A College Education Isn't For Everyone (Opinion)

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, July 2, 2012

In President Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address, he said that “higher education can’t be a luxury. It is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.” Such talk makes for political points, but there’s no evidence that a college education is an economic imperative.

A good part of our higher education problem, explaining its spiraling cost, is that a large percentage of students currently attending college are ill-equipped and incapable of doing real college work. They shouldn’t be there wasting their own resources and those of their families and taxpayers.

Let’s look at it.

Robert Samuelson, in his Washington Post article “It’s time to drop the college-for-all crusade” said that “the college-for-all crusade has outlived its usefulness. Time to ditch it. Like the crusade to make all Americans homeowners, it’s now doing more harm than good.” Richard Vedder – professor of economics at Ohio University, adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of The Center for College Affordability & Productivity, or CCAP -- in his article “Ditch … the College-for-All Crusade,” published on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s blog, “Innovations” (6/7/2012), points out that the “U.S. Labor Department says the majority of new American jobs over the next decade do not need a college degree. We have a six-digit number of college-educated janitors in the U.S.”

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