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Family 411: Is college worth it for students

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CINCINNATI (Sheila Gray) -- America's unemployment rate may be gradually improving, but there's a growing problem for college graduates.
   
"Underemployment" is at its highest rate in history, raising the question, "Is college worth it for today's young person?"
   
College counselor Billy Sarge has a simple message for success: Go to college.

"The best fit can mean a lot of different things," he said.
   
High school students and their parents may plan for years on a path to higher education.  Despite the feeling in high school hallways, the center for college affordability says the benefits of a college degree are declining, while the cost of college skyrockets.
   
The federal reserve reports the underemployment rate for college grads rose to 44 percent in 2012.  The job shortage forcing graduates to take jobs which don't require a degree; many becoming bartenders, waitresses, and secretaries.

"My cousin went to school for eight years, and he's unemployed now," said Chase Pflum who hasn't decided on college.

He says, "I'm going to try over the summer to shadow a couple people and see if I like what they do."
   
While his college counselor contends college is for everyone, he admits high schools need to consider how to better advise students like Chase.

"I tell students the experience of sitting in a classroom and getting a degree is not enough," Sarge said.
   
Sarge pushes co-ops and internships, but after working in a college setting for almost a decade, he hopes universities will find a way to bring tuition down.  As he works with his students on finding a way to afford it.

A study out of UCLA shows more students are choosing which college to attend based on cost.  Nearly half of the students surveyed last fall said it was the top factor in determining where they ended up.



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