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Read the “Is College Worth It?” passage set.

I have attached a document that contains three articles about the cost of attending college. After the articles, you will see an FSA style prompt. Write an argumentative essay about whether college is worth the cost. Your essay must be based on the ideas, concepts, and information found in the “Is College Worth It?” passage set and must include citations from the three articles in your essay.

Is College Worth the Cost?

Source 1: Is College Worth the Cost? Many Recent Graduates Don’t Think So.

In the coming weeks, tens of thousands of young adults who graduated from college last spring will get their first payment notice for their student loans. As they look at the bill — with an average monthly payment closing in on $400 and with a decade of payments ahead of them — they inevitably will ask the question: “Was my degree worth it?”

If the results of a national survey released on Tuesday are any indication, many of them will question their investment. Just 38 percent of students who have graduated college in the past decade strongly agree that their higher education was worth the cost, according to results of 30,000 alumni polled by Gallup-Purdue Index. Among those with debt, the perception of their degree’s value was even lower. Just one in three strongly agreed that their education was worth the cost.

That’s not surprising. For many of those with newly minted bachelor’s degrees, the job market is still not what it was for their counterparts a decade ago. The unemployment rate for recent college graduates has remained stuck around 9 percent. And nearly half of college graduates in their 20s are underemployed, meaning the jobs they have don’t require a bachelor’s degree.

“Having a B.A. is less about obtaining access to high-paying managerial and technology jobs and more about beating out less-educated workers for the barista and clerical job,” according to a widely cited study in 2014 that found demand for college-educated knowledge workers has slowed as the tech revolution has matured. In other words, there is plenty of truth in the stereotype of the struggling college graduate working at Starbucks or as a waiter.

While the question about whether a college degree is worth it is not new, what is different now compared to the 1970s is the level of debt that many students must take on to finance their education. As a result, students and their families are increasingly trying to measure the return on their investment by weighing the payoff of degrees from different colleges and certain majors.

Peter Cappelli, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, lays out a guide for families in making this so-called ROI calculation in his new book. In the book, Cappelli is dismissive of picking a vocational major based on the hot jobs of today because they might not even exist by the time students graduate. It’s those types of narrowly tailored majors, such as social media or sports management, that are popular but often land students in the unemployment line or working odd jobs that don’t require a college degree.

That’s true for even those jobs those that in the past didn’t require a degree. A report by Burning Glass, a company that analyzes the data contained in job ads, found that 65 percent of postings for executive secretaries and executive assistants now call for a bachelor’s degree, when only 19 percent of those currently employed in these roles have such a degree.

For employers, the college degree seems to signal that applicants had the discipline to finish what they started. Only a little more than half of those students who launch down the path toward a bachelor’s degree end up earning one.

The “college-for-all” movement has flooded institutions with students who decades ago would have landed in solid middle-class jobs without a degree. The answer to the simple question of whether a college degree is worth it is certainly more nuanced today than it was in the 1980s. It’s no longer the guarantee to a good life it once was: plenty of students are following the advice of their parents and counselors, getting a degree, and still

failing to successfully launch into the job market of this new economy.

Source 2: College costs are skyrocketing. Here’s how to decide if

that high price tag is worth it

With the student loan crisis gaining ground as a key issue in the 2020 presidential race,a

new CNBC and Acorns survey has found that a majority of Americans now believe the

value of a college education is inextricably tied to whether they have to go into debt to pay

for it.

Some 58% of consumers polled earlier this month said that college is worth the money — but not if it means taking on too much debt. Only about 1 in 5 of the survey’s 2,800 respondents believe that college is worth the price, even if it means borrowing heavily, and nearly as many (18%) said that college is not worth the money, period. That number jumped to 24% among those in the 35- to 44-year-old age group.

Experts say the results reflect a change in attitude toward higher education by families, due to sharply rising costs. Although the rate of growth has moderated lately, tuition increases are still averaging two to three percentage points above inflation, keeping overall costs high: According to The College Board, over the past three decades, tuition and fees at private four-year institutions have more than doubled, to $35,830, for the 2018–19 academic year after adjusting for inflation ($48,510 including room and board), and they’ve tripled at state schools, to $10,370. At the Ivy leagues the costs are exorbitant. At Harvard the total annual cost of attendance is now $67,580; next year at Princeton it will be $73,450.

Meanwhile, families have increasingly turned to federal and private loans to help foot the bills, pushing outstanding student debt to a stunning $1.6 trillion. Among the almost 70% of students who borrow for school, the typical senior now graduates with nearly $30,000 in debt.

Perhaps the biggest risk: not graduating. Only about 60% of undergraduates earn a degree in six years, and just 40% cross the finish line in the traditional four-year time span.

Additional years in school add to the costs and subtract years in the workforce earning income. Plus, workers who attend college but never get their degree typically make only modestly more over the course of their careers than those who only have a high school diploma — 18% more on average than the typical high school grad, vs. the 70% premium typically earned by those with a BA, and 120% for those with advanced degrees, research shows.

