College Education: The Largest Scam in U.S. History

by | May 16, 2011 | Headline News | 73 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    College education is big business, and with easy Federal loans, prices for everything from tuition to text books is going through the roof. Once degreed, the majority of college grads are ill-equipped to handle the current marketplace. Many of those who entered college just five years ago simply can’t find work in a 21st century economy that’s imploding on all sides. What college grads are left with are massive loans that can’t be repaid and a room in mom and dad’s basement.

    This latest video from the National Inflation Association should be viewed by parents and potential college students alike.

    At one time, college was an investment. Today, it’s become, as one interviewee in the documentary suggests, indentured servitude.

    For parents and teens looking at colleges, we suggest taking a close look at the amount of money that will need to be spent and borrowed, compared to the benefits that will come out of the degree pursued. Thirty years ago, a bachelor of business would have been a desired degree to hold. In an economy with over 20% unemployed, one must ask: how many business administration and management jobs will there be four or five years from now, especially if we continue to lose production capacity to cheap foreign labor.

    If you’re dead set on sending your kids to college, or you yourself are preparing to enter higher education, look at the future to determine what you should be learning. China will be the leading economy by the end of the decade – perhaps consider becoming fluent in Chinese. Seen the prices of commodities lately? With monetary printing, a growing global population, and the possibility of major weather changes (natural or  man made) we suggest take a close look at careers in resource-based (food, energy, water) industries.

    Most importantly, prepare your mind for a post-college environment where, rather than finding a job for someone else, you are able to invent your own.

    For those who have chosen to avoid college, perhaps the best route to take is some type of modern-day apprenticeship in a field that will thrive during a recession or depression. Learn to farm, to purify and treat water, carpentry, metal works, and other jobs that produce physical goods needed by society. You may not end up being rich (but you might), however, you’ll be much better off than the guy in the basement with no idea about what to do with a degree an employer could care less about.

    Watch College Conspiracy:

    Hat tip Tom, Brian, NIA


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      1. Its a double edge sword…No good paying job..Degree..probably no good paying job..

        I guess try to get the best grades and try for a grant or some type of funding based upon your performance to off set the cost some

        because no education will surely land you nothing, at least a trade education….we will need the doooers one of these days..

        all those brainiac people that cant fold a map will need some one willing to get dirty to make ,weld , repair or fit or build something some day….god I hope

      2. If you invent anything while in college, the college OWNS the invention.

        Last time I attended college, I got a professor to admit that grade inflation was the standard. Attend class, make a half-hearted attempt and you are guarenteed a “C” minimum.

        Then there is the matter of the freshman year which is a re-hash of high school.

        Investment in college education? What a joke. My first attempt at college ended when I asked prospective employers about my having a degree and the job prospects (1972) and was told everyone starts at the bottom and a degree might get me promoted faster over the next 20 years. 20 years to get an ROI is ridiculous.

        A friend of mine attended a major trade school and found it just as bad.

        If you can’t teach yourself a trade or skill for under $5K, you are just another Ralph Kramden or Ed Norton. For the cost of 1 year of college, you could learn a skill and start a business.

        The worst of this is outside of science and technology, degree programs are mostly fluff. If an MBA is so important to business, why is business so bad? If economists know, why isn’t anything getting fixed. The average professor has never worked in the field they teach, but oh do they ever believe. Those who can – do. Those who can’t – teach.

        The whole argument for college only makes sense once we look at its intended purpose; tax revenue enhancement. The college is tax-exempt, but all the massive revenue brought to the city is taxable. Add in the loans and twam-zonko, you are a wage-slave for the next few decades. Just ask yourself, “Why do all the credit card companies work so hard on campus to hook the students on plastic?”

      3. It’s best you learn 2 extra languages so you can panhandle in any situation; I rec. Chinese and Spanish;  you will be able to beg to most of the world’s population.

        Other careers to consider – drone pilot, TSA groper, Fusion Center Goon; projections are for 100K% increase in demand for these jobs.

        Dumpster diving guide will be lucrative as you lead former denizens of the middle class to the best dumpsters that may be stuffed with partially decomposed foodstuffs.

        Remember, you cannot discharge your massive student debt in bankruptcy, so another job would be false ID production. Get a 100K Masters in Psychology? Can only find work as a greeter for Jiffy Lube? Become Pedro Santeria Hozemel Hormel Diego, and suddenly you have no debt, and free healthcare!

      4. I was looking at a “save for your kids school” website just the other day. My kid is a year old… How will things look then? I don’t want my kid to have to pay student loans for his whole life.

