About 70% of all students attend college after high school. The reason why, is because people who graduate from college are earning, on average, 52.2 thousands dollars per year, compared to people with a high school degree, who earn an average of 30.4 thousand per year. That is a big monetary difference. Although there are opportunities to make a lot of money without college, these are rare and, in the case of business owners, also very risky. This makes college very important in the U.S.
But college is not as easy as high school. It is harder, so students need preparation. This is the job of schools. They need to teach students in preparation for college and help them with college searches, applications, and classes on college standards. Not everybody is able to easily get into college or able to stay. They need to work do reach this and some also need this kind of pressure. In the end, the goal of both high school and college is to help the students reach their full academic potential.
On the other hand, there is also a bad side about it. Colleges expect good grades, extracurricular activities and volunteering. All of these things put a lot of pressure on high school students. Along the way, students must take SAT and the ACT. Family, teachers and guidance counselors expect students to spend all their time on college preparations. Every day college is being pushed on students more, and AP lessons in the classroom are just about college preparation. Everybody is expected to go to college. According to a Stanford University study, the pressure can be harmful to their physical and psychological health. More and more students experience burnout and quit working due to high stress levels.
From a foreign perspective, in the USA, college is way more important than it is in Europe. It costs a lot more money, and it is hard to make good money without it, due to low pay and temporary jobs . This makes college the priority of nearly all high school students. From a foreign perspective, college should be important, but students should also have time to relax and recharge their bodies and brains. It can ruin good students. But because of the huge amounts of college cost and nearly no opportunity to get money without it, there seems to be no other way. That is the reason why people without a college degree should have a safe opportunity to make nearly as much money.
College preparations should be important in the life of high school students, but it should not take all their free time. To be successful in life, you need time to enjoy it.
Till Hambörger, Staff Writer
Junior Till Hambörger is a staff writer for the 2014-2015 Colonel. He is a foreign exchange student from Germany.