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Societal value of degree determines cost of higher education

Hannah Kendall

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With the rising costs of tuition, it may seem reasonable to make certain majors more affordable than others. Majors such as Engineering or Chemistry, deemed more beneficial to society, would become more accessible to students and allow more to enter such fields without financial worry if costs were lessened. However, the idea of making certain majors more affordable is attractive, the amount a person pays for college should not be contingent on their major.

Making certain majors easier to attain devalues that area of study. For example, the math and science fields would experience an influx of students and the job market would flood. With so many people going into the math or science fields, largely out of affordability, the field would become oversaturated and the number of jobs available would be reduced.

Creating a social hierarchy of degrees would discourage people from following their passions. More people would become doctors or pharmacists, not because they were passionate about their career but because it was less expensive than becoming a musician or an artist.

Rather than an individual pursuing something he loves, he would attain a degree in a subject he is not really passionate about. Having affordable majors as an option places pressure on an individual to pursue the cheaper college path when it may not be what he or she wants.

Categorizing majors by their social value not only lessens their worth but also creates division and inequality. It divides students into those who have degrees of worth and those whose degrees hold no social value. Such imbalance can create tension and resentment between students.

Those who are passionate in English Literature or Philosophy would have to pay more for their education just because society is not partial to humanities degrees. Despite the exponential cost of college, the price of education should not be dictated by a person’s major.

With everyone paying the same tuition, degrees are not stratified by their social value and an individual’s career path is not shaped by the affordability of certain majors. A standard tuition price allows each person to choose their major without the pressure of a cheaper degree and gives them an unbiased opportunity to pursue a career they love.

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Societal value of degree determines cost of higher education