For the uninformed and unconnected, college can be a big gamble, especially if you are
attending to “find yourself” or majoring in something that can be self-taught. Today’s
economy requires a skillset that many colleges simply aren’t delivering on.
Here are ten reasons to think twice before borrowing from Uncle Sam.
- You take a bunch of unrelated classes that you will never apply in your chosen career,
much less real life. Many administrators will justify taking so many random classes on the
basis that you are to be a “well-rounded” person. Question: Shouldn’t four years of high
school serve that purpose?
College is the only private transaction where you are forced to purchase something you
don’t want. Before you attain your select degree–engineering, as an example–you are
forced to take biology, music history, physical fitness, Psych 101, among others!
- The vast majority of “academic disciplines,” English, History, etc., can be learned
through diligent self-education, especially in the “age of information.” Why take out loans
to read Shakespeare? Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting said it best: “You could
have gotten that Harvard education of 100 grand for 2 dollars in overdue library books.”
- You learn on the job and get trained for your profession on the job, not in school
where you mostly memorize facts and regurgitate them on periodic multiple-choice exams.
Highly specialized fields—think STEM–require some ample classroom time in some cases.
Most office jobs, however, simply require learning on the job. A testament to this are the
older generations with only high school diplomas in many sectors of the public and
- You are being taught by people without significant real-world experience. They are
academics, mesmerized by their highly specialized area of expertise, not much else. They
publish a research paper that .00001% of the population cares to know about and need a
paid sabbatical to make it happen!
- College debt now exceeds over 1 TRILLION DOLLARS. Government-backed school
loans of up to 100k to an impressionable 18 year old should be a criminal act. This is
precisely why tuition keeps going up: the government keeps funding the loans.
Why would universities receiving millions yearly from Uncle Sam lower tuition or seek a
private sector lender putting kids through a rigorous qualification process? They would be
stupid to bite the hand that feeds them!
Consider the increasing cost of tuition: from 2,000/year in the 70’s to upwards of 30-40k
today. Boston University is charging upwards of 70K a year!! Government subsidies
funding universities are at an all-time high but the return on that investment–over-
indebted students with barely any job prospects—is a shameful reality.
- The push from preschool on for everyone to go to college has oversaturated the
market, creating a harmful supply-demand scenario: too many grads, not enough jobs
requiring “higher education.” Jobs that historically NEVER required degrees now do,
leaving many non-college grads out of consideration for many jobs.
—>>>Economic mobility, class mobility, social mobility, etc…now cease
- The degree is a status symbol, nothing more, in most cases. Historically, a privileged
few entered the IVY Tower to pontificate about life’s greater mysteries. Today, college is
mostly a jobs training experiment, and a very faulty one at that. Having degrees doesn’t
make you smarter or more successful. It signals that you did what was required of you,
whether for four, six, or eight years.
- The College “experience” is overhyped–and comes at a steep price: higher tuition. The
fourth R (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmentic) is Recreation. Colleges exploit this to the max. 600
colleges have rock walls.
They’ve essentially become corporations competing in the market looking to lure in
impressionable young souls (never mind that the professors are generally anti-capitalist!)
- The growing list of fake academic disciplines: Peace and Social Justice, Gender
Studies, Multicultural Studies, fill-in-the blank studies! What real life marketable skills do
these bestow in a global, hyper-competitive digital age?
Lobbyist in state government crusading for the latest cause, who knows?
- No successful entrepreneur ever looks back on his or her schooling as that ‘thing’
or moment that did it for them. From the titans in Silicon Valley who dropped out of college
to the many creative, daring souls throughout history who invented the light bulb,
electricity, planes, among many other incredible wonders, most super successful people are
self-taught, self-directed, self-motivated, and super passionate—things that no college, no
matter how prestigious, can teach.
As the famous adage has it: “I never let schooling get in the way of my education.”
College is good for select individuals with the time, money, plan, and resources who need
particular qualifications to enter select industries.
For these and many more reasons, it is not good for the country at large.