Published: Thursday, July 10 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
When I started college (1974), tuition at the U. was #130.00 per quarter. I
graduated in three years while working close to full time hours. Although
I'd like to pat myself on the back, I am well aware that what I did is not
possible for students today. Not only is the cost of college far higher today,
there is virtually no possibility of current students earning the kind of wages
I did then.Why has the cost of college increased so much faster
At the risk of sounding elitist, does everyone actually need to attend
university? Personally, I don't think my plumber is any better or worse
than my CPA. And they earn about the same. However, I know that many think the
drain cleaner is some sort of cretin, and that the number cruncher is some sort
of genius. I happen to know differently, since the plumber actually reads 40-50
books a year, and the accountant can barely read.I think that
university is a worthy goal for a lot of people. It educates, and it can lead
to a good career. But it is not for everyone, and it is criminal that young
people put themselves in such extreme debt to get college education.
Furthermore, it does not necessarily lead to economic independence, nor is it a
demonstration of intellect.
Depending on the child and their interests and aptitudes, college can be a need.
In other instances, a four year college is not appropriate. A two year
technical program would be better. Kids need good guidance here. We would do
well to look Gordon B. Hinckley's counsel:You are moving into
the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you is
competition. You need all the education you can get. Sacrifice a car; sacrifice
anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of
the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are
worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in
your chosen field.Be smart. The Lord wants you to educate your minds
and hands, whatever your chosen field. Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or
the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves. Seek for the best
schooling available. Become a workman of integrity in the world that lies ahead
of you. I repeat, you will bring honor to the Church and you will be generously
blessed because of that training.
The costs of education are at the root of the problem. Students don’t like
going into debt to get an education they know can take years for them to pay
off. They do it to reach their goals in a very competitive world that demands a
good college degree to get anywhere.I attended a local state college
taking a full course load while working a full time job of 40 hours a week. But
that was years ago before the cost of education went through roof. Kids today
who are in same situation I was back then couldn’t do it today.
College is not just job training. An uneducated civilization hurtles itself
back to the "Dark Ages." Not every 18-year-old coming out of High
School knows exactly what type of career they want, but the education received
at a college or university not only helps them decide on a career path, but also
teaches them about culture, art, history, basic math, how to communicate, etc.
While those things may not lead directly to an executive position, they keep our
society enlightened. It reminds me of the saying "Those who do
not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Well, if you don't
know history, then how are you going to learn from it and avoid those pitfalls
in the future. College and university education needs to be available to
everyone, not just the rich. Costs are out control, and no, I don't have
the answers on how to reign them in, but simply saying that college isn't
worth it because you can make as much as a plumber as a CPA isn't correct.
Knowledge has worth far beyond dollars.
We need to teach our children to look at the entire investment. The cost of
undergrad degrees varies widely but does the quality of the degree and the value
of it hold no matter the cost? Undergrad degrees are a great thing to get but
go for the best value, which is not necessarily the most recognized name or most
My two cents,Today it's (student/parent) education buyer
beware. Outside post-secondary Public/Private Education (Think U of U or BYU),
there are the for-profit Educational Trade Schools. I would encourage the
Readers to research the likes of Corinthian College, a Holding company of
several Trade Schools. What you will find is CC's business model was
predicated on the idea of Federal Student Loans to fund all these post-High
School Trade-school programs. In recent news, the Feds discovered CC was
overstating Job openings and potentail income in various careers they were
selling to the current and future Students. The Long and short of it was CC will
have to divest themselves of (most of?) their Educational centers. Readers,
doing Due Diligence before signing up for an Educational Program loan may help
you avoid investing $100,000 to study say Photography when you could have
acquired the same skills at a community college for just a couple Hundred or a
low thousand range.
I'm not sure why we're always worried here about college costs. The
only alternative is government intervention. Socialism. You know, that which we
hate. Get in the trades, folks. Avoid the tuition. Never be without work.
Government funding is the reason that education is so expensive. You can't
escape the basic law of supply and demand. When you increase demand for a
product, the price will rise.
I wouldn't trade my college education for anything. But most of
today's youth need a brutally honest economic survival course. The world owes you exactly nothing. Work hard, and learn *how* to learn, how
to teach yourself new technologies, because then you'll be able to hang
onto jobs for longer.Don't expect to match the standard of
living of your parents. That was a different era, when we didn't have as
much international competition. People elsewhere are happy to make far less
than you do, and have (likely) greater education than you do.Live
well under your income. Don't have kids until you can pay for them,
yourself, because the toxic demonization of "intergeneration subsidies"
currently meant to malign retirees will boomerang back onto young people having
kids who haven't saved to pay for them.Be ready for economic
displacement, because it will happen to you. It's not fair, it's
highly disruptive and can tear families apart, but it's the law of the
jungle, in 2014. Work hard, but realize your employer has no
loyalty to you, or anyone else. They can't.Keep your
expectations low, savor positive experiences.
@hutterie. I think the construction trades still have high unemployment and
that industry is very up and down.
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