Posted at 9:15 AM on February, 25 2016
I’ve been thinking long and hard about why our higher education system in the US is so flawed. It makes no financial sense, the cost of tuition, the student loans, the huge campuses, and the ROI (return of investment) of completing college. Most successful students end up with somewhere in between $20,000 to $40,000+ in student loans upon completing college. Why could college not be cheaper and more affordable? Why do colleges charge such high tuition fees? Why do colleges end up having more administrative staff than actual teachers or professors for imparting knowledge to the students? What is the reason for the huge campuses and buildings and cafeterias’? Why not just have simple and small college facilities with a greater focus on educating the students?
Then it clearly struck me, it is all part of the systemized plan, just like everything else that we see around us in this world. Ours is a credit-based economy. Consumer credit drives the economy. People buy goods as they can afford to get credit. The system trains us to hold credit card debt and student debt. Having such debt boosts our credit scores as we keep making regular monthly payments. Take too much debt and the system punishes us with bad credit. A good credit score becomes very important, as it enables us to easily find a place to rent, buy goods, get car loans and so on.
When such is the case, why do we expect the system to award any special treatment to college students? In fact, as college students will be future entrants to the work force, they mandatorily need to be “trained” to accepting loans, in this case student loans, as the way of life. As students come out of our esteemed colleges with student loans, they push hard and take the 1st job they can find. With the overbearing pressure to start repaying their student loans, they do not give any thought to the suitability of the position to their skills and long term goals or the starting pay. Down the road they realize their mistake when already the damage has been done and difficult but not impossible to correct. Businesses are happy as they get new employees who will accept lower wages/ salaries. Also, new college students are the perfect candidates to be trained as per the needs of the employer, being young and eager to learn they can be molded. Colleges are so very happy too, they get the bulk load of the money that the students pay in fees, along with all the student scholarship money given by the government. Arguably, there are some good colleges out there. But sadly there are so many more colleges that are just pretending to be good, but are in it just for the money.
As student loans push college graduates to quickly take just about any job, tax money starts pouring in as more people enter the work force. Businesses are happy with the consumers eagerly using their credit cards, and the equally eager candidates applying for their jobs. The machinery is in full force and there are so many happy (may I say, greedy) people all around. Is there anyone who is not happy here? Well of course, it is you, the common man. Families struggle to pay for their kids’ colleges. College students struggle to make ends meet and start their adult life with the best debt of all, student loans. And lo, student loans cannot even be discharged; there is just no escaping from it! A handful of students in the US have been able to get their student loans pardoned or erased, but that’s almost like a miracle, it almost never happens.
Do you think I’m painting a grim picture? Actually, I’m not painting anything, nor am I imagining anything! That is just the sorry state of the world we live in. As far as the huge campuses and facilities go, they are just part of the marketing and brand building. Visual aesthetics or appeal do not translate to better quality of education, as many students and parents find out much later on.
The sooner you stop acting blind and actually start seeing the truth, the sooner you can resolve this college problem for yourself! Stop worrying about SAT scores and instead put some thought into how you will pay for your college. Do you really have to attend a college that is far away from home? Do you really need the huge college campus with the huge matching college fees? How about you find a college that allows many credits to be transferred in? What if you can earn a portion of the credits in a community college (or) via CLEP (college-level examination program) tests? Would that not be a lot more inexpensive? Are there any online college classes you can take?
Maybe you can finish an associate degree and then get a job in a large firm. Then perhaps you can have your employer pay for your bachelor’s degree. That would be a really inexpensive route to college! In case you are business-minded and are able to start a business during or right after college, wouldn’t that be great? Instead of making money for an employer in return for a small salary and your obedient loyalty, you can make a lot more money and on your own terms. So please forget about conventional thinking, and stop following the pack! Doing what our mom or pop did, or doing what everyone says is correct will only leading us along their path, one ridden with misery. How many times have you seen your parents talk about their past and about how they wished they had done things differently? Yet they encourage their kids to make the same mistakes they did, just so you don’t get into trouble! Well there is no trouble worse than a lifeless and helpless existence sitting in a desk or cubicle doing something you dislike! So stop worrying and actually start living the life of your dreams. Keep making course corrections throughout your life until you get exactly what you want. Don’t expect the world to tell you what is possible and what is not, and then blindly believe all of it.
Nothing in this world is impossible unless you actually believe it to be! So stop merely existing and start living, NOW!!