Lion of the Blogosphere

College, part 5 (getting into the cost issue)

Traditionally, Americans saw college education (especially humanist liberal arts education) as a luxury for rich kids and not any sort of necessity. In America, people were judged by what they could contribute and not by their degrees.

Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) dropped out of school after the fifth grade.

Abraham Lincoln, a successful lawyer before becoming a politician and then President, only had one year of elementary school education.

But that was in the 19th century. In the 21st century, good luck with having any sort of career success without having formal college degrees and then graduate school degrees. And because of this modern reality, parents, and young people, feel compelled to spend any amount of money necessary in order not to be left behind.

At the same time, there are a lot of misinformed choices being made. For most people, not having a degree at all is a better choice than attending a crappy for-profit school and getting sacked with loads of student debt. And unless students are able to get into an elite school like an Ivy League or equivalent, there’s no benefit to paying more money for a private school or out-of-state tuition above the low-cost local education available from public colleges and universities.

Why isn’t there anyone responsible working to get information out to the public to prevent young people and their parents from making bad choices? I guess part of the answer is that the mainstream media is so worried about people making the “wrong” choice of not attending college at all, they are afraid of saying anything that might discourage someone from attending college, any college, any degree, at any cost.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 23, 2019 at 3:30 PM

Posted in Education

54 Responses

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  1. I agree with much of what you say, but I think you exaggerate the limitations of not having a degree. Indeed you must think that too or you wouldn’t acknowledge that attending college is very often a poor choice. John Major succeeded Margaret Thatcher as UK PM despite leaving school at 16. Many accountants recruit school leavers as trainees, and careers such as retail management are open to non-graduates. And of course there is setting up one’s own business. Haven’t some US tech billionaires not completed their college degrees?

    lioncub

    January 23, 2019 at 3:43 PM

    • 1. Bill Gates attended Harvard even though he didn’t graduate.
      2. You can hit it big in tech without a college degree. And you can win the lottery without a college degree. Both are really bad life bets.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 23, 2019 at 3:56 PM

      • they won the IQ lottery which is why they were successful. the typical 90-105 iq person who drops out is seldom very successful

        grey enlightenment

        January 23, 2019 at 5:49 PM

      • Did attending Harvard have anything to do with Bill’s success? Lakeside was probably far more important since he got computer exposure there.

        pumpkinperson

        January 23, 2019 at 8:32 PM

      • > Did attending Harvard have anything to do with Bill’s success?

        Having a multi-million dollar trust fund had a lot to do with Bill’s success. His worst case scenario wasn’t very bad. Also, his Mom setting up meetings with IBM executives probably helped.

        bobbybobbob

        January 24, 2019 at 12:19 AM

    • I had two friends in HS who were exceptionally skilled with computers and had basically no hobbies or interests besides computers. They also had decent social skills. I’d guess their computer skills were 3-4 SDs above the mean; they were the go-to resource among everyone in the school interested in computers, including older students when they were underclassmen

      Both of them landed jobs directly out of HS earning $50-60k. This was in our fairly low cost flyover city, circa 2000, so that might be $70-80k today. More than enough to enjoy a solidly middle-class life.

      One of them ended up going back to school a few years later to backfill a BS in Computer Science while still working full-time. This was entirely for the credential; he didn’t appear to learn much of anything of value. The other guy never went back to school.

      Both of them have had successful careers. However, the one who went to college ended up moving to a tech center and has worked for a number of successful startups. The other one never left our flyover city. I’m not sure if this was his preference, but my guess is that he relied heavily on his local network and might have had a harder time moving to another city.

      It could also entirely be selection effects though, where the one who went to college was a bit more ambitious, which is why he went to school.

      Wency

      January 23, 2019 at 6:23 PM

      • Hate to burst the tech bubble, but media sources tell us that Silicone Valley Techies aren’t cracked to be, specifically when it comes to salaries, taxes and real estate.

        View at Medium.com

        Quite frankly, there is no justification for a landlord to charge $3K or more for a 1 BR in city central. And a renter paying that amount is not resourceful.

        Given that telecommuting is very appropriate in the IT industry, it is a scam to force workers to live near their work campus paying an exorbitant amount in rent. You can be anywhere coding or whatever tech guys need to do in order to satisfy their bosses.

        But, but, we have a NAM issue, without expensive real estate, our liberal cities would be a real concrete jungle or a ghost town. San Francisco’s gentrification was all about driving out NAMs, especially blacks and lower class LGBTs who tend to be less “Kosher” about their sexual orientation.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        January 24, 2019 at 10:18 AM

      • “Quite frankly, there is no justification for a landlord to charge $3K or more for a 1 BR in city central.”

