Zachary Swing

Professor Ramos

English 102

23 June 2018

The College Toll

    In the United States of America, we are fortunate to have a readily available higher education system- if you can afford it. If you were a stellar student in high school, you would have been showered with scholarships and grants that would cut those costs down by substantial proportions. On the other end, if you struggled in high school, you would find yourself with limited choices in terms of furthering your education traditionally. The price of college is frighteningly high, with four-year colleges and universities at the spearhead of this educational monolith. Other alternatives, such as trade schools, offer niche branches and specialized training into their respective fields, but all at varying costs. The question must be asked: Is a college education worth it for you?

For most modern Americans, an education is tantamount to success. It can also play a major part in your occupation, and how far your degree can take you in terms of marketability. As Mary C. Daly of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco states, “the path to higher future earnings involves a four-year college degree.” From her May 2014 study, the value of a college degree remains high, and the average college graduate can recover the costs of attending in less than 20 years… 20. Two-fifths of your life, and most of the money you make from the jobs you work will go to that debt for as long as stands. Those 20 years may vary with your occupation and financial responsibility, and it could take longer or shorter depending on how you handle your money.


Shooting for college straight out of high school is not always the surefire solution for your future.



If you search “student loan” in Google, the first result will be “forgiveness”.  1`a d













Annotated Bibliography

Bennett, William John, and David Wilezol. Is college worth it? A former United States Secretary of Education and a liberal arts graduate expose the broken promise of higher education. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2013.

This book highlights a “broken promise” from higher education. It covers student loans, financial crises due to mishandling loans financially, challenging its worth, and understanding the choices we have as students. I will use this to highlight the financial position you could potentially put yourself in if you are not able to support the loans you would inevitably take out to pay for student fees.


Bowen, Howard R. “The Costs of Higher Education: How Much Do Colleges and Universities Spend per Student and How Much Should They Spend?” (1980).

Addresses the question of what American Colleges and Unis should spend to educate their students. Both societal and institutional factors determine the cost of college’s educating their students, and higher eduation is examined. I will be using this document to evalutate the educational benefits of a higher education and personal development from going to college.


Daly, Mary C., and Leila Bengali. “Is it still worth going to college?” FRBSF Economic Letter 13 (2014): 2014.


Leonhardt, David. “Is college worth it? Clearly, new data say.” The New York Times 5.27 (2014): 14.


Lucas, Christopher J. American higher education: A history. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994.


Oreopoulos, Philip, and Uros Petronijevic. Making college worth it: A review of research on the returns to higher education. No. w19053. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2013.

“Patrick 3 Dollars Template.” Cat Face Palm – Mondays Latest Memes – Imgflip,