This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

For Too Many Americans, College Today Isn't Worth It

Tyler Durden's picture


Authored by Glenn Reynolds (from "The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education From Itself"), originally posted at WSJ,

In the field of higher education, reality is outrunning parody. A recent feature on the satire website the Onion proclaimed, "30-Year-Old Has Earned $11 More Than He Would Have Without College Education." Allowing for tuition, interest on student loans, and four years of foregone income while in school, the fictional student "Patrick Moorhouse" wasn't much better off. His years of stress and study, the article japed, "have been more or less a financial wash."

"Patrick" shouldn't feel too bad. Many college graduates would be happy to be $11 ahead instead of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, behind. The credit-driven higher education bubble of the past several decades has left legions of students deep in debt without improving their job prospects. To make college a good value again, today's parents and students need to be skeptical, frugal and demanding. There is no single solution to what ails higher education in the U.S., but changes are beginning to emerge, from outsourcing to online education, and they could transform the system.

Though the GI Bill converted college from a privilege of the rich to a middle-class expectation, the higher education bubble really began in the 1970s, as colleges that had expanded to serve the baby boom saw the tide of students threatening to ebb. Congress came to the rescue with federally funded student aid, like Pell Grants and, in vastly greater dollar amounts, student loans.

Predictably enough, this financial assistance led colleges and universities to raise tuition and fees to absorb the resources now available to their students. As University of Michigan economics and finance professor Mark Perry has calculated, tuition for all universities, public and private, increased from 1978 to 2011 at an annual rate of 7.45%. By comparison, health-care costs increased by only 5.8%, and housing, notwithstanding the bubble, increased at 4.3%. Family incomes, on the other hand, barely kept up with the consumer-price index, which grew at an annual rate of 3.8%.

For many families, the gap between soaring tuition costs and stagnant incomes was filled by debt. Today's average student debt of $29,400 may not sound overwhelming, but many students, especially at private and out-of-state colleges, end up owing much more, often more than $100,000. At the same time, four in 10 college graduates, according to a recent Gallup study, wind up in jobs that don't require a college degree.

Students and parents have started to reject this unsustainable arrangement, and colleges and universities have felt the impact. According to a recent analysis by this newspaper, private schools are facing a long-term decline in enrollment. More than a quarter of private institutions have suffered a drop of 10% or more—in some cases, much more. Midway College in Kentucky is laying off around a dozen of its 54 faculty members; Wittenberg University in Ohio is eliminating nearly 30 of about 140 full-time faculty slots; and Pine Manor College in Massachusetts, with dorm space for 600 students but only 300 enrolled, has gone coed in hopes of bringing in more warm bodies.

Even elite institutions haven't been spared, as schools such as Haverford, Morehouse, Oberlin and Wellesley have seen their credit ratings downgraded by Moody's over doubts about the viability of their high tuition/high overhead business models. Law schools, including Albany Law School, Brooklyn Law School and Thomas Jefferson Law School, have also seen credit downgrades over similar doubts. And now Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing legislation to give colleges "skin in the game" by clawing back federal aid money from schools with high student-loan default rates. Expect such proposals to get traction in 2014.

America's higher education problem calls for both wiser choices by families and better value from schools. For some students, this will mean choosing a major carefully (opting for a more practical area of study, like engineering over the humanities), going to a less expensive community college or skipping college altogether to learn a trade.

For their part, schools must adjust to the new economic reality, as some already have. In 2011, the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., cut tuition by 10%. The discount not only increased enrollment but, ultimately, brought in more money. For academic year 2014-15, Ashland University in Ohio has cut its tuition by 37%—more than $10,000. Faced with plummeting applications, the law schools at George Mason, Penn State, Seton Hall and the University of Iowa have rolled back or frozen their tuition fees.

Many colleges, according to a survey released last spring by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, are also offering hidden discounts in the form of increased financial aid. The survey found that for the fall of 2013, the average "tuition discount rate" for incoming freshmen (that is, the reduction of the list price through grants and scholarships) hit an all-time high of 45%. Such variable pricing is likely to become more widely publicized in the future as competition for students increases and as parents paying full tuition object to being taken advantage of.

But discounts don't address the real problem: high costs. What's really needed in U.S. higher education is major structural change. To remain viable, colleges and universities need to cut expenditures dramatically. For decades, they have ridden the student-loan gravy train, using the proceeds to build palatial buildings, reduce faculty teaching loads and, most notably, hire armies of administrators.

