Many American Students Questioning the Value of College

In a 2010 survey for the Pew report, “Is College Worth It?” studies shows that more women attend college and obtain degrees than men and that the gap is largest between men and women in the black community.

“On average, given equal education, women earn 70 cents on the dollar compared to men,” said Hofstra University Sociology Professor William Mangino. “So if a woman wants to earn the same amount as a man, she has to get a higher education,” he added.

Mangino also noted that people that are more privileged, meaning people who were born into a family that could be classified as rich, already have the necessary opportunities to get ahead in life. He said, “The best option to get ahead in life is to attend college if you’re not privileged, so a non-privileged person has to continue their education until an opportunity presents itself.”

“When you’re from the inner city, going to college is a lose lose situation,” said John Jay CUNY student Daniqua Burgin. “It’s either you stay in the ‘hood’ and don’t progress in life. Or go to college and try to better yourself by putting yourself on equal stance with the rest of society, but then put yourself in thousands of dollars in debt.”

But for someone who is not privileged, most agree that college is the only option.

The Pew Report also found that women are more likely to have their degree paid for by their parents. However, for both genders, 36 percent said that their education was mostly paid for by student loans, scholarships and financial aid. This shows that one of the reasons why women may attend college more than men is because women are more likely to have the financial support by family members.

“I know college isn’t for everyone,” said Jonathan Foucault, Senior at Hofstra University. “but without a college degree, you don’t have many options. You can’t go through life without getting a degree and at some point in your career, you will still have to go back to college to get a master’s degree. It may just take men a little longer to realize that.”

-Claudia Balthazar

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