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Why is there a general anti-college attitude lately?


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I've noticed it, not so much here, but elsewhere. On facebook people are linking to articles about why you shouldn't go to college. In our local homeschool group the same kind of thing has been going on for the past month or so. It's not just a "College isn't for everyone, you decide" attitude, but a truly anti-college, anti-higher education attitude.

 

My personal belief is this: If the field you want to go into requires a degree, go to college. If you want a liberal arts education and can afford it, go to college. If you want the college experience and can afford it, go to college. If you want to self-educate, don't go to college. If you want to be an entrepreneur and feel you don't need college, don't go. In other words, do what works best for you.

 

I just don't get this education is for elitists thing that's going on lately. Thoughts? Is anyone else seeing this in their IRL circle too?

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I've noticed it, not so much here, but elsewhere. On facebook people are linking to articles about why you shouldn't go to college. In our local homeschool group the same kind of thing has been going on for the past month or so. It's not just a "College isn't for everyone, you decide" attitude, but a truly anti-college, anti-higher education attitude.

 

There is definitely some anti-intellectualism in the air. That's all I'm willing to say about it here. ;)

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:iagree:

 

And, OP, you won't find it at our house! I was a college and career counselor in a public high school for years because I believe so strongly in college for those who express ANY desire to go.

 

Dawn

 

There is definitely some anti-intellectualism in the air. That's all I'm willing to say about it here. ;)
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I think a lot of it stems from the fact that so many people are going deeply into debt and then not using their degree. Or their degree is just a check box on an application for work that has nothing to do with their degree.

I also think that as a society we are starting to look backwards, we're looking for the "good ol' days" so to speak, I think part of that is the idea that you work a job because you're good at it, not because you have a piece of paper that says you know about it....

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The only place I'm seeing it is this board and local homeschoolers. :glare:

It seems as if the public and private schoolers still aim toward college. Most of my son's homeschooled friends are thinking trades right now.

 

Interesting because it wasn't that way a few years ago.

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There is definitely some anti-intellectualism in the air. That's all I'm willing to say about it here. ;)

 

That, and people are just crabby. I think the debt, economy, unemployment, etc has created some sourness over the past few years.

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More and more, I am getting the impression that my children will go to college and it may not do them any good because the bachelor's degree is becoming devalued. I think that is happening because "everyone" is now going to college. I wonder if this devaluation will cause less people to further their education and swing things the other way again.

 

Lisa

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Mostly I have just seen it here of all places.

 

:iagree:

 

IRL, the desire to get a college degree seems to be higher than ever. I think some of it has to do with the lower unemployment rates for college grads. I know we're sure glad lately that we sacrificed, scrimped, and sacrificed some more to put dh through college years ago.

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College costs have gone up so much faster than inflation, and it's so hard to get into a good college that people are reweighing the cost/benefit analysis.

 

Also in general the job situation is pretty bad for the college grad age group. So there is a lot of general angst around what opportunities might or might not be available to our children when they are launched. I know that it's much harder to get a career off the ground than when I was in school. And there is far less job security than there used to be. Read "The World Is Flat" for some further anxiety, if you're brave, LOL!

 

People are trying to figure out a good path, and it's very difficult.

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I think a lot of it stems from the fact that so many people are going deeply into debt and then not using their degree. Or their degree is just a check box on an application for work that has nothing to do with their degree.

I also think that as a society we are starting to look backwards, we're looking for the "good ol' days" so to speak, I think part of that is the idea that you work a job because you're good at it, not because you have a piece of paper that says you know about it....

 

 

:iagree: It is so expensive! I have no idea what the cost will be when my dc are old enough to attend. I also agree with the pp who said people are just crabby right now. :lol:

 

College can either be a time for growing up or an excuse to lengthen adolescence. Maybe the perception is that it is usually the latter option. Could this also be a natural progression out of the homeschooling movement though? If we can homeschool our dc through high school and teach them to learn on their own, maybe many homeschool graduates don't need a college degree. (That would, of course, depend on what field they want to enter. I sure hope my doctor has a college degree!)

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I haven't been *seeing* it that many places, other than here, but I've been *hearing* a lot about it. I rarely get a chance to hear the Diane Rehm Show, on NPR, but I swear she's had topics discussing student debt and lack of skilled trade workers at least 4 times over the past 2 months.

 

I'm not "anti-college", but I agree the push for EVERYONE to get a 4-year degree has had it's moment in the sun.

