On the surface, Haegan Altizer is a poster child for going to college.
For a senior at the prestigious Decatur High School, who had good grades and went to advanced classes, you would think college is a no-brainer. Especially if 90 percent of his classmates plan to go to college, and both of his parents work in education.
But Altizer’s attitude about college is surprising: he is putting it on the back burner.
“A few decades ago, college was necessary for the middle class to get better jobs and make more money,” he said in an interview with GPB. “But with the economic downturn, college becoming more expensive, and many college graduates not having jobs, it is not the guarantee that it used to be.”
In fact, Altizer feels so strongly about that, he recently wrote an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about reasons to skip college. He also organized a College Alternatives Fair in his school.
He currently works at a Decatur bicycle shop and plans to stay there for now.
Altizer appears to be right on the money with some of his points. The cost of college education in Georgia has skyrocketed in recent years. Since 2004, the average tuition and fees in state colleges and universities grew by 129 percent. At the same time, the median family income rose only by about 17 percent.