        I disagree. If people are willing to pay that, then they would be fools to charge less.

        And $3K for a one-bedroom sounds like a good deal, in NYC a one-bedroom even in a crappy building will cost more than that.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 24, 2019 at 11:27 AM

      • My last comments were: But, but, we have a NAM issue, without expensive real estate, our liberal cities would be a real concrete jungle or a ghost town. San Francisco’s gentrification was all about driving out NAMs, especially blacks and lower class LGBTs who tend to be less “Kosher” about their sexual orientation.

        Expensive real estate is a reason to keep some our cities from becoming de-civilized centers of NAM anarchy or proledom.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        January 24, 2019 at 12:05 PM

  2. I don’t understand why more students don’t start in a community college. Here in Raleigh, North Carolina, tuition for NC State is about $300 per credit hour. Tuition at Wake Tech is $72/credit hour. And it is 100% guaranteed that the credits will transfer. You can do the first two years of college at Wake Tech and then transfer to NCSU for the last two years, at a tremendous cost savings. As a bonus, the teachers at the community college actually like teaching. Too many of the faculty at any university just want to do research, and they are forced to teach.

    Gerald

    January 23, 2019 at 4:02 PM

    • Because a lot of kids want the “college experience,” which means the fun and friendships that happen in the dorms during freshman year.

      Even people who transfer in as sophomores are sometimes considered “not really” from that college.

      Justice Duvall

      January 23, 2019 at 4:19 PM

      • ^^^ Good point.

        MoreSigmasThanYou

        January 23, 2019 at 4:55 PM

      • I live in a college town. You don’t need to be a full-time student to participate in the college experience. Network, you’ll find plenty of house parties. There are plenty of young people who live here so they can rub shoulders with the college lifestyle who aren’t enrolled in classes or care about career tracking for that matter. A few years ago I had to take a few classes at the local TC for a certification. There was as much trim at the TC as there was at the university. You don’t need to attend a flagship U to meet other young people who seek to build their lives in a meaningful manner. That’s BS Big-U PR and marketing.

        Concrete Jungle

        January 23, 2019 at 6:40 PM

      • Elliot Rodger went to a house party in Isla Visa even though he wasn’t a UCSB student!

        Hermes

        January 24, 2019 at 8:02 AM

      • I was one of those who wanted the “college experience.” Also, imagine you have a daughter who can get ito a decent 4 year college. Do you really want to send her to a junior college and take the risk that she finds her future spouse there? I think a J.C. makes sense for non-traditional students.

        shawnreturnsfakeemail@gmail.com

        January 24, 2019 at 9:12 PM

      • ” Also, imagine you have a daughter who can get ito a decent 4 year college. Do you really want to send her to a junior college and take the risk that she finds her future spouse there? ”

        Nope! And you don’t want your son marrying a prole girl either.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 24, 2019 at 11:22 PM

      • In a world where credit is given like candy to those who are too young to understand the consequences, the college experience is suicide.

        The time you spend in fraternity parties you should be spending in the office , get work experience and get a full time job before graduating.

        Some old school prole discipline is still useful. An aircraft mechanic is much better off than most history majors and will be until retirement.

        Bruno Brazil

        January 25, 2019 at 12:52 PM

    • Community college screams ‘too dumb for competitive four year’. I don’t think the competitive public four years take many community college transfers. Does Berkeley or UCLA?

      Curle

      January 23, 2019 at 5:40 PM

      • Both Berkeley and UCLA take over 4,000 transfer students every year. It’s a dirty secret that admission is easier as a transfer.

        Bryan Bell (@bjwbell)

        January 23, 2019 at 8:25 PM

      • Yes. Transferring from a community college is the easiest way to go to a UC school. Most Cal JCs have special relationships with one or more UC schools.

        Larry, San Francisco

        January 23, 2019 at 11:13 PM

    • *Too many of the faculty at any university just want to do research, and they are forced to teach.*

      that usually means it’s a good university.

      not many universities do research . the profs tech and go home

      grey enlightenment

      January 23, 2019 at 5:53 PM

    • In fairness, a lot of students do exactly that, as Wake Tech is the biggest community college in the state by student enrollment.

      There was a kid I play pick-up basketball with who, when we asked where he was in school, said, “Just Wake Tech…but I’m going to transfer to State,” and we made fun of him for being ashamed of Wake Tech.

      Jokah Macpherson

      January 23, 2019 at 6:10 PM

    • Next year, take a class at NC State. Then take the same class at Wake Tech. Tell us if you noticed any difference. Maybe, there is no difference?

      My 2¢

      January 23, 2019 at 10:21 PM

  3. “Yale or fail.”

