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Friday, December 13, 2013

Reason: Mike Rowe on the high cost of college


[VIDEO] Mike Rowe you might find on not only those Ford commercials, but also as host of the TV series Dirty Jobs. Here he talks with Reason.tv about the high cost of college. This is a 41 minute video and looking at the quotes from first glance it has the same thoughts I have on the expectation that the next step is college.

I said this not long ago, college is not for everyone. While it's great to see universities compete for students - as I would like to see lower-level education institutions K-12 do - it's also a juxtaposition to say hey college is a better option than just taking a job. Unfortunately when you do leave college, you still have to go to work and that sheepskin is no guarantee.

At least in Rowe's case he talked to his counselor I never did. We had to seek them out and they definitely didn't seek us out. The portion seen at the 3:20 mark is regarding his bad experience with a high school counselor and at least he knew himself well enough to say hey I have little idea what to do here. Unfortunately his counselor was stuck on sending him to a university.

At 8:40 he discusses the issues with taxpayer subsidized student loans. I have it somewhat figured out already when I finally have children. Something that never occurred to me when it was time to figure out life after high school.

Parents generally want to support their children and they sometimes push the expectation of college onto them. As a parent I would be like look for the first year I will support you but for the next year you have to put something up yourself. That would mean, you need to make some money and that means a job. As much as I want you to want this you have to want it too and that means - since college costs money - you have to contribute something.

Then if they're still unsure about what they want to do with their lives then I would suggest other option. At 17-18 years old nothing says that you must go to college. There's always the military and the work world to name two quick options. The military will teach you different skills that will be invaluable although you may be called upon to serve in a combat role. And of course going to work means that you develop job skills that you likely aren't being taught in school anyway.

This was something that was never stressed to me you have to really be serious and want the degree. And if that's true then you will do what you need to do to achieve it and that means just as easily putting some money up by the students themselves. Although hey, it could mean putting up some student loans although if you're just allergic to debt then taking on a part-time job while you study isn't entirely a bad idea.

Well granted that's easy to say when I don't yet have children. It's still something that should've been said to me back then and it's something that should be said now to the young people.

Anyway, Reason's Nick Gillespie and Rowe discusses a number of topics related to education. They discuss work ethic, college marketing, following your passion, etc. Here's one takeaway to consider: "He stesses that he's 'got nothing against college' but believes it's a huge mistake to push everyone in the same direction regardless of interest or ability."

And also: "If we are lending money that ostensibly we don't have to kids who have no hope of making it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don't exist, I might suggest that we've gone around the bend a little bit," says TV personality Mike Rowe.

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