        • The problem is that your college savings earnings probably will not keep pace with the high rate of college inflation so you will need to factor in an even higher savings rate. I don’t believe the average teacher salaries are increasing much if at all, but top administrator salaries, uncapped health care cost and pension costs are driving the problem.

      5. VRF
        You miss the point.  College does nothing more than indoctrinate you into the corporate structure.  You are proving to master that you are dumb enough to fall for anything and can not think for yourself.  That is what the corporation wants, but it already has more of them than  it can pay.
        As for student debts being permanent, only when they offset government benefits in collection.  They can take your “wages” and anything else denominated in Federal Reserve Notes AND attached to a Social Security Number.  It is, after all, the governments property to do with as it wishes.
        You do not need to have a Social Security Number to make money.  You need it for corporate employment when you work for the government or one of its corporations.  That is all they can take, so if you do not make W-4 money under a SSN or seek government benefits to survive, there is nothing they can take.
        If you do rely on those things, your debt will never be deflated away.  you can bet the new fiat currency law will adjust all student loans into the new currency and probably charge you fees for the privilege of the conversion.
        I you want freedom, you can have it if you take it.  If you rely on the corporation for your survival, you will have to do what it says.  The choice is yours.

        • That tree hugging concept always sounds great until you need something real… like a car… and not a $1oo beater, but a new one to drive your kids in safely, or a house, not a tent in someone elses back yard…. or a yard of your own… which you can’t own unless you are a real person, with help from the man, and property taxes etc. We all wish it was that simple.. but this isn’t the good old days anymore… even homeless people can’t get help without a social security number! You can’t live FREE anymore… because you will be standing on someone else’s property and begging for their help. I don’t think any less of myself for owning several properties, nice cars, guns, etc… legally…thanks to corporate America.. You have to Love America!

      6. Parents are paying the colleges for letting their children play for four years and learning very little, but in return, the companies are training and paying for the entry level positions. So, let’s use the college tuition to pay for the training at the companies.
        Of course, this will never happen.
        College is a scam.

      7. I have a degree in environjmental engineering (cartography). Who needs mapmakers anymore? Apparently noone. So I have a job in a totally unrelated field . Some much for the degree helping my career. For my first year in college I busted my ass and was able to barely stay in with a 2.5 gpa. My last year I totally fucked off and was able to make Dean’s List all my senior semesters. Please explain that one lol.

      8. Unless you are going to college for a SPECIFIC skill – nurse, pharmacist, doctor, architect, nuclear engineer, education, psychiatry….then don’t do it.  General degrees in business, sociology, etc will get you no where in today’s society.

      9. Here’s another HUGE problem. College degrees have been watered down because they are so readily & easily available.  Online colleges, small satellite colleges, etc. have made it so that anyone can get a degree.

        Wose yet, many are in on a huge scam.

        In Georgia we have a program called Hope Scholarhip (funded by our Govt run lottery).  If you maintain a B average in HS & College then 90% of your tuition is paid for.

        Addtionally the federal government pays for low income college tuition.

        Here in town we have one of those satellite universities from another state.  I know someone who taught there. 

        He said they literally brought in homeless people to take classes so that the University could get the Hope money and the Federal money.  If he tried to give them a C or lower grade he was called into his bosses office and reprimanded for it – he was told that they would lose their funding for that student.  He was told he MUST give A’s & B’s to students.

        He quit due to his morality.  That school is cheating the system for profit, giving college degrees away and making the real college degrees worth less.

        If there’s one, there’s many, many more.

        What a scam.  But, the government is involved so I’m not surprised.

      10. Actually, it’s uglier than you think.

        I strongly recommend reading Underground History of American Education (you can read it online for free as well – link provided) before going any further.

        Colleges have over the years become less of an education, and more of a money machine. Between privately-owned colleges (e.g. University of Phoenix, which goes out of its way to insure that you always have to take a few extra ultra-pricey classes before graduating), and technical colleges whose credits go approximately nowhere outside the campus (ITT)? It fast becomes less of an education and more of a scam. Even state/Board of Regents-run colleges are heavily invested in milking federal tuition-assistance, grant, and research dollars. They almost all also have positively huge patent mills, which they use aggressively nowadays to rake in licensing fees. The sports teams of the really big ones are positive money mills in their own right, with trademark licensing and game broadcast rights.

        Ah, but it gets better/worse. The curricula has, over the past 30 years, rapidly devolved from the hard sciences, arts, and philosophy, and have bloated out into prof-welfare programs. This leads to a-la-carte majors… Instead of majoring in something that indicates a solid background, you find degrees in “ethnic studies” and “travel” – things which have bugger-all to do with actually knowing something useful (or even general enough to be useful).

