The decision to attend graduate school isn’t one that affects only you. Sure, you will get greater job prospects in the long run and likely make more money, but there are even greater implications at work. Having an educated population keeps a nation competitive in the global marketplace. Unfortunately personal and financial implications often play a much larger role than what is in the best interest of the greater good, and more people are choosing to skip grad school than ever before. Is there a war on grad school, and if so what is behind it?
There were several decades when the cost of college tuition remained relatively affordable thanks to greater tax revenue and state and federal support of institutions of higher learning. Unfortunately support has fallen off and tuition has crept up, leaving families to foot the entirety of the bill for higher education, even though it clearly benefits everyone to have a more educated population. This has led to an epidemic of student loan debt for undergraduate degrees, leaving people with little room left to take on still more debt for grad school.
But debt isn’t the only problem facing students when they are deciding whether to attend or continue attending graduate school. Rapid policy shifts between administrations can pull the rug out from under programs that students are counting on to make things work.
There are a multitude of professions that require a postgraduate degree just to get in the door, like social workers, doctors, librarians, and more. Thankfully there are a few solutions that can be cobbled together to make it work. Student loan repayment assistance is one of the hottest new job perks - think of it as the new age of the signing bonus. There are also many companies that allow all or part of your tuition to be reimbursed when you work there a certain number of hours a week for a certain period of time. Companies like UPS, Bank of America, and Best Buy offer up to $5250 per year, while Verizon offers up to $8000 and AT&T offers up to $25,000 for graduate expenses.
Companies like those recognize the societal benefits of an educated population. If you didn’t have to worry about racking up student loan debt, would you decide to attend graduate school? Learn more about the war on grad school and how to make it work from this infographic!