College costs vs career choice

Posted at 5:45 AM, Sep 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-17 08:45:55-04

Call it a Sun Devil sound-off. I wanted to know what students at ASU’s main campus in Tempe really thought about the high costs of higher education. Sophomores Jake Kintz and Andrew Shen and student Laura Rocha and working hard but feel like it’s tough to stay ahead of the wave of ever increasing expenses.

“It's a bit ridiculous,” Kintz said.

“I think a lot of kids can't really afford [school] and they have to take out loans,” Rocha said.

“A lot of people, they counteract it, you know, with grants and scholarships but it's like, still expensive either way,” Shen said.

Would you believe that the average student borrower leaves school with close to $30,000 dollars in debt?

“You're not getting the money back I feel, and you're trying to create your own life but you're just getting drowned by the debt,” Kintz told me.

A lot of the stuff that we buy costs two or three times more now than in the late 1970s but that's nothing compared with the cost of higher education, up 1,100 %  in the same time frame.

So what are the 150,000 plus students at Arizona’s three public universities studying?

At ASU, the U of A and NAU, nearly 20 percent are working toward a degree in business.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing but business degrees aren’t on any of the top lists for programs that give a  great return on investment.

Choosing courses of study in things like engineering and economics are always good ideas when it comes to cost vs career choice.

It just so happens that Jake Kintz and Andrew Shen are both studying chemical engineering. 

“I do think that graduate school is almost now kind of a requirement for getting a decent job out of college,” Jamie Ryerson told me. She’s studying economics at ASU and later plans to go to law school.

Sophomore Khalil Santiago recognizes the high cost of college but remains optimistic that it will all be worth it if you choose the right degree program.

“College is expensive basically anywhere you go it's all about the opportunities you receive.”

Those opportunities include internships and practical experience; two things Santiago told me he gets in his course of study which is (you guessed it)… engineering.