LIES, DAMN LIES & COLLEGE ADMISSION
The first lesson I learned in college: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Thus began 4 years of attempted socialist and pc indoctrination.
That first bit of socialism, by the way, was “financial aid”. Today, the vast majority of students get “financial aid”. In other words, it’s not something used to help the ultra poor. It’s just a way to decide how much to charge people after you look at their tax returns.
The classes were often belligerently anti capitalist. I remember on the first day of an advertisting studies class being warned that the class wasn’t going to teach us how to actually do advertising. The same was true in many disciplines; they did what they could to avoid teaching anything useful.
Unstated collectivism was the academic religion. Each discipline, it seemed, wasn’t primarily showing us how we could use that knowledge to further ourselves. Instead, it was trying to show us how we could prepare ourselves to further that discipline. Given that the Ivy League has its roots in religion, this is hardly surprising. But that “serve the collective” attitude had zero to do with anything I was interested in.
The tuition structure itself was further steeped in socialism. The astronomical fees were largely used to subsidize graduate and professorial research. I wasn’t buying an education. I was paying for others to pursue their hobbies. Instead of a competitive free market giving me what I wanted at the lowest price, a federally subsidized non-market was just charging us all many times what the education was worth.
Did I learn anything in college? Sure. It’s impossible to learn nothing in 4 years of life. But I learned more the 4 years after that, and more in the 4 years after that. Was college worth the money? No. Worth the time? No. Did I fall for the propaganda? Definitely.
I could have learned just as much through independent study. Given that most professors had little interest or skill in teaching, I essentially did learn most independently anyway. I didn’t realize there were alternatives to college degrees, including actuarial exams, other private sector exams, even government exams like the FSOT. I didn’t realize that you can use these exams to prove your ability, instead of using a degree.
Socially, there are so many other ways to develop. But if I had wanted something very similar, I could have simply spent time on that campus. The social gatherings, lectures, even dining halls are open to anyone.
Today, lectures from some of the better professors, and many visionaries outside of academia, are available online for free. Project Gutenberg has put much of the world’s great literature online for free. The most instructive education for me, however, has been through entrepreneurship. You learn more from running a small (or large) business than you can in any college on earth. Today, thanks to organizations like kickstarter, craigslist, fiverr, elance, 99designs, it’s never been easier to start a small business.
Before you take out an insane loan, spend your family’s wealth, or sell your conscience to the military to go to college, consider these and other superior alternatives.