The Beacon Today
College education’s value through the eyes of a local coffee shop owner
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
West Palm Beach, Fla. -- Josh Korman didn’t have a clear path when he went to college. This uncertainty is one many relate to when starting their university experience unless their aspiration is to be a lawyer, doctor, or pursue an entirely different profession with a clear path.
Korman is the owner of Composition Coffee, which is a venture he started after graduating from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.
Like many students, he approached college by trying things out and waiting until he could find his niche. After six years of school and copious tuition payments later, Korman realized he wanted to open up a coffee shop in his final year of school. He imagined a coffee shop that could fix the disconnect in society.
He is just one example of the many who face this same challenge. Feeling pressured to adhere to a conventional path, young adults are quick to invest in higher education with lingering uncertainty. Korman felt forced to go to college, which is an unspoken obligation that often is unquestioned in society.
“I think that the way things are set up, we have this old generation that is like ‘school is the way,’” Korman said. “That’s kind of drilled in our minds.”
It doesn’t help that the costs to attend college continue to rise. According to data from the U.S. News and World Report, college costs have risen exponentially during the past 20 years. The tuition at private universities has jumped 144% in comparison to 171% for out-of-state students at public schools and 211% for in-state students at public schools.
That doesn’t include the costs for people who go on to get a masters degree since there is an emphasis on higher education, with some employers narrowing their decision on applicants based on if they have achieved more than a bachelor’s degree. That’s why there has been an attitude change for Korman and others who share the same experience.
There is also the issue of students being expected to know exactly what they want to do in life, while they are still in their young adult years. While this displays that uncertainty is present in the majority of college students, it should be expected due to societal pressures and the lack of direction high school students are given before they begin their college education.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t problems within the system.
“The system is a little broken,” Korman said.
By Aaron Heckmann and Jordan Wolfe