As Asian Americans, most of our parents have drilled into our heads the fundamental reasons why we should attend college. However, what they probably haven’t mentioned and what we don’t normally think of is the societal impact of obtaining a college education. As recent CBS News article explains, getting a college degree actually helps boost the economy.
The percentage of students who do not attend college is larger than you may think, as high school dropout rates are reaching nearly 50 percent in the country’s 50 largest school districts. The U.S. was once a world leader in high school graduation rates—now we are ranked 18th among industrialized countries. In addition, high school dropouts cost taxpayers over $8 billion a year through public assistance programs such as food stamps. Those who don’t have higher education degrees also earn an average of $10,000 less than their college-graduate counterparts and are much more likely to be unemployed.
Ultimately, whether or not you decide to go to college is a very personal choice. However, it’s always a good idea to look at the decision from all angles—including the big picture—and see that going to college can not only help yourself, but benefit our nation’s economy and social landscape as well.
Image via augsburg.edu