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“Is College Worth the Money?” by Daniel S. Cheever, Jr. Essay

In this day and age, the cost of a college education is more than most middle-class families’ yearly salary. In today’s job market, a lack of having a college education makes it difficult to land an entry level position. The discussion of college cost comes and goes but is a major question in the minds of parents and potential college applicants around the nation. In Daniel S. Cheever, Jr’s article, “Is College Worth the Money”, Cheever urges people to look at other factors when judging the value of a college education rather than its cost.

To begin with, Cheever brings home the point that college tuition is rising at an exponential rate. Over the last 20 years, undergrad tuition at Havard has risen over twenty thousand dollars, outpacing the consumer price index. Cheever makes a valid point, by only focusing on one institution, is this indicative of all colleges across the board? By attending Harvard University, one could argue that one is paying for the prestige of the school rather than the quality of the education. Cheever also points out; parents are willing to take out $100,000 to pay for a highly educated graduate that, by the end of a working, career will make one million dollars more than someone who didn’t get a higher education. Taking cost out of the equation, what does that investment yield for the student? The final statement that Cheever makes, “Parents and students will demand a proven and verifiable outcome that measures the outcome on their investment” is a bleak conclusion. It is not indicative of the students that go for a good time and not the quality of their education. Cheever makes bold claims throughout his essay that he seems to fail to back up.

Though Cheever lacks depth in his essay, he makes many agreeable statements as to what we should consider in valuing a college education.We should look deeper into what a college brings to the table, more than just the prestige it has acquired. Having a after-grad services would definitely play a factor in how we judge a schools value. During the schooling years though, being able to become an economically productive and community minded citizen will aide anyone who attends, even if they decide to leave town, or even the state, after graduation. Cheever brings great ideas to the table, even if just briefly touching each subject, he still makes the question, “Is College worth the money?” a tough one to answer.

With all these great tips, asking is college worth the money is still a difficult decision. Ultimately, it falls to the students and parents seeking higher education to make the decision. Everyone is different, different upbringings, different theologies and requirements about what a school should do for them. If answering a generic question, “Is College worth the money?” is as easy as Cheever makes it out to be, why hasn’t the discussion stopped? There may never be a direct answer, but it has some basic guidelines based on Cheever’s essay. If you need any more information though, you’re better off calling each school you’re interested in and asking the same questions and seeing which school is the best for you.


Cheever Jr., Cheever S. “Is College Worth the Money?.” The Blair Reader. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston: Pearson, Prentice-Hall, 2014. 113-115. Print.

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