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I've noticed it much more since the recession began. Even folks who were educational snobs before have now started to question it when their 20something recent college graduates are living at home working as waiters or at Costco.

 

In HS circles, I do notice a different tone to the "college is a waste" argument. It's less about finances and more about "doing one's own thing", which makes sense from a group of people who have eschewed traditional K-12 schools.

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In some people, not all of course, I detect "reverse snobbery". Instead of revering the hard work required to obtain a solid college education, it becomes trendy to revere the sometimes equally hard work required to obtain a non-college job. Each side, disappointingly, disdaining members of the other side.

 

College is not appropriate for everybody; at the same time there are many people for whom "no college" is not soul-satisfying.

 

I so heartily believe that if people could feel accepting of themselves and equally so of other people, these foolish social distinctions could go away.

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I've noticed it in some of the circles I travel. In fact, I've been accused of valuing education over character because I provided a college prep experience for my son.:confused:

 

He wants to pursue medical research and work to find disease cures. How can he do that without going to college?

 

I also find an assumption from people that I'm bragging if I mention where he is going. Why can't people just be supportive and be happy for him?:confused:

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Guest Dulcimeramy
Maybe it's the college expense bubble getting ready to burst. The media may be specifically pushing that agenda as well. Total speculation though.

 

:iagree:

 

I haven't become entirely anti-college and I am certainly not anti-intellectual, but you can bet your Sweet Bippy that I am wary.

 

My boys are still getting an Ivy-prep education at home, but I don't intend to talk them into going to college at this point. They should go if it really does further their personal goals. They should not go for status or imaginary advantage. Not when we've learned that the so-called educational opportunities offered are now so lacking and the prospective ability to pay back these over-inflated loans is no longer just not guaranteed but truly unlikely.

 

At the end of their homeschooling experience they will be better educated than the majority of their countrymen, and well-educated enough to please me.

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I think a lot of it stems from the fact that so many people are going deeply into debt and then not using their degree. Or their degree is just a check box on an application for work that has nothing to do with their degree.

I also think that as a society we are starting to look backwards, we're looking for the "good ol' days" so to speak, I think part of that is the idea that you work a job because you're good at it, not because you have a piece of paper that says you know about it....

 

:iagree:

 

There are so many jobs that require a degree to apply when, really, a degree will not help you in the position at all. Before kids, I was in human resources. I have a Literature degree. I had to have a degree to get the job but I really didn't use it in the job.

 

I think people are starting to push back against the idea that you are required to spend lots of money to get a regular job. I think it is a good thing. Too many kids are borrowing up to the eyebrows just to have a piece of paper.

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It's always been around in a certain demographic where I live. It surprised me a ton when we moved here, but I'm used to it now.

 

When I think about it and people I know IRL, I actually think MORE people are thinking about or heading to college than when I first moved here. I think more people are realizing "a" degree opens more doors - esp in this economy. I know 6 adults IRL who are going back to get degrees due to hitting a ceiling in their job or needing to change jobs due to the economy. They are all insisting that their kids go to college right from high school.

 

Not that long ago I saw stats in our local newspaper that said unemployment among recent college grads was 9.something %. That seems bad, UNTIL they listed that unemployment among recent high school grads was 25.something %. I think they were talking nationally as our local unemployment rate doesn't match either (it's better locally).

 

My older two boys have taken dual enrollment classes at our local cc. Last year, for the first time ever, they had parking problems due to far more people signing up for classes than normal.

 

So, musing as I type, no, I don't really see a general anti-college attitude lately except in that demographic - and on here (and those on here might be in the same demographic - I have no way of knowing).

 

I do see more people being concerned about college debt. That's not such a bad thing IMO. ;)

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I've noticed it in some of the circles I travel. In fact, I've been accused of valuing education over character because I provided a college prep experience for my son.:confused:

 

He wants to pursue medical research and work to find disease cures. How can he do that without going to college?

 

I also find an assumption from people that I'm bragging if I mention where he is going. Why can't people just be supportive and be happy for him?:confused:

 

I have begun seeing this attitude pop up as well in various homeschooling circles. As if there is a trade-off.

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My personal belief is this: If the field you want to go into requires a degree, go to college. If you want a liberal arts education and can afford it, go to college. If you want the college experience and can afford it, go to college. If you want to self-educate, don't go to college. If you want to be an entrepreneur and feel you don't need college, don't go. In other words, do what works best for you.

