We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I recently had a conversation with a multi-multi-millionaire who recently sold his second business start-up at age 43.
He is a humble guy, good golfer. He told me that he was advised that he was not "college material" - and "I am not", he says. "I am not a scholar, not intellectual, not very smart but I am energetic, and strong on practical and common sense. I learned my math at work because I had to." He became an apprentice (I can't say in what area) and in ten years owned a rapidly-growing company with 130 employees and two warehouses.
He told me his future plans too, but I want to keep it short and confidential.
Anyway, it raised the question for me: What is "college material"? Or is that term obsolete?
guys like the one you talked to or Senator Blutarsky were going to succeed with or without kollege, so its a mistake to use either as a role model one way or the other because they're both statistical outliers.
seems like a straightforward analysis, meaning it will never be undertaken by a 17 year old and her parents who are already too invested in the system and well trained to think college is necessary.
where does the kid want to be in 4-7 years?
factor in $x tuition, fees, etc., $x00,000 loan debt, plus lost opportunity cost wages and benefits of $x00,000, job market and starting salary then ask is it necessary and is it worth it?
factor out: kollege name branding, the bullshit of booze and football and essentially everything mom and dad will say about getting a degree.
suggestion: join the air force for a couple of years of easy service or get a job somewhere, away from home, then decide if you want or need college.
That is EXACTLY what I did, except several years of "easy service" in the USAF turned into a "career" of 20 yrs, with 9 of those years overseas (but, hey, we WON the Cold War, right?)
The USAF also made getting my "traditional" BS degree much less expensive (75% of tuition paid, and degree programs from US universities available worldwide)
I believe that many people who now suffer through 4+ years of Politically Correct BS at a US University / College, would be better served by apprenticeships and/or Vo-Tech trade schools. But I also think that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will be the way most people will gain training, accreditation, or even degrees going forward, without incurring HUGE debt.
The whole "Common Core" curricula came about trying to define and make EVERYONE college material.
Furthermore, if I recall correctly, Adam and Eve, as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge did not become happy, affluent, popular, or any of the other things colleges tell us we will get from being edumacated. In fact, it seems their life took a turn for the worse.
We are caught between values on this: a 19th C elite sons approach versus a training in the professions versus an expand-your-horizons versus an acquire-a-credential approach.
Our institutions actually did a fair job of juggling these in the 20th C, especially in the 2nd half. But it wa always an unstable compromise and is now coming unraveled. Government aid has bent whatever market correctives might have done. We now have a mutt system with uncertain future.
Assistant Village Idiot
I've quoted this before but it is right on this topic:
The idea is, of course, that men are successful because they have gone to college. No idea was ever more absurd. No man is successful because he has managed to pass a certain number of courses and has received a sheepskin which tells the world in Latin, that neither the world nor the graduate can read, that he has successfully completed the work required. If the man is successful, it is because he has the qualities for success in him; the college "education" has merely, speaking in terms' of horticulture, forced those qualities and given him certain intellectual tools with which to work-tools which he could have got without going to college, but not nearly so quickly. So far as anything practical is concerned, a college is simply an intellectual hothouse. For four years the mind of the undergraduate is put "under glass," and a very warm and constant sunshine is poured down upon it. The result is, of course, that his mind blooms earlier than it would in the much cooler intellectual atmosphere of the business world.
A man learns more about business in the first six months after his graduation than he does in his whole four years of college. But-and here is the "practical" result of his college work-he learns far more in those six months than if he had not gone to college. He has been trained to learn, and that, to all intents and purposes, is all the training he has received. To say that he has been trained to think is to say essentially that he has been trained to learn, but remember that it is impossible to teach a man to think. The power to think must be inherently his. All that the teacher can do is help him learn to order his thoughts-such as they are.
Percy Marks was a professor in the Ivy League who left that behind when is writing started selling. He wrote 'The Plastic Age', which offered a "scandalous" insight into campus life and was made into a movie twice. I've not seen it but it apparently was the 'Animal House' of the 1920/1930s.
But as many have pointed out, college is for those without their own ideas. Some find their ideas in college once they escape the K-12 gulag that is designed to keep kids in busy work and away from the real world and real problems. Others bloom after they hit work needing a bit more time to bloom. Many become simple workers contributing to the ideas of others.
Someone who finds motivation and has escaped "school helplessness" can certainly be successful in business without college, but also, with effort exceed the Ph.D. (although they must overcome the distraction of needing to support themselves independent of their self-education.