Most of the growth in higher education costs, according to a 2010 study by the Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank, comes from administrative bloat, with administrative staff growing at more than twice the rate of instructional staff. At the University of Michigan, for example, there are 53% more administrators than faculty, and similar ratios can be found at other institutions.

Under financial pressure, many schools have already farmed out the teaching of classes to low-paid adjuncts who have no job security and often no benefits.

This approach could be extended to administration, replacing salaried employees with low-paid "adjunct administrators" to handle routine functions. Many in the corporate world have reaped considerable savings by outsourcing back-office functions, and there is no reason this approach can't work in higher education. (If U.S. News & World Report wants to improve its widely cited college rankings, it might start by giving schools credit for leaner administration.)

Another reform that would be useful at both public and private institutions is budget transparency. University finances are notoriously Byzantine, and administrators generally like it that way. But change is afoot here too.

Several years ago, the state of Oregon launched a website, updated daily, that shows where every state dollar is spent. The result: Anyone can see how much Oregon's higher-education system is spending on things like travel, instruction and athletics. This is the sort of transparency that taxpayers should demand from public universities—and perhaps even from private universities that receive significant amounts of public money, as nearly all do.

New instructional methods can also contribute to cost savings. Online courses are already making inroads, and the model makes intuitive sense for many subjects: Take the top teachers in a field and give online access to their lectures to students at many different colleges. There isn't a lot of one-on-one interaction in such courses, but how much genuine interaction is there in a live 200-student lecture class?

Once students have acquired basic instruction in larger, less personal classes, they can apply it in smaller advanced classes, where they would deal with faculty face to face. This approach is already used to great effect by the popular Khan Academy, a sophisticated not-for-profit website where primary and secondary students view lectures at their convenience and perfect their skills through video-game-like software. Students can then use classroom time to work through problems with teachers and apply what they have learned. The idea is to take advantage of mass delivery where it works best and to allow individualized attention where it helps most.

Traditional universities are experimenting too. The Georgia Institute of Technology is offering an entirely online master's degree in computer science for $7,000. This isn't a ghettoized offering from the extension school but rather, in the words of Georgia Tech Provost Rafael Bras, "a full-service degree." The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has already put many of its courses online; you can learn from them and even get certification, but there is no degree attached. If MIT were to add standard exams and a diploma, its online degree might be worth a lot—perhaps not as much as an old-fashioned MIT degree but more than a degree from many existing bricks-and-mortar schools.

Another alternative, already beginning to get some traction, lies in the rise of various certification systems. A college degree is often used by employers as an indication that its holder has a reasonable ability to read, write, show up on time and deal with others. But many employers are unhappy with the skills that today's graduates possess.

This has led to the rise of certification schemes from within the higher education world, including the Educational Testing Service's Revised Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) and ACT's WorkKeys, which is explicitly aimed at employment skills. Manufacturing companies are working with online schools and community colleges to create "stackable certificates" that vouch for specific competencies. Such programs may someday bypass higher education entirely, testing and certifying people's skills regardless of how they obtained them.

But what about the "college experience"—late-night dorm bull sessions, partying and pizza? Won't it be ruined by these new approaches to instruction? Not necessarily.

We may eventually see the rise of "hoteling" for college students whose courses are done primarily online. Build a nice campus—or buy one, from a defunct traditional school—put in a lot of amenities, but don't bother hiring faculty: Just bring in your courses online, with engineering from Georgia Tech, arts and literature from Yale, business from Stanford and so on. Hire some unemployed Ph.D.s as tutors (there will be plenty around, available at bargain-basement rates) and offer an unbundled experience. It's a business model that just might work, especially in geographic locations students favor. Grand Cayman is awfully nice this time of year.

On the other hand, for some students, avoiding the traditional campus-based college scene might be a boon in the long run. Recent research by the sociologists Elizabeth Armstrong of the University of Michigan and Laura Hamilton of the University of California, Merced, points to the problem of what they call the "party pathway." In a study they conducted among 48 female students in one residence hall at Indiana University from 2004 to 2009, they found that young women who were similar in terms of "predictors" (grades and test scores) nonetheless emerged from college on very different career trajectories. Those from more modest circumstances were often done in by their partying-related stumbles and actually experienced downward mobility after graduating.

None of these alternatives to a traditional university degree is "the answer" to the higher education bubble. And we certainly shouldn't discard entirely the old-fashioned approach to college, whatever its shortcomings. A rigorous liberal arts education, with an emphasis on reading carefully and writing clearly, remains a tremendous asset, for employment as for citizenship. (The key word here, however, is "rigorous.")