 

 

 

Yes, I'm seeing these articles as well.

 

It seems to be a response to the trend over the last decade or so saying that everyone could and should go to college. Politicians, academics, etc., have been saying that everyone has a "right" to go to college, for instance. Please don't take this into politics, that's not why I bring that up. My point is that it's been drummed into people for the past 10 or 15 years, without the balance of trade schools, vo-ag, etc.

 

When I went to high school, kids (with their counselors) would get on track by 10th grade or so to pursue classes that were targetted for technical schools, business ed or business-related study, agriculture study, as well as more heavily academic tracks for college (higher level maths, essay-writing English classes). Not that kids couldn't change tracks or go to college after they'd done something else, but it acknowledged that not everyone wanted or needed to go to college straight out of high school.

 

The more recent "everyone goes to college" attitude does a real disservice to students who want technical careers or want to work in a field that involves apprenticeships, for instance.

 

That and the huge financial burden as college costs have sky-rocketed, well past any reasonable increases relative to the rest of the economy. I think a lot of families are really weighing the costs/benefits more these days when even state universities and regular ol' colleges are $20K a year not including all the additional costs.

 

The anti attitude you mention may have a good bit to do with the ridiculous classes and lack of a strong core that some colleges now offer. Graduating with a history degree but you don't have to take even one class on ancient or western civilization history? Things like that make the news more and more frequently these days. For some folks I'm sure that looks like a big waste of money.

 

:001_huh:

 

IRL most of the academically minded families we know are doing what they can to enable their kids to go to college.

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Guest Dulcimeramy
I've noticed it in some of the circles I travel. In fact, I've been accused of valuing education over character because I provided a college prep experience for my son.:confused:

 

He wants to pursue medical research and work to find disease cures. How can he do that without going to college?

 

I also find an assumption from people that I'm bragging if I mention where he is going. Why can't people just be supportive and be happy for him?:confused:

 

I'm happy for your son! :hurray:

 

One of my sons wants to be a doctor, and of course he will need to go to college. What is wrong with people??

 

Also, I don't know about you, but I have seen growth in my child's character partly as a result of a solid home education. That is not either/or.

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Most people i know do assume their children will attend college. Maybe not right out of HS. I see a tiny portion of kids doing work gap years, or talking a couple of classes locally before making the big decision to go away. But no higher ed thoughts/assumptions? Nope. Respect for the child's needs and desires? Big yes.

 

Now, there is much talk and frustration about costs. Nobody in their right mind is feeling ok about this insanity. People in our circle have literally gasped when we've shared that our oldest child recieved a full merit scholarship to a highly ranked law school. Getting in is not always the greatest hurdle, but paying the tuition might be. Go somewhere you're *really* wanted and maybe not owe 200k at the end. Attorney friends have been the biggest supporters of his plan. He's going to an excellent law school, if not T14. People have got to rethink past assumptions.

 

Many folks I know are rethinking private schools, and considering applications much further from home as schools seek greater geographic diversity. If one finds a good match further from home, with a good financial package, it can be less costly than a local state uni. The state schools here are getting a lot more respect , but some are also becoming highly competitive. Getting in is no longer a given ; they aren't all considered "safe" schools anymore.

Edited by LibraryLover
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My personal belief is this: If the field you want to go into requires a degree, go to college. If you want a liberal arts education and can afford it, go to college. If you want the college experience and can afford it, go to college. If you want to self-educate, don't go to college. If you want to be an entrepreneur and feel you don't need college, don't go. In other words, do what works best for you.

 

 

 

:iagree:

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We've been pretty frank about why such an excellent student didn't apply to Harvard etc. Getting in is not always the greatest hurdle Paying the bill is. Go somewhere you're wanted and maybe not owe 200k at the end.

 

This is an excellent point that a very good friend of mine repeats regularly. I'm going remember it in the future. Sometimes it's hard, though. I'm thinking of specific majors: sometimes it really does make a difference if they come from a certain school/certain professors. Then what do you do?

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yes, students are going deep into debt that they'll carry into their adult lives for many years to come and as college is really no longer just for elitists, it creates more college grads competing for the same jobs, bringing the salary rates down. Plus they've hyped up the absolute necessity of a college degree, while making no promises or guarantees in return, and then they keep trying to justify tuition increases while paying their sports coaches millions. :tongue_smilie:

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Personally. . .

 

I've tried to avoid these threads, b/c I know I am paddling against the tide here.