Boosting your college ROI

What else can you do to ensure you get the best value for your education dollar? Experts recommend the following:

1. Check the school’s graduation rate. If the single most important way to ensure a high ROI on college is to graduate, favor schools with a great track record of helping students cross the finish line in a timely fashion. (Comparative data on graduation rates is available on the federal government’s College Scorecard.)

Institutions with higher-than-average graduation rates tend to have more resources to invest in their students, Cappelli says, and offer a variety of classes and services to help them successfully complete their coursework — including intervening when a student appears to struggle by offering tutoring, recommendations of alternate classes and other aid.

“The best schools are proactive instead of reactive,” Cappelli says.

2. Favor schools that provide relevant experiences. The more relevant that alumni consider their college courses to be in their work and daily lives now, the more likely they are to agree they received a high-quality education that was worth the cost. In fact, a survey last year by Strada Education Network and Gallup found that relevance was the strongest predictor of consumers’ perceptions of college quality and value—stronger than gender, race, income, age, field of study, level of education or cost of the school attended.

Which school experiences were graduates most likely to say prepared them well for life after college? Gallup identified a number of key factors that made a difference including having a mentor; having professors who made their students excited about learning and cared about them as a person; having an internship that allowed them to apply what they were learning in the classroom; working on a long-term project that took a semester or more to complete, and being heavily involved in school organizations and extracurricular activities.

3. Borrow smart. If you need help covering college costs, stick primarily with federal loans in the student’s name. “Government loans have many safety valves built in that conventional private loans do not,” says Fishman.

These include annual limits on borrowing — $5,500 for freshmen, rising to $7,500 for junior year and beyond. Plus, the loans come with a variety of repayment options. Many of them are tied to the borrower’s income, making them more affordable on a monthly basis for newly-minted grads struggling to get by on a modest starting salary.

Where you can get into serious trouble quickly is with private loans and parent PLUS loans from the government; the latter, for example, allow parents to borrow up to the full cost of attendance with only a cursory credit check. In fact, a study by the Urban Institute this year found that parent PLUS borrowing is up 42% over the past decade, compared with only a 2% increase in undergraduate loans taken out by students.

With parent PLUS loan rates currently at 7.6%, you may be better off tapping your home equity with a home equity line of credit, currently averaging 5.5% nationally. Or, better yet, encourage your student to go with a more affordable school for your family.

4. Don’t let a major trip you up. One common reason students fail to graduate on time is that they switch majors and then need another semester or two or four to complete the additional coursework required.

To avoid that fate, Cappelli suggests students favor schools and concentrations with simpler requirements—ones, for instance, that allow you to declare your major after your freshman or sophomore year or that don’t mandate many courses that must be taken in a particular sequence.

Fishman also recommends not getting too hung up on which major will lead to the highest-paying job after graduation and instead pursue the subject that interests you most, and which you’ll therefore be most likely to stick with.

“What employers continually say they’re looking for are people who can think on their feet, who are good writers and communicators, and who can engage critically,” Fishman points out. “Almost anything you major in will get you there.”

Source 3: Thoughts on College Tuition

We are taught at a young age

to pursue an education.

To be thoughtful, intelligent,

because any mediation from

this societal must will entrust our future

be in the ground.

No job will hire those who are not

education bound.

But if my education is such a vital way

to ensure I become worthwhile someday,

If I won’t make it today

without an education beyond 12th grade,

Who are you to say that I should have to pay?

You speak concern about my health,

but your true concern is in your wealth.

Who cares if the student missed class, right?

Her tuition’s paying for dinner tonight!

The more class she missed,

the more class she makes up,

the more made up your wife looks

marked up in new makeup.

Why is my education paying for your dinner

while my adolescent body gets thinner and thinner?

If we believe everyone deserves an education,

if we live in a world of job intimidation,

If I can’t find work without a degree,

if I can’t be who I want to be

If I can’t escape the cage known as Minimum Wage

with the 12 years you provide,

If my future requires collegiate guide,

If you insist art is a lie

and high school level jobs

are where dreams go to die,

If without college I can’t afford

food, electricity, or rent,

What makes you believe

I should owe you a cent?

We are taught at a young age

that education is the key.

So I will not apologize

when it infuriates me

that our entire future

relies on our knowledge

and yet you make us pay for college.

Writing Prompt

Write an argumentative essay about whether college is worth the cost. Your essay must be based on the ideas, concepts, and information found in the “Is College Worth It?” passage set.

Manage your time carefully so that you can

• read the passages;

• plan your response;

• write your response; and

• revise and edit your response.

Be sure to

• use evidence from multiple sources; include a counter argument; and

• avoid overly relying on one source.

Your response should be in the form of a multi-paragraph essay.

Type your response in the space provided.

You have 120 minutes to read, plan, write, revise, and edit your response.

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