Is College a Scam? Me Not Know

Is college a scam? When it comes to careers like engineering, law, medicine, etc., of course an education is paramount. But answer me this: would an intense series of exams to test the knowledge of applicants for certification as say, a lawyer, not be just as effective as requiring 6+ years of college credit and passing the bar? They both would effectively measure knowledge of the field, but the aforementioned series of exams would not require the credit hours, and better yet the money to acquire those hours. Why is college credit required? Why can't self study, and proof of the necessary knowledge suffice?

I spent four years attaining my degree in a field that has nothing to do with my current occupation. Was it necessary? Well, yes, in order to get my job. But should it be? Perhaps not, it is not as if I am using any of the skills or knowledge from my degree, in a field that is totally unrelated. I could certainly do without the tens of thousands of dollars in debt my education blessed me with.

I'm not advocating the abolishment of the current higher educational system. I am simply posing the question for further thought; simply as an exercise in questioning the status quo.

So, back to the question, is college a scam? Kathy Kristof of Forbes seems to suggest it is. In this intriguing article, Kristof argues that with student loans with terms worse than what you can get from the mob, and with the overinflated importance of a college degree, higher education can actually mean a financial disaster.

Mindy Babbitt entered Davenport University in her mid-20s to study accounting. Unable to cover the costs with her previous earnings as a cosmetologist, she took out a $35,000 student loan at 9% interest, figuring her postgraduate income would cover the cost.

Instead, the entry-level job her bachelor’s degree got her barely covered living expenses. Babbitt deferred loan repayments and was then laid off for a time. Now 41 and living in Plainwell, Mich., she is earning $41,000 a year, or about $10,000 more than the average high school graduate makes. But since she graduated, Babbitt’s student loan balance has more than doubled, to $87,000, and she despairs she’ll never pay it off.

"Unless I win the lottery or get a job paying a lot more, my student debts are going to follow me to the grave," she says.

Source Link

Additional reading. Charles Murray addresses this in his latest book Real Education. Find it here, at Amazon.


Anonymous said...

The university system is an outdated medieval institution. By taking advantage of technology, the very best education should be available to everyone at a fraction of current costs.

Anonymous said...

I'm earning a $200K per year base pay in engineering and I'm a highschool drop out with one year of college (I tested for entry).

Last year I got my GED.

The ENTIRE school system is broken and rediculous.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me as if Mindy didn't learn much. She would have owed about $46k at the time she graduated. The debt service would be about $80 a week. If she paid twice that amount, or $160 a week, to pay down the debt, she would be debt free in 7 years and 7 months.

I suspect Mindy believes someone else should pay her debts or that her desires trump her obligations.

She sounds as if she belongs to the classless people who have created the liquidity crisis in the financial sector and who will be rewarded by the Obama administration and the Congress for defaulting on their just obligations.

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