Country Living Series

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Don't waste your money on college

Here's my WND column for this weekend entitled Don't Waste Your Money on College.


  1. Excellent advice! Sadly, to be useful it requires high school students to posses reading, mathematical, rational/analytical skills, and critical independent thinking. That horse left the barn years ago.

    If anyone doubts the need and opportunities today for young people with practical, blue-collar skills, I suggest they try building a house or undertake a major repair/renovation.

    Montana Guy

  2. This post is music to my (untrained) ears! I don't think anyone in my direct lineage has gone to college since the late 1700's to mid 1850's! Most were farmers, bankers, merchants, store owners. A master carpenter (elaborate wood carver), secretaries, homemakers, shoe salesman.

    “Too often, universities emulate greenhouses where fragile adults are coddled as if they were hothouse orchids,” writes Victor Davis Hanson in National Review

    The time for coddling is elementary school and younger .. not college! Our nation is a$$ backwards.

    Also, most often it's who you know .. not what piece of paper you carry around that lands a person a job!

    BTW .. my children all went to trade school and are employed in their trades.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly! By the time my homeschooled sons had graduated from high school, they had already taken CLEP tests and were on their way to an AA degree. They each only attended college courses at our state university for about three semesters, paid cash for tuition, and received associate degrees.

    This was all that was needed to get them into most state and local government starting jobs. Although one of my sons is still in "retail", the other is in a state job where he has excellent benefits and job opportunities. If he stays within state government, he will be able to have his pension by the time he is 45 and can retire and still take on a second career.

    While these "office" jobs aren't for everyone, and I would recommend trade schools wholeheartedly, these are not always available close by, and there are not so many of them.

    If your kids are STEM-oriented, then they have to attend college, but otherwise, our society has become "service-oriented" and that does not look as if it will change anytime soon.

    If you can start them in a family-owned business or they have entrepreneurial ambitions, steer them in that direction.

    Marxism, secularism or worse, and how to avoid real work isn't worth anyone's hard-earned money.

  4. A few years ago the local high school asked me to speak at "Career Day" about being in business which I did. I told the kids essentially what you did and the teacher started to argue with me and tell the kids that I didn't have my facts straight. I thought that was rather rude and I turned to the kids and said "I paid more in income tax last year than your teacher earned in the last two years. And I don't have a degree.." I wasn't invited back. Go figure.- You told it just like it is.---ken

  5. I know a man in his 70s. I don't know exactly how old he is, but he's looked exactly the same for the past 30+ years. I saw him in the grocery store about 9:00 p.m. the other evening when he was giving the cashier an earful about how he'd been trying to retire and only work 8 hour days but here he was still putting in 16+ hour days seven days a week. Now, to be fair, he's a mechanical wizard. People get their logging equipment broken down in the swamp or a bulldozer broken down on the job, he's the person to call because he'll come to the site and fix it. He's tried to take on apprentices, but the workplace can be uncomfortable (snakes, alligators, hornets, yellow flies, skeeters, and extreme heat and humidity)."The problem with people today", he continued in frustration, "is that they can't DO anything."

  6. The problem is people do not want to pay for what things actually cost. We were looking into my husband becoming a butcher. He took the usda class and actually finds the work gratifying... working in the community, helping local people put good food on their plates. But the pay is $10/hr. We, a family of 6 cannot afford to live on that in NY state. It's ridiculous. A skilled trade! The floor manager doesn't even make $20/hr and he's been doing this for years. So we would both have to work which completely negates everything. We want to raise livestock, but everything here is insanely expensive. I think it's time to move. Husband is doing college only because it is already paid for by his military experience, not because it interests him. I wish we could actually make enough money to live on doing the things we enjoy.

  7. I could not agree more with this post. One of my closest friends is a perfect example of having a "useless" degree (Early Childhood Development). She has her Bachelors I believe and works in a call center. She works full time and up until recently scraped by.

    I, on the other hand, dropped out of high school my Junior year and went straight to work in a small niche market machine shop with no experience to speak of. I wasn't afraid to get my hands dirty, work hard and learn everything I could. My first day I was laughed at by all the guys (there I was, just a 17 year old little girl) saying I wouldn't last a week.