But there is no point in trying to preserve the old regime. Today's emphasis on measuring college education in terms of future earnings and employability may strike some as philistine, but most students have little choice. When you could pay your way through college by waiting tables, the idea that you should "study what interests you" was more viable than it is today, when the cost of a four-year degree often runs to six figures. For an 18-year-old, investing such a sum in an education without a payoff makes no more sense than buying a Ferrari on credit.

The economist Herbert Stein once said that if something can't go on forever, it will stop. The pattern of the last few decades, in which higher education costs grew much faster than incomes, with the difference made up by borrowing, can't go on forever. As students and parents begin to apply the brakes, colleges need to find ways to make that stop a smooth one rather than a crash.


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:22 | 4308891 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

College today is nothing more than a money making, cottage industry designed to indebt young people and feed "academics". In reality, Heald & Harvard are not dissimilar from one another.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:30 | 4308920 walküre
walküre's picture

The yield from college education is not measureable in the overall income growth or other economic growth in this country. Bottom line is that colleges are money pits. The bankers love them of course. They love every aspect of financing hopes and dreams with shackles and chains.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:46 | 4308984 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Feels good to have that 35 grand a year behind me.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:54 | 4309017 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

College is a place where stupid people go to get a piece of paper that says it doesn't matter.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:18 | 4309111 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



"For an 18-year-old, investing such a sum in an education without a payoff makes no more sense than buying a Ferrari on credit."

Actually, it makes far less sense; at least you get to drive and enjoy the Ferrari...


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:44 | 4309196 Breezy47
Breezy47's picture

And if taken care of the Ferrari appreciates in value.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:24 | 4309641 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

The required Ethics for Engineers class at my school was taught by a lawyer.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:43 | 4309691 MillionDollarBogus_
MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

I have a B school masters degree, make a truckload of $$ per year, and the yearly moniker says it all..

Is higher education a waste of money...??

No way, Jose.....


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:14 | 4309778 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

The local Kmart went bankrupt and left an empty store front that was then filled by a new "university" that named itself somehting like, University of the Western States.

How do these places get accredited?

Who would be 'innocent' enough to fall for these schemes?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:01 | 4309905 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Supply and demand...

Why is demand still high (Oh, blame it on the Asians?)

and we're still looking at yields!

Takes two to tango, no?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:58 | 4310072 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture



A "University Educaton" is an enormous waste of money . . .


 . . . a gift from your parents for Four Years of Partying.


And Then you meet the Real World.


Uh-Oh ....... party time is over!


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:03 | 4309913 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

"Accredited"? Ha, ha, good one. If a place like this feels the need to obtain any "accreditation", I am sure that an organization is in business for the sole purpose for providing it for a fee. Ever see those "top 100 restaurant" signs in a chinese establishment? There are companies who sell those. 

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:57 | 4310069 666
666's picture

The AFT often writes about the high cost of tuition in their publications and how something needs to be done; however, they never seem to acknowledge that they are one of the main reasons for said high cost.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 23:40 | 4310378 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Son of Loki, I work around all of this, and I know how they do it. They buyout a defunct or bankrupt college, and ride it's accreditation. It's like a reverse listing, where you buy a shitty listed company to get your company on the market. 

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:24 | 4309800 vulcanraven
vulcanraven's picture

Allow me to chime in, I am in no way waving my dick around with what I am about to post.

I was raised by a single mother and barely graduated from continuation high school. Attended a local occupational school briefly after graduating from continuation and took a few computer classes. My father has been out of the picture since age 4 and never bothered to pay child support or assist in my development in any way.

I pull in an annual salary of 80k at a huge tech company with bloated, overvalued stock. I am humbled by the horrors of the world and appreciate every opportunity I have been presented with. I have never burned bridges and have made the most with whatever I was born with, in all actuality my public school education ended in 8th grade.

Thank fuck for the internet and sites like Zerohedge. I have learned so much more about my trade from message boards like this one, Youtube, etc. I get a daily education here and appreciate all of the posters that offer their thoughtful insight into various wordly topics.

I guess if you have enough drive to make something out of yourself and you aren't a general piece of shit with your life you will do alright, even without college.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:34 | 4309839 Mr Pink
Mr Pink's picture

Congratulations and the MIC thanks you for your 30k per year donation for drone strikes on innocent children, arming Al CIAda, political assassinations, NSA spying, Obomber's vacations and greens fees, bail outs for foreign banks....

