The value of higher education for an individual: The value of a proper higher education is, in my perspective, that it offers new opportunities that one wouldn’t get (as much of) anywhere else. These include the exposure to different fields through taking different classes on different subjects (especially if one is unsure of what they want to do for a living), opening doors for oneself (in terms of networking, internships, discovering passions), learning from expert professors, gaining knowledge and different views of the world, growing as a person, and earning an impressive degree. To me, it all comes down to giving someone the platform to find their direction in life. As someone who has know idea where what I want to do with my life, the main reason that I wanted to go to college, and especially a liberal arts college, (besides the fact that it was expected by my parents) was to learn about different things, figure out what interests me the most, and create a path for myself in life. I’ve always thought of college as the stepping stone for wherever I want to go in life.
The value of higher education for society as a whole: the number one thing that comes to mind is that it improves social mobility. College graduates are more likely to climb the ladder- Pew Research Center finds that children born in the lowest income quintile who do not earn a four-year degree are four times as likely to wind up in the bottom (47%) as those who earn a four-year degree (10%) (Brookings Institute).