        Politics and ideology have taken over History, Arts, and Philosophy. It’s even begun creeping into actual science (e.g. the Anthropogenic Global Warming scandals, etc).

        BTW, the scam works both ways – there are diploma mills out there as well. 

        Overall, it’s tough to get a good, all-around education out there. Good luck, kids. 🙁

      11. have a friend who went to college to run the master control boards for TV stations. the whole industry was computerized and now he has worked for wal-mart for 10 years full time.

        my sister went and got a master’s degree in micro biology and our county entry level police officers make more per year.

        never went to college myself. alway thought I had missed out on something. but with the internet I have found far more information than I ever thought I would.

      12. @RafterManFMJ     Hilarious!  But Sadly True.

      13. Comments…..Welcom back Mac!  We missed you… I have a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) – I needed it for a teaching job at a local College.  I worked with people who had high degrees in Nursing who couldn’t care for a patient if the patient – or their – lives depended on it. So much of the teaching content was BS.  I now work in Home Health – delivering direct patient care – much better.  I think that anyone who goes to College now should go for a technical/license degree – Nursing, Medical, Legal, Pharmacy, Electrical, etc… Just my two cents. Oh and my sister – who cleans houses for a living – makes more than I do.  I say good for her – she found a niche and makes a good living out of it.  I’ve asked her to let me know when she needs help….

      14. My whole adult life I have watched educated fools get everything handed to them.

        I personally know a professor at an obscure private university who does not have the sense to pour pi** out of a boot. He complained about an electrician charging him $35 to reset his a/c circuit breaker. I told him the contractor gave him a break and that I would have charged more for that call.

        It says a lot that someone with a PHD (piled high and deep) could not figure out what to do in this situation. This man will be quickly chewed up in a SHTF event.

      15. AS = “All S–t”
        BS = “Bulls–t”
        MS = “More S–t”
        PhD = “Piled high and Deep”  🙂

        The funny thing is, even if you;re successful with the college bit, you often wind up doing something different than what you majored (or even minored) in. For instance, I beat up computers for a living, and make more than I ever did with an Electrical Engineering degree 20 some-odd years ago (yes, even adjusting for inflation).

        • Nice comment. I’m glad I dropped out of college, because it didn’t make since just like public school.

        • Beat up computers for a living? What actually is it that you do? Repair, upgrade, programming? Let me know please as I would be interested in working with computers in one or a combination of those capacities. Thank.

      16. Gods Creation
        I didnt miss it, i just didnt bring that part up

      17. funny thing is no one has EVER asked me for my transcripts! Use to put BA or BS then switched to Masters and not one HR person ever asked me. 99% of the time they were more interested in just finding out if I had done what I was applying for. When you work your way up to a global leader doesn’t matter if you skipped gym at Harvard or not.

      18. I figured out the college scam a while back. In the mid-90’s I was on the fast track to becoming a pilot. Went to school along with flight school then decided to chuck it all to start a family. I still wonder to this day about all the things I could have done that would have been far more productive with the 10’s of thousands of dollars I spent on school. I dont miss flying one bit and now run a home business that, for the most part – I love.

        We have a little money put back for our kids
        school. I will be encouraging them to look in to a trade school for a specific field-not college. Gerald Celente predicted the college bubble bursting a few years back. Not surprising at all..,..

      19. I did the college bit, mind you a local community college and a satellite branch of a main campus, but college none the less. And what is reward for it, The last few years, I’ve gotten put in cubicle farms and shoved 3 to a small office area. Meanwhile people who kiss up to the boss and couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag get promoted.
        That college degree is well worth it, NOT!!!!

      20. I stold a car and went to State Pen for 18 months and got a GED, I now make 53,000.00 per yr driving a fuel oil truck.

           My brother went to Pen State and got a degree in history, he’s unemployeed.

      21. I went to 5 community colleges and never graduated and landed numerous high-paying jobs. Im still working as a Sr. Web Developer and still paid very well. You dont really need degree. Its all about how much working experience you have with skills. Thats what counts. I had stack of tech books – self-taught all the way.
        Any advice for my son who wants to be a pilot (maybe in the Air Force), I mean is there a trade school get license or whatever to become a pilot?

        • Hi MAgnix,

          How did you get your first job?


