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thoughts on college - false education?

testanalysttestanalyst Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
edited September 2011 in Parents Forum
what do you guys think about college in general. forbes had a bit on colleges by 2020 - extinct. got me thinking, does everyone else feel the same? is it just a path to take because nothing else is there?
Post edited by testanalyst on
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Replies to: thoughts on college - false education?

  • gadadgadad Registered User Posts: 7,772 Senior Member
    College has been around since 1088 A.D. I doubt that it'll be extinct in the next 9 years.

    One of the greatest values of college is its ability to help young people develop sophisticated BS detectors (colleges prefer to call it "critical thinking," but it's pretty similar :)). Consider that Forbes has no investment in whether colleges adapt or go extinct. But Forbes has a major investment in how many copies of their magazine they sell this month. A headline that reads "College will be extinct by 2020" will grab a lot more eyeballs than one that reads "College will need to adapt to changes by 2020." Inflammatory opinions attract both those who agree with the opinion and those who are incensed by it. It's an important thing to keep in mind as we listen to the media and to public officials, and it's a key insight that's developed in college.
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    ^ Love your post gadad. I also love your synonym for critical thinking :)
  • honied_dreamshonied_dreams Registered User Posts: 459 Member
    I've seen a lot of things written lately on the worth of college, likely because the recession is making it next to impossible for recent grads to find work that will allow them to survive, let alone pay off massive loan debt.

    I'm definitely in this situation, but I would never ever say college wasn't worth it. I learned so much, both in and out of the classroom; I developed passions I never knew I had; I in general matured and grew into someone I never would have become. Even now, with no work and little money, I am satisfied that I received an excellent education.

    College is extremely valuable to those who are right for it. There are many who may be better off going to trade school or beginning a job straight away after high school; certainly no one should be pressured into higher education if they don't want it. But if college is something you're passionate about you can't exactly put a price tag on it.

    And finally, ditto gadad's post!
  • testanalysttestanalyst Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    good points gadad. the article, however, did not contain those flashy headlines full of marketing techniques but was rather neutral. much better than places like US NEWS college rankings, which is a clear marketing ploy (some school reps even said that their stats for their school had been made up).


    heres the link:

    The Classroom In 2020 - Forbes.com

    interesting read.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,754 Senior Member
    The most recent Harvard magazine has an article that make similar points.

    Education at the high school and college levels will continue some of the changes that technology has already started, for sure.

    To me, that is a separate issue from the question of whether or not college is a valid choice for everyone. I think things will change in that regard, because of the enormous expense of college. And fewer than half those who attend (sorry, I forget the actual number, I believe it was between 30% and 40%) actually graduate.

    There are many good alternatives to college, most of which lead directly to a job, that need to be explored and offered to graduating high school seniors. But so many feel, as the original poster said, that there is "nothing else there," and go to college because it's the thing to do. Maybe that will change.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 36,432 Senior Member
    One of the greatest values of college is its ability to help young people develop sophisticated BS detectors

    :) Two thumbs up!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,517 Senior Member
    compmom wrote:
    And fewer than half those who attend (sorry, I forget the actual number, I believe it was between 30% and 40%) actually graduate.

    However, a lot of people take a course or few at the local community college for personal interest or to learn a specific skill (e.g. a foreign language, or an immigrant improving his/her English) without ever intending to complete an associate's or bachelor's degree. So the low graduation rate may not be surprising if such students are counted among the "dropouts".
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,251 Senior Member
    About the bs detectors: would that it were true. On other threads they're agruing wsj, nyt, the works. Nothing against any poster here. I am just up-to-here with some other threads. Critical thinking- or even some notion that it can exist- should be the standard. Too many kids, too many adults still go on "I heard," "I read," or "I know someone who...."

    The low grad rates usually only count those enrolled in a degree-seeking program. You can look up the individual college rates- eg, many state flagships hover around 50% after whatever marker it is (6 years? 8 years?) while the more selective others can hit the 80's on up. The 30-40 figure is probably across the board, including those expensive, low aid, 3rd tier or below. Where I doubt much practice in bs detection is taking place. Yup, I am a curmudgeon tonight.

    ps. our friends at (you guessed it) usnwr have a site on 4 yr grad rates. CDS includes 6-year, sometimes more.
  • testanalysttestanalyst Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    after reading these posts, i now realize i missed the meaning of 'bs detectors' in this thread. someone care to explain?
  • glidoglido Registered User Posts: 5,949 Senior Member
    College as we know it has become unaffordable to the middle class. The advent of on-line technology will undoubtedly have an impact (see Stanford offering free instruction via the Internet). There are already substantial changes in the way hundreds of thousands are receiving post-secondary education. But, there is no substitute for leaving home and immersing oneself in a community of young thinkers. For the wealthy and those given tuition waivers, "college" will be around for a long time.
  • qdogpaqdogpa - Posts: 2,417 Member
    Actually college IS affordable to the middle class, however, many don't want to attend the schools they can afford..
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    "bs detector" The "bs" stands for bull crap
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,229 Senior Member
    Or you can use the elementary school-age appropriate term "nonsense detector".
  • BrooklynborndadBrooklynborndad Registered User Posts: 2,263 Senior Member
    "I've seen a lot of things written lately on the worth of college, likely because the recession is making it next to impossible for recent grads to find work that will allow them to survive, let alone pay off massive loan debt. "

    its making it even harder for non college grads to find work.

    I dont think that can be used as a basis for judging the long term value of anything.
  • BrooklynborndadBrooklynborndad Registered User Posts: 2,263 Senior Member
    "much better than places like US NEWS college rankings, "

    The value or lack thereof of those ranking has been oft discussed here. I fail to see the logical connection between "USNWR rankings are not worthwhile" and "college will go extinct" other than that both are things published in magazines, that have something to do with colleges.

    If your college education did not teach you to make precise logical distinctions, than it may well have been a waste of money.
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