College students say experience worth as much as degree

Lawton_Many people often hear that in order to reach your true earning potential, you must earn a college degree.  However, in times such as these - when many students need loans just to make it all the way through - the question is whether the debt is worth it.

Some Cameron University students say it is, because it is about more than just an education.  Senior Ann Morris says college isn't only about the degree.  "It's really not a matter of your degree, but how hard you want to work," she said.  "I have worked at Outback Steakhouse part-time, and then I have worked here as a work-study student sometimes.  Different years I have had different amounts of jobs."

Other students also work to help pay for their higher education, and say it can be stressful at times.  "I think that a lot of pressure is being put on people, but the standards are being raised because an education is so easy to obtain nowadays," said student Marisa White.

Stephanie Masterson works hard to pay her own way through college, and uses financial aid combined with student loans.  She says she believes the expense will pay off in the long-run.  "For someone who has graduated from college, their wealth is going to be so much more than somebody who isn't going to college at all," she said.

Still, for some, the degree comes in second place behind valuable life experience, or milestones.  Regardless of the student fees, textbook prices, and dreaded student loans, graduation day will be worth every penny to many students.  "I have had a lot of fun in college, and I really think that it is an experience that I will really never be able to get back."

While some students know they will have plenty of debt after they graduate, they say they look at the loan payments as stepping stones to the future.  If you are thinking about college, and want more information on the steps you should take to attend, call Cameron University's Office of Enrollment at 580-581-2235.