I happened upon an article today which details how college is nothing more than a giant money making scam. Most of the points it made amounted to "college is expensive," which, of course, it is, but the overall thrust of it was that college is a losing bet that only suckers take.
Which is, of course, bunk.
Yes, college is expensive and no, it doesn't guarantee you a job upon graduation but then again, nothing does. Where is it written that every college student gets to graduate into home ownership, a white collar job, 2.5 kids and a dog named Spot?
College, like anything else you do with your life, is a decision that has risks and rewards.
College education isn't a money making scheme, but if you approach education with the expectation that ANY price is justified because you will INEVITABLY make it back after graduation then you - not the colleges - are the problem and it is both ignorant and infantile to blame the people who are only too glad to see a fool and his money parted.
If you're going to college you need to seek a professional degree.
A professional degree represents the level of education you need to find work in the field of your choice. The level differs depending on what you study. In computer science, for example, it's a bachelors degree. In political science it's a masters; very few people will pay you to have a bachelors degree in PoliSci. French Literature or some of the more navel-gazing aspects of philosophy will probably require a PhD before someone will pay you to do what you love.
And you have to love it. If you aren't brimming with energy going to class each day it is almost certain that education beyond the bachelors level is not for you. Yes, that means that if you're a BA candidate in French Literature and you'd rather be bar-hopping it's time to get out or change majors before you rack up too much debt. I know college is fun but it's not a $10,000 a semester vacation and, if you're treating it like that, you're not getting much value for your money.
Speaking of which, seek value for money in your education.
For Masters and PhD candidates this is a no-brainer. Will someone pay you to study? No? Then either keep looking or find something else to do with your life. Paying for grad school is a sucker's bet and a great way to end up in debt up to your eyeballs with no hope of paying it off. Again, if you do that it's no one's fault but your own; federal regulations make student loan debt very hard to discharge and it's senseless to blame lenders for giving you enough rope with which to hang yourself.
For bachelors degree seekers value for money is a little more difficult. Look for state schools -- those are generally much less expensive -- and think long and hard before throwing down for a private education. A year at a private school can come close to a four year stay at a larger public institution and the educational experience isn't all that different. There are obviously exceptions: you'll never replicate Harvard's networking opportunities at Big State U, but with the exception of the Ivy leagues, there's little that private schools offer that public schools don't do equally well.
Except educate people who are stupid about money.
If you're throwing down private school tuition for your college experience and you're not attending an Ivy League school then you need to ask yourself what you're doing. Unless you're getting an educational experience which is SEVERAL TIMES better than what you could get publicly (which I doubt) you're wasting your money, doubly so if you're paying private school tuition because you couldn't get into a public school; that's a sign that you need to rethink this whole college prospect.
College isn't a money making scam; it's an investment. Some people make good investments and others make poor ones. People who think that every investment always pays off, however, are the sort who are likely to decry the whole system as nothing more than a "money making scam."
In respect to them, I suppose it is.
Oh, and here's that article for those who care to read it: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/35-shocking-facts-that-prove-that-college-education-has-become-a-giant-money-making-scam