The global assrape couldn't happen without your hard work!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:44 | 4309865 vulcanraven
vulcanraven's picture

I would gladly not pay taxes but ask Irwin Schiff about how that worked out for him.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 22:00 | 4310079 TGC004
TGC004's picture

Good for you, and best hopes for your continued success.  I was fortunate to be raised by a pair of very savy hard working parents, who happened to move our family around alot as my father scaled the corporate ladder.  It wasn't until I was in college that I had a decent shot as I was in 3 different high schools in 4 years in 3 different locations, none in the same state which meant I was never in the same ciriculum from one year to the next.  College gave me stability, success and a career that has served me very well.  I am not "rich" by my own definition (meaning I fly commercial, not private), but I am doing ok.


If your kid doesn't have the apptitude to do something professional, well, I pay my plumber and electrician about $150/hr - same with the mechanic who services my car.  A person can do pretty well in the trades if that is their calling.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 22:18 | 4310130 fleur de lis
fleur de lis's picture

Good for you Vulcanraven. You overcame harsh odds to become a success and still you seek to learn and expand. You'll be okay. Also at one time the trade schools were an established alternative path toward livelihood which is more than anyone can say about academia these days. They churn out thousands of graduates in fields with no hope of employment, leaving them to scavenge the shrinking job market for anything to ease the burden of debt. I hope the trade schools make a comeback but it seems that academia has cornered the market. 

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 04:03 | 4310766 vulcanraven
vulcanraven's picture

I watched it happen to my ex girlfriends sister. She dumped over 150k into a photography school and upon graduation could not find a job doing photography so she settled for a management job at Hot Topic. Then she got pregnant and moved in with some poor sap. This was in 2005, I bet she still hasn't paid off her student loans.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:32 | 4309835 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

I can walk to the street corner and make significantly more money than you. You can get any accreditation you want significantly cheaper and less time consuming than 4 years in school. It is the knowledge, confidence and social skills that puts money in your pocket.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 23:44 | 4310389 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Dude, dealing is hard work, read the writeup in Freakonomics about how dealing is just like McDonalds. The dude on the corner gets minimum. 

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 02:27 | 4310704 CultiVader
CultiVader's picture

Never can pass up an opp to tell this one...left a 70k union plumbing job and went back to school ON YOUR DIME. In fact I am paid to go to a State U as my grants exceed my costs. Will exit with an advanced degree in the field I was born for but couldnt pursue earlier in life. Will pay it all back in taxes over the course of my third career. BTW living most comfortably in the Bay Area with baby number 2 due soon. This shit can be done fellas. You just have to get creative and take some chances. No need to go into debt, just play the game right.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:24 | 4309972 hunglow
hunglow's picture

makes no more sense than buying a Ferrari on credit

More like a real Ford GT.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:47 | 4309208 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

F*cking great. Third level 'education' today is all about indoctinating innocent minds with Cultural Marxist PC BS. and of course all those Diversity Managers gotta be paid for too.  A massive purge is required.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:17 | 4309615 J S Bach
J S Bach's picture

We homeschool our 5 & 6 year olds.  They're already excelling at reading, math and science projects.  By the time they're of "college" age, they'll be eons ahead of their public-schooled "peers".  It's the only way to reset the standards for the future.  If you don't buck the system, then you're a part of it.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 23:38 | 4310370 Bro of the Sorr...
Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

Ive started to J S Bach the system as well

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 01:39 | 4310647 J S Bach
J S Bach's picture

Thank you, BOTS...

Believe me, it's not easy.  It's a sacrifice for my wife as well as myself to make homeschooing work.  But, like our anscestors, we must forego the comforts and luxuries we might otherwise enjoy for the sake of our progeny.  I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing the kind of filth and "learning" our children would be imbibing from the state-approved curricula of the public schools.  If you can in any way do it, homeschool your children.

(My nom de guerre had 20 children... and those who survived infancy were educated - more or less - in the home.)

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:47 | 4309207 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

What? Pine Mattress went co-ed?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:20 | 4309117 Occident Mortal
Occident Mortal's picture

Whilst I firmly believe your education expands your personal capacity far beyond your earning power, there should always be a rationality behind choosing how you pursue your own future.

If you choose to spend $50,000 studying the classics then you might be more cultured and broader minded than otherwise, but you shouldn't expect your studies to boost your earning prowess dramatically.

On the flip side, if you study something difficult like mechanical engineering or dentistry then your studies will certainly move you further from the epicenter of commodificated labour but your education won't atutomatically accelerate you to escape velocity.

