The Instigator
Mrparkers
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Sans_the_Ander
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

In the United States, the costs of a college education outweigh the benefits

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Mrparkers
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,172 times Debate No: 22892
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)

 

Mrparkers

Pro

First round acceptance. I am arguing that the costs of a college education do outweigh the benefits.
Sans_the_Ander

Con

Accepted. I will be arguing that the benefits of a college education outweigh the costs. I hope this is a great debate! :p Go!
Debate Round No. 1
Mrparkers

Pro

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
2) The benefit to the individual
3) The cost to the majority
4) The benefit to the majority

In any effective cost/benefit analysis, the cost or benefit to the majority is always carries more impact than the cost for benefit to the individual. Thus, for framework of this debate, the Pro must prove that the costs outweigh the benefits for the majority of the U.S populace, and the Con must prove that the benefits outweigh the costs for the majority of the U.S populace.


With that, here are my contentions:


1. College does not benefit the majority

The Bureau of Labor Statistics sheds some light on the amount of students who attend college, and from that, the amount who actually graduate. According to a BLS study in 2010[1], 68% of high school graduates attended college. According to this same study, 45% of those who enrolled in college didn’t even graduate. From that, we can conclude that 62.6% of the students that graduate from high school did not receive a college degree, whether they dropped out or didn’t even attend in the first place. Right off the bat, that's more than half of the U.S population who do not receive individual benefits from a college education, whether the reason be dropping out of college or not even attending at all. Although that doesn't seem like a lot, it's enough to prove a point. The Labor Department’s American Community Survey[2] tells 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.

2. College contributes towards the growing income gap in the U.S

Bryan Caplan, a professor of economics at the George Mason University, says that “From a moral point of view, far too many students are going to college – just as far too many people stand up at concerts”[3]. This analogy compares going to college with standing up at a concert: Sure, doing so will benefit you individually, there's no denying that, but by doing so you are effectively hindering the people around you. The more people that stand up at concerts, the more it hinders everyone there, just as the more people who attend college, the more it hinders the U.S populace, which includes both people who chose to attend college, and those who did not. According to the Center for the Study of Democracy in 2007[4], 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. 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.

3. College contributes to the destruction of the U.S health care system

The U.S is infamous for its astronomical health care prices, and semi-infamous for the high cost of a decent college education. Is it a coincidence that a medical school education is one of the most expensive educations that one can receive, but the potential profit from that career path is exponentially higher? I think not. The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that tuition rates alone for first year students averaged at $50,000 a year[5]. This doesn’t include room and board, textbooks, and other expenses, and it also doesn’t include graduate school. A study done by the American Medical Association reported that the average educational debt of indebted graduates of the class of 2010 was $157,944[6]. From the same study, they found that 78 percent of graduates have debt of at least $100,000, 42 percent of graduates have a debt of at least $150,000, and 85 percent of graduating medical students carry outstanding loans. In fact, the average amount of time that it takes for a graduated medical student to pay off his or her debts acquired from med school is 11 years. It's no wonder why health care costs are so high, how else would these students pay off their loans? The AMA states that tuition fee is the largest contributor towards the astronomically high price of health care by saying "Medical education debt is driven by rising tuition. AAMC data show that median private medical school tuition and fees increased by 50 percent (in real dollars) in the 20 years between 1984 and 2004. Median public medical school tuition and fees increased by 133 percent over the same time period. Other recent 20-year periods show similar trends."

What problems does this cause for our health care system?
Reuters ranks the United States as the most expensive health care in the world[7], which is largely due to the debt accumulated by medical students and their need to pay it off. The cost of U.S health care has led to 16.7% of the U.S population who are completely uninsured because they can’t afford health care, according to the U.S Census Bureau in 2009[8]. This lack of insurance leads to the unnecessary deaths of 18 thousand people per year according to the U.S Institute of Medicine. Those who are insured still have trouble paying the costs of the health care they receive. A 2001 study in five states found that medical debt contributed to 46.2% of all personal bankruptcies and in 2007, 62.1% of filers for bankruptcies claimed high medical expenses. Having the most expensive health care in the world wouldn’t be so bad if it was also the best, but that’s not the case either. The World Health Organization ranks the United States as having the 37th most effective health care out of the 191 countries that were analyzed. So if you’re somehow able to afford health care, it’s still not even the best you can get, despite its outrageously high cost.


To summarize, college education in the United States does not benefit the majority, it contributes towards an increasing income gap between blue and white collar workers, and it leads to the increasing of price in the already ridiculously overpriced private health care in the U.S. Given these contentions, I affirm.






1. http://www.bls.gov...
2. http://www.census.gov...
3. http://chronicle.com...
4. http://www.frbsf.org...
5. http://services.aamc.org...
6. http://www.ama-assn.org...?
7. http://www.reuters.com...
8. Unfortunately, this isn't available online anymore, so here's the most recent version, it gives the same information: http://www.census.gov...


Sans_the_Ander

Con

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 Survey[2]tells 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[4], 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!
Debate Round No. 2
Mrparkers

Pro

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"[1]. 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.


Citations:

1. http://books.google.com...
Sans_the_Ander

Con

Sans_the_Ander forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Mrparkers

Pro

Extend my arguments. I urge an affirmative vote.
Sans_the_Ander

Con

Sans_the_Ander forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sans_the_Ander 4 years ago
Sans_the_Ander
Dang... I actually had a half decent case ready and then it got erased... so I came up with that last minute... oh well
Posted by vmpire321 4 years ago
vmpire321
**referring to Zard.

PF is kewl.
Posted by vmpire321 4 years ago
vmpire321
Ahh, silly LD'ers.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
True that
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
Ah silly PFers.
Posted by Mrparkers 4 years ago
Mrparkers
But that doesn't mean there aren't good arguments for both sides :P
Posted by TrueJustice 4 years ago
TrueJustice
I really hated this topic its really biased based off the factor that going to college is kind of the majority norm of America
Posted by Mrparkers 4 years ago
Mrparkers
Ah, yes. This was my favorite topic for this year, so I decided to see how my arguments would hold up online.
Posted by Dik_Dawg 4 years ago
Dik_Dawg
Indoubitably
Posted by TrueJustice 4 years ago
TrueJustice
you must be a public forum debater
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
MrparkersSans_the_AnderTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF