Should College Come With A Money-Back Guarantee?

from Brookings

This fall, colleges across the country will enroll roughly 3 million new students. For many of these students and their families, college will represent a tremendous expense—among the largest of their lifetimes. By the time they graduate, they can expect to have spent more money on their degree than many households in the United States earn in an entire year. And many will have accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Why do so many students keep showing up year after year to pay this high price? Because they believe it will be worth it. They believe that the institution they’ve chosen will fulfill all of the promises made to them in the glossy recruiting pamphlets and during campus tours led by a charming upperclassman. But what if it doesn’t?

What if their degree takes longer than expected because the classes they need to take are oversubscribed? What if they can’t find a job in their chosen field after they graduate? And what if the job they do find doesn’t pay enough to make their student loan payments affordable? The answer: too bad. The student will still be on the financial hook. There is no money-back guarantee.

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71 Responses to Should College Come With A Money-Back Guarantee?

  1. Rubi Leyva-Rodriguez October 22, 2017 at 10:59 am #

    As a first-generation college student, I think this article really hit home for me. Growing up, it was engrained in my head that I must attend college for me to be successful in life. For many, this meant taking on as much debt as needed to make this happen. However, I feel like I was not informed of how to make the best decision for myself. I remember going to those seminars in school that talked about college loans, and scholarships and having people constantly tell me that college would be the best investment in my life or that “education is priceless”. Thinking of me in high school, I had no factual knowledge of what tuition cost meant, what degrees would give me the best return for my money, or really anything pertaining to loans. After all, most of the high school students at that age didn’t even own a credit card.

    If I would want to go and get a car or big purchase tomorrow, I probably would be asked questions such as: what my annual income is, how long I have been working there, and what my credit score is. This is all things that make the buyer accountable for the big purchase they are about to make. However, society tends to fail at doing these things for students for the purpose of getting a higher education is to hopefully make more money and have a brighter future afterward.

    When I was looking to buy a car, knowing that I would be accountable for these things really made me try hard to make the best decision for myself at the time. Things like having the best features, with the best deal, with the lowest depreciation rate, at the price I could afford. A college career is very similar to getting a car, however, not many do their research because schools many times fail to make you feel accountable for these debts. The author talks a lot about things to do after making that big college decision, however, I feel like there should be a lot more effort placed into informing students of the decision they are making prior to this happening. This would ensure that students feel confident in the monetary responsibility they are taking and might give them an incentive to work harder for the next four years knowing that they are accountable for this debt.

    I disagree with the concept of “Money-back guarantee” for colleges for a few reasons. I think that this concept would take away the student’s incentive to work hard to achieve their goals. Programs like the AdrianPlus or Udacity are flawed in the way that students can intentionally not accept a job offer so that they can get their loans pay for and later in life go to higher paying jobs. They mention that students must be “aggressively seeking jobs” but this is the same as when you are on unemployment and many people often find ways to cheat the system.

    I do, however, agree with the concept of having college students graduate on time with programs such as “Finish in 4”. I believe that it shouldn’t be the student’s fault to not graduate on time and collect more student debt solely because of the course availability. Is the same concept as me having to buy a new car engine because the car I bought just happened to be defective. In both situations, it is not the consumer’s fault. Having more college implement this idea would mean that students would have the incentive to graduate within the 4-year period span and also not college more college debt than necessary for something they could not control.

    • Marissa Sarden November 8, 2018 at 10:24 pm #

      College does not guarantee a job and its not the universities responsibility to provide students with jobs. In the article, Akers and Butler express, “Yet colleges have, until recently, managed to avoid being held to account by guarantees for the quality of their product and the promises of their advertising.” All students are given similar education and it is up to the individual student to do something with the knowledge that was given to them. College having a money back guarantee sounds like a valuable plan. College is a product or service being provided to the students. The cost of tuition is so high, that colleges decided to make promotional deals to increase their graduation rates. We are doing all of these things but not thinking of the obvious question, Why does college even have a cost?
      The guarantee is a good idea, with some downsides. Even if colleges have a money back guarantee it give students a care-free attitude. When they don’t get a job or simply want to drop out they get a refund. Even if its free children will be discouraged to attend and finish college. Either way, the college financial situation is a catch 22.
      Jobs requirements are increasing from associates to bachelors and even some vocational school. The cost of college has to be custom for each student with specific weights. For instance, if the student is a full-timer, commuter, doesn’t use the library, does not use the meal plan their tuition should be less compared to a student using all resources. Also, enforcing internships for high school seniors can provide them with tuition reimbursement if they remain at a job in their field, work full-time, and worked at the job for more than 6 months. These two points I made can seriously decrease the cost of college and increase the graduation rates.

  2. Caitlin Gardner October 24, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

    By the time undergraduates graduate from college, they can expect to have spent more money on their degree than many households in the United States earn in an entire year. Many struggle to find jobs after they graduate and if they are one of the lucky few who are employed, their wages usually do not come close to covering the cost of their basic needs, nonetheless student loan payments. Colleges do not offer a money-back guarantee, even though the decision to go to college can be risky. The article explained that guarantees give buyers the certainty that their purchase will deliver what they’ve been promised, and they also push sellers to focus on quality and satisfaction. However, there has been recent progress towards making money-back guarantees a possibility. The article discussed how SUNY Buffalo created a guarantee program called “Finish in 4.” If students in that program fail to graduate on time after participating in advising programs, declaring a major by their second year of study, and taking a full course load each semester, then their tuition is free until they complete their degree. Other colleges are now offering guarantees on earnings and providing job placement guarantees.

    Worrying about student loans is one thing that I have found consistently stressful over the past two years. My mother constantly reminds me that I will have no choice but to take out nearly $40,000 of student loans sometime in the next few months if I want to continue my college career. $40,000 might sound pricey, but it is a bargain for undergraduates at Rider University. Students should be focusing on enjoying and engaging themselves fully in their studies while they are working towards their degrees in fields that they fell in love with. The constant fear of being in debt for the rest of one’s young adult life is not healthy for the mind. Even more nerve wracking, most new graduates cannot find a job in their field of study, let alone a job at all. Most of the interviewers I have applied to meet with have turned me down due to my lack of experience in the field. I often wonder how I am supposed to gain any experience if nobody will take a chance on me. Anymore, being an athlete or involved in clubs is not enough for employers. I believe Rider and other small private schools should be the first to implement a money-back guarantee because they are typically more expensive to attend, and much less populated than state schools. To me, one of the main selling points of Rider was that it was a small, family-like community of professionals who are working together to enhance the world around us with our knowledge. The last time I checked, family members do not toss each other out on the streets and wish them luck with survival of the fittest.

  3. Steven Merrill October 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

    This article talks about the idea of maybe Colleges should have a money back guarantee. It discusses what some colleges do to help give some encouragement to their students. Also this could be considered some kind of peace of mind in case something happens to them or they are unable to graduate in time. For instance a college in Michigan has a deal that if a student does not make at least 37,000 dollars after graduation, they would pay their student loans. Additionally, another school in New York says that if students are unable to graduate in 4 years’ time, their tuition will be free until they are able to finish their degree.

    This seems like it could be a good idea that would catch on for other schools to follow. Like I stated above, these ideas give guarantees and incentives for students to be able to get their degrees no matter how long it takes them. It also helps the school by setting them apart from their competitors by having these perks. It could be a way for schools to be able to increase enrollment and create a better atmosphere for students to be able to succeed. This is a truly innovating idea that could become the next big thing to happen throughout the country.

    I believe that this is a good idea although I do have some questions about it. To begin, these schools that are giving these incentives seem to be small schools. My question is: why are the big colleges of the United States not picking up on this idea? Do they feel that it is not necessary for them to have to do this? Do they feel that because they have 30 to 50 thousand a year enrollment they do not need to give incentives for kids to get their degrees? Also, will these incentives be too much for kids? Since they have the option of getting their money back if they do not finish their degree in 4 years or they do not earn enough money, will students not try to accomplish this goal? Since they will get their money back, why do they need to try? These are just some things to think about after reading this article. I do feel though that for the right college, it could be a great idea although it needs to find the right fit.

