With tuition at Boston University costing about $58,000 per year, the administration and students should be happy to hear that yet another study has come out proving how valuable a college education is.
According to a Pew Research study released last week, Millennials, aged 25 to 32, with a college degree have median annual earnings of $17,500 more than those with just a high school degree. That is $752,500 more over a 43-year career. The study titled, “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College,” drove home the economic impact of not getting a higher education. But as the Boston Globe pointed out in an editorial, “Is college with it?” published on Tuesday, college is not for everyone.
College is advertised as the American Dream. High schools and admissions councilors stress the need to go to college to succeed in today’s tough job market. While movies such as Van Wilder idealize the college partying scene, and promise students with elaborate mansion parties overflowing with alcohol. As many students enroll just to seek out this idyllic, it is obvious the system is flawed.
Not everyone is suited for a small, hyper-intellectual liberal arts school, or a large, pre-professional university such as BU. There should be other options for those who do not fit the college mold, but still want to be financially sound. Greater investment in vocational schools and community colleges is needed to close this obvious pay gap.
College teaches you how to think critically, to stay informed and to be a responsible citizen because when you go to a place surrounded by smart people, you force yourself to be smart as well. But there should not be a social structure to define what it means to be a successful adult. High school graduates need to learn how to be responsible as well while earning a reasonable living. The current system is not working and must be changed, or the pay and societal gap will just get wider.