Today, with the rise of online education, there is an increasing debate about whether or not college is still worth it. Some argue that students are getting too expensive a degree-level education by attending universities that have everything digitalized and available through apps. They claim that this has made learning difficult because you cannot physically go to class and talk with people around you.
Furthermore, they say that studying something like business can be easy if you use technology well, so why should we pay good money for what seems like a vague “education”? Many believe that investing in only a bachelor’s degree is enough to succeed in life, and that having more than one career path doesn’t make sense anymore.
Liberal arts colleges aim to challenge your thinking and knowledge sources, and they emphasize teaching skills over test scores. These types of schools typically don’t offer as many scholarships or financial aid as other institutions, making their costs higher.
However, liberal art degrees often require longer studies which give you greater depth. They also tend to promote lifelong success, developing qualities such as leadership, communication, and self-development.
This article will discuss the importance of obtaining a four year undergraduate degree, and how these specialties can help you get successful in your future.
Examples of liberal arts
The term “liberal arts” comes from an ancient Greek word that meant “those who study the fundamental qualities of the soul, such as literature, history, philosophy, and rhetoric.”
In Latin, it was called studia romanarum — studies of the Roman language, culture, and heritage. In medieval times, it referred to theology, grammar, logic, and other academic disciplines related to God and his kingdom.
With the rise of the Renaissance in Europe, however, the term took on a new meaning. It focused not just on knowledge for its own sake, but also on wisdom or moral excellence.
The term “Liberal Arts Education” became popularized during this time, referring to courses like English, humanities (literature, history, philosophy), mathematics, natural science, social sciences, and sometimes business administration.
These are often grouped together under the general label of “the liberal arts.” They all teach us about humanity, society, nature, and beyond, helping develop in students sense of purpose, self-knowledge, and understanding of the world.
But they go much deeper than that! These fields also challenge our assumptions, ask questions, and promote critical thinking. This is valuable even if you don’t end up choosing a career in them.
General education courses help prepare you to be a well-rounded person – socially, intellectually, and morally.
Historically, universities have focused more heavily on providing students with practical skills for the workplace. This is still important to do, but students are now coming into higher education seeking something different.
Many colleges have re-branded themselves as ‘liberal arts’ or ‘arts and humanities’ schools in an attempt to draw attention to this shift. These types of courses focus less on teaching students how to take orders and work under pressure, and instead aim to teach students who they are as people.
These courses typically emphasize concepts such as literature, history, philosophy and sociology. In order to understand these subjects, you need to be familiar with the underlying principles. For example, reading any book that discusses social issues will go beyond telling stories about strong heroes and weak villains.
Such books will also make references to ideas and theories which explain why what happened was wrong. By understanding the roots of harmful ideologies, you can often identify flaws in your own beliefs or those of others.
Difference between a university and a liberal arts college
A degree in art, music or literature is considered a liberal art because they teach you how to appreciate artistic creations, but they also emphasize other fundamentals like grammar, writing, and rhetoric. These are all components of what we refer to as the “liberal knowledge base” that helps shape your understanding of life.
Liberal arts colleges tend to be smaller than universities. This gives students more one-on-one attention from professors and staff members, which can make for an even better education.
A liberal arts education should not be confused with just plain old academic studies. Being educated through the lens of the humanities adds depth to your worldview and fundamental skills to live well.
Benefits of a liberal arts degree
A liberal arts education is an enriching experience that cultivates your mind, giving you context to understand the world around you. Yours to explore, analyze and apply to every-day life, it enhances what you learn for the rest of your life.
Liberal arts courses focus more on educating the student about different topics than teaching students how to perform specific skills or knowledge sets. This shifts their view towards understanding concepts and information rather than testing comprehension and recall.
A well-rounded liberal art education teaches you about many things, not just literature, math and philosophy, but also economics, history, geography, creative writing and communication studies. All these areas strengthen your ability to connect with others, think critically and recognize nuance in content — all important qualities in the workplace.
Another major benefit of attending college as a liberal arts student is finding your passion. Even if you don’t earn a career after school spending time exploring different disciplines has shown to facilitate success in other areas of your life.
Finding your passion helps you feel connected to the world and yourself, and makes you happy, which we know is a key component to enjoying what you do each day. In fact, according to a study conducted by The Harvard School of Education, people who reported being happier at work were seven times more likely to say they felt satisfied with their job.
Things to consider when choosing a school
Choosing between a liberal arts college or university is not an easy decision, there are many things that play into this choice. There’s no wrong way to pick one over the other, but you should know what differences each type of institution has.
A degree from a university will give you access to more career opportunities than those offered by a liberal art college. This could be because most universities offer at least some professional degrees like medicine, business, education, etc. However, liberal arts colleges can help develop your skills in reading, writing, math, and social studies, which all have direct applications in the workplace.
The cost of attending a university is also higher. Although tuition costs vary greatly depending on how expensive the surrounding area is to attend school in, it is still very expensive. A student who does not come from a rich family may feel limited in their ability to afford an undergraduate degree.
On the contrary, attendance at a private liberal arts college is usually much cheaper. Some even have scholarships available for students with strong academic backgrounds and potential.
Ways to pay for school
Even though most students these days have access to funding opportunities, not every student is advised to use them. Some services such as loan programs that offer lower interest rates are only available through certain colleges or universities.
Some schools may also require you to be very well-off financially before they can help you with loans. It is difficult to get aid if you don’t have much money!
Luckily, there are many ways to fund your higher education beyond just taking out loans. Here are some tips about how to do this.
1) Find free resources and scholarships
Many university websites publish their tuition fees along with information and links to scholarship databases. They often include form filling requirements and deadlines so you should look here first to see if there are any scholarships in which you could apply.
There are many ways to find and apply for scholarships outside of attending class and studying hard. You can research popular scholarships online, join student groups at your current college, check your local paper’s educational page, and even ask friends and family if they know of anything helpful.
2) Renting or selling things
Surplus items like old clothes, gadgets, books, and furniture probably cost no more than half a dollar to sell. You can make lots of money by buying a lot of stuff and then breaking it down into smaller pieces.
If you have enough room in your home, you can let go of yours and earn extra cash.
Open a student account
Many people these days are questioning if attending college is worth it because they feel that their education will be limited to only studying social sciences, business, or humanities. These so-called liberal arts colleges aim to challenge students’ knowledge with courses such as philosophy, literature, history, and psychology.
These types of schools typically do not require you to take a degree in anything beyond your chosen major. This gives students more freedom to explore different areas and learn things outside of their main field.
Students at universities have more academic pressure than students at the less prestigious open university campuses or community colleges. Due to this higher stress level, most students choose to pursue additional degrees after graduation.
However, there are many benefits to seeking out lower cost undergraduate educations by taking some time to research. You will also get to connect more easily with other students who may share similar interests.
Apply for scholarships
Along with academic studies, your college career should include seeking out scholarship opportunities! Many colleges offer student scholarships that can make your education more affordable. It is important to do your research and find as many of these scholarships as possible so you do not miss out on necessary funding.
There are several ways to look up scholarships. You can use free websites and apps or paid software programs to search through databases of money for students. Some have it where you upload an application and they pull up all their internal databases to verify income and other information before approving the applicant.
It is helpful to be aware in advance if there are limitations to using the scholarship funds. Make sure to check and see what restrictions exist by applying early so you do not waste time looking later when being accepted.