      22. I never went to college, but all my friends did. I am so thankful I dodged that bullet. Life has been pretty good to me, proving that the college degree was nowhere near as necessary as others would have had me believe. I got to get to work in my own business, make a little money, but still frequent the frat parties. That’s what I’d recommend!  🙂
        And here’s a great website, you guys. It’s loaded with hundreds of full-length documentaries you can watch for free. Lots of them you will recognize, along with everything the NIA puts out. All categories, from history, to conspiracy, to politics and economics:

      23. Some of the best, most useful comments ever seen here! Taught High School, then College English for some time. Used feature films to encourage analytical skills, digging beneath the surface, recognizing symbols. Thought such skills would be useful. Students took to it. But multiculturalism, diversity, etc. became overwhelming. Advised students three years ago what was coming. Told dean we’re living in the Weimar Republic. Not preparing students for the deluge. She told me to fill out a form. I bailed before my big Irish mouth got me in trouble.

      24. Yep, College aint for everyone. Interesting article.
        Twitter: @collegeisascam

      25. Just me–I know what you mean. Penn State/State Pen. What’s the difference? Granted, PS has much prettier cheerleaders, but that’s about all.
        By the way, I’ve starting my own college in case anybody is interested. SmokinOkie Univ (SOU) proudly boasts the following:
        *state of the art computer labs where you’ll learn to use the most sophisticated technology including automated carwash entrances, McDonalds drive-thru menu boards and atm’s. Our masters level programs teach Gameboy and Ipad as well.
        *a world class accounting and business department where you’ll learn the intricate details of unbalancing a government budget, turning liabilities into assets, and shareholder bamboozlement. The masters level studies offer CEO, IPO and many other 3 letter acronyms.
        *an award winning art department teaching such diverse courses as ‘grafitti in 5 mediums’, ‘gluing trash on canvas to sell for big bucks’, and ‘art schmart just gimme the grants’.
        *an acclaimed music department featuring classes in banjo, dulcimer and gut-bucket. Yodeling is offered at the masters level. 
        *9 varsity level sports programs, including steer wrestling, hog calling and our most popular “grapling with gangstas from the city” courses. Any woman less than 6 months pregnant may apply to the cheerleading squad.
        *all located on a beautiful 1/4 acre campus in a park like setting just west of the sewage treatment plant. The wind usually blows the odors away from campus but on bad days we offer FREE nose plugs.
        *tuition is very reasonable and based on need (ours, not yours). Plus we offer a barter incentive for cash-strapped students. Just see Bubba at SmokinOkie’s Used Cars and Appliances next door.
        Come join the fun! The future is limitless for SOU grads! SmokinOkie University where our motto is “I’m Lovin’ It” wait that one’s taken. Our motto is “Be All You Can Be”…no, scratch that. Our motto is “Close The Damn Gate, The Cows Are Gettin’ Out”

      26. Hey Okie!  What if I just get plastered and go out to the garage and start yelling and firing people?  Would that count as “independent study” for the yodeling course?

      27. Tip for parents: Give your kid a few thousand dollars, a backpack and a ticket to wherever they want to go. They will learn more about budgeting, self-sufficiency, and about themselves than in any classroom. The world is the best classroom and it will change them forever.

      28. @MAgnix:

        Pilots don’t get paid much, if anything these days.  Most pilots working for regional airlines are often paid around as much as the guy who works a checkout line the local Wal-Mart. Those who work for the big airlines are unionized, but getting one of those jobs would take an act of the Divine, Congress, or both. Pay scales can be seen here:

        This is largely because piloting has lost a lot of its mystique, and there are a metric shedload of them out there, so it’s an employers’ market for them. With modern autopilot systems online (on the big jets) and coming online (on the smaller planes), the modern pilot’s job has been reduced to that of a glorified truck driver.

        Personally, I’d tell him to go after something a bit more lucrative and fulfilling, then buy a plane and tinker with it on the weekends (just note that all Internet advice is only worth the electrons used to convey them – that is, approximately nothing).

      29. Those that owe their college will never get a transcript until the goobermint pays their haircut fee.  Save your end of semester grades for rides and Joy Land.  I could be a teacher and join the union, could join the peace core and get free sex, could join the national guard and die overseas, could join the dims and go on welfare, could become a politician and give free sex, could be a pub and be called a boner and cry.  Choices, choices.  I think I’ll go to SOU for the doctor’s degree to give mammary NaCl (salt) implants.  I mow yards now, moving on up.  Will #1 come to my graduation?  Strike that question mark….  Will I be able to afford flood insurance on top of Pikes Peaks while giving free massages.  That was funny OQ!

