More students are choosing to leave higher education, or not pursue a degree at all. A 2022 Gallup poll found about a third of enrolled students pursuing a bachelor’s degree considered withdrawing for a semester or more. The top reasons — emotional stress, COVID-19 and cost. There are around 9% fewer students on college campuses today compared to two years ago — a loss of nearly 1.4 million students. The cost of college has more than doubled in the 21st century, increasing at an average of 7% a year. The average student loan debt is nearly $38,000.
Class discussion: Are you planning to go to college? Why or why not? People who graduate from college usually make much more money and have a wider choice of careers than people who don’t get a degree. Are these benefits worth the high cost and hard effort of obtaining a college degree? Tuition and other costs have soared as tax support of state colleges and universities has declined. Why should taxpayers, including ones who never went to college or have kids headed to a university, support higher education? How does higher education benefit a nation as a whole?