Quicktakes: With a bad job market and high student debt, does college still matter?

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.


Earnest Okonofua
Community College of Philadelphia student
“You are always going to be at an advantage if you have a college degree, especially now. It is tough, and I understand that the government needs to make it more affordable, but that should not be the reason you don’t go. What kind of job do you think someone is going to give you without an education?”

Marie Jeffers
Mother of 20-year-old daughter
“Even though there is nothing right now as far as employment goes, I feel [going to college] is eventually worth it. The company I work for will hire people who do not have a degree, but we will pay a certain amount of their tuition to go to college as long as they keep a certain grade average.”

Sophia Peake
Community College of Philadelphia student
“I think parents need to start looking into options for their child at a young age because that could be a way to avoid the debt. There are still more advantages than disadvantages. For example, if you want to become an entrepreneur, you need certain skills, but you need to get those skills through education.”

Kennan Evans
Father of a college-bound student
“Only take the loans that you have to because you are responsible for paying that money back. They are raising the interest rate this summer and that is going to be very difficult, but if you only take what you absolutely need, it will save you a world of debt in the end.”