Why Going to College is Ridiculous for Most People

Ok, so the title is inflammatory and over the top and may not necessarily be true. Maybe I should call it, “Why College Needs to Be Rethought by Just About Everybody” or “College: The Fast Fading Frontier.” The point is that many of us need to take a good hard look about whether or not college is actually the right choice.

And why is that?

Because of this. I could really end this blog right here, because that’s enough reason for anyone to second guess the traditional college path. You have to pay a fortune for that education and the fact is, there are so many other things that money could go towards.

Society tells us that a college education is necessary to get a good job and succeed in life. Cultural pressures push us towards going to college, getting a degree, and landing a good paying job. But at what cost are we to pursue such a thing? Average student debt is somewhere between $24,000 and $26,000 per borrower (Source). That can take years to pay off depending on the economy, your ability to get a good paying job, and your willingness to put off other economic goals (such as marriage or buying a home. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that, ” In 2011, first-time home buyers, with a median age of 31, fell to the smallest percentage of total home purchasers since 2006 (Source).”)

Don’t get me wrong; it’s extremely important to get an education because your opportunities in life are very limited if you don’t have a working knowledge of the world around you. Education sharpens and develops your skills. But education doesn’t necessarily happen in the classroom, and it’s time to challenge the mantra that going to college is the most effective, most efficient use of your time and money.

If you’re going to college, you really need to make a choice: are you going to get an education so you can be a well-rounded individual with a background in liberal arts? Or do you want to get a job? If the answer is, “get a job,” then you’re probably better suited by skipping the college scene and getting some experience in “the real world.” Aside from doctors, lawyers, and the majority of science and mathematics majors, college can end up being a massive waste of time. (Especially since you’re forced to spend time on that notorious thief of time and treasure we call “general education requirements”.)

As you can clearly see, I’m tremendously biased against what I see as an archaic institution that’s outrageously expensive and designed to equip a generation of the past. That being said, in the spirit of disclaimers, I am working towards a degree using an online program called CollegePlus, whereby I skip the bureaucracy, reduce the time, and cut the cost. I do so only because I have been blessed by God to be able to work through paying for such a degree out of my own pocket. If I wasn’t so blessed, I would forget the degree altogether.

What are your thoughts? Am I too harsh? Not harsh enough?

Knowledge Ignites.


2 thoughts on “Why Going to College is Ridiculous for Most People

  1. There are several aspects to this complex topic.
    1. A loan has to be financed and as you yourself mention in your post that can tie in your excess resources and the choices you make for many years to come.
    2. On the personal front you do not have get any social security credits, or have savings for old age etc during the years that you go to college.
    3. On the macro level students do not contribute to the GDP during the period of their education.
    4. So the yield from the money spent on education is not very high when one takes all these issues in to consideration.
    Hence a person who chooses to get college level education needs to think of a whole bunch of issues if the yield is to be adequate.


    • Thanks for your feedback. I saw an article once that calculated the cost of college + the lost income from not working for 4 years and the final total was something like $400,000. Kind of ridiculous


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