By Kai Singh
Edited by Danika Suh
~ Op-Ed ~
Going to college is ingrained in our society as one of the only ways to be successful in our future. The adults in our lives say that college prepares you for the future and integrates you into society as a hardworking person, but is that still the case?
It is obvious that throughout the years, the prices for tuition have skyrocketed as the value of a degree has diminished. Degrees used to be a bonus, now they’re a basic requirement for most trades and jobs.
We were fed the lie that going to college would secure us a high-paying job, but in reality most minimum wage jobs are worked by high school graduates, college students, and college graduates. And even though college does statistically help increase your chances of gaining a job, even getting to college takes hurdles that some are physically unable to jump. The NASFAA (National Association Of Student Financial Aid And Administrations) states that “most colleges were unaffordable for eight of the 10 theoretical students, and “most dramatically unaffordable for the lowest-income students.”
Additionally, we are stuck in a cycle of preparing to go into thousands of dollars worth of debt. It ends up like this; not having a high enough salary to pay off the college debt means being unable to get the means to get a high enough paying job. This just proves that the system ends up hurting us, not doing the job it was designed to do.
Not only is the value of a college degree diminishing, the colleges themselves have become corrupt businesses. These institutions once devoted to teaching are now valuing money over education, as shown by the rapid decrease of tenured professors. These professors have been replaced by student teachers and substitute teachers that cannot provide the same education to the students. Students who have protested the firing of their tenured professors have been expelled or suspended, and it isn’t making news because they are being covered up.
The problem with this is that colleges still need to get people to attend them, so they use the money to make their campuses playgrounds for the rich. Colleges with libraries falling apart and overcrowded dorm rooms are the same colleges building recreational rooms with water parks and country clubs.
However, society does require college for success and there are pros that come with going to college. The people, the experiences, and the teachings are all important. This doesn’t negate the fact that we need college reform.
There are a thousand problems with the college system and college board from bad standardized testing, to racism, misogyny and homophobia. With colleges refusing to refund tuition and dorming costs after COVID-19 struck, to the reckless abandon with which the AP tests were administered, it’s clear to see that we have been failed. Overall, it is up to you to decide what career path you follow, but the fact of the matter is that the college system and college board needs to be reformed and treated as an institution of learning, not a way to exploit others and gain profit.