Unskilled labour is a commodity. Skilled labour is a commodity plus 3 months training. In order to earn decent money you have to break out of the herd and really differentiate yourself, you have to become uniquely skilled. Education is just the start of this, but only if you choose your pursued skills wisely.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:34 | 4309667 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

epicenter of commodificated labour?

   How about just strong backs and willing hands?  But yes, unskilled labor, or labor of any kind is worth less all the time, a trend that shows no serious possibility of reversal.  We all need specialized niches to achieve outsized earnings.  Easy to describe, and difficult to do.


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:06 | 4309755 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Imagine what unskilled labour would be worth without competition from welfare?

Go dig that hole boy, and we'll give you a cup of rice. Maybe.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:36 | 4309672 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

Today, we have the Educational Industrial Complex.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:44 | 4309867 Dinero D. Profit
Dinero D. Profit's picture

If your Daddy is rich, you get sent off to fancy college, and you join a sorority/fraternity, and you meet your economic peer, and you fall in a love arrangement, and your Daddy throws you a big wedding, and gives you a down payment on a nice condo, -this is what higher education is all about. 

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:06 | 4309920 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

That and a steady supply of weed.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:53 | 4309012 redpill
redpill's picture

As with any other sector of the economy, when government distorts supply and demand with credit it creates an increasing imbalance over time that is inherently unsustainable and will eventually colllapse.  This happens over and over and over yet for some fucking reason we keep doing it.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:05 | 4309060 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

You forgot the "demand" side.  Credentialism is written into almost every time and materials and support contract that Government writes as "qualified personnel" clauses. It is just as bad with state licensing requirements, bars and boards.  This issue may to so intractable that it will be resolved only by the collapse.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:36 | 4309671 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Well said.

Illinois now licenses interior designers.  God forbid anyone should come up with a pink and green room, outside of Russian oligarchs and African Dictators;)

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:28 | 4309971 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

This is an excellent piece of the comment thread. Let me say this.

I am a retired lawman with a B.A. in Law Enforcement. I retired about 6 years ago. These are my observations about American belief systems.

Americans think that you must have some sort of credential for every simple task. It has gotten so fucking ridiculous- that you don't dare comment on any subject without risking some asshole asking for your credentials.

Secondly, if corporate America wants to demand that we obtain 100k degrees to get some 50k job- why in the fuck are they not paying for it. My attitude is simple. If you are going to require a bunch of worthless credentials to screw widgets on a thinga ma jig- why in the hell aren't you paying for it?

I'd like to go back to school- but I simply can't make it pay nor do I want to put up with all of the college gouging from books to insurance. Fuck em. People aren't the problem- our system of education and our corporate welfare business model gets the gold and silver medals.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:52 | 4310046 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

Yes, credentialism has gotten quite out of control. One reason credentialism has gotten out of control in government contracts, hiring, and promotion is that it's an easy thing to "evaluate" non-subjectively. But they do not care if the PhD comes from lick-a-stamp U or a well regarded and rigorous program. All the evaluator has to do is count up the tick marks next to the qualification, and he who has more wins. It also allows the government to defend against complaints of unfair practices in awarding contracts, hiring, and promotion, and serves the interests of the lazy and gutless who do not want to take a hard analytical look at what they are doing.

At one time I was a government contractor (I quit and changed careers because I hated taking money from the government for useless and wasteful endeavors), and managed 23 people, 19 of who had PhD's in rarafied fields, plus other credentials such as PMP, PE, DAWIA III, etc. But my best guy, who I had a real hard time convincing the government to allow on the contract, was a man with an associate's degree in HVAC maintenance, yet who self-taught himself physics, and possessed 17 patents. I also had a hard time getting him integrated into the team because the PhD's looked down on him, even though among the rest of them they had only 1 patent and an average of 4 peer reviewed publications each. But they were superior because they had the credentials. When I left, I made Mr. HVAC the boss of them all.

I hope one day we come to our senses and realize credentials does not equal performance, and vice versa.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:52 | 4309431 brettd
brettd's picture

Obama tells doctors he's limiting their pay...

But not colleges that put your kids into debt prison.


