Debate Over Education: Is College Worth the Cost?

Mish

New schools are popping up. Some offer one year programs but no college degree. Good idea?

Ben Carlson at Wealth of Common Sense is irked by the question: Is College Worth the Cost?

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian gave some advice to young people in a recent interview with the New York Times:

"Do you really need to go to college? There is a huge student loan debt problem in this country. I think there’s going to need to be a drastic change in how these universities work. And I also think we’ve lambasted the trades for way too long. You can make six figures as a welder."

These kinds of statements irk me, especially when they come from rich entrepreneurs. This line of thinking reeks of survivorship bias.

Successful entrepreneurs must understand they’re the minority. Most businesses fail and most 18 year-olds don’t have what it takes to start, let alone run their own business. I certainly would have been lost at that age trying to make a go at it on my own.

I get what Ohanian is trying to say here. There are plenty of problems with the higher education system. It’s too expensive. Most students aren’t given enough guidance in terms of how their preferred area of study will lead to actual employment or how much that employment will pay. Student loans can also be a huge burden after school for many.

In many ways, much like personal finance, people are mostly on their own when it comes to figuring these things out, which is a shame.

Are we really expecting 18 year-olds to perform a cost-benefit analysis on whether or not they should go to college or skip it altogether and go straight to the working world to save on the tuition costs? Better yet, how many adults perform a cost-benefit analysis when they purchase a new car or house? How many adults do you know who track their spending? Create a household budget? Pay down their debt every month? Save enough for retirement?

One Year of ‘College’ With No Degree

Let's now consider One Year of ‘College’ With No Degree, But No Debt And a Job at the End.

As a high-school senior in Hampton, Va., Aidan Cary applied last year to prestigious universities like Dartmouth, Vanderbilt and the University of Virginia.

Then he clicked on the website for a one-year-old school called MissionU and quickly decided that’s where he wanted to go.

Mr. Cary, 19 years old, is enrolled in a one-year, data-science program. He studies between 40 and 50 hours a week, visits high-tech, Bay Area companies as part of his education, and will pay the San Francisco-based school a percentage of his income for three years after he graduates.

MissionU, which enrolled its first class in September, is part of new breed of institutions that bill themselves as college alternatives for the digital age. The schools—whose admission rates hover in the single digits—comparable to the Ivy League, according to the schools—offer a debt-free way to attain skills in hot areas and guaranteed apprenticeships with high-tech companies. Together those create a pipeline to well-paying high-tech jobs.

What they lack is an accredited degree, the longtime entry ticket to a professional career, and the traditional trappings of college including a full liberal arts education.

“The degree is dead. You need experience,” says the website for Praxis, a five-year-old digital school based in South Carolina.

Stunningly Simple Choice

There is no choice here, at least for Mr. Cary. One would have to be a fool to turn down the opportunity.

There is no catch, but there is a problem. These schools get 10,000 applications for 50 spots. They will take the brightest of the brightest, knowing full well the kids can be placed in a high-paying job.

Everyone wins. Those accepted make a great salary after one year, and they finish school with no debt.

Skip College and Go to Trade School

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​Parents are stumped Why an Honors Student Wants to Skip College and Go to Trade School.

Raelee Nicholson earns A’s in her honors classes at a public high school south of Pittsburgh and scored in the 88th percentile on her college boards.

But instead of going to college, Ms. Nicholson hopes to attend a two-year technical program that will qualify her to work as a diesel mechanic. Her guidance counselor, two teachers and several other adults tell her she’s making a mistake.

When she was 14, Raelee rebuilt a car with her older cousin. She doesn’t listen to those trying to dissuade her from her passion. “Diesel mechanics charge $80 an hour,” she says.

Less Than Useless Guidance Counselor

Raelee should tell her guidance counselor to go to hell.

The counselor no doubt wants her to blow $80,000 or more on college, and walk away with some sort of degree in a field in which she has no interest.

With no interest in her major, she would be precisely qualified to work at Target or Walmart in a job she hated.

It's crazy.

Irked

Let's return to Ben Carlson who is irked when entrepreneurs say skip college.

I think Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian was spot on in this important sense: It is beyond stupid to go to college if you do not want to, especially if you have other viable options.