    Oswald Spengler

    January 23, 2019 at 4:05 PM

  4. I think you might find these graphs interesting, Lion. You can see a two humped distribution of income. You either successfully join the elite or you get very little income premium, with little middle ground. And those who go to prestigious schools (green dots in the debt/income graph) tend to end up with high incomes and low debt, while most red dots cluster on the failure hump. This is most visible in the law school graph but still holds in the general population.




    Monsieur le Baron

    January 23, 2019 at 4:07 PM

    • The topmost graph is specific to law school graduates, and makes sense because BIGLAW has a standard high starting salary, but few are lucky enough to get it.

      Law schools should be required to report median incomes, and not mean incomes which are very deceptive and don’t reflect the outcome for the median graduate, and they should also be required to assume that graduates who don’t report salary data have an income of 0 for the purpose of calculating the median income.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 23, 2019 at 4:16 PM

      • You can see the trend in non-law, it’s just less extreme.

        When it comes to college, go big or go home.

        Monsieur le Baron

        January 23, 2019 at 4:21 PM

      • I’ve always recommended people go to the most prestigious college possible, but if the choice is between no college or a degree in nursing, I GUARANTEE that the majority of people who choose the nursing degree will be financially better off.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 23, 2019 at 4:23 PM

      • You should always recommend international schooling in Western Continental Europe (even in Scandinavia) vs an Emory University or a NYU, if prestige is what we are talking about.

        Monolingualism is so so prole.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        January 23, 2019 at 4:57 PM

      • A theory is that graduates from elite schools are more determined and more focused in the long run, hence a likelihood of being more successful coming from their ambition. Graduates from elite schools tend to be more ambitious, but this isn’t really interchangeable with striving, given to people from lower tier schools.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        January 23, 2019 at 5:03 PM

      • “choose the nursing degree, be financially better off”

        True but will require wiping a lot of older/ infirmed people ass. Is the trade off worth it? Better to learn a trade or apprentice and become an electrician.

        Armando

        January 23, 2019 at 5:31 PM

      • You’re confusing being an orderly with being a nurse.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 23, 2019 at 7:47 PM

      • “You’re confusing being an orderly with being a nurse.”

        I hate to be so much of a contrarian, but even the better (higher paying and more prestigious) jobs can be pretty disgusting. A lot of the surgeries involve viscera, all of them involve blood. My wife said her least favorite clinical rotation was gynecology. Apparently patients with poor hygiene make the room smell incredible.

        According to my wife, the most disgusting experience she had at work involved a catheter on an old person. I don’t know the details because I insisted she not tell me about it. An experience that didn’t even come close for her was fixing someone else’s botched surgery where a probe that was supposed to go into to some other organ ended up going into the patient’s colon. This caused sepsis, and nobody noticed the probe was in the patient’s colon until the patient almost died.

        Also, if you think IT has bad hours, try medicine.

        MoreSigmasThanYou

        January 24, 2019 at 3:04 PM

      • That’s why nursing isn’t as prestigious as being a college professor.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 24, 2019 at 3:35 PM

      • Also, as has been pointed out around here in the past, while there was once a time when classy girls became nurses in the hopes of snagging a doctor husband, these days nurses are proles who marry macho prole guys like cops, firemen, and construction foremen.

        Hermes

        January 25, 2019 at 12:04 AM

  5. Make in state tuition free like it was for the previous generation. I consider $200 basically free. Would allow the middle class to have more kids.

    99.9% Fine

    January 23, 2019 at 5:04 PM

  6. The higher education establishment (all public and non-profit colleges included) has ZERO interest in discouraging anyone from going to college, and it aggressively markets its product to people who have little hope of ever graduating.

    SQ

    January 23, 2019 at 5:21 PM

  7. The Mooch will not be caged!

    IHTG

    January 23, 2019 at 5:23 PM

    • Infinitron

      January 24, 2019 at 7:32 AM

  8. I wonder about going to college overseas: France, Britain, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Argentina, Russia, etc….I can see upsides: 1) If the country is non-Anglo you will almost assuredly become fluent in the foreign language, 2) Cheaper, by lots, 3) The education will be at least as good, 4) you will have earned an aura of exotica, daring which is good for Game and good for the resume. 4) Again, if the country is non-Anglo, you will have a respite from western liberal stupidity for a few years.

    Daniel

    January 23, 2019 at 5:39 PM

    • I’d recommend going to school in Ireland if you want to become a physical therapist or dentist. 1/3 the cost of American equivalents; plus a form of study abroad that blows away any progam through a domestic university. After that, it’s all about the state boards. In my state, a degree from an accredited American university isn’t required, only an accredited degree. Some of Ireland’s institutions are recognized. That’s what my wife did. This is a form of health care tourism that should be encouraged.

      klaxon

      January 23, 2019 at 8:08 PM

    • All those countries you listed are rather Western. So, you will have the same if not worse liberal crap with local variations. If you really want to screw your life, skip elementary, middle, and high school. College will not be an option, naturally. Do K and become a new Lincoln.