 

If you are firmly "anti-snob", "anti-elite", or "anti-intellectual", I'll save you the trouble of getting irritated and blocking me. . . just stop reading now. :)

 

Please. I've given warning. . . so here goes my snobby, elitish, intellectual rant. . .

 

There's no way any of my kids are not going to get a 4 year college degree if I have anything to say about it, and I do have a lot to say about it, lol. I consider it a basic educational requirement. All my kids' parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents have 4 yr degrees and most of us have grad degrees. 98% of my friends have undergrad degrees, and I'd guess 75% have grad degrees. It just isn't OK for *MY KIDS* not to get a 4 yr degree IMHO, and I firmly expect grad degrees as well, although I think it is more acceptable to work a while between undergrad and grad if desired.

 

Yes, of course, there are plenty of respectable, life-affirming, important tasks to be done, jobs to be had, that don't require a college degree. But, reality is, those jobs, on average, are for people who will work FOR those with advanced degrees, and will pay MUCH less than those with advanced degrees. Sure, if you have limits due to intellectual ability, motivation, family circumstance, whatever, then, fine, don't go to college. We need folks to do our hair, grow our food, fix our cars, fix our a/c, serve our food, run retail stores. . . Those, and many others, are important and respectable jobs. There are MANY other boring, repetitive, dangerous, poorly paid, soul-sucking, tedious, irritating, awful jobs out there. . . Someone's got to do them. But, I sure wouldn't want to do them, and I wouldn't want my kids to either. If they *did* choose to be a farmer for a while (oh, that would be great fun, I always wanted to farm . . . but then again, I think they'd be better off farming with a degree or two in Ag Science, maybe an MBA as well), I'd want them to have the OPTION to do something else later. . . and not have to go back to school for 4 years to start over. A 4 year degree is simply an insurance policy that you can relatively easily change course later in life. . . You might want/need a grad degree, but you have a jump start by having that 4 year degree to start with.

 

I think it's the economy. People are broke (or afraid of being broke), don't want to (or simply can't) spring for the kid's college. . . and are fearful of the kid going into debt. . . and resent the fact that so many people are out of work (even some of those well educated ones). People resent the seemingly endless upward spiral of college expenses.

 

Poorer folks don't understand the beauty of federal aid, nor the relative smallness of the remaining 5-10k/yr they'd need to borrow or earn to make it through. Uppermiddle class folks are squeezed by making too much for aid but not enough for 50k/yr private college costs, and resent the idea of going into 6 figure debt for one kid's college, and are overwhelmed at the idea of doing that for multiple kids. . . but are so used to giving their kids "everything" that making a compromise by going to a cheaper college seems too embarassing, so taking a "stand" encouraging their kid to opt out of college seems easier.

 

People are scared and hopeless, and somehow having a $10/hr job seems safer than going into hock for college. I think this is fear talking, and not good sense.

 

I think the tide will turn again when the economy improves.

 

People will reconsider the facts. . .

 

+ That having a college degree opens many doors that are otherwise firmly shut.

+ That most 17 or 18 yos don't know what they are going to want to do for the rest of their careers, and thus closing doors isn't wise.

+ That it's a lot harder to go back to school when you're a 20-something with a spouse/kid/mortgage than it is to go when you are free and single and debt free at 18.

+ That you're a lot more recession-proof with more degrees after your name. (lower unemployment, etc)

+ That 4 years from now (age 18 graduating from high school), if you work hard. . . you can choose:

+++ NO COLLEGE: to be broke, with no college education, with an 11/hr job that is likely to go up maybe 50c/yr for a decade, then level out when you hit your ceiling (today you start at $8). . . and very few options to change that

+++ COLLEGE: to be broke, with 20k debt, with a college degree, with a $15/hr-$30/hr job that will go up. . . and options for more degrees/careers.

or you can be broke,

+ That being a professional who is a boss of people (doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, astronaut, RN, etc) is actually often much more gratifying than being someone who works for one of those folks.

+ That being a professional who is making $100k/yr and gets 4 wks vacation (and has enough $$ to go where they wish) is a lot more rewarding than being the support staff who make 30-40k/yr and get 2 weeks (but don't have enough $$ to go far).

+ That being able to do really important stuff (save lives, heal the sick, teach the ignorant, etc) is incredibly gratifying, and that an advanced education allows you do some of these things 40+ hours a week as a JOB, which is actually really cool.

