Comments about ‘The cost of attending college: Is it a need or a want?’

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Published: Thursday, July 10 2014 10:31 p.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, July 10 2014 10:31 p.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When I started college (1974), tuition at the U. was #130.00 per quarter. I graduated in three years while working close to full time hours. Although I'd like to pat myself on the back, I am well aware that what I did is not possible for students today. Not only is the cost of college far higher today, there is virtually no possibility of current students earning the kind of wages I did then.

Why has the cost of college increased so much faster than wages?

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

At the risk of sounding elitist, does everyone actually need to attend university? Personally, I don't think my plumber is any better or worse than my CPA. And they earn about the same. However, I know that many think the drain cleaner is some sort of cretin, and that the number cruncher is some sort of genius. I happen to know differently, since the plumber actually reads 40-50 books a year, and the accountant can barely read.

I think that university is a worthy goal for a lot of people. It educates, and it can lead to a good career. But it is not for everyone, and it is criminal that young people put themselves in such extreme debt to get college education. Furthermore, it does not necessarily lead to economic independence, nor is it a demonstration of intellect.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Depending on the child and their interests and aptitudes, college can be a need. In other instances, a four year college is not appropriate. A two year technical program would be better. Kids need good guidance here. We would do well to look Gordon B. Hinckley's counsel:

You are moving into the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you is competition. You need all the education you can get. Sacrifice a car; sacrifice anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field.

Be smart. The Lord wants you to educate your minds and hands, whatever your chosen field. Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves. Seek for the best schooling available. Become a workman of integrity in the world that lies ahead of you. I repeat, you will bring honor to the Church and you will be generously blessed because of that training.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The costs of education are at the root of the problem. Students don’t like going into debt to get an education they know can take years for them to pay off. They do it to reach their goals in a very competitive world that demands a good college degree to get anywhere.

I attended a local state college taking a full course load while working a full time job of 40 hours a week. But that was years ago before the cost of education went through roof. Kids today who are in same situation I was back then couldn’t do it today.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

College is not just job training. An uneducated civilization hurtles itself back to the "Dark Ages." Not every 18-year-old coming out of High School knows exactly what type of career they want, but the education received at a college or university not only helps them decide on a career path, but also teaches them about culture, art, history, basic math, how to communicate, etc. While those things may not lead directly to an executive position, they keep our society enlightened.

It reminds me of the saying "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Well, if you don't know history, then how are you going to learn from it and avoid those pitfalls in the future. College and university education needs to be available to everyone, not just the rich. Costs are out control, and no, I don't have the answers on how to reign them in, but simply saying that college isn't worth it because you can make as much as a plumber as a CPA isn't correct. Knowledge has worth far beyond dollars.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

We need to teach our children to look at the entire investment. The cost of undergrad degrees varies widely but does the quality of the degree and the value of it hold no matter the cost? Undergrad degrees are a great thing to get but go for the best value, which is not necessarily the most recognized name or most prestigious school.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

My two cents,

Today it's (student/parent) education buyer beware. Outside post-secondary Public/Private Education (Think U of U or BYU), there are the for-profit Educational Trade Schools. I would encourage the Readers to research the likes of Corinthian College, a Holding company of several Trade Schools. What you will find is CC's business model was predicated on the idea of Federal Student Loans to fund all these post-High School Trade-school programs. In recent news, the Feds discovered CC was overstating Job openings and potentail income in various careers they were selling to the current and future Students. The Long and short of it was CC will have to divest themselves of (most of?) their Educational centers. Readers, doing Due Diligence before signing up for an Educational Program loan may help you avoid investing $100,000 to study say Photography when you could have acquired the same skills at a community college for just a couple Hundred or a low thousand range.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I'm not sure why we're always worried here about college costs. The only alternative is government intervention. Socialism. You know, that which we hate.
Get in the trades, folks. Avoid the tuition. Never be without work.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Government funding is the reason that education is so expensive. You can't escape the basic law of supply and demand. When you increase demand for a product, the price will rise.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

I wouldn't trade my college education for anything.

But most of today's youth need a brutally honest economic survival course.

The world owes you exactly nothing. Work hard, and learn *how* to learn, how to teach yourself new technologies, because then you'll be able to hang onto jobs for longer.

Don't expect to match the standard of living of your parents. That was a different era, when we didn't have as much international competition. People elsewhere are happy to make far less than you do, and have (likely) greater education than you do.

Live well under your income. Don't have kids until you can pay for them, yourself, because the toxic demonization of "intergeneration subsidies" currently meant to malign retirees will boomerang back onto young people having kids who haven't saved to pay for them.

Be ready for economic displacement, because it will happen to you. It's not fair, it's highly disruptive and can tear families apart, but it's the law of the jungle, in 2014.

Work hard, but realize your employer has no loyalty to you, or anyone else. They can't.

Keep your expectations low, savor positive experiences.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

@hutterie. I think the construction trades still have high unemployment and that industry is very up and down.

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