      30. Comments… the late 60’s and early 70’s, my dad told all four of his kids (2boys, 2 girls) that when we turned eighteen and had graduated from high school we either moved out of the house or we started to pay rent and board. we took him seriously and all of us left home, and took care of ourselves, never to return to the nest to mooch off pop. i went into the navy for ten years and then on to college…quit the college when i found that i knew more and had experienced more of real life than the ones in charge of college. you do not have to have a degree to be considered a success in life..what you do have to have is a good idea of what makes you content with where you finally end up.

      31. In a SHTF event there will be many middle and high level managers who are shocked that people do not listen to them anymore (and maybe victimize them). I do not know how much use people will have for certified financial planners, department managers or directors in the new society.

        As a CFP certified by myself, the investments I most recommend are canned food and guns. 

        The Captain has turned on the no smoking light. We are about to encounter a little turbulence.

      32. Well.  My son got a full ride to a college in Michigan”s U.P.   His first year he worked 3 hours a day and still maintained a 4 pt.  He loves it and is eating it up.  He majors in Computer Engineering with a minor in math.  Who knows if he’ll get a job.  My guess is he will.  Both our children were home schooled so they aren’t the average kids.  It’s interesting to hear him talk about the other kids that are actually paying and how it seems all they do is screw off.  He’s sees how stupid it is.  He admits, if he had to pay for it he wouldn’t waste his time.   Just another view…….

      33. I want to make a prediction, a little bet if you will. I bet any one in here’s AR-15 that a long debate will soon ensue between Durango Kidd and Clark about college  😉

      34. BJ: Education pays. Do the math. Sum the anticipated income over the term of a career, deduct the future value of the cost of the education, whether it is a college degree or CDL. Its pretty simple really. Anyone who wants an education should not be deterred froma borrowing a reasonable amount of money for it.

        Check the story today on MSNBC about mid level exec’s spending $250,000 for an MBA. The money is out there for those capable of earning it. I’m making $150 a day (for 3 hrs a day) while on vacation absorbing the scent of pine, sunshine, and blue skies.

        There’s “color’ in them, thar hills!

      35. “I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things.”
        Benjamin Franklin

      36. While NIA makes some good and interesting points, the propaganda that they spread about PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION (read Notre Dame or Ivy League) costing $27,000 is not relevant to obtaining a college degree and a quality education. Tuition at State schools, let me example Arizona State University, only costs $11,000 per year.

        Notice that the people recommending that YOUR kid should not go to college, have college degrees.  You can bet your ass, that THEIR kids will go to college, while YOUR kid works for THEIR kid. Make no mistake, the disparity between the rich and the poor; the haves and the have nots is increasing.

        Higher education is an opportunity to bridge that gap for those with intelligence, initiative, and determination.  Without  a degree, certificate, or trade, YOUR kid will be left behind to work at Mickey D’s.

        NOW is a great time for high school grads to borrow a reasonable amount of money to go to college, when we KNOW that inflation will eat away at the cost of the education with inflated dollars. Community college in your home town is a great place for YOUR kid to start.

      37. DK, the return on a bachelor’s degree has shrunken considerably in the past decade. Indeed, much of the gap that developed during the 1980’s and 90’s between the lifetime earnings of a bachelor’s degree vs a HS diploma weren’t due to the gains of the univ. degree, but due to the collapse in earnings of those with only HS.

        As VRF wrote, it’s all comes down to the differential suckage.

        Does that mean we should tell our kids to forsake college? Not necessarily, but they must do the math a lot more carefully than the generations before them. They should especially consider carefully before borrowing large sums to pursue their degree.

        Like in housing, in recent years there have been a lot of perverse incentives which have distorted the higher education sector. Like housing, having an education is good. But with enough distortions, there comes a point where it just doesn’t make sense to borrow to the hilt to buy it any more.

      38. Way back in history, even before the ‘land grant’ universities, weren’t most colleges private or religious or both? Maybe I’m wrong but it seems the original set-up was to send the preachers sons to seminary and the sons of the rich to univ to learn all the other professions necessary for the orderly progression of society and the functioning of gov and economies. Now, admittedly, the seeds of destruction were sown long ago, but it seems that with the greater intrusion of gov into education things have gotten much worse, much faster. When gov starts paying to send the masses to college it does several things: 1-the costs of education begins to soar. 2-the quality of said education plummets. 3-the huge increase in the number of degreed persons lowers the value of those degrees substantially. Add to all this the fact of tenure for idiot professors and their use of classroom authority to indoctrinate the masses with their darwinist/marxist utopia lies and what do you get? evidently you get modern day amerika.(maybe all this was covered in the video- I didn’t watch it all) 
        Besides, in a shtf world, blue collar skills are more likely to translate into survival and future prosperity for those that have them. See caryn’s comment above. All 4 of my kids are 100% self supporting and they all have full time jobs, real-world skills and careers. None of them has lived at my home or been unemployed for a single day since they graduated high school. None of them has ever asked me to pay their rent or give them money. Ain’t none of them perfect, but they’re all people of integrity. Now, in their mid 20s, they all know first hand that they can survive and thrive in the real world. That’s valuable knowledge to have for young people today. As crappy as some young adults are, there’s still plenty in that generation like my own kids. I don’t worry about their future AT ALL.