Carlson asks "Are we really expecting 18 year-olds to perform a cost-benefit analysis on whether or not they should go to college or skip it altogether and go straight to the working world to save on the tuition costs?"

Fair enough. But if they cannot do that, then they also cannot figure out that going $80,000 in debt for a humanities degree is a bad idea.

Carlson and guidance counselors give kids horrendous advice and pressure them on the need to go to college, willy nilly, even when many of the kids are bright enough to figure things out on their own.

Worse yet, those who have no business going to college at all end up in college precisely because they cannot do what Carlson asks, and also because of incessant pressure to blow money on education.

I am a proponent of trade schools, of one year colleges with no degree (if you can get in), and also 4-year degrees in colleges overseas.

Some kids are bright enough to figure this out on their own. The rest need a bit of genuine guidance instead of a preach job on the need for a four-year college education.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock​

Comments (51)
No. 1-50
stillCJ
stillCJ

Editor

Mish, Tucker Carlson did the first half of this story on his show April 11.

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock

Editor

Greetings from Arches NP

pgp
pgp

The higher-education system has been getting more expensive-for-less for years. There was a time when an engineering degree actually meant something. When software engineers worked hand in hand with electronic engineers. When people had to create complex solutions from limited resource. Today it has all been dumbed down. More and more tools are produced to do more of the hard work. Why research and design a circuit of discrete chips when a single ASIC can be programmed at the push of a button from a friendly software interface? Software doesn't have to be clever or lean because the processors are fast enough to churn through a bloat of third-party plugins joined together with the sloppiest code. It's the same "dumbing down" that is going on in the labor market in general. Where people are slowly being replaced by machines. And to complicate the problem, the more it becomes a business to sell degrees the easier it will be to buy one. Its no surprise then that the few remaining pioneering companies expect PhD's, honors or multiple diplomas from job applicants. At the end of the day technology improves reducing the need for qualified human employment while the population continues to increase in an environment where the supply of good jobs declines.

2banana
2banana

Or join the military. There are plenty of high tech fields they will train in (and give you a paycheck) that have direct civilian applications. Join active or reserves.

Snow_Dog
Snow_Dog

“Carlson and guidance counselors give kids horrendous advice and pressure them on the need to go to college, willy nilly, even when many of the kids are bright enough to figure things out on their own.“

Thank-you.

JonSellers
JonSellers

My son is graduating number 1 in the college of Medicine next month at his state university. Perfect 4.0 GPA and great MCAT score. He did not even get an interview from his college's Med school. Heard from a friend of a VP in the school that's they only take out of state students because they charge twice as much, and doctors can pay back $250,000 in loans. Of course y charging us more.

Blurtman
Blurtman

A ridiculous debate in my field. Used to be you could work in marketing or sales with a bachelors degree, then with MBA window dressing. Now the sales people are PhD’s and even MD’s. With just a bachelors (biological sciences) you’ll be washing glassware.

Top-GUN
Top-GUN

College degrees don't mean what they used too. Courses have been dumbed down, kids are in classes learning what they should have been taught in high school.

Top-GUN
Top-GUN

Then kids are told they can study anything they want and go out and get a job, which ends up geing a McDonalds job. Then there are the kids that look at college as a four year opportunity to party down and have a good time on Dad's nickel. And have we mentioned government interference, that alone should be enough to tell you this is a business with problems. And if education is the important thing why are colleges so busy promoting their sports program.

Top-GUN
Top-GUN

And, why would you send your kids to be educated (scratch that,, indoctrinated) by a bunch of leftist.

2banana
2banana

For fun - Google some HS tests from 1850 - 1950. I doubt 10% of today's college graduates could even understand the questions let alone answer them...

aaswing
aaswing

Mish, I think you are totally wrong here. College education is not just about studying subjects. It's also about social interactions and career path. For the very few percentage of folks, they will succeed regardless of college. That Ohanian guy is a classic example of that. But he is the exception to the rule. This is also about short term vs. long term benefits. Sure, you may be making similar amounts of money in the beginning. But, without a college degree, your career path will be severely limited. Come on Mish, "Raelee should tell her guidance counselor to go to hell"? That's a bit strong. No? I am with the counselor. She should go to college if she wants to increase her chance of moving up through the corporate ladder. If she knows she wants to start her own business, then that's a tougher choice. She may be okay with not going to college.

