Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Effects of Rising College Costs

It seems the struggle for young adults trying to make it in this job market are tireless and never ending. Currently, young adults are having the hardest time trying to find a suitable job after college. However, this isn’t just affecting them now, but will continue to have an effect on their careers and marketability for the rest of their lives. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the cost of college is continuing to rise causing many young adults to reevaluate their futures and even reevaluate college altogether.

It has been engrained in our minds since we were little: in order to become successful and be prosperous, you must go to college. Grade school, middle school and high school all seem to prepare you for your eventual presence at a college or university. You take AP classes to gain college credit, you strive to be in accelerated classes so you can get good grades and be more desirable to the university you want to attend. These were all things that my peers and I strove for when I was in high school because college was the inevitable outcome, and not going to college was not an option. However, the tides have changed and the economy as well as the job market are in a very different place than when I was a teenager.

According to this infographic from, many students have recently opted to attend a community college, drop out of college after a year or two or decide to skip college altogether. In fact, between the years 2007 and 2009, the enrollment at community colleges increased by 24 percent. This is likely due to the nearly $4.5 thousand difference in costs between community college and public universities. To further reiterate that money is the main issue here, Online College took a look at the specific statistics between students who had financially comfortable parents and those that did not. According to their findings, 90 percent of students with parents that were not concerned about their finances applied to college. This is a much higher percentage than the 66 percent of students with parents very concerned about finances that applied.

Looking at those statistics you may say, “Well, that’s still a good amount of kids going to college.” That may be true, but what happens to those young adults, their finances and their lives in general once they have graduated from college? Once you have been living on your own for four years, or maybe five if you do the victory lap, chances are you want to continue living on your own. I know I did, but unfortunately the reality of the situation is that a lot of 20-somethings are forced to move back in with their parents. In fact, 85 percent of 2011 graduates will be forced to move back in with the ‘rents. Ouch. It’s a hard blow to take, but unfortunately that’s how the cookie crumbles.

To top that depressing bit of information off, 42 percent of college graduates that have loan debt or other debt end up living paycheck to paycheck. From personal experience I can tell you that this is not fun and has caused me, too, to question why in the world I even went to college, let alone a private university. However, in spite of this tear-jerking, somewhat depressing news, not all of it is bad. Statistics show that 36 percent of college students have started their own business besides going to college and 21 percent start a business due to unemployment. If you can see the silver lining in the cloud, that would be it.

Of course, whether you think so or not, college is still an essential part of success. That’s not to say that if you don’t go to college you won’t succeed. There are plenty of young adults that chose not to go to college and turned out to be very successful in their personal endeavors. Ultimately, the decision is yours and taking into consideration the current job market and economy should definitely be a large part of your decision making process.


Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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