In the United States, the costs of a college education outweigh the benefits
Accepted. I will be arguing that the benefits of a college education outweigh the costs. I hope this is a great debate! :p Go!
Thanks for accepting. I'd like to start off by outlining a framework for this debate. There are a few key factors that need to be looked at:
1) The cost to the individual
All right so we're looking at the benefit to the majority. I don't believe the resolution should pertain to EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the United States. The ENTIRE population should not be looked at here. The main focus should be on the people actually paying to go to college. How would you analyze the benefits that a random person across the country receives from students paying to go to college? We must look at the group paying to go to college and what benefits they receive and whether this outweighs the cost (I'll touch on this later).
1. College does not benefit the majority
Basically 68% of high school graduates went to college. So this 68% would be the ones receiving any sort of benefits. The people that did not even attend college cannot be a factor. Of course they didn't receive any benefits. But they didn't have to pay anything either! So these people who weren't even in college cannot be used by either side of this debate, because the resolution simply does not pertain to them. Now, my opponent says 45& of the people do drop out after paying for college. So this 45% does not receive any benefits. But guess what! The other 55% receives benefits from college! (I'll touch on the benefits later after my rebuttals) 55>45, therefore the majority still receives benefits.
"The Labor Department’s American Community Surveytells us of another 22% of college graduates that are currently employed at a job that doesn't even require a degree. All of this points to the idea that all of the individual benefits that the Con is sure to point out aren't actually obtained by the majority of the U.S populace."
Ok so 22% of college graduates are employed at a job that doesn't require a degree... Well I'm glad that the other 78% of college graduates found their degree useful and a benefit to them. 78>22, therefore the majority receives benefits.
2. College contributes towards the growing income gap in the U.S
"According to the Center for the Study of Democracy in 2007, from 1973 to 2005, wages of those in the 90th percentile – where most people have college or advanced degrees – rose by 30 percent or more, and among this top 10 percent, the growth was heavily concentrated in the top 1%, which includes venture capitalists, corporate attorneys, and CEOs."
Hmmm... getting a college degree leads to making more money? A lot more money? Sounds like a good benefit to me.
"In contrast, at the 50th percentile and below, where many people have at most a high school diploma, real wages rose by only 5 to 10 percent. Although there isn't a causal relationship between the growing income gap and college education, these statistics still show an increasing gap between the payment of a blue collar worker and a white collar worker. This means that people who can’t afford college, people who drop out or fail college, or even people who don’t want to go to college are punished, and in most cases, the act that they’re being punished for is completely out of their control."
You're right - there isn't a casual relationship between the growing income gap and college education. People who have college degrees ARE making more than people without college degrees. But again, my opponent is looking at a lot of people who didn't have to pay anything for college, because they just didn't go. If you don't go to college, how on Earth would you receive the benefits of college?
3. College contributes to the destruction of the U.S health care system
Ok so basically my opponent is saying that medical sutudents pay much more for their education and many of them are in debt. However, the number of medical students in the US is only about 67,000 (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com...). Compared to the 18.2 million students who enrolled in college in 2007(http://howtoedu.org...), that number seems pretty miniscule. So the extremely high costs does not affect the majority, and the majority is not left in a ton of debt. 18.2 million total>67,000 medical therefore majority is not affected.
All of the other statistics my opponent is showing is basically trying to connect the bankruptcies and misfortunes of other people to the costs of college. Once again, I believe the group who is closely affiliated with the colleges and the costs and benefits of them, i.e. students, should be looked at here, not every single person in the US. Ok, the US has a very expensive healthcare. So what?
Number 1 Benefit for Going to College - "College graduates, on average, make a whopping one million dollars more in lifetime earnings than those with a high school diploma."(http://www.eduguide.org...)
Now isn't that worth the measly costs of college? College costs are on average $29,000 for private colleges and $12,000 for public colleges, every year (http://businessmajors.about.com...). But for paying that amount to go to college you earn 1 million more than you would have if you didn't go to college at all! Talk about a benefit!
Of course there are many other benefits to college that can't be measured in numbers such as the whole experience. Meeting lifelong friends, awesome parties, living on campus, etc.
Sure college can be pretty costly, but it more than makes up for it in the end. Vote Con!
Higher education is required for all but the most basic of jobs (Contention 4)
You're probably wondering why I'm trying to make this point. Obviously college benefits the individual even more if it's required to get a halfway-decent job, right? That's exactly the point. But what happens to the rest of the population without a degree? They're left behind to "feed off the table scraps".
In the book Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life, Anthony T. Kronman, a professor of law at Yale Law School, said: "All but the most unskilled forms of labor are increasingly based on knowledge of a kind that can be acquired only in school, and in supplying that knowledge America's colleges and universities provide a tremendous service to the individuals who come to them to learn a trade of profession". There is no denying the benefit to the individual when he or she receives a college education, but those who do not are limited to all but the most basic of jobs.
In defense of my contentions
Contention 1) College does not benefit the majority
My opponent states that the people who do not attend college should not factor into this debate because the resolution doesn't apply to them. This was true, until I brought up my fourth contention. Now, those who do not go to college must be included in this debate as a group of individuals who are suffering the consequences of not going to college. If we are forced to include the individuals who do not attend college, we are now left with a resulting 62.6% of high school graduates who have not benefited - but have actually been impacted negatively - by a college education.
Contention 2) College contributes to the already growing income gap
Given my response to my opponent's objection to my first Contention, my opponent's response to my second is also void. Yes, college graduates make more money, and their income has been proven to increase over time compared to the income of blue-collar workers. This is exactly what my point was trying to get across. If the wages of higher educated jobs are increasing faster than the wages of lower education jobs, then that is an income gap that is increasing.
Contention 3) College contributes to the destruction of the U.S health care system
My opponent seemed to misunderstand this contention. Yes, it's true that med-school students have to pay more than regular college students, and yes, they are part of the minority. But I wasn't arguing that. I was arguing that health care prices in the United States are so high BECAUSE med school students have to pay so much towards their educations. It takes an average of 11 years to fully pay off the debt that one acquires through med school, and it is for this reason that the costs of health care in the United States is so high. And seeing as the cost of health care affects everyone, this is an obvious detriment for the majority of the U.S populace.
Responding to my opponent's contention:
College students make more money
I agree. The arguments in my fourth contention apply here as well. What about the students that do not attend college? What about the students that can not attend college? It's simple, they are forced to make less than their higher-educated counterparts. So again, I acknowledge the benefits to the individual, but that is insignificant compared to the detriments to the majority.
I urge an affirmative vote.
Sans_the_Ander forfeited this round.
Extend my arguments. I urge an affirmative vote.
Sans_the_Ander forfeited this round.
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