George_Phillies
George_Phillies

At least in physics, education at top-line schools has been made more demanding relative to 50 years ago. That's top-line schools, so there is now a major divergence between what is taught at MIT and what is taught at lower tier schools that still offer the Ph.D.

Readers may find of interest Corelli Barnett's Pride and Fall tetrology, especially the parts of the first volume explaining how advocates of liberal arts education effectively destroyed the British Empire by failing to prepare their students to think about serious problems. By eliminating those ticket-punching liberal arts components, four year college programs can be reduced to three without loss of significant content.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

I think it is worth mentioning that the diesel mechanic might make $80/hr to start, but that mechanic is going to have to put in a lot more work than someone in SG&A or marketing. Both of which require a degree of some sort. In the 1990s I worked with salespeople who complained about how hard they had to work until I enlightened them by showing my techs' timecard to them. Sure the salesperson might have to put in a few hours extra at the end of the quarter to make their goal, but it's almost all brain work (writing up proposals) and schmoozing (lunch and golf), not physical activity. And no one dies when the customer doesn't buy. You screw up a backup generator at a hospital and bad things happen quickly.
If this girl really is that smart (and let's assume she is), she'll get the trade skill, work for a few years and go back to get a mechanical engineering degree. Then she'll be extremely valuable.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

Have you heard of the Flynn Effect? The kids are smarter than the "greatest generation" by about one SD. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect

jivefive99
jivefive99

Because high schools do not focus 100% on the three areas kids actually NEED to live in the world (financial, legal and medical), you are left with sending kids to college because that is the only way they will develop the CRITICAL THINKING skills to figure out mortgages and heart disease and suing people, thru reading, writing and 'rithmitic. Nobody remembers anything they learned in college (I dont), but I was exposed to teachers and living with people and books where people found ways to solve problems.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

Looking forward to the pictures. If you get further east, check out Parachute Colorado, home of seven pot shops. And I'll buy you lunch at Shommy's too!

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

There are two threads to be teased out here. I'm all for a range of tertiary education options, that include apprenticeships, so there are options that fit the targeted profession, and options for a range of abilities. The other thread is the fear from right wing parents that their kids are going to become progressives if they attend University - that is just control issues from "helicopter" parents - this isn't the Moonies stealing your kid into a cult, this is kids thinking for themselves and maybe not agreeing with everything Mommie and Daddie tell them to think.

Rayner-Hilles
Rayner-Hilles

@themonosynaptic "this isn't the Moonies stealing your kid into a cult"
Clearly you've missed out on the internet's current anti-neo-marxist movement.

Rayner-Hilles
Rayner-Hilles

https://www.amazon.com/Case-against-Education-System-Waste/dp/0691174652
Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative―education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity―in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy.

Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knowledge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society's top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers.

Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense―The Case against Education points the way.

RonJ
RonJ

In the photo above, Adam Braun looks to be interested and engaged in what he is doing, by the expression on his face. The two, seated women, not so much.

Snow_Dog
Snow_Dog

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

In the fake news digital era, it is no longer enough to merely dumb people down,. The real challenge is sending them away believing that they possess superior intellect, all whilst being wrong about nearly everything.

yooj
yooj

But Caplan would also advise Raelee to get a college degree. Caplan distinguishes what is almost always valuable for the individual (a useless college degree) with what would be good for the collective (less spending on inefficient signaling).

dentss
dentss

Got a rel chuckle out of this ...https://www.livescience.com/62220-millennials-flat-earth-belief.html ....Only 66 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. are confident that the world is round, according to a new national survey.

RonJ
RonJ

Mike Rowe hosted a show called Dirty Jobs. There are people who are happy, doing those jobs. We can't all be PhD brain surgeons and most people don't want to be, anyway. Career path is what you look back on at the end of your working life. You won't know what it will be until it is in the rear view mirror. Life has a way of changing people's plans. Some 50% of marriages end in divorce. If Raelee is happy working on diesel engines to earn a living, that is what she should do. Mike Rowe would be proud of her for doing what she wants do do.

Rayner-Hilles
Rayner-Hilles

Yes, fair enough. Ultimately comes down to industry. Some industries you literally can't enter into without a degree, with others, having too much education makes you suspect for "being bad with people."

