14.Oct.2014

Robert Moore
Senior Consultant, CEO Emeritus

ENOUGH, ALREADY.

Higher Ed Scare Stories are just Short-sighted.

Enough, Peter Thiel, with your “college doesn’t matter” mantra!
Enough, Clayton Christensen, with your predictions of 50% of colleges bankrupt in the next 15 years.
Enough, American media, with your screeching about $1 trillion in student debt.
Enough, Business Insider, about diminishing financial return on a college degree.

Just stop it.  As Chicken Little would tell you: even if the sky isn’t falling, we can be hurt by an acorn to the noggin; and if even one aspiring individual turns away from going to college or completing a degree because of this media panic, they’ve been done a huge disservice.

Let’s look at some facts, okay?

Fact: almost one-third of college graduates leave with no debt at all. None.
Fact: those who have taken out loans to graduate with a baccalaureate degree owe on average less than $30,000.
Fact: between 1965 and 2008, the net present value of a college degree relative to that of a high school diploma has tripled—with lifetime earnings averaging nearly $800,000 higher for the baccalaureate holder.
Fact: while college tuition has increased more rapidly than inflation over the past 20+ years, the average tuition discount at private colleges and universities is now more than 44%—meaning that for many institutions and many students, the actual price paid is lower than inflationary raises.
Fact: as a general rule, college graduates have a better health profile, live longer, are more likely to vote and/or volunteer, and are better prepared to take advantage of the American quest for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

So enough squawking that the end is upon us. Enough with fear-mongering and yellow journalism.
– Is college hard? Sure.
– Is it hard to get into your first-choice institution? Often.
– Is it expensive? You bet—though lower-cost options are all around us.

But those are not the questions we should be focusing on. There’s only one question worth answering: is a college education worth it? And the answer is resoundingly, unequivocally, enthusiastically: YES!

If you’re too scared and reluctant to go for it, Chicken Little, just go back to your nest. The rest of us will happily collect the eggs.