  4. Greg D'Ottavi October 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    Education after high school has become a near necessity for students across the country and with that said it has also become an extreme expense. Students who wish to go to a college or university after graduating high school are simply looking to get a degree and make more money annually than those who do not go to college. Unfortunately, the main factor discouraging many from going to college is the cost. Student loans have become the most prevalent issue in this generation and will likely continue to be an issue for generations to come. This article highlights an interesting idea relating to the massive expense of college: what if college had a money-back guarantee? A money back guarantee would act as a warranty like insurance on a house or car in the case of various different problems. Some of the questions raised in the article include: What if a student’s degree takes longer than four years to complete? What if they cannot find a job in their field after they graduate? Or what should they do if the job they do get does not pay enough to make their student loan payments affordable? As of right now there is no answer to these questions, but a money-back guarantee makes a solid argument.
    One of the examples of this particular idea comes from SUNY Buffalo where they offer a guarantee program called “Finish in 4”. Their program allows students who do not graduate on time even if they participated in advising, declared a major by their second year and took on a full course load each semester, then their tuition is free until they complete their degree. This is a very interesting idea in my opinion because I feel as though every college across the country should be offering this. For students who have actively participated in all necessary requirements, yet still do not graduate on time should not have to continue taking loans in order to continue being educated. Education needs to be taken into higher consideration in the United States and should not cost young students more than they can afford to receive it. With more and more jobs being created due to the endless innovation of technology, education is more important now than ever. Colleges who offer a program like this will only attract more students in my opinion and could easily afford to do so. It is challenging to me as to why more universities do not offer something similar than those who do not because if it was offered at any of the schools I applied to, it would have certainly affected my decision.
    Another example of a guarantee program comes from Adrian College in Michigan, which offers a program called AdrianPlus. This program guarantees that students will earn at least $37,000 after graduation. If a student does not earn this much, then the college will reimburse all or part of their student loan payments. This gives the college way more incentive to ensure their students’ degrees pay off. In my opinion, I believe it would be a lot more difficult financially for colleges to adopt a program like this because schools that have 30,000 or 40,000 plus undergraduates will struggle to meet that quota.
    Overall, there are many ways colleges can begin adequately helping their student’s pay their student loans and I believe that they should start considering some. Student loans are going to be every college graduate’s worst nightmare and I can only hope that it gets better for future generations.

  5. Adis Hoti October 27, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

    College has become somewhat mandatory in today’s society. It is expected of high school students to further their educations and pursue a college degree. Yes, college is a great thing, however, it is not meant for everyone. Some people are not cut out to school yet take out big loans for school because in today’s society that is the right thing to do. These loans create major setbacks for graduates. Many schools cost 50K and more. If graduates do not receive a job right away they can suffer tremendously. Other complications include receiving a job that does not pay enough and even worse not graduate on time. Student debt often piles up high enough to be seen as a mortgage. It is not fair to the students that they have to be tied down to student debt loans all of their lives. Something must be done to help the youth break free from the debt they have to consume as young adults.
    The ongoing debate is whether colleges should offer a money back guarantee. I believe they should offer a money back guarantee because this would help ensure our youth does not fall into debt or any other problems that result from large loans. “With only 19 percent of full-time students at public, four-year universities actually earning a degree in that time, many students face the risk of extended enrollment, leading to significantly higher overall cost.” Very small amounts of students graduate on time so this results in even more amounts of loans accumulating. College has become a more than four year endeavor in today’s society. This can be for many reasons; failure to pass a class, failure to find an opening for a class, failure to meet the overall expectations. SUNY Buffalo’s new systems is one most schools should incorporate, “a guarantee program called “Finish in 4.” If students in that program fail to graduate on time after participating in advising programs, declaring a major by their second year of study, and taking a full course load each semester, then their tuition is free until they complete their degree.” This will ensure that students will receive what they paid for. Students know college typically takes at least four years so this will create a very firm understanding of how much money they will need to complete their degree. This will cause many parents to feel at ease for sending their children who are not great students away for college. Adrian College also started a new program to help students, “AdrianPlus, which guarantees that students will earn an annual income of at least $37,000 after graduation. If they don’t earn that much, the college will reimburse all or part of their student loan payments.” This guarantee in income will help ensure students are making wages that will pay off their debt. If they are not earning enough than the school will reimburse them.
    In my opinion, I believe all colleges should offer some sort of guarantee on money back. Student debt is a huge problem and only getting worse. Each year more and more students are pursuing degrees. As much as I think colleges should incorporate these new policies, I do not believe they will. With no disrespect to our teaching system, I believe college has become a scam. College has been redesigned to steal money from families who cannot afford to send their kids to college. It is sad and a tragedy but hopefully one day the government does something about this issue.

  6. Chris O'Handley October 27, 2017 at 6:39 pm #

    The idea of college having a money-back guarantee is nice and it would certainly help out all students who spend money on tuition and end up with little to no income and continuously piling student loans. However this idea is not exactly plausible. When you agree to attend college and agree to spend a ton of money on tuition you are essentially betting on yourself. You pay that tuition knowing exactly what the school will offer. They will offer the classes you need to take to obtain your specific degree and will give you the basic guidelines to do well in those classes but the rest is up to you. Doing well in school and getting the job you desire takes a lot of time and work and only you can help yourself do that. As one of my old teachers used to say, teachers open the door for students but it is up to them to walk through the door. The same can be said about college. Once you pay that tuition, all of the resources needed for you to do well are within your reach you just have to reach out and use them. Because of this, I do not think you can ask for a money back guarantee on college. That would be like buying ingredients to bake something and then asking for your money back because you did not use the right amount of ingredients and your cooking did not turn out the way you wanted it to. Similarly, with college all of the ‘ingredients’ are there for you to do well and it is up to you to use them accordingly. In the case where a student could not get their degree in time because the necessary courses were not available to take then asking for a money-back guarantee is understandable. Other than that though, if the classes you need to take were available all along and you simply just did not get around to taking them then the fault lies solely with you. You chose to invest money in college hoping that it would help you learn whatever it is you wished to learn and then put yourself in a position to use your newly-learned information to get a job and provide for yourself and others. In this case, asking for a money back guarantee is unreasonable and will likely not get you very far. Overall, college is what you make it. When you agree to pay that tuition you are agreeing to pay for a bunch of resources that will help you get to where you need to be but only if you use them right. If you put the time and effort in towards getting to where you want to be then you will most likely get there. To conclude, the college you choose to attend is not responsible for the job you end up acquiring or how much money you end up making. That is completely up to you therefore it is difficult to argue that colleges should be liable to pay back the money you wasted by not really using all of the resources they offered.

  7. Nicholas Birchby October 27, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    In today’s society, it is extremely difficult to live a successful life without attending a four year university. Simply making it there is not the only obstacle, not by a long shot. College tuition across the country has been on the rise for decades. Millions of students every year still sign up, and pay over thousands of dollars a year to these schools. They do it with a promise, that once they graduate they will find a job and be successful. However, unlike most other major expenses in life, there is no guarantees at college. Millions of students graduate with thousands of dollars in debt, and will struggle to find decent jobs. It has been one of the biggest causes of American debt in recent history, and it roots back to college tuitions being extremely overpriced. I thought it was a very interesting point to compare paying for college tuition to buying a car. The car insurance guarantees protection if something goes wrong. It would be a really great idea to have some kind of college insurance for students who struggle to find work out of college. Instead of them being crushed in debt, they can maybe get money back to help them recover. This could drastically lower student loan debt across the country and keep millions of dollars in the pockets of the people. It would make the university responsible for the financials of the degree, while guaranteeing protection after graduation if something goes wrong. I especially find this interesting due to the fact I will be graduating with a hefty amount of student loans. Seton Hall tuition is currently over $50,000 per year. My father is 46 years old, and he graduated from Purdue. His freshman year of college the tuition there was just over $3,000 per year. It is simply ridiculous to believe that the whole society can succeed with paying almost $200,000 just for four years of college. Obviously this is an extreme example, but it is the reality that millions of people are facing across the country. Without a lowering of college tuition costs, and the implementation of these college insurance programs, we will continue to see the country slip deeper into debt. Student cannot continue to graduate with over $30,000 in debt, to never be able to find a job. Student loan debt payments do not stop rolling in if you cannot find a job. It is actually the opposite, as interest will continue to add, and you will fall even farther behind. These college insurance policies could be the idea that slowly begins to bring America out of this massive hole. It is scary to think I can potentially leave Seton Hall owing thousands of dollars, with absolutely no income. College truly should be treated as it is, an extreme risk. With little to no guarantees of the future, the average Americans cannot afford these ridiculous tuitions. I think the best idea was if you cannot find a job within 6 months, you begin to be reimbursed your tuition. If the purpose of attending the college is to prepare you for the work force, and the reason for the degree is to symbolize you are ready, why pay for something that doesn’t work? If the college degree cannot acquire you a job, and you are avidly seeking one through the university, there is no reason you should not be given back a portion of your money. Attending a college is a contract, if they can’t hold up their end and set you up for your future, there is no reason you should have to pay them thousands of dollars.

