With Jacques Steinberg's piece in last Sunday's Times (Plan B: Skip College), the "Is college really worth it?" meme seems to be in full flower, in part because it's an interesting issue and in part because the media suffers from a fatal weakness for novelty and counterintuition. But most of these discussions suffer from confusion about what question they're actually trying to answer. In roughly ascending order of importance, here's how various people are framing the issue:
Is college for everyone? This is a dumb question. Of course college isn't for everyone. Just last week, the Post profiled 17-year old high school senior Bryce Harper, who definitely shouldn't go to college. Instead, he should (and will) become a professional baseball player and earn millions of dollars. The number of good career paths that don't require a college degree is small and shrinking but not non-existent. Some people start families, others aren't smart or hard-working enough enough to complete college-level work. Defining the question in absolute terms does little other than identify the questioner as a sloppy thinker.
To read the full, original article click on this link: The Real Value of College - Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Author: Kevin Carey