Kylie Dawn Beard
College is advertised everywhere and pushed on high school students. But, not everyone can afford college, and it almost seems like in order to make it in life, you have to have some kind of degree.
College is outrageously priced, even for just an associate’s degree (two years in college), which is the “lowest” degree you can get. If college makes such a big difference when applying for a job, then why isn’t it more accessible to everyone? Scholarships help, but a majority of people don’t qualify for them. Parents and grandparents can start college funds through programs to save money that can only be used specifically for college, but the chances of it covering all college expenses are not very high.
There’s a lot of money to make up for college expenses and you don’t want to be stuck with student loans you’re still paying off later in life. Sometimes the student will have to spend their money they’ve been earning at their job they got in high school. This then delays when they’ll be able to move out of their parent’s house, and it makes it harder to pay for the average stuff 18+ year-olds pay for; their car, food, clothes, bills, rent, and taxes.
A lot of the cost of college comes from taking extra classes. Say, for example, you want to work in business. Well, chances are you will also be taking classes that don’t even relate to your interests because you need to fill the holes on your list of classes. You have to pay to take those classes and you have to pay for the supplies you need for those classes as well. College should be more tailored to what you’re actually going to use for your career.
But, there are better alternatives to college. Trade schools are much more affordable, but they’re mainly for tech, engineering, etc. Individual online classes and courses for a certain interest are cheaper than taking full college courses. And sometimes these classes are even free. Most of them offer certification for completing that class.
So, you being a future business student, who couldn’t afford college and didn’t want to take all of those extra classes, this seems like the best option… right? Not necessarily.
Most of the time, those classes don’t count as higher education, even though they should. You will still only have a “high school education.” These classes are better than nothing, but why don’t they count as higher education? They teach the bases of what you need to know and are similar to college courses, but they’re actually affordable.
Former President Bill Clinton once said, “When we make college more affordable, we make the American dream more achievable.” If the workplace has such high education standards, possible future employees shouldn’t be turned down because of an alternative avenue of learning.