Personally I prefer the natural freedom & meritocracy that comes with the IT industry. Most libertarians emanate from IT in part because of this optimistic self-reliant culture. On the other hand, you won't get many libertarians coming from the social work field.

Rayner-Hilles
Rayner-Hilles

@bradw2k "When hiring entry level, I look for signs that they are straight up smart and analytical (which is very, very hard to establish in interviews), and that they'll be a good team fit. Oh, and I'm done hiring people who are under 25, gotta have some maturity."

IQ and trait-conscientiousness are the greatest predictors of long-term personal success. Also, trait-openness is important in a complex fast evolving field, like IT, but in a field like Law, it's not so important.

If you want an employee to be good with people you have to think about trait-extraversion, trait-agreeableness, and trait-neuroticism, but these three tend to be a trade off for IQ & conscientiousness. I hear psychologists have been accumulating evidence to support the cliche that genius tends to be somewhat anti-social and unhinged.

I can only speculate it comes down to problematic human passions determining how hard the brain works. It makes perfect evolutionary sense that mental illness should be associated with an intelligent overclocked brain, because something fundamental in the evolutionary selection process must counterbalance the advantages in selecting for this mighty neuro-cortical hardware of ours. And I don't buy it's just a matter of "calories and head-space." That doesn't add up as an explanation when you look into it.

Also, on age, if it's any consolation I'm under 25 and I wouldn't hire anyone under 28. It's between this period of "25-28" years that the prefrontal cortex completes development. For all the complexity that would seem to go into our cultural idea of "maturity," the formula for it is almost as simple as "prefrontal cortex = maturity." That said, environment has its part to play, and my generation is set to be the worst in history. It's not just grumpy old men, any learned historian can see we are getting more immature as a culture, generation by generation.

Age isn't the only thing I would discriminate by either: for example the religious automatically entails a good work ethic and set of people skills, but on the other hand, keep an eye on that IQ. It also works to pay attention to things like family & relationships in assessing a personality. As to the more painful stuff like gender, sexuallity & race, the science is clear that there's predictive power there as well, but seems as there is more variation within these groups than between them, we'd do well to assess the individual at hand in most cases.

That would seem reasonable would it not? Alas "Ageism" is another fight on the social justice agenda which will go far in the current climate of youth underemployment. If what you said there isn't already illegal where you are now, it may very well soon be. And seems as there's a legion of vindictive brats out there on the internet of all stripes and colors that would take offense to what you said and try to track you down and get you sanctioned for it, you'd might do well to be careful of the language and the context in the things you say. I see your name can be tied to your github and twitter accounts. If I was a determined s-o-b SJW youth, would I have been able to track you down?

There's no guarantee freedom of speech on matters of inequity; be careful.

MissionAccomplished
MissionAccomplished

If the grads can then teach at these colleges then it's a good idea. All the makings of a good Ponzi.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

Hi RH:

There are always ideological groups trying to influence people, particularly young people. A recent study discovered that 25% of our troops know of at least one neo-Nazi comrade - and extreme right wing groups see the military as productive recruiting grounds. There are also wing-nut religious groups (Westboro Church), as well as extreme left wing groups (at my University the left wing groups fractionalized and spent most of their time fighting between themselves as Marxists vs. Stalinists vs. Trotskyites, much to everybody's amusement).

The key is to instill critical thinking skills at a young age (which is why I never inflicted any form of "faith" on my kids). These skills can help arm them at a young age to spot BS.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

Robin Hanson was on Sam Harris' podcast recently and basically thrashed the concept that a University degree was anything more than a certificate sold that is accepted as proof that the recipient is reliable, organized, and smart enough to get thru four years of tertiary education. What is taught and tested seldom has any practical application, nor is it meant to. I think this is an extreme viewpoint, but it is interesting and seems to align with some of the thinking in the comments.

Rayner-Hilles
Rayner-Hilles

@themonosynaptic Such outrageous optimism! But I will acknowledge that Jonathan Haidt's program for introducing political diversity back into the university has found that teaching students [In their first year!] to be open minded, listen to alternative viewpoints and engage in critical thinking does apparently have the effect of immunize them from a lot of this sinister indoctrination at university. Godspeed Jonathan Haidt.

Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

They say that generals tend to fight the last war. Maybe parents (& even more, grandparents) tend to favor the career path of 25-50 years ago. They came from a time when a college education was the Golden Ticket, and many of them were denied the chance to get that kind of education because of financial situations at the time. Perhaps the real target should not be naïve high school graduates, but getting their families to think about today's changed world.

Certainly, any high school student should be getting advice from parents & family friends as well as guidance counsellors. And there is a lot to be said for spending 3 years in the military following high school. If we assume that today's 18 year old high school graduate will have to work until he is 70, 3 years in the military would be only 6% of his working life.

Realist
Realist

There is no single solution to the complex problem of education and skills training. The reality is that we live in a world that is changing rapidly in many areas, including job requirements. The nations that develop the most highly educated and skilled citizens will reap the rewards. The most successful nations will be those who have a competitive advantage in low cost education and skills training. Just as companies compete with each other for competitive advantage, so will nations compete for the best trained workers.

When I look at the US I see many positives. The US certainly has some of the best educated and brightest minds in the world. Combine that with capitalism/free enterprise and you end up with some of the world’s greatest companies (IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, etc).

However, the US also appears to have an over-abundance of lower-skilled, poorly educated workers who aren’t properly prepared for the modern world. Fifty years ago, Joe Six-pack could finish high school (or not finish), and get a job in a steel mill, coal mine, auto plant, etc. and still earn a decent wage to support his family. As a result, life was good, and Joe never bothered to learn any new skills, or improve himself, thinking that there would always be a good job for him (and for his children). Unfortunately, as Joe got older, the world changed. New technology, new processes, and automation, reduced the need for basic workers in the mines, mills and factories. Improved transportation systems throughout the world brought foreign competition into play. Basic skill Joe could no longer command a decent wage anymore because he couldn’t compete with lower-priced machinery or lower priced foreign workers.

I see this story over and over every day in my country as well, because I work with a charity that has a goal of training the Joe’s and the Jill’s who have become unemployable. I have heard variations of this phrase a hundred times from Joe and Jill: “I was hoping to get through my working life without having to learn all this new-fangled stuff.” One positive, is that most of these people are willing to learn new skills now that it is absolutely necessary.

I look at the US and President Trump, and I see a salesman who has appealed to Joe six-pack. He is promising to get Joe his good paying job again in the coal mine, steel mill and auto plant. He tells Joe that he lost his job because of poor trade agreements, and that he alone can fix this problem. Poor Joe voted for Trump and now Trump is making noise and threatening trade wars. Joe cheers. Sadly, no matter what Trump does, Joe isn’t going to get his well-paid basic-skill job back, because no company can compete in today’s world with that model.

The most likely result of Trump’s trade bluster, is some minor adjustments to many trade agreements with Korea, China, Mexico, Canada etc. Trump will claim major victories, but the reality is that very little will change on the trade front, because the other countries will never agree to a trade agreement that is win-lose. Trade agreements, by their nature, must be win-win.

If the US expects to compete in today’s world, they need to improve the training and education systems to provide for inexpensive lifelong learning. Otherwise, other countries will pass them by.

bradw2k
bradw2k

Community college is only 5k per year around here, that seems like a better value than a 1-year trade school which only teaches the tech skill of the moment.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

@Kinuachdrach

"And there is a lot to be said for spending 3 years in the military following high school."

Hi K:

My dad was forced to do "National Service" - two years of military service post high school or university in the 1950's. He said that is was the downfall of his generation. Forced military service stole two years from everybody's life that nobody wanted and so everybody learned how to be lazy but look busy to keep the brass off their backs. I look at the 20-30-year-olds I work with in my company and they are far more organized, hard working, better educated, mature and sensible that either of the last two generations I've seen.

Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

themonosynaptic -- interesting, because I have heard just the opposite from some people of that generation who had to do national service. I have also seen lots of 20-30 year olds who don't meet the standards you have observed in your company. Maybe it is evidence that "One size does not fit all", and an aim of education/training should be to provide multiple paths.

There is also much to be said for the Andrew Carnegie approach -- if someone has been taught how to read, write, and count -- then he can learn most anything else from a good library. Arguably the big weakness in today's educational establishment is that we spend too much time on the college-bound, and not enough time ensuring that everyone gets the 3 R's at a younger age. Reportedly, a substantial part of the teaching load at community colleges consists of remedial math & English -- subjects that should have been learned in high school.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

@Kinuachdrach

Regarding our different experiences regarding two generations, it could be luck, i.e. I just happen to see functional 20-year-olds and you see better 50-year-olds, or it could be the set of glasses we are wearing - I have rose-tinted to fit my viewpoint and you have rose-tinted in your direction.