 

At the end of the day, sure, yes, not everyone needs to go to college. We need low wage less educated workers as well as high wage well educated ones.

 

However, *I* don't want *my* kids to be at the bottom of the economy.

 

It's fun having more money. It's fun having more freedom. It's fun having more power. That is the simple reality of capitalism (money = power = freedom). I want my kids to have it all. Options. Freedom. Influence. Power. Choices. Education helps them get those things.

 

Well, I could go on and on, but I figure I've given enough fodder to the anti-college crowd for now.

Edited by StephanieZ
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I think it is because of the student debt that can be accumulated with wages straight out of college not being enough to pay it off. It can become a financial burden. After I got my degree I went to work for not much more than what I made waitressing. That said, we talk to our kids about college as in "when" they go, not "if". We plan to take that financial burden in, but some kids don't have that option.

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Yes, I'm seeing these articles as well.

 

Yes, it's articles I'm seeing, so it's more than just the homeschooling community. In fact, most of the articles are written by those who have nothing to do with homeschoolers.

 

 

The more recent "everyone goes to college" attitude does a real disservice to students who want technical careers or want to work in a field that involves apprenticeships, for instance.
I agree with that. I don't think those who choose non-degree careers should be chastised for not getting a degree. It just seems that there's a complete backlash now, as if no one should even want to get a degree or higher education.
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I've seen it here and heard it on various news stations. I think much of it has to do with the debt thing. Kids are graduating from public colleges with $20,000+ in loans. Then they have a hard time finding a job and paying back that money. Also, there is the lowered standards at colleges. I wish I could remember the article I just read about one state university reducing the requirements for a degree. Many parents are not going to want to send their kid off to college to rack up thousands of dollars of debt, only to receive a less-than-stellar education. I think the tide is turning against intellectuals. For so long college was part of the American dream. Go to college and you will never have to worry about making ends meet. That just isn't reality. Plus, if everyone has a degree, it does kinda cheapen that piece of paper.

 

Now, I will say that as of right now I fully expect my children to go to college. However, if they get to that age and decide to pursue a different path (such as a trade) I will support them. I like to think I have developed an atmosphere of learning. I want them to always want to learn new things. I want them to constantly challenge their minds. I have nothing against intellectuals. I do have a grasp of reality though. I am aware that a plumber can make a wonderful living and come home to Shakespeare.

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Yes, it's articles I'm seeing, so it's more than just the homeschooling community. In fact, most of the articles are written by those who have nothing to do with homeschoolers.

 

 

I agree with that. I don't think those who choose non-degree careers should be chastised for not getting a degree. It just seems that there's a complete backlash now, as if no one should even want to get a degree or higher education.

 

I think people are mad at rising tuition rates. I know I am.

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This is an excellent point that a very good friend of mine repeats regularly. I'm going remember it in the future. Sometimes it's hard, though. I'm thinking of specific majors: sometimes it really does make a difference if they come from a certain school/certain professors. Then what do you do?

 

There are more than 8 colleges in the US. An excellent school does not have to be Ivy.

Edited by LibraryLover
8!! And nobody from Stanford say 9. lol
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Guest Dulcimeramy
I wouldn't confuse the anti-university sentiment with anti-intellectualism.

 

:iagree:

 

Personally. . .

 

I've tried to avoid these threads, b/c I know I am paddling against the tide here.

 

If you are firmly "anti-snob", "anti-elite", or "anti-intellectual", I'll save you the trouble of getting irritated and blocking me. . . just stop reading now. :)

 

Please. I've given warning. . . so here goes my snobby, elitish, intellectual rant. . .

 

There's no way any of my kids are not going to get a 4 year college degree if I have anything to say about it, and I do have a lot to say about it, lol. I consider it a basic educational requirement. All my kids' parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents have 4 yr degrees and most of us have grad degrees. 98% of my friends have undergrad degrees, and I'd guess 75% have grad degrees. It just isn't OK for *MY KIDS* not to get a 4 yr degree IMHO, and I firmly expect grad degrees as well, although I think it is more acceptable to work a while between undergrad and grad if desired.