  8. Brian Ayoub October 27, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    “Should college come with a money-back guarantee?” I scoffed when I saw this question posed in the title of this article. Paying for college education is like a risky investment. You must believe in your intelligence and work ethic to be able to make your money back from the investment known as college. If you work hard and supplement that with your knowledge, obtaining good grades in college and receiving a high paying job right out of college becomes a return on your investment and some. However, if you do not work hard and party every day, then your investment will most likely fail and the money that you put into college expenses is wasted.
    The article first brings up situations in which paying for college does not pay off. The first point is that, “what if their degree takes longer than expected because the classes they need to take are oversubscribed?” I understand that maybe in some cases that you may not get one class that you wanted. However, is that going to happen often enough that they would need to take an extra semester worth of class? I do not think so. By just missing one of the courses that you wanted to pick, then it will not be a big issue. Although, if this situation were to occur to me, I would not accept wasting my money to take nine credits.
    The next point that is brought up by the author is that what would happen if students cannot find a job in their chosen field after they graduate. Despite slightly agreeing with the earlier point of the author, I cannot accept giving a job offer guarantee if I am in charge of college. It is more than possible to guarantee a job offer after college. I would work hard, obtain good grades, and network myself well. This is a simple method of guaranteeing a job offer after college. However, if you do not follow the above steps, then you make it hard for yourself to find a job and be successful. Those who do not work hard at college do not deserve a guaranteed job offer out of school. What is the incentive to do well in school if the college guarantees you a job? To me, I feel as if this is not a good idea.
    Another point that I am not too inclined to is a program at Adrian College in Michigan. This program called, “AdrianPlus,” guarantees that students will earn an annual income of at least $37,000 dollars after graduation. If they do not, then they will get tuition reimbursement payments. I think that an initiative like this would reduce the amount of quality students. Students that want to earn the most money out of college need to work the hardest. However, if they do not, then they should not receive a high paying job. By having a guarantee to a certain income, the quality of employees goes down.
    All in all I feel that college prices should be lowered, however, having a money-back guarantee is not a good idea to me.

  9. SK February 7, 2018 at 7:26 pm #

    As a college student myself, the amount of debt I will be burdened with after graduating from my institution is daunting. We have made a commitment to pursue higher education because we are told that it is the best investment we can ever make, but who knows a hundred percent? Having colleges and universities around the nation provide a money-back guarantee or a tuition reimbursement should be an option for those who are not given what they were promised by seeking higher education. Various sources reveal the average college debt a student will be in after graduating is $37,000. Those who can’t find jobs immediately after college, are tied down from college loan debt while making zero income. As the United States law suggests, students only have “x” amount of time to re-pay student loans before they are reprimanded.
    Having institutions offer security will help ease the burden of college loan debt. Factors out of student’s control such as unavailable or cancelled classes prolong the graduation period resulting in extended time at the university and more debt. Because these incidents occur due to an institution’s discrepancies, students should not be held accountable for their debt. When embarking on college visits or freshman orientations, colleges promise an invaluable four-year education guaranteeing a high paid job shortly after college. These promises become deciding factors for students to attend one institution over another. If graduates were promised a full-time job in their field of study after graduating and then do not find one, universities should reimburse students for “false accusations.” Of course students must actively engage in their academics and searching for jobs, however, those who do and still can’t find jobs, should rightfully be accommodated.
    Actions such as tuition reimbursement or a small salary between the duration from graduating to find a well-paid job should be options for students. Spending thousands of dollars annually and investing our time into studies and organizations, we expect to be gifted with a secure career in our field of study. Colleges such as SUNY Buffalo and Dava Port University should be a foundation to the education “loop-hole” students are forced to succumb to. Universities, colleges and institutions around the nation should be offering compensation if they can’t execute what they have promised.

    Sources of average student loan debt:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2017/02/21/student-loan-debt-statistics-2017/#555d8e085dab
    https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/

