Is college for everyone?

There seem to be more people questioning whether we should be pushing the completion agenda as much as we are. A blog post from the NY Times has some responses from parents whose kids are not taking the traditional route after college.

This doesn’t sound good:

Anxiety abounds for some parents of students who feel compelled to follow the path their friends are taking. “My stepdaughter is headed to college in the fall, but the hard truth is that none of the four ‘parental units’ in her life really think she’s ready,” E wrote. “We are all trying to be supportive (including scraping together the money to help her get there), but we are all very apprehensive. She’s not a strong student and has failed several high school classes, but since many of her friends are going to college, she is hell-bent on doing the same.

Yet many succeed without college degrees. This quote reminds me of one of my doctoral students, who teaches at a community college. He mentioned that one of his students didn’t finish his associate’s degree, but works as a contractor and has a much nice house than he does:

New Mom of New York and her husband were both raised in areas where college was a question of where, rather than if. Her husband struggled, then dropped out after two years. “I have a master’s degree,” she wrote, “but my college-dropout husband makes more than three times what I do.”

Share