    Fast forward 13 years and I'm now upper management of a precision machine shop manufacturing complex aerospace components. I took a 5 year hiatus within that time frame to have two have two boys and actually only opted to go back to work after being sought out and offered a comfortable position with low hours and the option to work part of my hours from home.

    Was I passionate about jet engines before I started that first job? Not really. But in the time and work I've invested it's changed and I have a great appreciation for the industry as a whole and absolutely love what I do. Looking back I wouldn't change a thing.

  8. I couldn't afford to go to college and my parents were not rich so I enlisted in the Marines. I was a reservist and going to school for an undeclared major I had no idea what I wanted to do. I got into the Navy ROTC program got a scholarship and changed my major to Aeronautics. I graduated with a commercial pilot's license and flight instructor ratings. I went to Navy flight school and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in the Marines. I flew F-18s until resigning my commission in 2008. I currently fly cargo. I work about 30-35 hours a week and have every other week off. I make about $120,000 a year. In my off time I have a honey do list as long as my arm and it gets accomplished because I am not coming home every day dog tired, and unable to do anything but eat and sleep. If I hadn't went to college I would be asking you if you wanted fries with that for $8 an hr. I would strongly disagree with your article and think that an education will only benefit you in the long run. But it is not for everybody.

    The caveat is you must get a degree in something relevant, a degree in underwater basket weaving from the University of Hawaii may be fun for 4 years but you will have a worthless degree and student loans to go with it. You may be managing a McDonalds instead of just working there because you have a degree but if you had worked there for 4 years you would be in the same position just minus the student loan debt.

    Not everyone is cut out to go to college, my father in law for example. If you judged him by academic standards you would think he was dumber than a bag of hammers. He don't read well and couldn't read a paragraph and tell you what he read, he struggles with basic math, and does not comprehend anything beyond elementary science. The man works hard though and has a skill operating heavy machinery, he also can get almost anything to grow anywhere. He makes about $25 an hour and has done very well for himself.

    The thing is, the world is changing and schools do not equip our children to be productive members of our society. At least in college with the right degree you are taught something that will enable you to get a good job. Personally I am teaching both of my children to fly. It might not be what they want to do but it is something they can fall back on. I will also encourage them to go to college to get a degree that will benefit them. My daughter wants to be a doctor so college is a must. My son on the other hand wants to drive a monster truck, I had really hoped he would grow out of it but he hasn't. I will however encourage him to get some kind of a degree even if it is in auto mechanics or some other trade. One thing I will not do is encourage them to join the military, if they decide they want to serve that is fine but they should not do so because of the benefits.

  9. Great article from another website I follow...
    The fascist state of the modern American university

    Rita S in VA

  10. Admittedly off topic, but....

    Got all six little ' ramlings ' banded this morning. They're not exactly happy, but little do they know how much worse they could be feeling had we done surgical castrations. All appear to be doing well.

    Thank goodness we don't have to worry about de-horning.

    A. McSp

    A. McSp

  11. Two organizations that I have personal experience with are Northwest Youth Corps and the Job Corps. Both are somewhat based on the Civilian Conservation Corps ideas and serve teens and young adults. One problem for teens who want practical work experience is the lack of jobs for those under 18 unless they are lucky enough to live on a farm or have a parent who will put them to work. NYC takes teens from age 15 with some day work programs for younger teens and for 16 and older groups camp for 5-6 weeks in the woods, working hard most of the day, then cooking, etc and doing recreational trips on weekends. At the end of the session the teens have learned solid work skills, learned to work as part of a team, and earned $1200 or more and have made friendships that can last years. The Job Corps takes teens from low income families and helps them graduate from high school,get off and stay off drugs,and then teaches them a skill in a long list of jobs that earn a good living wage. They set them up with apprenticeships and steer them to good job openings. Both of these organizations help teens who want good job skills qualify for work that will support them without debt.

  12. Studied philosophy, graduated with a minor in art history focusing on conceptual art.

    I started in customer service; now I'm making high six figures, basically because I can talk to people about art in an intelligent fashion. Being about to speak to people different from yourself and being able to disagree without arguing are worth literally millions of dollars.

    I love my job.

    I love my kids.

    Am I just an anomaly?