      My 2¢

      January 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

    • Canada is overseas?

      Dr Hook

      January 24, 2019 at 11:06 AM

      • >>Canada is overseas?

        Sure, why not, Great Lakes. (Moron.)

        Daniel

        January 24, 2019 at 5:41 PM

  9. “Why isn’t there anyone responsible working to get information out to the public to prevent young people and their parents from making bad choices?“

    The fallacy of exceptionalism fuels too much of American life.

    Curle

    January 23, 2019 at 5:42 PM

  10. Even Donald Trump has a college degree!

    Jokah Macpherson

    January 23, 2019 at 6:14 PM

  11. You might have also mentioned that Benjamin Franklin, America’s greatest polymath, had less than 2 years of formal education.

    thesoftpath

    January 23, 2019 at 6:36 PM

  12. The more you post on the same topic, the less convincing your posts are. It is like giving a deposition. The more you say, the more holes appear in your theory. Comparing current time to Lincoln’s days is pointless. I do not even think that you can prove that he ever existed. And by the way, we are not making wrong choices. There are plenty of ways to get good stuff. I paid $200 for my iPhone, I am paying $30 for my cell phone plan, my car costs me $230 per month all included (depreciation + maintenace + insurance + gas), my wife does not work and cooks from scratch, I paid $0 for my son’s boarding high school + Big Ten university education. I do not think my young daughter will need to pay much for high school and college. I am making close to $250k and holding two citizenships on two opposite sides of the Earth, just in case. I have saved enough to stop working at any time. All choices were right. On the other hand, stupid people will make wrong choices no matter what you tell them.

    My 2¢

    January 23, 2019 at 8:23 PM

  13. I can tell you that the only advantage of a community college over an university is in much more attractive girls. Everything else will be worse and/or boring. I used to go to a nearby community college cafeteria with my buddy to get lunch and watch/discuss chicks.

    My 2¢

    January 23, 2019 at 10:25 PM

  14. “Why isn’t there anyone responsible working to get information out to the public to prevent young people and their parents from making bad choices? I guess part of the answer is that the mainstream media is so worried about people making the “wrong” choice of not attending college at all, they are afraid of saying anything that might discourage someone from attending college, any college, any degree, at any cost.”

    Huh? The media/journalists genuinely believe everyone is equally malleable and the more education equates more smarts which implicates more social capital for society.

    That’s why they’re telling everyone to go to college.

    Maciano

    January 24, 2019 at 4:38 AM

  15. “Abraham Lincoln, a successful lawyer before becoming a politician and then President, only had one year of elementary school education.”

    Abraham Lincoln was hired by the railroads after he was in politics for the same reason Michael Cohen was, his connections. He struggled before politics. It is well known his railroad clients wouldn’t let him argue cases because he was so bad and instead sent an old pro to do the work while Lincoln sat in the associate chair like a potted plant, eye candy for the presiding judge to remind them of past favors.

    Lincoln history is ALWAYS 99.8% fable written by the plutocrat (MSM) press of his day. Best to not repeat the nonsense.

    Curle

    January 24, 2019 at 4:43 AM

  16. yet another proof that libertarianism is a gay death cult.

    thou art rock hudson, and upon this rock i will found libertarianism

    January 24, 2019 at 1:42 PM

    • Great series, Lion.

      My two cents: St. Petersburg College in Florida is pretty interesting, a 4 year ‘job-ready’ polytechnic with an enclosed community college, High School for geniuses, and Honors program that sends people to famed universities. $110 a credit hour, open entry, serving 140+ IQ and while technically public mostly funded by an endowment so no studious kid pays a cent, but also providing low-cost degrees for minorities happy to found a new store. Top-notch retired adjunct teachers like NATO Generals, city councilors, astronomers who found their first asteroid at 16 and economists who model the zombie apocalypse, and various Congresscritters.

      It was founded in the living room of the Gilsons, those affably wacky and genteel-poor folks who brought over the first English colonists in New England, the talks that led to the Bill of Rights, the first unitarian/secular universities, the UN Declaration, NASA, and the Libertarian movement, now overthrowing dictators in a country near you. They seem to guide it with an unofficial firm if self-effacing hand, along with renegade Rothschilds, various old WASP, Hispanic, and other families that send their kids there. In plain sight. Therefore out of sight.

      The Old Libertarian

      January 24, 2019 at 10:43 PM

    • Why gay?

      Maciano

      January 25, 2019 at 9:16 AM


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