The college rip-off

From the NY Post yesterday:

Amid all the uplifting clichés at their commencement ceremonies, graduating col lege students won’t hear a line applicable to some of them — you got ripped off.

Student debt just surpassed the country’s credit-card debt for the first time. It is projected to top $1 trillion this year, according to The New York Times, when it was less than $200 billion in 2000. For the class of 2011, the mean student debt burden is nearly $23,000, up 8 percent from a year ago.

There’s no doubt that graduating from college brings a significant economic advantage, but that doesn’t excuse the waste and self-satisfied lassitude of US higher education. Colleges appropriate tuition dollars from America’s students with an ever-accelerating voracity, yet don’t deliver any more educational benefits — indeed, they do the opposite.

What are students going into hock for? In their book “Academically Adrift,” Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa sift through data that only Bluto Blutarsky could relish.

Read the entire piece HERE. We’ve been saying it for years (check the archives): “Higher” education cannot and should not be limited to brick-and-mortar institutions, which have become top-heavy, too expensive, and very light on academics. We’ve been accused of saying girls shouldn’t be educated, which is utter nonsense. We just urge young women to pursue avenues of education that do not involve debt, living in a fake peer-restricted culture, binge drinking, and the casual “hook-up” mindset when it comes to relations with the opposite sex. There have always, always been ways to develop our minds without compromise. It’s past time for a paradigm shift!

4 thoughts on “The college rip-off

  1. I think the key words here are “self-satisfied lassitude.” It’s no secret that we have become a nation that worships self accomplishment. I think higher education is valuable – but not when it creates hardened, prideful people, or women who are taught that their dreams of being good wives and mothers are nonsense.


  2. I totally agree that a 4-year college degree (or even a 2-year one) isn’t for everyone — either young men or young women.

    And the link to the article about the average student debt loan upon graduation (and probably their average credit card balance) is truly scary, as well as the amount of time that the students studied spent on academics and the tremendous grade inflation.

    But since I became a returning adult student at our local community college taking mostly online classes and planning to graduate this December, I have come to see community colleges as a young woman’s (and man’s) as a way to become educated in fields where jobs are available, professors are primarily teachers (although those on tenure-track or tenured do conduct some research), in some majors many classes are available online, you can often transfer the credits you earn at the community college to a four-year university, and the cost of tuition is a bargain (currently $79/quarter credit where I attend and it won’t be going up this fall)!

    If you and your daughter agree that she should commute to school from home, I’d think a community college would be within an hour’s drive for most families, unless you live in a sparsely populated area, but online courses could also cut down the driving.

    Even if a young woman plans not to work outside the home before marriage or only until she marries, the college I attend has a number of majors that would be beneficial to her as a mother, such as registered or licensed practical nursing, early childhood education, medical assistant, dietetic technician, dental hygiene, radiology technician, ultrasound technician, respiratory therapist, or majors that would lend themselves to free-lance work at home like accounting, technical communications, website design and management, and more … but I’m too tired to think of them right now . And of course, many of the health professions listed lend themselves well to very part-time or contingent work if necessary.

    These fields obviously generally allow young men to make a decent salary, too, but there are also opportunities for them in more traditionally male fields like robotics, electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering technology, automotive technology and the like.

    Obviously, community colleges are usually a great way for any of us to pursue learning for learning’s sake — study a foreign language, learn photography, sign language, etc.

    Just my .02 (or maybe my $2.00).


    1. Thanks, Abbysmom! That’s been our same point for years — that there are alternative routes to obtaining a higher education or a degree (this is for men as well as women!) that don’t involve hideous amounts of debt or the expense of living far from home. You’ve just illustrated that!


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