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:16 | 4309784 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

It used to be a joke the plumber made more then a brain surgeon. It's not a joke anymore; it's true!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:19 | 4309788 walküre
walküre's picture

Sometimes a plumber is all that's needed.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 22:25 | 4310148 fleur de lis
fleur de lis's picture

The colleges get away with this because they have no skin in the game. They should be required to assist graduates in placement or dissuade students from going into debt in areas they know to be full or unlikely to employ. Colleges have turned into academic feeding stations.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:40 | 4308964 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Sadly the 'academics' are NOT the ones receiving this largess.  The real money goes to overpaid 'administrators' - the academic equivalent of business 'executives'.   The old saying 'If you can't do, teach' goes further.  When you can't teach, you 'administer'.

The head of my engineering school is making near 7 figures.  For WHAT?!?!?!    Those successful alumni that have donated substantial funds would have done so no matter who was running things.  Other than that, WHAT on earth could the Head of a school DO? The professors - and their skills - make the school though we've seen a 'cheapening' with increased TA instruction.  There are now LESS full time tenured professorships.   When I went, 30 years back, even the H&SS departments had some GREAT professors - even if most of the nerd engineering and science types could've cared less.  

What exactly do all these overpaid 'administrators DO?

And I DO believe very much that there is value to knowledge for knowledge's sake - that a 'liberal arts' education has value - perhaps MORE so than a business one where history and things like ETHICS and MORALITY are markedly absent.  

Having said that, one must be prepared to accept the consequences of studying 17th Century French poetry or some other arcane area of interest.  Your employment opportunities WILL be limited.  The scions of wealth have the luxury of studying anything - and in a meritocracy, the truly talented will be recognozed and rise to the top of any field of expertise  BUT producing a plethora of expensively but mediocrely educated college graduates trained in the arcane instead of the practical does NOT benefit a society.

Funny - if you design a bridge or building that collapses there are VERY REAL consequences.  Yet you can DESTROY a company, a nation's economy - lose BILLIONS and destroy the lives of millions (causing - directly or indirectly - the deaths of far more than might die in a bridge collapse- without any consequences.    Maybe that's why I like engineering - things work or they don't - none of this BS in evaluating 'management' successes or rewarding faked financial results.  You CAN'T fudge the numbers in engineering without consequences - Challenger anyone?  It was TOO FUCKING COLD.  Plain and simple - no matter how bad Ronnie wanted a 'teacher in space' to talk about during the State of the Union'.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:47 | 4308989 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

@cynical: Excellent post. + 100. When I was in college 40 years ago it was about giving quality education to young people....not picking their pockets.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:25 | 4309131 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

Does everyone donate to the college they graduated from?  I do, but I'm conflicted about it.  I want to help current and new students, but I don't want to support higher (costlier) higher education.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:37 | 4309171 DblAjent
DblAjent's picture

Northeastern Univ '93

It's twice the size today as it was then. Christ - they have purchased that entire section of Back Bay into Roxbury, with the exception of Wheelock and Museum of Fine Arts.

Thanks for the ed and have a nice day. They don't need more of MY money.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:39 | 4309180 rqb1
rqb1's picture

Set up a scholarship program in your name at your hs.  It could be as little as 1k/y, but give it to some kid from your town, not some admin.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:57 | 4309255 DblAjent
DblAjent's picture

I have two in college, and one graduating HS this year. Those are the recipients of my donated scholarships.

For my first kid, I purchased the Florida Pre-Paid. Locked in 1994 FL tuition rates for a 2010 HS grad. now she's rocking it at a state school. best decision I ever made...

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:44 | 4309864 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

Stupid idea, putting more money into the system just keeps the status quo, and some kid only becomes a partial debt slave, instead a full on boot licker. The whole system is designed to break your spirit, your inquistive nature, and make you jam a bunch of their shit in your head so you can reguritate it randomly on a "test". The only advantage I can see is you understand the programming of the other slaves, and that gives you an advantage over someone who skipped all the bullshit.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:45 | 4309200 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Stop giving to your college already. My alma mater has tuition schedules for the last 20 years.

1994-2003: averaging about $4000 - $4500 for the year, depending on the year.

After 2003: 32% per quarter increase.

Now a 4K education costs 14K. Income still the same. Stop feeding those dirty motherfuckers.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:13 | 4309311 duo
duo's picture

when I found out the University of CA was the largest contributor to Obama's campaing, I told them to stop calling me.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 18:02 | 4309462 Babaloo
Babaloo's picture

The school was the largest contributor?  Or the people who worked there?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:56 | 4309892 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Did you get an accounting of EXACTLY what your donation was spent on?  