  10. Anthony L October 5, 2018 at 9:35 pm #

    This article reveals a very serious issue within the American education system. This is the increased risk associated with earning a four year degree in a university, such as spending more than four years on a bachelor’s degree or not being able to find a job with a high enough salary to pay off student loan debts in a reasonable amount of time. An increasing number of college graduates are facing one or more of these prospects. However, I do not think that money back guaranties or other such guaranties are the correct solution as suggested in the article. There are several reasons for this, one of the main ones is that university education is a service, not a product. Most purchases that are backed by these kind of guaranties, by contrast, are products. If colleges gave students the ability to be refunded, that would cause the colleges to remain uncompensated for four years of educational resources. There would also be no way to return the education the student has received to the institution. Since this would be a major drain on the funds the universities require to maintain the current status quo spending patterns of modern universities, so I don’t see a majority of universities implementing this policy. Another problem with this solution is that there are still many students and perspective students who are willing to fall into massive debt in order to be able to get a university education, so the heads of educational institutions still have a large pool of people to choose from. Thus will not feel like there will be a large enough benefit to change the status quo. In actuality, the solution to this problem is more cultural in nature than fiscal.
    The amount of students enrolled in higher education has been steadily increasing in the past fifty years. According to statista.com“From 1965 to 2016, total college enrollment increased by roughly 240 percent,” This increase in enrollment has coincided with an increased emphasis on the importance of getting a college education. Originally, higher education was restricted to a much smaller group of people. Those who were to enter professions such as the medical field, the legal field, engineering, scientific fields, and scholars needed more specific education than public school could provide them. Thus they when to a university to receive the special education that their future profession required. Those who were not planning on entering these kinds of fields had no use for a university education. Some would be fine with just a high school diploma, while others would go to trade schools or take apprenticeships. However, in recent years there has been a shift in mentality among students’ parents and high school educators, “…that college is a requirement. Every high school graduate should go to college,” This, in turn, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The increased amount of people who have a college degree lowers a degree’s value in the job market. Thus, those without a college degree have an even harder time finding a job. This makes a college degree a minimum requirement. “At many large companies, a college degree used to equal an entry level salaried position after graduation,” This makes high school graduates feel like there is no other option other than going to college.
    Universities have certainly taken advantage of this development, at the expense of students. “Students at public four-year institutions paid an average of $3,190 in tuition for the 1987-1988 school year, [adjusted for inflation]… that average has risen to $9,970 for the 2017-2018 school year. That’s a 213 percent increase,” This massive increase in price has required many more students to take on large loans than previous generations. “In 2012, 71 percent of graduates from four-year colleges carried debt,” This is an unsustainable system that will collapse without major reforms. The first step in these reforms would be educate students on the alternatives to a college education while they are still in public schools. Encourage students who aren’t planning to enter fields such as law or medicine to go to trade schools or to enter the workforce straight out of high school. The public education curriculum should also be modified to include more skills that are necessary in the modern job market. If it is necessary employers should be legally forced to lower their education standards to what they were twenty years ago. It would be a difficult transition, but I believe it is necessary if we want to avoid future economic and social strife.

  11. Carter Pichardo November 8, 2018 at 9:08 pm #

    Without a doubt, I myself, amongst many others, have constantly heard of a friend, relative, or peer who has graduated from college unemployed. The emphasis being placed on these new innovative tuition reimbursement plans is promising especially given the amount of student loan debt people graduate with on average. It is important to note that not every college out there is heading towards this direction as our country’s student loan debt keeps climbing in the trillions of dollars. As someone who has already secured full-time time employment before I began my senior year in my intended field of studies, I am one of the fortunate (not lucky) ones. I only state this because it is very possible to graduate with full-time employment but I believe it is a very strategic process that quite frankly many don’t like to consider or plan for. To begin with, my intention here is not to look down on any other majors. There comes a point where you have to be realistic with yourself though. For example, if you have a passion for studying philosophy, you must do your research on the types of job opportunities out there in the job market with a degree in philosophy. You will come to find out that not only is there minimal career opportunities in the workforce with such degree but the return on investment you will be receiving with that degree simply is disproportionate with the amount of student loans you may or may not have (which is a may for most). As a result, how do plan on making a living when the early career median wage for philosophy students is only $35,000 according to http://www.CreditSesame.com and when the average student loan debt in 2017 was (and may be higher now) about $40,000 according to http://www.StudentLoanHero.com? This is just one of many examples of majors that provide with a low ROI on your education.

    You must be realistic with yourself. After you’ve done that, then your ambition, motivation, drive, discipline etc. will carry you forward to success. But, it is a very long process. I am simply the product of a hard working family. I come from the dirt. My parents were not wealthy, I come from a poor homewtown with a decent education system, I had a former first name of an infamous political murderer, and never had anything handed to me. The only way I could attend college was by taking out student loans. If you truly want something in life (a full-time job for example) you simply have to ask yourself these questions: Have I due diligently worked towards achieving this goal and have I given my absolute, one hundred percent effort in that process of trying to do so? Nobody is going to force you to do or achieve anything. I believe that if you can’t answer this question with truthfulness, then you will living a lie. It all begins with a mindset and a vision that sometimes only you can see and understand. Colleges can provide you with amazing career opportunities if you truly take advantage of them. It’s all on you.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomlindsay/2018/05/24/new-report-the-u-s-student-loan-debt-crisis-is-even-worse-than-we-thought/#3854950e438a

    https://www.creditsesame.com/blog/education/college-majors-with-highest-unemployment/

