By Rachel Jacobi, News Editor
With the advent of the Information Age, the relevance of college as an institution has become a topic of debate, with famous college dropouts like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs being the highlight of conversations.
Recently, I’ve found that “how to become successful”-type books that teach readers wealth as an ism, also seem to find the traditional path of going from high school to college to be antiquated. And for those who don’t read this specific genre of literature, you have definitely been exposed to articles with titles such as, “Reasons Why College Is Useless” — articles that agree that colleges would improve society only if they were rendered obsolete.
I agree that the current college model holds many flaws. There are many issues that we need to contend with, including inaccessible price tags and the lack of financial security granted by a degree. But seeing as we are all college students, I believe I can provide some validity to the tuition we are paying and outline what is advantageous about the education we are receiving, if only for our peace of mind.
The argument that advocates for skipping college is based on the assumption that all individuals are entrepreneurial-minded, or should be. That argument is only applicable to a person if they are indeed entrepreneurial and if money and financial security are their only concerns. While I am not naive enough to think that the latter is not true for many, the former is limited to a narrow group of people. And even amongst those people, the amount of entrepreneurs that fail is approximately 70%.
For those who are interested in the merits of an education beyond financial stability, the argument against college fails to account for the process of getting a degree, as opposed to just the degree itself. Sure, someone could skip college, create a startup fresh out of high school, and be part of the 30% that continues to make it in the long run. And honestly, kudos to you if you can successfully accomplish that.
However, part of the college experience is the ability to dedicate time to learning through active engagement with peers. It is an arena where people (hopefully) open their minds to seeing the positive differences between themselves and those around them. It’s a space where people can learn to leave prejudice behind by expanding their perspectives, where people have the freedom to entertain new ideas, and where people encounter situations that test and solidify their values. Our society already suffers from too great an influx of superficiality. I’m certainly not claiming that college is the panacea to that, but it does offer a much needed buffer.
Photo: Rachel Jacobi