 

Yes, of course, there are plenty of respectable, life-affirming, important tasks to be done, jobs to be had, that don't require a college degree. But, reality is, those jobs, on average, are for people who will work FOR those with advanced degrees, and will pay MUCH less than those with advanced degrees. Sure, if you have limits due to intellectual ability, motivation, family circumstance, whatever, then, fine, don't go to college. We need folks to do our hair, grow our food, fix our cars, fix our a/c, serve our food, run retail stores. . . Those, and many others, are important and respectable jobs. There are MANY other boring, repetitive, dangerous, poorly paid, soul-sucking, tedious, irritating, awful jobs out there. . . Someone's got to do them. But, I sure wouldn't want to do them, and I wouldn't want my kids to either. If they *did* choose to be a farmer for a while (oh, that would be great fun, I always wanted to farm . . . but then again, I think they'd be better off farming with a degree or two in Ag Science, maybe an MBA as well), I'd want them to have the OPTION to do something else later. . . and not have to go back to school for 4 years to start over. A 4 year degree is simply an insurance policy that you can relatively easily change course later in life. . . You might want/need a grad degree, but you have a jump start by having that 4 year degree to start with.

 

I think it's the economy. People are broke (or afraid of being broke), don't want to (or simply can't) spring for the kid's college. . . and are fearful of the kid going into debt. . . and resent the fact that so many people are out of work (even some of those well educated ones). People resent the seemingly endless upward spiral of college expenses.

 

Poorer folks don't understand the beauty of federal aid, nor the relative smallness of the remaining 5-10k/yr they'd need to borrow or earn to make it through. Uppermiddle class folks are squeezed by making too much for aid but not enough for 50k/yr private college costs, and resent the idea of going into 6 figure debt for one kid's college, and are overwhelmed at the idea of doing that for multiple kids. . . but are so used to giving their kids "everything" that making a compromise by going to a cheaper college seems too embarassing, so taking a "stand" encouraging their kid to opt out of college seems easier.

 

People are scared and hopeless, and somehow having a $10/hr job seems safer than going into hock for college. I think this is fear talking, and not good sense.

 

I think the tide will turn again when the economy improves.

 

People will reconsider the facts. . .

 

+ That having a college degree opens many doors that are otherwise firmly shut.

+ That most 17 or 18 yos don't know what they are going to want to do for the rest of their careers, and thus closing doors isn't wise.

+ That it's a lot harder to go back to school when you're a 20-something with a spouse/kid/mortgage than it is to go when you are free and single and debt free at 18.

+ That you're a lot more recession-proof with more degrees after your name. (lower unemployment, etc)

+ That 4 years from now (age 18 graduating from high school), if you work hard. . . you can choose:

+++ NO COLLEGE: to be broke, with no college education, with an 11/hr job that is likely to go up maybe 50c/yr for a decade, then level out when you hit your ceiling (today you start at $8). . . and very few options to change that

+++ COLLEGE: to be broke, with 20k debt, with a college degree, with a $15/hr-$30/hr job that will go up. . . and options for more degrees/careers.

or you can be broke,

+ That being a professional who is a boss of people (doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, astronaut, RN, etc) is actually often much more gratifying than being someone who works for one of those folks.

+ That being a professional who is making $100k/yr and gets 4 wks vacation (and has enough $$ to go where they wish) is a lot more rewarding than being the support staff who make 30-40k/yr and get 2 weeks (but don't have enough $$ to go far).

+ That being able to do really important stuff (save lives, heal the sick, teach the ignorant, etc) is incredibly gratifying, and that an advanced education allows you do some of these things 40+ hours a week as a JOB, which is actually really cool.

 

At the end of the day, sure, yes, not everyone needs to go to college. We need low wage less educated workers as well as high wage well educated ones.

 

However, *I* don't want *my* kids to be at the bottom of the economy.

 

It's fun having more money. It's fun having more freedom. It's fun having more power. That is the simple reality of capitalism (money = power = freedom). I want my kids to have it all. Options. Freedom. Influence. Power. Choices. Education helps them get those things.

 

Well, I could go on and on, but I figure I've given enough fodder to the anti-college crowd for now.

 

Stephanie, have you no knowledge of apprenticeships, trade schools or out-of-the-box entrepreneurialism?

 

Your paradigm is shockingly simple. It isn't a matter of degrees and wealth OR $10/hr drudgery. I have a friend who is a plumber. He is building a new house, debt-free. I have a friend who is a chemical engineer and a holder of three degrees. He is driving a truck right now...and it took him two years to get that job. His wife delivers newspapers and sells garden produce.

 

Also, your ignorance of the thought processes of "poorer folks" is appalling. Of course we understand the "relative smallness" of loans of $5-10K/yr! That doesn't mean we can afford them! You can't get blood from a stone.