My college raises tuition when they need money- that's why they never go out of business.   When they can PROVE to me that they need my donation, I'll consider it- otherwise,  I don't wish to contribute to the problem.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:31 | 4309990 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:35 | 4309167 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

I can tell you why he makes 7 figures. His job is not to run the school of engineering. His job is to raise money through alumni donations, government grants, etc. At least with his job, if he generates more than his income for the school he's earning his money.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:56 | 4309727 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Yes, that's exactly the way they look at it for Dean's and College Presidents.  Doesn't usually filter down to department level, but it's a fool's errand.  Growth for the sake of growth.  A bigger budget, fancier buildings, a larger campus, but to what end?  More money has not improved education at any level.  Quite the opposite actually.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:25 | 4309815 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

ZH had an article about truck driver sin OzLand who make more then heart surgeons.

Who generates more wealth? How do you measure "wealth"?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 22:30 | 4310165 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

yeah. why go to college when you can earn big bucks in certain economies.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:40 | 4309183 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture

-1 for the bullshit about a liberal arts educatoin having value. the propoganda pushed by universities for centuries is simply about establishing upper class based on establishing superior culture and taste. 


they further rationalize this costly ethos of superiority by pointing to ghetto culture that celebrates stupidity and crassness to say they are better. 


no , common decent folk have been reading good books and making their own good inexpensive art for centuries without having upper class funded university blowhards telling them to do so. 

my favorite example of this is that at least 95% of what passes of modern university taught economics is not only total bullshit (at best) but also clearly an ideology handed down by the elite private sector that owns the currency and credit system which employs university professors and graduates and tells them how smart they are after they willingly participate in this game. 


massive expensive circle jerk there to establish a class system......defined by which books you read, which music you listen to , and which dicks you suck. 

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:36 | 4309395 darteaus
darteaus's picture

wuur u un eglush majur

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 14:09 | 4312131 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture

math. but i did like poetry. i'm also currently a lawyer. fuck me right?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:47 | 4309873 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

I totally agree, economics is a joke. It literally is indoctrination into a fantasy. Surprisingly to me, astronomy turned out to be the same thing.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:51 | 4309881 Doctor Faustus
Doctor Faustus's picture

Actually, I received a BA degree in English in '81, joined the Marine Corps for six years, worked briefly in insurance before joining and eventually taking over a manufacturing firm. I work daily with chemists, engineers of all sorts, and electronic technicians and my liberal arts background has helped me immensely. A classical liberal arts degree can be quite rigorous and empirical. 

BTW, I got my AA degree from a junior college before transfering to the four year school and even though ROTC offered to pay for tuition, I turned them down and worked my way through school--I didn't want to owe the Gov't. any additional time. 

Unfortunately, some English degrees today don't even require the students to study Shakespeare!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:50 | 4309222 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

'What exactly do all these overpaid 'administrators DO?'

Remedial work for unteachable 'minorities' who should never have been allowed in other than as janitors.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:54 | 4309439 brettd
brettd's picture

They explain to everyone why they're so valueable!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:21 | 4309323 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I cannot give you enough upvotes.  The Sanfranciso Chronicle did an excellent piece on the cost of useless administrators taking more and more of the tuition/fees/contracts/grant money.

links below;

The original article has "dissappeared" from the web. < shocker >

A quick google, turned this up...


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:42 | 4309406 negative rates
negative rates's picture

There was a money or your life addendum attached to that contract and it's almost due.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:52 | 4309885 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Spot on, Cynical-  pretty much also explains what happened to health care, too-  most of the marginal revenue has been sucked in by a labrynth of administrative levels that simply did not exist 30 yrs ago-  why be a surgeon when the assistant director of marketing for the hospital is taking in 90% of that surgeon's net?

When the problem becomes the solution, all forms of progress cease.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:43 | 4308976 Arturo
Arturo's picture

College is outdated for unregulated matters. You can learn anything from Books and the Internet. Of course you would struggle to be a Surgeon with this method but...

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:53 | 4309010 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

How long before we can learn anything by just talking to the cloud for free.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:39 | 4309181 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

One thing you can absolutely learn yourself through the Internet is computer programming. I taught myself how to program in Java and C# spending no money to do so.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:26 | 4309364 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Many fields are truly apprentice based.  Surgeon, pilot, mechanic, etc.

Starting at the bottom in these fields is the true way to become a master in them.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:19 | 4309617 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

You can still apprentice to become a surgeon in Florida.

Without a medical degree.

Spoke to one, so I know it to be  true.Not advertised.

So, why go to college again ?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 22:13 | 4310116 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

Used to be in Georgia all you had to do to become a doctor was be board certified, and to become a lawyer, you had to pass the Bar Exam. Medical and Law schools existed just to help people pass these exams. Now, you must have a degree to be eligible for board examination or to take the Bar. 

