A lot of things are important in life but getting an education is one of the most important steps to take in life if you want to be successful, along with school money, time, and your future in general are all things that are affected by going to college. There is a huge problem right now that is affecting all college students and that is general education classes. We are having to waste so much money and time on General Education classes that we shouldn’t be required to take depending on how relevant it is to your major. Degree requirements should be restructured to better suit individual majors rather than just be an overall thing everyone must take. What I’m going to be talking about is if we didn’t have to take some of these unnecessary general Ed classes, we would have much more spare money and time on our hands which could be used in a more efficient way.
One Problem is that students must spend so much money on these classes that aren’t relevant for the major that they are going for whereas if they didn’t have to do that that money could be spent on more relevant classes or just have some extra money to save. One major argument that the school system has is that Gen Ed classes make us more well-rounded adults which sure maybe that is the case, but we aren’t going to college to become well-rounded adults were going to become masters at the major were going for. For the majority of students, we don’t have unlimited sources of money no one does really, and the amount of money needed to take these useless gen Ed’s that we don’t need to become a master at our major just adds up to substantial amounts. Because of this, students often end up with student debt. Abigail Hess a news associate with CNBC mentions that “Most college graduates have one major thing in common: student debt.
Today, 70 percent of college students graduate with a significant amount of loans. Over 44 million Americans collectively hold nearly $1.5 trillion in student debt. That means that roughly one in four American adults are paying off student loans.” (Hess) She continues in saying “When they graduate, the average student loan borrower has $37,172 in student loans, a $20,000 increase from 13 years ago. With that money, borrowers could put a down payment on a home, purchase a new car or bootstrap their own business.” (Hess) All the money we spend on these extra classes that are required to get our AA is just a huge waste of money that isn’t necessary for you to do especially if it’s not even relevant for the degree you’re going for.
This is a big deal because money doesn’t grow on trees, college is already expensive and having to spend money on wasteful classes doesn’t help. If we didn’t have to take these classes that money could be spent more efficiently like on classes that are relevant to our majors. General Education Courses are too expensive, add too much student debt, and adds so much micro managing around your other courses that are needed for the degree that’s relevant for you. Maud de Groot at Kennesaw State University said that she was born and raised in the Netherlands and the entire college system there is so much more different than the one in America. In all honesty it’s true and students know it and because of this a lot of students are enrolling abroad. Andrew Blackman at the Wall Street journal had this to say “As the cost of college in the U.S. soars to record levels, American students in growing numbers are enrolling in schools abroad, where tuition fees are substantially lower and in some cases nonexistent.
Annual tuition and fees for a private, nonprofit four-year university in the U.S. last year averaged $31,231, according to the nonprofit College Board.” (Blackman) College is supposed to be the place where you go to be taught to be a master in your future career. Instead we waste our money on gen ed courses that don’t even relate to your future career. Students are sick of it and that’s why are seeking education in other countries. Another example is “In Germany, universities receive so much in government subsidies that most students including international students pay no tuition at all. While it may not qualify as an exodus, some of the most popular countries for college enrollments abroad have seen sharp upticks since 2011-12, when more than 46,500 U.S. students were enrolled in foreign academic-degree programs, according to the Institute of International Education. Britain, the No.1 country for U.S. students, saw an 8% annual increase in 2012-13. German universities, meanwhile, experienced a 33% increase between 2010 and 2013, according to the German Academic Exchange Service.” (Blackman) A way that US could make college cheaper is to for one get rid of some of the useless gen Ed degree requirements and maybe that would stop students seeking education from other countries. Money isn’t the only thing that’s getting wasted with all these irrelevant courses that the school system requires us to take.
As well as having to waste all that money you also must waist an immense amount of time taking the classes. We already live busy lives and having to waste all this extra time is these classes that we don’t need really slows down progress. Imagine if we didn’t have to take all these gen ed classes how much spare time you would have. You could have more time for your jobs or just spare time in general. As well if we didn’t have to take the time in these extra classes we could get our degrees faster, pursue higher degrees and enter the workforce even sooner and generate some practical experience in the career that they we are interested in. This can all be done if the degree requirements were restructured and these useless classes were no longer required.
Having to take all these extra classes just adds unnecessary work that we don’t need to do for useless classes. It also leads to many uninterested students because they’re not in college to be learning this they want to learn things that are relevant to what their majoring in and it ends up with the students not taking them as serious and just being bored and wanting to not even bother with these classes. Pete Olin at the daily collegian at Penn State has gone through all this before and to quote the title of his article “Gen Eds and my colossal waste of time and money” You can tell that he didn’t really enjoy taking these useless general education courses. But he makes some very good points. He starts by saying that “its’ not just a Penn State problem that It’s a university problem.” (Olin) He continues to say “that most majors require around 60 credits of relevant courses to graduate. Some majors do require more.” (Olin) His political science major required 123 credits across the board, even though he already passed all his relevant major coursework.
So even after having passed all the classes and completing all the relevant coursework he still had to pay more money for irrelevant classes just, so he can get the actual degree. He ends his article by making a true closing statement “Now most students will probably agree to disliking Gen Ed classes. they’re often uninvolved lectures, impersonal and a hassle in the day. These classes are taken to fulfill degree requirements, not major requirements. There often isn’t a sincere interest in the topic and students are forced to take classes in topics they are simply not strong in. Now some gen eds are interesting at best. But when students spend their money on arbitrary classes that have no practical effect on their professional lives later down the line, is there a point? From my experience and from what I’ve heard from other students all it is, is extra stress and a whole lot of wasted money.” (Olin)
As I mentioned earlier if we had all this extra time and money we could get our degrees faster and enter the workforce and the workforce needs us too. Abigail Hess the news associate with CNBC mentions that “Experts predict that the future job market will require a significant increase in skilled workers. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the American economy will require education beyond high school. However, the U.S. Census estimates that just 33 percent of American adults currently possess a bachelor’s degree or more.” (Hess) So wouldn’t it make sense to get rid of certain Gen Ed’s that aren’t relevant towards your major. We waste all this time in these gen eds that time would be better spent becoming an expert in the field we are trying to go into and entering the workforce faster because they clearly need people.
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