 

My wariness of college stems from new information made available in the past year proving that many schools are not teaching the young people properly. I am so tired of hearing about classically homeschooled children who go into debt for thousands of dollars just for the privilege of attending college classes in which they make posters about children's books. I am disgusted by reports of binge drinking and rampant cheating on campuses. This does not sound "intellectual" to me!

 

I'd rather have a self-educated son who is a self-made man than an impoverished, debt-riddled son who learned all manner of complacency, apathy, and immorality at an expensive college institution and yet still faces no job opportunities. (Edited to add: This is probably also be a false paradigm. However, I have personally seen more instances of these extremes than the opposite. Perhaps because I live in a mostly blue-collar town...)

 

That is not anti-intellectual. Farmers of America's past were better-read than lawyers of today. What is education? And what is success? These are the questions we all must answer for our own families.

Edited by Dulcimeramy
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Yes, it's articles I'm seeing, so it's more than just the homeschooling community. In fact, most of the articles are written by those who have nothing to do with homeschoolers.

 

 

I agree with that. I don't think those who choose non-degree careers should be chastised for not getting a degree. It just seems that there's a complete backlash now, as if no one should even want to get a degree or higher education.

 

I wonder if the last part you mentioned is more due to economics. Like the schools have priced themselves completely out of the sphere of reason now....

 

A few months ago, I was driving and flipping through the radio stations when I hit on a Dave Ramsey talk show (not sure if he was a guest on something or does a show, I know who he is but haven't read his stuff) -- anyway -- a young woman was talking about her debt. The part I remember is when she said that her husband's college loans totalled about $80K. He asked what the degree was in and if the husband was using his degree. She said he went to a nice private college and got a degree in Spanish. The response was that it's crazy to pay that much for a degree that will not give you a return on investment. He pointed out that her husband could've volunteered helping Spanish-language kids learn English, etc., and gotten similar skills.

 

I'm wondering if that's part of the backlash. It's one thing to "waste" a term or semester on "film studies of '60s comedy" or something in high school, it's a lot more expensive and pointless to do that in college. :001_huh:

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I am anti-college right now and don't plan on forcing my kids to go if they don't want to. I HIGHLY value education. It will be strongly enforced, but college, not so much. My husband and I both have college degrees. mine in elementary education, his in chemistry. He is working at a lab in a hospital as a SECRETARY for 11.50 an hour, becuase unless he goes on for his masters, he can't do anything with a chemistry degree. We are already 40,000 in debt just from his student loans, probably more once you count intrest. He loans are $300 a month. We can't even afford rent, let alone another $300 a month bill. And he can't go to grad school unless he quits the job he has now which we also can't afford. I have a degree as well. I don't have an education job. I work at Dunkin Donuts and Walmart, both for $8.00 because no one is hiring. I can't sub or else I'd have to put my kids in daycare and it's just not worth it or the unpredictibleness of subbing. I've got 60,000 in loans...not counting intrest. thank god i can still defer, altho we won't be able to pay those either. College? All it's done is get us into debt that we'll never be able to get out of and affected not only our lives in a negative way, but also our children's. Why would I want my kids to go through this? Everything I learned in college, my kids could learn by reading textbooks if they wanted. Maybe an associates degree or trade school like nursing or something, but not a 4 year school unless things drastically change.

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There are more than 7 colleges in the US. An excellent school does not have to be Ivy.

 

Oh, hey, I agree with you. BUT I'm thinking about how certain majors *really* shine at certain universities. I'm thinking about the areas where *my* kids' interests lie. There just aren't a lot of choices out there when it comes to certain fields. If yours is a major where a degree from a certain institution will open doors for you for the rest of your life... well, it might be tough to say "no."

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I wonder if the last part you mentioned is more due to economics. Like the schools have priced themselves completely out of the sphere of reason now....

 

A few months ago, I was driving and flipping through the radio stations when I hit on a Dave Ramsey talk show (not sure if he was a guest on something or does a show, I know who he is but haven't read his stuff) -- anyway -- a young woman was talking about her debt. The part I remember is when she said that her husband's college loans totalled about $80K. He asked what the degree was in and if the husband was using his degree. She said he went to a nice private college and got a degree in Spanish. The response was that it's crazy to pay that much for a degree that will not give you a return on investment. He pointed out that her husband could've volunteered helping Spanish-language kids learn English, etc., and gotten similar skills.

