University/college – is it worth it?

This actually comes from a conversation I had a work the other day about college fees in the US of A. Firstly, I must point out the difference between school/college/university between our great countries. It seems to me that in the US school and college both mean the same thing – university. When an American colleague said to me earlier in the week that his son was now at school and thus his wife and himself could move out of NY state and move somewhere else, I thought maybe they had sent him to boarding school at the age of five. Then I find out he is eighteen, so that must mean he is now at university. Now it makes sense! So I found out that it costs $10,000 for state schools up to $40,000 for private schools per year, just for tuition fees. On a lot of films it always mentioned “the college fund” – that is a lot of money to either save up for or find when your kid is eighteen. I had a quick look on a government site about the UK fees. It is £3,000 per year for tuition fees.

When I could have gone to university it was free. Obviously I didn’t take up this offer – I did try but that was in Fashion and Textiles in a kind of a whim by one teacher I had at college. I was utterly under-prepared for it and to be honest I don’t think I really wanted to go. Also, if your parents don’t really encourage you to go then it’s quite a hard decision to make at 18. So that was my chance gone and now I’m paying for it (in money and time) by starting all over again with the Open University. Also, I can go on again about how useless my school was – since I have left I know of at least two friends who now have degrees while studying part-time and working at the same time. None went straight from school or college to university. From someone who didn’t go to university I can only say that I wish I had gone just for the experience of going. I can’t have any regrets otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am now! So is college/university worth it? I would say yes, but then again I don’t have any children to pay for. Maybe the only option is to be a pushy parent and hope you get your kids a scholarship.

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