In statistical terms, this is the golden age of American higher education. More than 1 in 3 Americans has at least a bachelor’s degree, the most ever. Almost 70 percent of high school seniors graduating this spring will go to college in the fall, compared with about half during the mid-1970s.
The benefits of all that education, however, are highly uneven. The campuses of elite colleges remain disproportionately populated by the rich. At selective universities—ones that admit fewer than half of applicants—3 out of 4 students come from the richest quartile of families.
Put another way: Higher education in America is a racket.
A four-year college degree is to the year 2019 as a four-year high school education was to 1979. It’s just the new baseline.
Speaking from just personal feelings here – I went to college with a lot of cool, interesting people. But those people didn’t gain much knowledge of much during their four year college journey. Four years of something doesn’t make you smarter, and the profit motivations of colleges are more about getting kids to graduate rather than improving them while they are there.
There are some easy ways to improve people:
- Read more books (not comic books!)
- Exercise your mind by doing something different
A large portion of what you can choose to study at a four-year school don’t include either of those things.
The average student leaves school carrying $30,000 in debt….The U.S. system of higher education isn’t the main source of economic inequality in America. But it’s almost certainly making things worse.
Think of how many books you could buy for $30,000. 😉