Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Ol' College Try

Back in my PR days, I spent some time working with the financial aid department of the University of South Carolina and the students who applied for it. The experience confirmed what I have observed time and time again from my encounters with college grads:

One of the worst, dumbest and hardest to recover from decisions many young people (with the help of their parents) will make is the decision to go to college.

The fact is, as this excellent article by a 100-level college instructor confirms, colleges are crawling with kids who lack the basic skills college requires. Some of them are enrolled because their parents want a "college grad" kid. Others are only there because their employers have foolish requirements for college credits and degrees utterly unrelated to the job.

The net result is a bunch of young people with tens of thousands of dollars of college loan debts, a relatively useless degree (assuming they actually graduate), and a dumbing down of what a college degree is worth.

The sad truth is that a Bachelor's degree today is the equivalent of what my father's high school diploma was worth. It just means you've had your ticket punched and are ready to start your grown-up life.

That's not much for $100,000.