Why College?

Over the months, I’ve read numerous articles about why young people shouldn’t go to college. One is here at Forbes, one by Gary North on the revolutionary approach of MIT, one on the sometimes worthlessness of college degrees at LewRockwell.com, The Case Against a College Education at Time.com, one at the Huffington Post…and this list could go on.

I was thinking about this last night, and the mania in our country for a college education. First off, I had to wonder about the often quoted statement that those who have college degrees get better jobs. Is this across the board? Are there no exceptions? I think, if you read some of the articles I linked above, you’ll find that there are plenty of people with degrees who end up working at McDonalds or somewhere similar to make ends meet. And those with college degrees who do get better jobs? Who’s to say that they got those goods jobs because of their college degree? Isn’t that like saying, “Rich people wear silk ties. If I buy a silk tie, I will become rich.” Isn’t it possible that some college graduates get those good jobs for entirely different reasons than their degree, like their personality, their good work ethics and other factors?

So, besides all that, I was thinking primarily of why there is such a large movement in the homeschooled generation to attend college. It is frustrating, for me personally, because here are parents who have sacrificed 20+ years of their life to protect and teach their children. They’ve taken responsibility for their children, and prefer to teach their kids rather than let some teacher somewhere influence them. So the kids get out of highschool and enter into their young adult years, and what happens? They get shipped off to college, the same environment that their parents had tried so hard to avoid for years. And this time they don’t come home after eight hours every day, they are there for good, for four long years. Granted, many kids don’t get shipped off unwillingly, but I think the growing up years had a lot to do with it. If your mother is always telling you that you need to do well in school so you can go college, and all of that, then it comes as a matter of fact that you will attend college.

We all realize that college is expensive. But over the years, I’ve noticed that government grants have become much more available. I know someone who is going to college for free, all expenses paid, because her parents are unemployed. There are other cases of young people getting government grants so they can afford college. It used to be–or I’m told it used to be–that grants were rare, and only the best of the best kids would get a grant.

But why has that shifted? Why can nearly anyone get a government grant for college these days?

The homeschooling revolution started back in the 80’s and has grown tremendously since then. My own opinion is that the government realized these homeschoolers could be dangerous to the status quo, and figured that if they couldn’t influence the kids during grade, middle and high school, they could catch them in college. If they could persuade the parents not to go too crazy and continue planning for and sending their children to college, then the crisis would be averted. Most of the young adults would come out of college just like they would have come out of years in public school.

However, online education is threatening this plan, more people are taking college from the safety of their own home. And there are young people who have decided to rebel against this system, and not go to college at all. And the government is terrified of these young people, because they’ll be the ones to challenge the status quo, and reveal the government for what it truly is.

2 Comments

  1. Very interesting piece. I guess it depends on what you do with your time from now on. Surely the education and influence of your family will continue but “going to college” may be less about about education and more about “getting out of the house” to most kids. How is it with you?.

    • Yes, I think for some young people, they go to college for the experience, not for the education. It is place to have fun and meet new friends, not necessarily learn anything. For me, I will still be learning, I have big plans for my education, I want to take some courses I didn’t get around to in highschool, astronomy, a foreign language, etc…and I’m content to stay at home while learning and pursuing my interests.

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