i Why Did I Choose St. Norbert College? | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Zach Fritz

Why would I choose to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on college instead of going straight to work and earning money? Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are two men that made great livings without having to go to college. There is a possibility that you could be that diamond in the rough who goes on to make millions without having to go to school for four more years. Dale Stephens’s article about the broken college system does make a few strong points that do support an extreme situation where you might want to take the risk in becoming a Bill Gates. For instance, it is true that tuition is increasing at a rapid rate and that student loan debt is the biggest debt in the US. Those are two big issues that concern people trying to get into a university. However, he goes on explaining how college doesn’t prepare us for life: “College fails to empower us with the skills necessary to become productive members of today’s global entrepreneurial economy.” Just focusing on the skills necessary aspect, there is a reason that colleges have majors and minors; it is to broaden the knowledge particularly in the area that a student would like to pursue their career. According to economist.com, students with a college degree, on average, make $17,500 more than students who only have a high school diploma. It is true that you could find a job without having a college degree, but with a degree you have a vast range of job possibilities and have the higher credentials to beating out a competitor that is lacking a college degree. This is why I believe that college is the most stable option for an individual trying to lead a successful life.

A degree from a four year college looks a lot better than just a high school degree. That being said, a college degree is not easy to obtain. Aside from the extra four years of schooling that are more labor-intensive, it even has some difficulties that can prevent young adults from making it to college. The biggest one is money. College tuition is rising at an alarming rate, even neglecting the aspect of inflation. A man from the Panel on The Nightly Show, Kurt Metzger, said, “Education is worth it, but not when it costs $250,000.” Now if it ever reaches that point, he would have a very valid argument for why college would be a bad idea, but now, weighing the pros and cons, the four extra years of schooling will lead to a much more successful career.

It is reassuring that going to college will automatically give you the competitive edge in job hunting over someone who doesn’t attend college. Attending a four year university isn’t your only option for higher level education though. There are different types of colleges that you can attend: community college, 2 year college, technical college, and 4 year college. Each of the colleges have their own strengths and weaknesses, but in most instances, going to a four year college will produces the most future success than the other options. This is why I think that the decision to go to a four year college is necessary if you are hoping to lead the most successful life that you can. With that in mind, I made the easy decision that I wanted to attend a four year college. It seemed too easy to decide on attending a four year college, but then came the difficult part of having to decide where I wanted to call my home for the following four years. I had never realized that the answer to that question had been right in front of my eyes my whole life.

Since I was young, I had always driven past St. Norbert to visit my grandparents, who live about five minutes from campus. I have loved the university since I was a little kid. As school went on I developed a passion towards Spanish and Math. This led me to settle on the double major of Spanish and International Business. St Norbert has a great International Business program, something that most other schools in this area were lacking, and a very high job placement percentage for this field of study. It helps that there are so many businesses around for me to potentially find an internship after a year or two. At St Norbert, I also have the ability to graduate in three years, which will save me money. Lastly on the academic aspect, I am offered the choice to study abroad in hope to enhance my knowledge of the Spanish language. Aside from schooling, the campus is phenomenal in both its appearance, and the students and faculty that are there. Throughout high school, I excelled at baseball and it was great to hear that their coach was very excited to see me play for him, so that added some incentive to choose this college. St Norbert had been third on my list of colleges, behind Concordia and Carroll, to start; however, when I looked at the opportunities I had at SNC, it quickly became the place I wanted to call home for the next four years.

After deciding on my college, I had to choose what I wanted to study. So, my goal coming into SNC was to get myself a degree in International Business and Spanish. While it is most important to take classes in these two areas of study, it is very crucial that we get a well-rounded crash course on the other subjects. Personally, I would not turn down the opportunity to receive classes for other subjects that would broaden my knowledge of general education, unless the class really doesn’t intrigue me. Edward Ray, President of Oregon State University, talks about the perks of attending a liberal arts college: “Clearly, all successful careers require critical thinking, teamwork, sensitivity to cultural, demographic, economic and societal differences and political perspectives. A liberal arts education provides this grounding.” A liberal arts college, like St. Norbert, provides these tools that I need to become a more knowledgeable person in both my field and in general. This will not only allow me to be suited for a job that interests me in the next few years, but it will give me a competitive edge over people who were not as lucky as me to go to a school like SNC.

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