Knowledge vs. Financial Stability

Every student has a reason for continuing their education in college, but most college students either want to gain knowledge in their field of study, want to feel comfortable knowing they will be more financially stable with a degree, or both.

The way the world is now, it is difficult to attain a well-paying job without having a degree. The upside of having a degree, along with acquiring a well-paying job, is better knowledge of the specific area of study you wish to work in. With more knowledge one may feel more comfortable at their job in their field after acquiring their degree.

When applying for a job, those with a degree will find it easier to receive the interview and obtain the job than those without a degree who may have to hunt a bit harder. Employers would easily pick a potential employee with a degree over one without because they expect the applicant with the degree to be more knowledgeable. And in today’s world, knowledge is power.

However, furthering education can cost a substantial amount of money, stress, and medical problems.

College level students go through school pushing through, taking tests frequently and often only sleeping for very few hours.

The rate of insomnia in college students is fairly high. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), students have reported daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation, and irregular sleep schedules. Fifty percent of students reported daytime sleepiness and seventy percent say that they suffer from insufficient sleep.

Some of the consequences college students face from both sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness are possibly lower grade point averages, increased risk of academic failure, compromised learning, impaired mood, and a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents, according to NCBI.

A person’s grade point average (GPA) is not only an indication of learning, but is actually a multifaceted interaction between the person and their overall environment. The factors affecting their GPA are a combination of intelligence, motivation, work ethic, personality, socioeconomic status, health problems, current school systems, past school systems, course load, academic major, and their test-taking abilities.

Insomnia effects the way students learn. It is much harder to retain information and be their best. Their brains can’t focus as easily and take longer to comprehend anything they are taught. This makes the learning experience overall a very difficult time. Additionally, this makes people wonder whether they are really learning anything at all.

Often students report that they do not know much more after completing a course than when they started. This is not to say they didn’t learn anything but they did not retain all of the information from the course itself.

So in concluding that students only learn so much, it brings to mind whether they came to learn or if they came to earn a title which will help push them farther in the working world.

People go to college for the knowledge to add in the work force when they graduate. Or at least that is what they are told. Others don’t view this statement as being true.

Many people feel that to hold a position of power in a company and be respected you must have a collegiate degree of some sort.

Cheryl Nance, a senior non-traditional student says, “I worked as an accountant for 15 years. Learned the job from basic position and worked my way up to Finance Manager. Despite that, some did not take me as serious because I didn’t have a degree to back up my knowledge.”

Most traditional students who go to college straight out of high school encounter other problems. For example, many students may struggle with a conflict between their parents’ views and their own. In many cases, parents have a major role in their child’s life after college. Parents who have went to college are more likely to push their children to go to college. Also, most parents want the best for their children, so they may push their children into college if they think that is what’s best for them.

For some students, they do not have a choice. They are raised thinking that college is mandatory and there is no other way for them.

Tiffany Jacobs, a freshman Sports Business major said, “My mom is a single mother who is highly educated and successful. Going to college was like planned for me. I never really Continued from page 2

thought about getting a job.

”Other young adults may want to break away from home and take their own path that their family members may have shied away from.

David Guadarrama, a senior Biomedical major said, “I wanted to be the first in my family to graduate college and get a better job.”

Here is where the expected family contribution comes into play. The EFC is meant to measure a students’ family’s financial strength. It looks at how much money a students’ family has, how big their family is, and how many people in their family are in college according to College Board.

The family is expected to put in some money for a students’ education which many believe plays a part in how much say they have in the decision process. Also, if the parents or guardians are paying for the students’ tuition, the students may be pushed to be more responsible and keep their grades up throughout college. Students who are paying for their own tuition in some way, have more freedom and may not have someone pushing them to do well.

As one student, Giuseppe L. Donnian, senior English major, put it, “Who else is going to co-sign loans?”

However, if the student is put under a lot of pressure from their parents who do not want their thousands of dollars to go to waste, the student may feel stressed out and overloaded making their experience in college more difficult. This could also have the opposite effect of the students’ grades dropping because they are too overwhelmed with work and stress.

Teachers can also be a great influence on a student, especially if they see a lot of potential in them.

As Leonna Hunt, a senior English: Professional Writing major said, “I think that teachers and peers have more of an influence. Their interests seem to be more prompted by who they see outside of home.”

Society may also play a major role in the young adults’ choice after high school.

Cedric Blatch, a junior English: Professional Writing major and Communications minor said, “It has been viewed as a social norm. If you don’t go to college, in today’s world you’re looked at as if you’re not doing anything with your life.”

Students were also asked what really made them decide to go to college instead of getting a job immediately after high school. Some students took this more serious while others took a more comical angle on their reasoning.

Alec Iannuzzi, a freshman Math major stated, “I don’t want to work like a slave seven days a week to make a decent paycheck.”

Other students explained how it is important to set a good example for younger generations in families.

Thalia Munoz, freshman Criminal Justice major said, “I knew I needed to come to college because I wanted to be educated, make my family proud, and be a role model to my sister.”

Another student sought to explain this decision further on a deeper level.

Colin Poots, a freshman Business Management major said, “I wanted to have a chance to make something of myself. To not just work a job and become nothing more than a number on a spreadsheet. I want to work towards my dream job as well as internalizing some core values along the way. Without these values, we are no better than machines working menial jobs for higher organizations. No heart. No core values.”

On the other hand, some students actually came to college to learn and gain some knowledge from their classes and experiences. But, again recognizes that later in life it will bring financial stability.

Elizabeth Diaz, a sophomore Business Management major said, “I wanted to get a higher education to gain knowledge and get a degree to have a successful career. Work hard now and live the rest of your life happy and financially stable.”

Financial stability seems to still be a driving factor in most of the students’ opinions. They were asked whether they believe people choose to go to college to gain knowledge in a specific field of study or if they do it to be financially stable.

Guadarrama also said, “I think it is a little of both. Some people come in wanting to be financially stable but also end up learning more about cultures, people and other subjects. Those that come in for knowledge also walk away with being more financially stable.”

In this way it can work both ways, but most students come because they have obligations either to earning money later in life, or furthering their education and filling in the gaps of their knowledge.

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