A friend sent me this article on how student loan debts for higher education often end up weighing down those who took them on, and the possibility for increased wages with a degree often do not offset the debt load adequately. The entire higher education system in this country seems, like so many other things, to be a big, overgrown mess.
As always, I look for non-government solutions. The big Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle illustrates to me all too clearly that the government should not be in the business of loaning money. I also don't think a higher education is so necessary that the government should simply be financing it. A university education does not make you smarter or more productive or a better citizen. I don't want to get into this too much, since then we could tear apart the whole public school system, but I just want to cover what might seem the "obvious" answer to some.
If enough people try to find alternate solutions to college, perhaps colleges and universities will drop their prices to attract more customers. Government loans have definitely not helped the situation here. The more people who get loan-savvy, the more schools of higher education will have to make their prices more affordable. Also, potential students need to be more discerning about their chances of doing well in college. The article mentions universities who deliberately inflate their diversity numbers without revealing that most of these minority students will never finish their degree. Here's another tip: if you have to take a lot of remedial courses perhaps the university is not for you. Or, perhaps you could find less expensive ways to cover your educational gaps. The homeschooler in me says, search out ways to improve your education yourself! At least to get yourself to the point where you don't have to spend big bucks at the university level taking remedial courses.
In our own family, I'm glad Mr. BTEG went to college. In computer work, anecdotal evidence says there are ways to get a start in the business without a degree, but I think the broad computer science courses gave my husband a better foundation and helped him get ahead faster. Myself, I didn't know what I wanted to do when I went to college; I only went because of familial pressure and because that's what smart people did. I can't complain too much because I met my husband there!, and two of the jobs I had before getting married were ones where a degree was required. Knowing myself better now, I likely would have studied other things in college, but then I would have attended a different school and probably never met DH, so it's all for the best.
The Equestrienne is presently considering a course in Equine Studies; big surprise there! If she still wants to be a vet, this could be a pre-vet course, or she could just take it with an eye to having her own stable in the future. If she could get a real job with someone who has their own working stable, like the people she rides with now, college could perhaps be skipped entirely. College would cover things, though, that her stable doesn't do. And her riding coach is talking up the college that she recently graduated from, so we'll see. I don't know enough about owning horses and giving lessons to know whether a degree would be helpful enough.
The Dancer wants to be...a dance teacher. So predictable! Her own teacher took education and dance courses in college. Again, I don't know enough about the dance world to know whether a degree is a necessity or not. I suppose it would sound better if the Dancer were trying to begin her own studio. A lot of research needed before we send the girls off for more education!
Boy, this is long, isn't it? :)