Read this from a NYTs op-ed 2-11-18
I’m not dismissing my responsibility for this. But along with many other 17- and 18-year-olds, when I went to college, I didn’t know anything about student loans, interest rates or rude private debt companies that hound the living hell out of you. All I knew was what I was told: College was the ticket to social mobility, and good students deserved to go to schools that matched our talent and ambition. Folks like me, who come from working-class backgrounds, are told to chase down a bachelor’s degree by any means necessary. But no one mentions just how expensive and soul-crushing the debt will be.
I can’t resist a glib remark. Isn’t that what parents or other responsible adults are for; to guide children in these decisions, to be knowledgeable about these issues? What parent allows a 17- year old to make these decisions? Apparently quite a few or they are simply not part of the process. So, what’s the real problem?
College is not the ticket to anything, except maybe, just maybe the first job. The only ticket you can count on is yourself.
Our concept of college and work is screwed up. Many jobs claiming the need for a degree; don’t require a degree. The idea that getting a degree (necessary skills) takes four years is nonsense. Many of the skills required for most non-professional jobs including simply thinking, can and should be part of a high school education. Maybe we should think about an extra year of high school. Advanced education in specific skills needed on a job such as finance, communication, etc. should be provided by employers as many already do.
Our focus is on the cost of college and on student loans. Our focus should be on evaluating and restructuring the entire education process and how it actually works in the real world of jobs. We may need to teach students about critical thinking, but we also need to teach informed decision making and how to evaluate life choices.