The college admissions scandal has only highlighted the overall scam that is college. The expense, the exclusivity, what appears to be an inherent unfairness to the admission process depending on your race (Asians are expected to score higher than, say, “people of color”), and how desperate people are to get into colleges despite an unpredictable payoff. Mike Rowe, aka the Rugged Studmuffin, has a history of cautioning against these institutions of “higher learning” and was asked to opine on the college admissions scam, Operation Varsity Blues. He did not disappoint.
Firstly, Mike expressed that yes, he was disgusted by the scandal itself. But then encouraged us to shift our attention to something which should bother us more:
I will say this though – I wish we were as outraged by the cost of college, as we are by the wealth of the cheaters.
You don’t have to be rich or famous to believe your kid is doomed to fail without a four-year degree. Millions of otherwise sensible parents in every tax-bracket share this misguided belief, and many will do whatever it takes to get their kids enrolled in a “good school.” Obviously, those who resort to bribery are in a class by themselves, but what about parents who allow their kids to borrow vast sums of money to attend universities they can’t possibly afford? What about the guidance counselors and teachers who pressure kids to apply for college regardless of the cost? What about the politicians and lobbyists who so transparently favor one form of education at the expense of all the others? What about the employers who won’t even interview a candidate who doesn’t have a degree? Where’s the outrage?
Mike then goes onto say all college amounts to is buying a credential. A credential which doesn’t actually promise any student a lifetime of happiness and prosperity, yet colleges and universities are pushed on young students. Aggressively. Meanwhile, alternative forms of job skills training are looked down upon as students rake up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt all to get degrees which may have little chance of paying that debt back. Here’s looking at you philosophy majors.
It’s also why we have $1.6 trillion of student loans on the books along with a widening skills gap. That’s a bigger scandal, in my opinion.
Not all of higher education is a scam, a swindle, a giant waste of money offering false promises of success and corner offices in Manhattan highrises. Okay? Okay. Not all degrees are created equal, despite the deepest wishes of gender theory majors whining they won’t make as much money as their classmates seeking degrees in petroleum engineering.
But Mike is, as usual, right. Yes, the college admissions scam should boil our blood. But the cost of college, considering how low the return on investment is for a widening pool of students, should really raise our hackles.