      39. Roland: Agreed the kids should be careful about how much they borrow, but a good education is still within everyone’s financial reach. Even the freaking ILLEGALS are going to college and getting a degree on the taxpayer’s dime.

        Make sure YOUR kid gets one if he or she WANTS one. In the end it all comes down to what the individual can do and does with their education …. or not. I just think that the way NIA has presented their point of view in the video is a bit disengenuous.

      40. PS–SmokinOkie University is now offering an extension course in the study of foreign languages and international culture. Session 1 begins next fall with the first course being Spanish Uno Oh Uno (101). Class will be held off campus at BillyBob’s Liquor Barn next to the feed and grain store. Students will learn to order six varieties of tequila all in Spanish. Regular tuition applies and an additional fee of $23.50 for each fifth of ‘classroom supplies’ consumed. Designated drivers will be provided and space will fill up fast so reserve your place today! This course is open only to students over age 21.
        And coming next spring!–International Culture:Session 2 will feature foreign film studies including extensive off campus learning at Pete’s Porno Palace during the ‘Women of Scandanavia’ portion of the class. Advance reservations required. Male students must be 21. Female students must claim to be over 18.

      41. MAgnix; Just saw your post. One of the very best aviation universities in the world is Embry-Riddle. I know they have locations in Florida and Prescott Arizona.

        Prescott is sooo good the 911 hijackers went there. More than 300 days of sunshine every year with a mild four season climate at 5200 feet ele. Bill’s Pizza across from the Courthouse downtown is great too! And there are some really hot chicks at Starbucks in the Albertson’s Plaza.

        Just saying. 🙂

      42. I have some college/ trade schooling, mostly just classes, all was paid by employers from the past. I have managed to aquire quite a diverse resume over the years including 10 years as a commodities and stock broker (self taught and successful) but also a very broad mechanics and maintenance background from my younger days (layman engineer). All without making any long term commitments to student loan gangsters. 

        My point is to gather practical hands on experience, I have worked with some of the dumbest smart people you would ever meet over the years because all they knew were the books and formulas, they had no idea how to apply lessons to “real life” situations. Go get your hands dirty and teach yourself, it looks better on a resume and shows determination and self confidence to potential employers.. Think of the money you will save.

      43. i have two young sons.  just yesterday my wife and i were talking about this subject.  we decided it would be worth it to make our kids go to learn a trade straight out of high school.  whatever they do later is up to them.  maybe they’ll go off to college; i still see high intrinsic value in studying and learning a liberal arts curriculum and hope they consider going away for an education.  if they have a trade, they can work through college and not go into debt.

        we had this conversation while writing out checks totaling $481 for our monthly college loan payments.  compared to some of our friends, we feel lucky to only be paying this amount.  we both have master’s degrees and work in our fields of study.  others we know owe far more for lower level degrees, and/or are unemployed.

      44. Hey, Durango….  didn’t we fight once on Whiskey Row in Prescott?  I was so drunk, that all I remember was that you might have had a blue shirt on.  MAgnix, I agree also…  Embry Riddle is top notch, and you CANNOT beat the weather out there.  I went to college for two reasons.  Booze and sex.  I succeeded at both, so I would venture to say that college was worthwhile for me.  I would have gotten a degree, but going to class always interfered with chugging or boinking.  Good luck to all.

      45. No 911 terrorists were trained at E.R.A.U.  When you want to shine them on.  Hasta La Vista…..Baby.  Get to the chopper.  Run!  I’ll be back.  I need a vacation.  JV, you would be better off just yelling FIRE!

      46. @DK: You are correct in that a real education pays. If the degree is in a hard science, or in engineering, awesome. This translates to skills that can be used later on down the road. 

        On the other hand, most college kids study and get degrees in… what?

        That’s the funny part – most degrees are approximately worthless in a career. Take the hordes of kids who got degrees in Psychology and Sociology. There were a metric megaton of these folks in the 1970’s-1990’s. How many of them are actually working in those fields, do you figure? The semi-shrinks are probably very few, and at most the sociologists are either working for a government agency, or doing something else for a living. How many jobs are out there for “ethnic studies”, do you figure? 

