play a major role.

The costs of attending college can vary on the type of college, on the type of degree to be pursued, the student’s location and many other significant factors. The College Board brings us the average costs of tuition & fees all over the U.S:

Type of College Average Published Yearly Tuition and Fees
Public Two-Year College (in-district students) $3,347
Public Four-Year College (in-state students) $9,139
Public Four-Year College (out-of-state students) $22,958
Private Four-Year College $31,231

It is necessary to remember that these costs do not include any expenses related to accommodation, food, course materials or transportation, which might also significantly increase the size of this educational bill. In order for students to cover their education expenses, most of them apply for financial aid in the forms of grants, scholarships, and loans, but only about two-thirds of college students receive this type of support.

There are many high-quality programs that can be found at reasonable prices, however, most of them don’t adjust to the current economic situation of American families, where average household incomes do not exceed of $55.000, according to the Census Bureau estimations.

Despite the several types of colleges and programs available, college education appears to be, once again, an exclusive right for the wealthy families since most students cannot simply afford college tuition, making them unable to enroll or to complete their degrees.

In the 21st century, a post-secondary education degree is now a requirement for finding any reasonable job and achieving economic stability. If more reasonable fares were applied for education, the younger population could benefit from higher-education opportunities.

The intellectual growth and the human talent of a society, it is of incredible importance for their economic development. With the rising of technology, science, health care and engineering as fast-growing industries, it is mandatory to have skilled professionals with the necessary knowledge to continue the legacy of what others have started.

Additionally, considering the current graduate production rate of U.S colleges, it will be more than imperative to build the next generation of leaders in order to fulfill the current and future lack of professionals.

An investment in education might not be economically quantifiable, but there is a close relationship between higher education and economic development that cannot be ignored. The high costs of college are an important impediment to the intellectual growth of Americans citizens, which will certainly reflect its consequences years later on the American economy.

About the author

Rebecca Walton

Rebecca has always been fascinated with the business and tech world, having grown up with parents in the industry. She has a real passion for science - particularly space and the unknown realms that surround the planet! Rebecca has been writing for different publications for nearly 6 years and is now an editor at Pangaea Express.