I posted a link to the Flynn Effect earlier, and having just finished Steven Pinker's latest book I'm in an optimistic mood based on the science and facts he presents.

Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

Themonosynaptic -- I hope you are right! Sincerely!

We all see the world through a keyhole, and our own experiences -- while anecdotal -- do majorly influence our views. Sadly, non-anecdotal government statistics are as reliable as the FBI, leaving us substantially in the dark.

One interesting term which came originally from the UK and has now spread as far as Japan -- NEET; used to describe young people who are Not in Employment, Education, or Training. Apparently, there are enough of them to be counted.

Back to the topic of giving the next generation the tools to succeed -- two of the important factors are (a) the three R's in K-12 schools (UK primary & secondary), and (b) evening, weekend, summer jobs. On both of those, we are unfortunately not doing a good job.

MudB
MudB
  1. Not everyone belongs in college. Probably half do not
  2. You cant borrow too much unless you're a fool. Fed Stafford Loans are limited to about $28,000 for undergrad.
  3. Borrowing money for college is a good deal for people who go into high paying jobs. For the rest , thats what they make community college for.

  4. Anytime you borrow money to live on you've made a mistake. Which is half the cost of college at a lot of colleges.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

There was a proposal to make college free but students would enter into a deal to pay 10% of their salary for their first 10 years of employment. This puts the onus on the institution to stand behind their pieces of paper - has anybody else heard this one?

Update: turns out this is already possible: http://www.businessinsider.com/income-share-agreements-help-students-pay-for-college-loan-alternative-2017-3

WildBull
WildBull

My daughter's employer has a program to pay off her student loans after 10 years of employment. She did not bother after seeing how many only made it for 9 1/2 years.

WildBull
WildBull

And, it is not just the jobs for Joe Sixpack that are lacking. The salaried "people person" jobs in sales, marketing, admin, etc. that were filled by liberal arts graduates are disappearing, too.

WildBull
WildBull

For the last 50 years, the US has been de-industrializing. We are losing our capital through enormous capital flight, while the difference is made up by printing paper. I hear on this blog that it doesn't matter, because cheap foreign crap benefits the consumer, and that the US never intends to make good on the $18 tril of foreign debt, anyhow. How can any of this come to anything but a bad end???

MorrisWR
MorrisWR

I'm a little late to this party but I agree with those who say it depends on what job you intend to do. In my profession you must have a degree or you cannot get a job (medical). My eldest son is in mechanical engineering so college makes sense. For those who say college is "dumbed down" I think they need to pick a better school. My sons engineering classes are just as hard as they were in the 80's. I went through a couple of the classes with friends who were in engineering and I have worked with my son on some of his classes. There is a place or college and there is a place for trade/technical schools just as there is a place for kids to just go out and work. Our kids will have no debt after college because they stopped going to high school after 10th grade (HS was a waste of time) in order to start college early. They also chose a school that had lower tuition to get the core classes out of the way and will finish the last two years at university. People who do not analyze costs and benefits before deciding on college have no reason to complain to anyone when their decisions leave them in debt.

ax123man
ax123man

"Borrowing money for college is a good deal for people who go into high paying jobs. For the rest , thats what they make community college for"

Take a look at the average pay for BS degrees. You think all BS degrees are in "high paying jobs"? Get a clue before spewing on the internet words that may steer high school kids in the wrong direction. Quite often the HIGHEST paying jobs go to college dropouts who wake up and realize what a waste of time it is.

There is no right/wrong/perfect answer. There are options. And there is a whole lot of pressure on kids to simply "do the right thing" and got to University. This is idiocy.

jamessusan104
jamessusan104

Absolutely! I don't know what the exact figure was, but rather I remember once learning that the difference between setting off for college and getting a degree versus simply graduating secondary school was in the a large number of dollars after some time. So it's a considerable measure in the 'at this moment' however it'll satisfy so much whatever remains of your life.

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katiemolina44

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jenniechase
jenniechase

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