        Now if your kid goes to a good community college, and has a well-rounded education (without the political indoctrination), then it won’t cost as much and the result is a very well educated young adult. OTOH, most colleges nowadays aren’t focused on the student – they’re focused on what mommy, daddy, and the government can pay them.

        As far as money, there are ways around that too. For instance, the state of Utah has a program where a sharp kid can get a two-year degree within six months of leaving High School, and have it all paid for courtesy of the state: (I know this because I used to teach for them). Knocking out half of a BS and not even be 18 yet is pretty cheap (and smart), IMHO, and the school is a pretty good one.

        That said, UCAT is an exception, not the rule. The rule is the massive money mill better known as “{insert location} State University”, or “{corporate name} University”. Accredation boards used to be able to weed out the crap, but even they’re in on the scam nowadays.

      47. “Americans have become the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of their own slavery through inflation and debt.”
        Read “Cash Flow Quadrant” and create a business worth owning instead having a degree that says “I like being miserable working for ass hole bosses! Stay out of debt; if you can’t pay cash… don’t do it!

      48. Back when I got home from service (1969) I was told that due to I was a “white male” there was no education available for me — (Affirmative Action) – SO I took a correspondence course. It took me a couple of years to complete this business admin course, and I got a degree as it was from “FUBAR School of Business” —

        It didn’t get me a “job” but it did give me a solid education. Today, 40 years later, I am still running my own biz, using the stuff I learned.

        “Mail order degreees” are what YOU want them to be. It is what you learn, not from where. WHO cares if the thing is from some “accredited” school? It the education you get.

        I have gotten several other “degrees” over the years via the same route, and it has expanded my biz. Nobody asks me where I got the knowledge, but it shows I did learn it someplace.

        FROM my own bootstraps. Teaching myself. I made my own “Affirmative Action” and made my way thru life.

        If you don’t find it without, then you have to find it within.

        Quit complaining, and start looking within for stuff you can do – and then go out and sell it to the world. I did it – so can you.


      49. There are a lot of ways to get a general education without spending tons of money.  There are the “Great Courses” DVD’s that have some great content, and you can get a college-level full-semester course in virtually any subject for a couple of hundred dollars. You can also take any of 2000 courses online fron MIT for virtually no fee.  The open coursework site is  You may not have a degree, but you certainly can gain the knowledge.  It really is all about what you can actually do for an employer or client.  In 20 years of structural engineering consulting, I was never asked for a transcript from a client, only from the two engineering firms I worked for, and then they quickly laid me off when times got bad.  I made my own way after that.  

        If I had college-age kids now, I would recommend a trade school, or I’d try to help them find somebody that they could apperntice for.  Those opportunities exist for a bright kid, but you have to find somebody who will take the time to teach them a trade or skill. 

      50. Funny, BJ. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
        In case there’s someone who has no clue what BJ is talking about and would like to know more, there’s quite a bit of discussion and links about college in the comments below these articles:

        Also, for a real interesting graph showing the trend of Real Average Earnings, check out the blue line in this article:

        This was good too:

        College: Why It Is Not a Bubble
        [It’s a quagmire.]

      51. Dangit Clark…you messed up my opportunity to win a AR-15 that I need so bad…………wwwwwwaaaaaaahhhhhh   🙂

      52. College was a wonderful investment for me personally and for my family. Never regreted a minute spent studying. Like most things in life, you only get out of it what you put in. Make good grades and you will be paid to study. What’s better than that? Daughter was a Phi Beta Kappa in applied math and always had scholarship money. Now has a scholarship to attend medical school. Study mathematics, engineering, physics or another hard science and you just might learn how to think. You will certainly learn how to learn new things quickly.

      53. This was a good one! I do have a story that fits into this. Sometime ago, I used to live with a woman that was in the process of getting her PhD. One of the things I would do is proof read her papers for grammar and spelling before she would submit them. Mind you, I do not have a degree of any sort, we’re talking GED technically skilled redneck here.
        It simply killed me that this woman could go for a PhD and have the grammar and writing skills that I would expect from someone with less than high school writing skills and half a brain.  The composition and structure was unbelievable. Needless to say, her thesis was challenged (those on the board must have had a hell of a drinking party the night before) and she was awarded her PhD.

