Two conclusions I’ve reached over the last few weeks:
1) The problems with the cost of education (and especially higher education) are almost exactly the same as the problems with the cost of health care–namely: too much Government control over the delivery, and too much Government influence on the financing; combine that with the textbook industry who uses their relationship with universities to rob students even more, and what we have is an education that is so expensive.
2) The return on the investment is simply not there. There’s a good website that shows “ROI” for leading universities around the country.
And right off the bat, I’m quite convinced that it’s complete and total nonsense, for one reason and one reason only: they have NO IDEA how much a kid who is intelligent and capable enough to get a college degree is capable of doing if they choose to go another route. The reason why the salaries for non-college grads are so much lower is that anyone with the ability to go to college is manhandled and coddled and bribed (see number 1) to go to college. Great video on the topic:
If you take Suzie Q, who has the intellectual capital to graduate from Harvard, and she chooses to do something productive for 5 years (that MAKES money, God-forbid start a business or something), she’ll end up being decidedly more productive in the long term than Bob, who has the intellectual capital to go to Stanford, and studies Anthropology. There are just too many variables.
Not saying there should be no Universities, but unless someone is choosing a decidedly intellectual pursuit, there is no real need for it. Many of the great high-tech success stories were made by those who learned on their own and tinkered out of their garage. Making ALL of our children slaves to debt and then to a mortgage and a corporation that pays for both is just an outdated and outmoded model. It’s a product of the industrial age gone awry.
There is too much information available for too little money for us to continue to believe that we need to spend $100,000 for students to get this information.
“But wait, what about all the intangibles that students learn…teamwork, critical thought, problem solving, don’t they need guidance from educational professionals to help them learn these processes.”
NO. They need a job. Think back to when you graduated from college, and tell me that you didn’t learn more in TWO WEEKS in a real job about all of these things then you did in four (five, six) years in a University.
PLUS, you could pay private tutors $25,000 a year and fill the gaps…or just forget about the degree itself and take a class at a community college. Everything you need to know, you could get from the public library or on ebay.
The REAL problem…the real dirty little secret:
The American public has become convinced that High Schools are preparing students for College, but what they’re really doing is making sure they’re NOT prepared for life…so they HAVE to go to college. It’s not malicious, and it’s not a conspiracy (many things, despite what the video indicates don’t have to be conspiratorial to be bad); it’s just a fundamental shift (over many decades) of education designed around logic, reason, knowledge, enterprise and problem solving at the earliest levels to one that is designed around feelings, multiculturalism, social justice, and “world citizenship.”
The result is a New Age primary and secondary education feeding students into an Industrial Age higher education model. Universities serve the same noble purpose that an insurance company does in health care: they (with lots of Government help) get in between the end-user and the “service provider.”
The result is a lot of wasted money at every level, and a generation or two of children who along the way have missed the one thing that they needed to learn to be productive members of society:
HOW TO THINK.
Last but not least, someone else who really gets to the heart of this issue–the guy from PayPal who is recruiting top talent FROM Universities:
It was the inspiration for this post, along with my dad (who just graduated his last), saying something along the lines of: “A fella could go to a trade school and become a plumber, and you look out 30 years later, I guarantee he comes out ahead.”