A recent headline in The Washington Post read, “College isn’t the golden investment it once was.” The story argues that higher education is simply a bad financial investment in many cases, that it doesn’t make nearly as much sense as it did 5, 10, 20 years ago. What do you think? Is college what it used to be?
Obviously, this an issue that hits close to home for many of us. I earned a journalism degree at the University of Washington that taught me so much and has paved the way for my professional career. Now, I’m a graduate student here and am getting every penny’s worth out of that investment. For me, this is a great deal.
James Altucher, an author and hedge fund manager, is quoted in the story as saying, “You’ve been fooled into thinking there’s no other way for my kid to get a job,” arguing that using a college education as a springboard to wealth and prosperity is an outdated way of thinking. He says people should start a business or pursue their travels, but you could easily ask where somebody might get the knowledge (not to mention the money) to do those things if they don’t go to college?
The story also makes note of a Wall Street Journal report calculating that the hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. student-loan debt has actually overtaken the country’s credit-card debt. That’s an amazing statistic, no question, but I’m not sure it negates the need for people to pursue a college degree. Higher ed isn’t for everyone, but it’s a game-changer for many including myself.
I encourage you to read the story if you have time. Then return for a discussion on what the value of college is these days. Please share what you think. Times are definitely changing and tuition is increasing across the board, but is the college experience still something we value as a culture?
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