      54. Went to a top ivy league university and loved every minute of it. Did it on a scholarship (I come from a poor family) and basically got that because I had a top grade (only three people from my high school made it into this university) and serving in the army for two years.
        Now run a successful global company. Just was at a conference and there were all these young grads there. They were very friendly and chatty and I left them my business card. Nada, zilch in terms of emails after that. Those kids just played themselves because I hire people and send them to work around the world for international organisations. But these kids couldn’t make the effort to send an email so I couldn’t care less.

      55. While reading the article below I was reminded of the comment by Frank Thoughts, “Went to a top ivy league university and loved every minute of it…”

        College for Dummies… and Non-Dummies

        “Are parents aware of an $11,000 degree program? No. Are students? No. Do parents care? Not really. “I want Billy Bob to have a college experience.” The main experience is overcrowded classes taught by graduate teaching assistants for the first two years, plus football games, a lot of free sex (“hooking up”), and then, for half of the entering freshman class, flunking out or dropping out. For those who actually finish, they walk away with $23,000 in debt and move home. They can’t get jobs.

        Some experience.”

        The rest of the article was pretty good too.

      56. Most Liberal Arts and Business degrees are leaving graduates disillusioned, broke and unemployed. College has become a bigger scam than Madoff. Don’t believe me? Read some of these articles

      57. This “college is a scam” act is a movement to clear the college environment of poor, everyday people. Plain and simple, the educational system has become so watered down that most Americans are not prepared for higher learning in a worthy field. Immigrants are far more impressive; even in early education, they are more fit for learning than American children. Seeing that most people floating around on college campuses are displaced, there has to be some outside force to keep the market cleared of unimpressive, poorly prepared students from low capital backgrounds from attending; they’re dragging the value down. Anything in life is what you make it, and the ROI in America is inflated in general. Hence too many applicants without a plan, clue, and/or purpose.

      58. I spent my sons college money on tennis lessons, now he is on the professional tour making his own money. He never even finished high school.

      59. The internet has made college obsolete. Anything that you want to know you can look up with a few keystrokes, and without sinking thousands of dollars into debt. Also, there are all sorts of credit-by-exam prorgams, like the Cleps, which offer college credit for self-taught knowledge. Although I have a BA in history, I’m currently learning actuarial science through self-study, as entering this field is through certification exams held by actuarial organizations. I’m finding it much easier to learn by myself from books than I did at college. If I had it to live over again, I wouldn’t have gotten the BA.

      60. For anyone who is considering college remember one thing:


        You cannot discharge them, and if you’re out of work too long, the interest and penalties on those things will put you further in debt.

        My suggestion for colleges: Either Ivy League or cheap.

        Ivy league colleges tend to give full ride scholarships if you have a family income less than $65,000 or something like that. Check for scholarships and grants. You should be able to graduate debt free at the undergraduate level and have a bachelor’s degree worth its salt. You will be employed.

        If you’re unable to get into a Ivy league school, apply anywhere and pay no attention to the sticker price of tuition. Pay attention ONLY to what they offer you for financial aid. Scholarships, grants and work-study only. DO NOT TAKE LOANS. Then go to the school that allows you to graduate without student loan debt. If none of them do, then go to the cheapest school and work part time to avoid student loan debt.

        Ivy League or Cheap. The only way to survive.

        Because if you’re not Ivy League, all the degrees are the same so why bother paying more? Whether it is Depaul, or Devry, or Jim Bob’s Community College and Oil Change, a degree is a degree.

        Remember: Avoid student loans at all costs. Take time off from school to save up? Yes. Go part time while working? Yes.

      61. I agree 100% with BeeKaay’s comment above, avoiding debt at all costs is a must. Having the burden of a sizeable debt could influence graduates to make the wrong decision about a first job. Without the worry of debt you are able to concentrate on what is important.

      62. Gold, silver and other commodities aren’t the only things that can hold value if the dollar fails. Guns and bullets will be great for fending off our angry foreign creditors.

      63. I barely made it through high school..thanks God I dropped out of college

      64. I will be graduating soon with a B.S. in Psychology. At first, I planned on getting a masters in Social Work. I realized that the degree would be a huge financial mistake. Then I planned on getting a masters in Occupational therapy. Well, this is less of a mistake, but I would still be struggling to make payments because of student loans. A second job would be necessary, and even then I may not be able to make my payments depending upon the amount of student debt. It would cost me anywhere from 70k-120k to get a masters. I would actually be much better off financially if I were to find a job that pays 30k-40k starting out, and work myself up the ladder. My brother in law recently got hired by a bank and is making 37k per year. This bank will pay for your Masters degree. The earning potential in the long run is much higher than if I were to pursue a masters in anything Psychology related.

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