Robert Reich: College is a ludicrous waste of money
Here is a bit of what Robert Reich wrote:
This week, millions of young people head to college and universities, aiming for a four-year liberal arts degree. They assume that degree is the only gateway to the American middle class. It shouldn’t be. For one thing, a four-year liberal arts degree is hugely expensive. Too many young people graduate laden with debts that take years if not decades to pay off. And too many of them can’t find good jobs when they graduate, in any event. So they have to settle for jobs that don’t require four years of college. They end up overqualified for the work they do, and underwhelmed by it. Others drop out of college because they’re either unprepared or unsuited for a four-year liberal arts curriculum. When they leave, they feel like failures. We need to open other gateways to the middle class.
As Díaz-Herrera noted, the Salon title isn’t reflected in the text. Reich’s central point is: “We need to open other gateways to the middle class.” Here is the meat of Díaz-Herrera’s rebutal:
In 2011-12, more than 25 percent of students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from a four-year independent college or university did not have any debt at all and the average debt load was $19,500 … lifetime earnings of college degree holders range from $700,000 to $1 million more than those who have only a high school diploma.
These two authors probably agree more than they disagree:
- Robert Reich writes that we need to open affordable gateways to the middle class for some.
- Díaz-Herrera writes that college is still affordable for many and often seems worth the cost.
Both authors would likely agree that a liberal college education ought to be affordable for those who are interested and qualified, and that there ought to be affordable educational opportunities for all.
© William Hungerford – October 2014