According to a report published last spring by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, nearly a third of all college students are pressured to drop out. Dr. Babington, Ph.D., associate professor and Chair of the Division of Communication, Visual and Performing Arts at Spring Hill College, addressed this discourse on whether or not it pays to finish college in his recent lecture on social exchange theory.
“When deciding whether to stay or leave a relationship, we look to see if the benefits outweigh the costs,” Babington explained. With costs rising, students are pressured more than ever to drop out of college and get a full-time job. Despite this, I have decided to finish college because college graduates generally earn more than nongraduates, most jobs require a college education, and college graduates are more likely to afford health insurance.
A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics showed that college graduates enjoy greater annual earnings than those who do not earn a degree. The report indicated that the median earnings of people with a bachelor’s degree were 63% higher than the earnings of those with a high school diploma only.
Additionally, college graduates have an 86% employment rate compared to 65% for those without a degree. This employment trend is expected to continue over the next five years as the Center on Education and the Workforce projected that 70% of all jobs will require a college education by 2027.
With greater income and employment opportunities, college graduates are also more likely to afford health insurance, which is an important consideration due to skyrocketing health care costs. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the benchmark premium for single-person policies through the Health Insurance Marketplace is $462 per month or $5,544 per year.
The College Board, a nonprofit organization expanding access to higher education, has found that 64% of college graduates have employer-provided coverage, compared to only 52% of high school graduates. Although some may choose to go uninsured, this is a risky move since illnesses requiring medical attention can occur at any time, which would leave an uninsured person paying medical bills at full price and out of pocket.
Although rising costs have pressured students to quit college and enter the workforce, I think this is a bad decision in the long run. Sure, you can pay off some college debt by taking a part-time job, but a college degree leads to greater financial freedom. The benefits of finishing college far outweigh the costs, so this is one “relationship”