I'm a teacher and I get asked this all the time, the best (and admittedly lame) answer I could give is, "Yes. Why? Because it's fun." Well, I stumbled onto these guys and I'm blown away. I know, I know, you're going to tell me how lame they are or say something like, "Duh, everybody knows about the vlog brothers." I'm highly impressed, these guys are truly funny. Actually, it was meeting people like this that made college worth it for me- that and the hot chicks.
Here it is, "Is College Worth It?" check it out:
This is currently a hot topic in my circles. James Altucher (hedge fund guy with an entertaining blog) has emphatically stated that he won't be sending his girls to college. Instead, he'll be giving them each $100K to start a business. He thinks it's a more effective use of capital to prepare kids for the world.
Now, I'm an ex Ivy-league faculty spouse (Harvard, Brown), and those folks are way freaked out by the current direction of things (marginalization of faculty, adjunct migrant labor, tenure just going away, plus the advent of distance learning options like Khan Academy, blah blah blah that make a lot of the kabuki theater of undergrad requirement classes seem like the most inefficient use of resources, ever).
The smart people I've listened to on this agree that there's a hybrid model emerging: more distance (ie. web) learning, speedballed with the whole, rubbing elbows and bouncing ideas off of smart interesting, stimulating professors, grad students and peers. Because that's clearly a valuable part of an elite education.
But the whole concept of shipping kids off to a four year school where they experience a kind of advanced day-care while doing belly shots and beer bongs and dancing hopped-up-on X in the foam pit (ASU, anybody?), well, definitely going away. Parents are getting way hip to that, now.
Then there's the debt issue, with tons of economists saying that the price/performance ratio of a four-year degree just ain't cutting it like it used to.
It's all part of the current cycle of sacred cow slaughter going on in the US: cow one: "owning a home is the best way to build equity for retirement." Um, not; thoroughly slaughtered. Cow two: "a four-year degree, from an elite school, pays for itself many times over as increased earnings over a lifetime." Um, not. And we're not just talking about the conspicuous outlier examples of Zuckerberg and Gates, either; factor in the lost opportunity costs (ie. time, precious time), and, for most students at most schools, it doesn't add up.
Yes... but damn, that foam pit sounds REALLY good.
And I'm going to look up Altucher... thanks for that Yeti.
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