    https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/

  12. Alexa Shello November 9, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

    The idea that college could come with a “money-back guarantee” or at least some variation of one is something out of a dream. Everyone wishes that they would be able to attend college free and be offered full time employment immediately after graduation. Some schools have even been able to find realistic ways to make getting a college education easier for their students. For example, the article discussed SUNY Buffalo that created a program called “Finish in 4” where if students in that program fail to graduate on time after participating in advising programs, declaring a major by their second year of study, and taking a full course load each semester, then their tuition is free until they complete their degree. Adrian College in Michigan also created a program titled AdrianPlus that guarantees that students will earn an annual income of at least $37,000 after graduation. If they don’t earn that much, the college will reimburse all or part of their student loan payments. While this is not a complete “money-back guarantee” it is an incentive for students to continue their degree and trust that the University has confidence in it to get the students high paying jobs or they will be partially repaid.
    It is also important to acknowledge that the University that begin programs such as Adrian Plus or Finish in 4 must have a way to track that students are holding up their end of the bargain and doing everything in their power to achieve work after graduation and not just expecting it to be handed to them because they graduated. These programs discussed that they will repay students of they meet certain criteria including “taking a full course load, meeting with advisors regularly, declaring a major by their junior year, etc.” This means that not everyone “money-back guarantee” is assured and students must put in their own time and effort into graduation and keeping good grades and GPA.
    All of the qualifications of meeting the requirements for these two programs are things that students should be doing anyway. Especially in the AdrianPlus program, students must meet requirements and only get money back if they don’t make a certain amount post graduation. This seems more like an incentive to me to wait a year before getting a job that makes $37,000 even if one is offered just to ensure that my loans would be paid off, and then I would get a better job after they are paid. I wonder what kind of rules the universities have set in place for students that are offered employment or offered a certain salary post graduation but choose not to take it. It is common for some students to take time off after graduation or choose to travel or do community service for some time instead of directly entering the workforce. This choice would lead to a lot of loans and educations being paid off by universities who have such incentives.
    https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/should-college-come-with-a-money-back-guarantee/

  13. Jessica Forsthoffer November 9, 2018 at 6:32 pm #

    College is a great expense for many students that follows them for years after graduation. Most see it as an investment in themselves and their future, which is why they choose to take on the high costs and accept them for what they are, because of the potential benefits. What isn’t commonly thought about is what happens when that college degree you spent thousands of dollars on doesn’t give you the opportunities you originally hoped? The similar question raised in this article, “ should college come with a money-back guarantee?” is viable and not often thought about. Personally, I do not think that it should have a money-back guarantee because wherever you are, however you are learning, what you get out of the experience is what you put into it. A student can’t request to get their money back for a class they failed because they didn’t participate and put effort into learning, it just doesn’t work like that. Students should be motivated by the cost of college to try their best and get the most out of their classes. They should also take advantage of any career resources offered by the college to help further their skills and knowledge even more, and prepare them for the working world. The goal of college is to prepare students for their long-term careers, and if they don’t perform as expected, they might not be successful in those careers further down the road. The responsibility is on the student to use college as a tool to get ahead, not an easy way into a career path. Performing well in college means getting a good job afterwards and making a decent salary to eventually pay off school, which is a significant incentive for students and it should be taken very seriously.

  14. Adam C. November 9, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

    This article discusses the question of whether or not colleges should have a system such as a money-back guarantee or a guaranteed job placement. From there it discusses money-back/job placement programs that colleges around America have implemented in their school.

    Nevertheless, college is a risky investment that has been pushed onto the future of many young students. In many cases, going to college is presented as their only option. However, going to college isn’t for everyone. For some, the option of trade school or even going straight into their field is best. Regardless, while I do think that colleges should have some form of money-back guarantee, I do not think that it is the responsibility of the college to ensure 100% of the student’s success. If the college the student attends has provided all the necessary means for success, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to achieve their personally desired success. It is not the responsibility of the college to inform potential students of other options that are available to them, such as trade schools.

    Furthermore, while I think that a completely 100% money-back guarantee is too much, I think that schools should individually decide to start adopting some form of financial guarantee to improve their own school’s image. Having some form of money-back guarantee speaks for the school and its service. Not only does it show that the school is committed to the success of its students, it shows that the education the school provides will actually work.

  15. Jack P November 9, 2018 at 8:37 pm #

    This article talks about if college should come with a money back guarantee? To me, I believe not. The reason I say this is because a lot of people do not work as hard as they should in college. If someone works hard and gives all they got in college, they will succeed. That means even if you do not get a 4.0, but you worked as hard as possible for the grade that you finished the course, you did your best. Overall, hard work gets you everywhere in life. If you do not work hard in school you will not end up with a career after. That is why college should not come with a money back guarantee. Colleges and Universities are businesses, why would they give money back for not something that is not the schools fault.

