The Rising Costs of Education

April 24, 2017 at 10:32 AM Leave a comment

Rising college fees is a national problem, with teens around the US struggling with the daunting prospect of paying back expensive multi-year college fees. Families who in the past were able to save and put money away in a college fund now find that those funds simply do not stretch far enough to cover college education for their children.

Why education is becoming more expensive

The price of education is creeping up due to a combination of inflation, rising demand for places, and greater expectations from students. In the past, students were content with simple campus facilities and functioning sports programs, but this has changed. Colleges now have to hire the best coaches for their sports teams and provide campus facilities that are extensive if they want to attract the best students.

College degrees have also become increasingly popular over the years as students shun alternatives such as apprenticeship programs. This factor and a rising population have driven demand for college places higher, and institutions have had to invest substantially to accommodate the demand. There is also the factor of annual inflation, which pushes up the amount that colleges have to spend on staff salaries and running expenses.

Alternatives to formal education

A college education is not the only way to prepare for a well-paid career. Many successful employees in managerial positions achieved their status by working very hard at their first employer after leaving school. Climbing the career ladder in a progressive and carefully considered way is entirely possible without formal education.

Another alternative to taking time out to sit classes is to attend an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs have a formal aspect but are essentially a way of training while working. As an apprentice, you would also face academic challenges, including reports and exams, but your training will be orientated to the practical in a way that a college education isn’t.

Community college can be another very useful stepping stone to a college education. If you can prove your academic abilities in community college, you have the chance of winning scholarships to top universities. Merely completing a community college program will also improve your employment prospects as it illustrates a certain level of commitment and ability to a prospective employer.

Affordable formal education

If you would like to achieve a college degree but can’t afford to do so, you could consider a cheaper alternative to a full-time, residential degree course. One option that is particularly attractive for students who already have a degree is online learning. You should visit college websites to learn more about their online masters in accounting, technology, and medicine to get an idea of what courses you can take without spending a fortune.

You could also opt to do a residential course on a part-time basis, which would allow you to spread the cost of tuition while still doing your day job. Many employers are supportive of employees who wish to study, so try proving yourself in your job to the extent that your employer is willing to sponsor you for further education.

Why formal education is seen as important

Though you have a number of alternatives to formal college education, many employers in a lot of fields still see a degree as the gold standard in education. There are very valid reasons for this – a degree shows that a student has the commitment to follow through on a goal, given that most first degrees require at least two years of full-time study.

Degree programs also have an academic intensity that other forms of education do not necessarily have. When you have completed a degree, you can prove that you are capable of deep, analytical thinking on a variety of topics. In fact, it is the fact that most degrees cover a range of subjects that make graduates so interesting for employers – in comparison to someone who has only studied one topic intensely, a degree holder generally has a more rounded education.

Don’t let the cost of education discourage you

Education boosts your career prospects, informs you about life, and is an excellent way to meet friends and contacts for the future. If it is unrealistic for you to fund a full-time degree course over several years, think about the alternatives. Both adults and school leavers take advantage of online learning, while you can get educated in your field of choice in ways that do not necessarily involve college tuition. Whichever route you choose, intensively studying a subject for a planned period of time is crucial to building career opportunities.

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