One of my readers mentioned that her employer requires a 4 year degree for a job as a network or server administrator. But, as she explained, this isn't even taught in a 4 year program, and it is covered in a 2 year program.
This brings up my second point. Before I started this series of posts, I came to the conclusion that there's a difference between a college education and a degree. I spoke to someone who mentioned that she had heard someone say that a college degree today is like a high school degree was a few years ago. Many jobs just aren't available to those that don't have a college degree. Employers want you to have that piece of paper.
So based on these discussions, one of the reasons you might need a four year degree is simply for the piece of paper. If this is your reason for going to college, wouldn't it make sense to get that piece of paper for as low a cost as possible?
I'm not suggesting that this is the only reason for getting a four year degree is the piece of paper. There is significant benefit to the college experience. Living in a dorm and learning to balance the freedoms life gives has some value. Only the individual can assess that value.
There is also value in education. I went back to school many years after I got my bachelor's degree and have not received a single dime more income as a result. I received a lot of value for the education, but not sure that the valuable is measurable.
In summary, I've identified three different reasons for college: 1) Simply for the paper - to impress would-be employers, 2) for the life experience, and 3) for education. I'll look into more issues on the cost of higher education in the next couple of posts.