Of all the things I’ve done as a parent that have earned me the disapprobation of my fellow parents, none has gotten me more abuse than my failure to encourage my offspring to go to college. My reasoning was simple enough: First, the days are gone forever when you had to go to college to get an education; nowadays any reasonably intelligent person can get an excellent education without attending college and without taking on massive debt (or any debt at all). Second, for most people, higher education is a very poor investment, as the cost of a college degree keeps skyrocketing while its value plummets. Third, the majority of young people graduating from college these days find themselves with fewer choices in life than they would otherwise have had, rather than more. This is one of those truths that’s so obvious that it requires a massive act of the will to deny it.
I’ve been saying all of this for years, and been written off as a crank and a weirdo… so whenever I find someone else saying the same things, it warms the cockles of my heretical little heart. This video summarizes the argument of Glenn Reynolds’s book, The Higher Education Bubble:
For further enlightenment:
College-for-all crusade does more harm than good, by Robert J. Samuelson
Will dropouts save America? by Michael Ellsberg
Too much higher education, by Walter Williams
The college scam, by John Stossel
So you have a college diploma, by David Burge