 

I'm wondering if that's part of the backlash. It's one thing to "waste" a term or semester on "film studies of '60s comedy" or something in high school, it's a lot more expensive and pointless to do that in college. :001_huh:

 

I agree. Unless one is independently wealthy, the return to investment has to be considered. There are people spending $100,000 + majoring in Ceramics. I don't see the value. I guess they do, but I don't want to hear any whining when they can't afford to eat out due to paying off that debt.

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I am one of the last people from whom you will get anti-intellectualism. I think that academic learning is awesome, all learning: formal, informal, institutional, at home, group, individual, you name it. Learning is GREAT. Intellectualism is GREAT and it is not confined to institutions. :D

 

However, I am NOT one of the last people from whom you will get anti-overpriced college education which is sometimes intellectually inferior to a bit tougher lycee standards (I could tell you stories... upon stories... upon stories, all anecdotal, but which make me seriously wonder about the academic quality of many LACs out there), anti-attitude that college is a new standard for all, i.e. anti-lowering of academic standards (which have in the past two generations been lowered to dangerous and, I am afraid, possibly irreversible, for now, levels) which always follows that route... College, in my view, is not only about learning because learning is great - it should, in my view, be an environment for a methodical, systematic expert formation (with an educational breadth as needed, of course).

 

You do not get that in many places. It has become a joke in many places. I have known foreign language majors with B2-ish language skills, literature majors who have gone through less elaborate bibliography than I did in high school, classics majors whom I would not let teach anything past very introductory classics, etc. I know people who have never had to write a paper longer than 5 pages. For comparison's sake, the lower limit for my graduation thesis in high school (yes, we had those in high schools, and they still have them) was 15-20ish pages, I believe. Exams in university were being prepared for months. Talk about bibliographies of 40+ works per one exam. No bubbling nor circling answers - elaborate open-ended exams, followed up by extensive oral exams. Commission exams. No graduation without a proper research thesis. Bibliography lists in several languages. People regularly taking an extra year or two to finish with all exams and thesis, because it was just too much work. Higher education was about actual learning when I did it, not about joking around and partying.

Compared to that, there is something in me which resists paying for a typical LAC adventure even if I can, knowing how much this has all turned into a joke, and is turning into a joke now in other universities.

 

Many people do not need that. Many people have stellar expectations from what is out there, only to find out that it got them nothing but mountains of debt, and that they could have self-educated for what they wanted to learn. Skepticism is reasonable for many, many people. College has become a "check off" box and an expensive game. Ultimately, those who have money will not be concerned anyway, as they can afford all the disillusionment and experimenting with the money they have, but there is an increasing number of those dissatisfied with having taken that path and got an overpriced piece of paper which is devalued anyway already.

 

I am definitely not anti-higher education. Advanced degrees have been a standard in my family for several generations. There is a tradition of sending to university everybody whom you can send there. We will definitely be continuing with that tradition because we have very academically inclined, intelligent and accomplished kids for whom this is pretty much the only choice that makes sense. But, we are willing to finance only formation of expertise (in whatever "serious" field they choose), not four years of partying and taking various unrelated courses for fun.

 

But, I am definitely not sure it is a choice for everyone or that it should be the default path of everyone, even for people who intend to learn more in their lives, especially in this day and age when institutions no longer have a monopoly on information or even resources.

I find that many people are better off without the debt, without that overpriced adventure, and pursuing other paths. It is just sad that college is becoming such a standard that, like it or not, many of them are in situations where they have to play along or they automatically shut some doors for themselves. It should not be that way, but that is what it is. It goes hand in hand with emotional "babying" of kids. Graduation, maturita', used to be the societal point of reference for a mature person (and yes, that included a certain extent of intellectual maturity too). Now the whole maturing and learning how to think thing is being shifted to college. It never ceases to amaze me. It is like a new intellectual puberty. Granted, the world is a lot more complex today than it used to be a generation or two ago, some of that is understandable, but I still loathe it.

 

Many colleges have turned into businesses primarily, then everything else. This affects what they do and how they do it. I find the repercussions appalling, but hey, that is only crazy Ester. :tongue_smilie:

 

Off my soapbox now.

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. But, we are willing to finance only formation of expertise (in whatever "serious" field they choose), not four years of partying and taking various unrelated courses for fun.

 

And I wonder how much longer parents or teenagers will think it's smart to pay that much money just to wear pajamas all day, party all the time, and sleep in late? Wouldn't it be cheaper to, say, backpack across Europe?!

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