Student Voice


November 28, 2022



Value of college degree being challenged

December 13, 2012

There has been some debate on whether or not higher education is worth the time and money anymore. An article published in The Economist on Dec. 1, 2012, further discusses this issue. The issue was also brought to campus and how it directly affects the students.

As quoted in the article, “Moreover, college graduates, on average, still earn far more and receive better benefits than those who do not have a degree.”

Though the article then said, “But rising fees and increasing student debt, combined with shrinking financial and educational returns, are undermining at least the perception that university is a good investment.”

The article listed several statistics about student debt, and said that in 2011, students who received a bachelor’s degree “graduated with an average of $26,000 in debt, according to the Project on Student Debt, a non-profit group.”

Students at UW-River Falls also ask this question about the value of higher education. However, Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Tricia Davis said, “of course it is.” Receiving a degree does not only increase a person’s earning potential but it gives people better opportunities.

Davis said that earning a degree from an institution allows for additional growth in earning and development. People can make valuable connections and gain valuable resources when they are in college. Davis also said that higher education gives people knowledge, skills and the ability to think critically.

When asked if anyone she had talked to has said otherwise, she said no because they are all in the business. She also said that the economy has changed and it is now a knowledge - based economy.

When asked if she agreed or disagreed with the statement that people should get a degree that costs what they would earn in their first year. Davis said that it was an interesting way of looking at it, but, ultimately, it depends on where someone goes to school and the type of degree that they are pursuing.

Student Sarah Allen said, “In a lot of cases, I don’t believe it’s worth the time and money anymore.”

Allen stated that most people do not even use their degrees anymore.

A person gets their degree in one field and ends up doing something in a completely different field. She said that higher education is only worth it if a person is in a secure career path.

However, student Joe Gavin disagreed. When asked if he believes higher education is still worth the time and money, he simply said, “certainly.” He even used himself as an example saying that he already has a real job lined up for him about a month and a half after he graduates.

Gavin also said that people would encounter more barriers without receiving a college degree.


Matt on 16 Dec 2012: My friends and I graduated from UWRF in a past few years and have yet to find employment that requires a degree. While I greatly enjoyed the experience, I'm beginning to feel my time spent at UWRF was largely a waste of time. Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot and had great experiences, but it's doing nothing in terms of career advancement.