    The money back guarantee is a job. Yes, college is terribly expensive. But, if you work hard throughout college and graduate, you are putting yourself into a great position to be guaranteed a job. College teaches you many great skills that include time management and independence. It gets you prepared for the real world. Even though you do not get your “money back” you a guaranteed the knowledge and skill to guide you for the rest of your life.

  16. Aaron R November 9, 2018 at 9:15 pm #

    I believe education to be the most significant investment in the world for a multitude of reasons. Despite all of the monetary sacrifices involved, such as the potential accumulation of student debt, a college experience is truly life-changing and more than just a piece of paper. In the four years of college, a student has the potential to grow into a new version of themselves through a vast array of education, social, and professional experiences. This concept of a “Money Back Guarantee” is based on the idea that college is a golden path, and that as long as you complete the walk you will achieve a glorious exit. Though in reality, this is not what college is or how it is meant to be. A college is a multipurpose tool that individuals need to carefully select according to the functions they want the tool to serve. Just because you purchase the tool does not mean results will come. The results will come through the individual’s ability to use the tool efficiently and effectively.
    Colleges are not promising students that they will end in a perfect four years and then enter directly into their dream careers. Instead, they are promising opportunities and outstanding curriculum that immerses the students in their respective fields. If students choose to prioritize other areas of focus besides school work that result in their extended enrollment that is not the fault of the institution. Job placement guarantee and loan reimbursement are outstanding incentives but should not be expected of the institution unless stated. The real issue is not the colleges but the social pressure to enter college without an idea for how you want to use it. This is the equivalent of buying a tool without having an idea of what you want to fix with it.
    The only requirements colleges should face is to explicitly detail the expectations of future students and explain what they need to do to make the most of their college experience. Colleges should not lure students in without them knowing what options and experiences will be provided to them throughout their enrollment. If society can work toward a solution to educate students properly about the actual functions of higher education and how to make the most of them to find a career in their field, then I believe many of the issues in this article will rapidly decline.

  17. Julia Ausborn November 9, 2018 at 9:40 pm #

    College tuition costs are a difficulty for many students. I believe that the money invested is worth the outcome. However, errors that make the education cycle unnecessary longer should be avoided. I’ve heard of a couple stories where students received wrong advices for their future classes, and therefore had to add one or two more semesters.

    In addition, I believe that the transition from high-school to college happens to all to promptly. How can a 17- or 18-year-old high school graduate know what they want to do with their future? The answer is very simple, they cannot know for sure. That’s why there should be a middle component between these two. One idea would be to obtain a yearlong internship. Firstly, this provides work experiences for yourself and looks good on your resume. Yet, more important, it gives you the opportunity to experience a certain field of your preference, and allows you to decide if that’s really what you like to do for the rest of your life.

    Another option is to obtain a Work & Travel or Au pair year. Both of these provide you with opportunities to see the world and find yourself. I can say from experiences, that facing challenges and dealing with them on your own helps you gain knowledge when facing future decisions. That year could also give you the opportunity to find out what interests you, and that in return will help you in deciding your education path.

    Instead of starting college right after high school, I believe that there are better options to pursue. However, I don’t think that a money-back guarantee is necessary. Instead, just take advantage of the internationalization, don’t rush, have fun, work, and find out what interests you.

  18. Lauren F November 9, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

    I, unlike many people, didn’t have to take out student loans so I may not be the best person to judge this. The idea of colleges reimbursing you because you couldn’t find a job or finish your degree in 4 years sounds really great. College is ridiculously expensive and it takes most people at least 10 years to pay off their loans. There does seem to be something inherently wrong about charging people over $50,000 a year but they don’t get much out of it. Is it really fair to pay $50,000 a year so you can work at a job that only pays you twenty thousand? To a degree I think this is a good idea. If a college tells me that they can give me all the tools that I need to succeed and a year after graduation I still can’t find a job it almost feels like a scam. I do believe that colleges need to take some responsibility for this and help in the job searching process. However, there are a lot of factors that play into getting a job.

    If you didn’t work hard to get good grades and are unprepared for the real world, that’s on you. There’s only so much the college can help you with. It can also depend on what kind of degree you have. It’s much easier to find a job in nursing then it is in theater. Should colleges have to pay you back because you can’t get cast in a Broadway show? All the factors that go into this are very subjective. I like the idea of tuition being free if you are a full-time student and couldn’t complete your degree in 4 years. That’s something I tend to worry about since a lot of the classes I needed are no longer available. All in all I think that getting a degree and finding a good job is really your responsibility. You need to put in the work if you really want to succeed. However I’m glad that colleges are taking some responsibility with not repairing you well enough.

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