The CL Intern Issue: Who needs college, anyway?

click to enlarge CL intern Mario Baez. - Todd Bates
Todd Bates
CL intern Mario Baez.

I remember graduating high school and seeing college as an extension of school. After being freed and tossed right back into the system, I thought, why not? I knew it was the right thing to do for myself at the time; I wasn’t necessarily ready to grow up, have a job, and pay bills just yet. So there I was, like many others, beginning college with a loan, hoping for the best possible outcome.

I didn’t know much at the time (and I still don’t) but I kept thinking to myself: Will this all be worth it in the end?

The power of knowledge is a great thing, but at what cost? We have libraries, bookstores, and Amazon providing free access to information, yet we pay a ridiculous amount for an education. So studying doesn’t mean anything unless you acquire a degree?

How much better off would the world be if education weren’t as controlled by capital as it is today? Online resources like Coursera offer free courses with the help of major universities. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recommends the College Achievement Plan, which helps employees by supporting their education costs. It seems like a plan to better fit today’s student. The cost of learning has skyrocketed to such a degree that bright young students are being shut out of obtaining a proper education. Look, I wouldn’t mind paying for school straight out of pocket, but the fees as they stand now are much too high. The ideal would be to make enough money from a part-time job to afford the classes, or to have a loan manageable enough that it wouldn’t take 10 years to pay it off.

The reality is that everything is expensive these days, and that to be successful you don’t necessarily need a college education; many famous people have done well without it. It’s all up to the individual. School can be worth it, but you must make it worth something.

What’s it worth to you?

Mario Baez is an English major at the University of South Florida. His main focus is on creative writing and he hopes to make stories come to life through his imagination. Risen from the Rocky River, he wields his red beard of courage and continues to live life through foolishness. He loves to laugh (especially at others people’s expense). When he isn’t harassed by school or job or other responsibilities, he enjoys playing basketball, watching films/TV shows, and family getaways. HiiiPower.