Wednesday, June 2, 2010
"In a town dominated by the University of Missouri's flagship campus and two smaller colleges, higher education is practially a birthright for high school seniors like Kate Hodges. ... But in June, Hodges is headed to the Tulsa Welding School in Oklahoma, where she hopes to earn an associate's degree in welding technology in seven months. ... The notion that a four-year degree is essential for real success is being challenged by a growing number of economists, policy analysts and academics. ... They pose a fundamental question: Do too many students go to college? ... President Barack Obama wants to restore the country's status as the world leader in the proposrtion of citizens with college degrees. The US now ranks 10th among industrial nations, behind Canada, Japan, Korea and several European countries. ... And while the unemployment rate for college graduates still trails the rate for high school graduates (4.9 percent versus 10.8 percent), the figure has more than doubled in less than two years. ... At Rock Bridge High School, one of Columbia's two high schools, 72 percent of the class of 2008 moved on to four-year colleges, with another 10 percent attending community college. That college attendance rate is consistent with national statistics. ... Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder blames the cultural notion of 'credential inflation' for the stream of unqualified students into four-year colleges. His research has found that the number of new jobs requring college degrees is less than the number of college graduates. Vedder's work also yielded something surprising: The more money states spend on higher education, the less the economy grows--the reverse of long-held assumptions", my emphasis, Alan Zagier at Yahoo, 15 May 2010, link:
I keep saying compare the US to our new peer group members: Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, etc. What's the problem? What did Vance Packard tell us in 1959, see my 23 August 2008 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/08/college-investment.html. I am not surprised with Vedder's result. I've believed college is largely a waste of money for about 40 years. Consider: college attendance is subsidized. Should that tell you something?