From the exorbitant tuition to the frat parties, college is both an unforgettable and stressful experience. At times you’ll remember what your striving for, and other times you’ll forget due to sleep deprivation. But before you make such a life changing decision, be cognizant of the obstacles that you’ll run into along the way, namely, the tuition. College is an investment that requires sufficient thought. Often the pressure to attend college is so culturally embedded that we lose sight of what’s right for the individual. Without further ado, here are ten college statistics that are worth considering before taking that monumental next step.
1. Grade Inflation
Grade point averages have increased an average of .1 each decade. In the 1950s, the average GPA was consistently around 2.5. Today, the average GPA is 3.15. So why are GPAs markedly increasing every decade? The rise in GPAs can be ascribed to burgeoning competition and a desire to please the consumer. The happier the student, the lower the dropout rates. Further deluding an already delusional freshman is worth retaining a few more students.
2. Loan Debt
34% of college educated adults eighteen to twenty nine have outstanding student loan debt. Older generations find college statistics like this one to be especially baffling given the dramatic rise in college tuition. Owing to a demand for profit, colleges are driving more students into debt. Among students with a bachelors degree or more, the number rises to 49%.
4. Athletic Spending
Athletic programs at division 1 schools spend over $90,000 per athlete. Disregarding what some may claim, this exorbitant spending leads to losses that must be filled through student tuition. Thus, hard earned money is sapped from student’s wallets to pay for extravagant athletic programs, a stab in the heart of loving parents draining their wallets to pay for student tuition.
4. Taking Out Loans
In recent years, students are becoming increasingly likely to take out loans. Among college seniors ages eighteen to twenty four, the number has risen from around half in the early 2000s to six out of ten today. Surprisingly, startling college statistics like these have not lead to lesser college admissions. In fact, more students than ever before are admitted to four year universities, which is due to a greater number of applicants.
5. High Ratings
Likewise, 51% of U.S adults highly rate the quality of their education, with most asserting that U.S schools are either the best in the world or above average. By contrast, approximately 40% of Americans believe public schools are below average. Despite a rise in tuition, most graduates are not disillusioned with their education, proving that the quality or at least the investments in higher education vastly exceed public education.
6. Percentage Of Nonwhite Students
At most colleges today, students are evenly divided into nonwhite and white. Around 45% of students are nonwhite compared to 24% of faculty. Why are these college statistics noteworthy? In part, it exemplifies an improvement in minority education, but, more for my purposes, it illustrates that colleges are wisely bringing in different minority groups to account for shifting demographics. This is the most hopeful statistic of all, because it’s a sign of the decimation of white elitism in higher education. Nevertheless, we should be cautious of an unfair tip in the scale in future generations.
7. Postmillenials More Likely To Attend College
Postmillenials are more likely to be college educated. Yes, today’s flagrant narcissists are more likely to want to pursue an education than past generations. With the widespread notion that college is useless and that money is paramount, this statistic surprised me. But it does show that the deplorable, vapid youth of today may not be as awful as older generations paint them.
8. Business Is The Most Popular Major
Business is the most popular major at 289,398 degrees awarded each year. With the emphasis placed on science and progression, this is a surprising statistic. But owing to the centrality of business and management, an interest surrounding the two is much needed; that is, if the interest extends beyond greed and/or a desire to impress your parents. I realize that the advice is cliched, but it’s cliched for a reason.
In a study done by the National Center for Education Statistics, only sixty percent of students who started a degree in 2011 ended that degree in 2017. I could have just listed a dropout rate percentage, but because percentages are so often invoked with virtually no context and zero potency, I thought I’d list a study that followed a group of students throughout six years. For the forty percent who dropped out, many of them probably didn’t value their studies or had other obligations. College isn’t difficult to finish as long as you’re willing to put forth effort. The issue lies in the fallacy that college is the one straight and narrow path. For many of these students, that was a fallacy that wasted time and money.
10. Higher Salaries
A hoard of college statistics attest to the financial advantage a college graduate has. Plenty of you probably aren’t shocked by this research. But there is a growing fringe of people who denounce college as an evil, expensive waste of time. This is not the case. College is a flawed system, but it undeniably opens the door to more opportunities. That being said, it isn’t the one straight and narrow path. Plenty of other options exist, and a college degree doesn’t guarantee success.
Approximately 12.1 million students will attend college in 2019. Incoming freshmen will flock to the place where dreams thrive, and current students will continue to bring their plans to fruition. But among the joy and accomplishment, many student feel dread and uncertainty toward their futures. College may be the breeding ground for dreams, but it’s also a junction for passionless studies and wasteful hours. In sum, don’t go to college if you’re unsure. College is a major commitment that needs to be sufficiently mulled over. You may find that it isn’t the right path, and that’s fine. Finding a balance between happiness and fulfillment is more important. Outline a path and stick to that path.