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Brianna Blanco

English 111

12/11/2017

Olabajo Dada

Universities Cause Disasters for Students

Imagine being broke, hungry and stressed for the next four years. Definitely not fun when

one has to pay for college, get an education and prosper in society afterwards. College students

do exactly that, they suffer through hell and back during their most crucial years of becoming an

adult. Is it all worth a decent job coming out of that long forsaken battle? Clearly, the amount of

stress held over one for that amount of time will not benefit them in the long run. Universities

education today is not necessarily needed for career outcomes in life, therefore; people will

benefit more without an education because, student debt will be decreased allowing stress and

other health problems to be minimized, as well as allowing more middle-skilled jobs to be filled.

As of June 2016, about 42 million Americans owe $1.3 trillion in student debt, and 45%

of people with student loan debt said college was not worth it (Reports 4). The purpose of

college is to continue ones education to get a well-paying job, not to financially crush their soul.

Tuition is also not the only thing these young adults are paying for. Universities require students

to pay for housing, food, parking, books, and everything else that falls behind. The average

amount of money spent in just one year of a 4-year University is $14,210 (CNN 6). Compared to

a 2-year community college which is just $7,560 (CNN 6). The amount of money spent is nearly

cut in half. Nothing comes free, and more students are worried about how they are going to pay

for college, rather than what they want to pursue their career in. If more people decided not to go

to a big 4-year University, and find skill-related education in a community college, then their

financial status could be saved.


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Missing or being late for loan payments often results in a lower credit score and

additional fees, thus escalating the debt problem and potentially jeopardizing future purchases

and employment (Denhart 7). Right off the bat, college teaches a bad lesson about finances.

Building up so much debt at a young age can affect ones decision on buying a place of their

own or even a car. It can have a negative impact if they already rent their own place for them not

to be able to continue to live there because of their low credit due to loans. According to a 2012

Federal Reserve Study, 30-year-olds who have never taken out a student loan are now more

likely to own homes than those who have taken out loans (Brown 2). Clearly, some people

cannot even pay their loans off when they are 30 years old. Making life transitions more difficult

than usual. The goal is to graduate with a degree and starting a career immediately after, but by

attending a University then one is not guaranteed a job in their field and those loans are going to

skyrocket, causing that person to be in debt while having a strain in their financial and emotional

lives. It's a hard vicious cycle that never ends and the tuition is going to keep rising as the years

pass. The money becomes to be a bigger issue to people who are extremely vulnerable as well,

causing mental health issues.

40.2% of college students reported feeling "frequently overwhelmed" in a 2012 survey

about stress levels (Pryor 2). College students worry too much, especially being a first-year

student. That individual is thrown into a different environment, finding ways to cope and deal

with their new routine can have a strain in their mental and emotional lives. Many students suffer

from stress, depression, anxiety, weight gain, chronic digestive disorders, insomnia, and teeth

grinding. These are only some of the health changes that occur when someone tries to attend a 4-

year University. The workload is stressful too, especially when students have a part-time job.
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About 80 percent of traditional-age undergraduates attending college part time worked while

they were enrolled (Perna 2). Students need the money and it is hard to get by without it.

Seeking emotional support or help is another problem. Most students do not even have

the time to sit and talk with a counselor to treat their mental health problems due to not

acknowledging they have one. According to the 2013 National College Health Assessment,

about one-third of U.S. college students had difficulty functioning in the last 12 months due to

depression, and almost half said they felt overwhelming anxiety in the last year (Novotney 5).

Even 30 percent of students diagnosed with a mental health problem admitted considering

suicide (Novotney 6). The most stressed out age group continues to be 18 to 33, which is the

average age of most college students. If a college education was not in the picture then the age

group for stress can potentially change or even diminish. Diane Shannon, a former medical intern

discussed her views on how stress and the workload in a higher paying job caused herself to

completely change her views on being a physician. The amount of money she put in ruined her

finances, but her health was more important. She explained how her love for medicine took a

turn for the worst when practicing on live patients (Shannon 5). Undergraduate degrees are not a

necessity especially when 2-year colleges are available for students to get a cheap and well-

rounded education for their career.

The demand for middle-skilled jobs are strong and will continue to be. Attending a

community college can be an easy way to start off ones career in the workforce. Over half of the

careers in the United States need middle-skilled workers, while high-skilled jobs only account

for 31 percent (Sheets 1). Middle-skilled jobs would include mechanics, construction workers,

medical assisting, nursing and dental hygienists. These jobs only require 2 years or less of

community college programs. Not all higher education is a scam, there is a need for doctors and
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lawyers but the demand is not as high as middle-skilled careers. While attending community

schools for jobs, people are saving money, less stressed and are guaranteed a job after graduation

or even during their education. People who pursue careers that involve a Bachelors, Masters,

PhD, or Doctorate degree are more likely to struggle to find employment. There is more middle

skilled work and it is needed for our society to have a balance in the economy.

The major difference in what college one decides to go to would be the salary. Higher

education does pay more in the end, but working at a job instead of attending college for an extra

two years will account for more profit quicker. A first year University student will pay on

average $15,000 for one year, while a full-time mechanic worker without a degree would earn on

average $38,000 in the same amount of time (Budgets 8). Universities can be beneficial to those

high-skilled jobs needed, but does not make up for the other 100 million people trying to find a

decent paying job.

Overall, bigger universities cause debt in young Americans. There are other options

available for career choices for those who decide not to pursue education. Making money is the

one life goal everyone tries to conquer with or without an education. Going through the struggles

of debt and stress is certainly some of the issues people try to avoid. Community colleges

provide the best solution to those problems. Many people live a reasonable life without a degree

in biochemistry or physics, and are not in the criteria of being broke or having mental health

issues. Upon knowing this, a 4-year University degree is not necessarily needed for a well-

established life.
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Work Cited

Consumer Reports, "The Student Debt Crises: Lives on Hold," Consumer Reports, June 28, 2016

Chris Denhart, "How the $1.2 Trillion College Debt Crisis Is Crippling Students, Parents and the

Economy," forbes.com, Aug. 7, 2013

Meta Brown and Sydnee Caldwell, "Young Student Loan Borrowers Retreat from Housing and

Auto Markets," libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org, Apr. 17, 2013

John H. Pryor, Kevin Eagan, Laura Palucki Blake, Sylvia Hurtado, Jennifer Berden, and

Matthew H. Case, "The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2012," heri.ucla.edu, 2012

Perna, Laura W. Understanding the Working College Student. Understanding the Working

College Student | AAUP, AAUP, www.aaup.org/article/understanding-working-college-

student#.Wfc21pOnF-U.

Novotney, Amy. Students Under Pressure . Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological

Association, www.apa.org/monitor/2014/09/cover-pressure.aspx.

Middle-Skill Job Fact Sheets. National Skills Coalition, www.nationalskillscoalition.org/state-

policy/fact-sheets.

Average Estimated Undergraduate Budgets, 2017-18. Average Estimated Undergraduate

Budgets, 2017-18 - Trends in Higher Education - The College Board, College Board , 2017,

trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-estimated-undergraduate-budgets-

2017-18.

Each college charges a different price for tuition, et al. Expect to Pay $57,000 to Send Your Kid

to College. CNNMoney, Cable News Network, money.cnn.com/2017/05/01/pf/college/how-

much-does-college-cost/index.html.
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Shannon, Diane. Why I Left Medicine: A Burnt-Out Doctors Decision To

Quit.Commonhealth, 18 Oct. 2013, commonhealth.legacy.wbur.org/2013/10/why-i-left-

medicine-a-burnt-out-doctors-decision-to-quit.