My father did not graduate from either high school or college, but he has a medical degree. In his day, you did not need a high school diploma to go to college. You just had to pass an entrance examination. Nor did you need a college diploma to go Med school. Again, "all" you had to do was pass an entrance examination. You actually learned your medical trade during your internship, not from course work, and you started that as soon as you could find someone to take you on as an intern.

My father came from a share cropper family and was very poor. He wanted to earn a living and could not afford the luxury of time or money for either a high school diploma or a college degree. He took the minimum courses needed to prepare himself for the college and medical school entrance examinations, passed these tests, and moved on as quickly as he could. He entered medical school at age 18, not because he was a genius, but because he needed to get working and earn money. Four years of college was for rich kids who did not need to work. This course is impossible today. Now they suck away all you money and a quarter of your adult, productive years all in the name of earning a credential.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:53 | 4309888 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

That is the big lie. I could teach most anyone to be surgeon. A little explanation, a little theory, a little observation, and then, wait for it, practice until your eyes bleed, and then practice some more, and create a positive feedback loop. Repeat 10,000 times, show me the latest results, and yeah, I would let you cut me.

I don't know, I don't want to upset anyone. I know this method doesn't resemble at all the University experience that everyone so cherishes. I, for one, don't regret any sex, drugs, drinking or rock and roll that I consumed during that period. 

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:20 | 4309118 Jannn
Jannn's picture

China's FX Research Center: Gold Is The Strategy

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:24 | 4309355 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Really?  So is mine!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:40 | 4309182 Obama_4_Dictator
Obama_4_Dictator's picture

I can wipe my ass with my Degree.  Going to college is nothign more than supporting leftist professors and thier lifestyle, who then can continue to indocrinate America's youth.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:23 | 4309341 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Just like many (every?) other American institution: the real constituents are the bureaucrats on the delivery side supplying union dues, the FSA on the receiving side supplying a vote and the politicians on the supply side delivering a tweak to some law.  Every major institution has become a money demanding, political maw.

The guy working at a non-minimum wage job, trying to be a husband and father just gets squeezed moar every year.

Cheery, isn't it?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 22:14 | 4310119 Oath_Keeper
Oath_Keeper's picture

And is based on a model where educational resources are scarse, which clearly isn't the case today. Name ONE thing that you cannot study for (taxes aside) free in any public library that cannot gain you the same knowledge as if you sat in a classroom and paid $3k per credit. So many universities held in the highest regard are nothing more than mills for payback of endowments, yet they are sending the state university students out to become senior barristas and the like. We need an education revolt as much as another kind.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:25 | 4308892 Cult_of_Reason
Cult_of_Reason's picture

Marc Faber: People Lost Their Homes & Now Have To Rent, Well Done Mr. Bernanke

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:25 | 4308898 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Seven years of college (and $250,000) down the drain.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:30 | 4308919 redux2redux
redux2redux's picture

Sophmore year was the best 3 years of my life!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:11 | 4309083 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Some people go to college for 7 years.

Ya, they're called doctors.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:25 | 4309129 Jugdish
Jugdish's picture

What's up with doctors that check assholes all day or for that matter gynecologists? i understand they get paid but man....

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:16 | 4309324 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Yes, butt business is always looking up!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:06 | 4309754 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

"What's up with doctors that check assholes all day"

when you leave work & say you had a shit-day, not anyone can remotely try to 1-up your story.
They know it.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:56 | 4309894 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go thru life.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:02 | 4309056 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

It's not just the money that has gone down the drain. Your life has probably gone with it as well.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:26 | 4308904 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Quit lurkin'!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:49 | 4308995 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I had that same discussion with my Dad recently.  I asked him when he was going to finally buckle down and pay off my student loan.  I mean, I graduated in 1990 so it's like it's taking him forever.  I told him he would never be financially independent if he didn't get his debts paid off.  He just doesn't seem to listen.  Slacker.

ZH and The Onion should merge their websites so readers could have fun guessing whether the stories are real or not.  It's getting tough to tell.


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:15 | 4309318 darteaus
darteaus's picture

And how can he help you come up with a down payment on a new condo or get you a new car unless he hurries up and pays off your student loan.

He's just not looking ahead!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:53 | 4309003 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

That kid should be shot....

Then find out if the story is real or not.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:35 | 4309394 TeresaE
TeresaE's picture



it's an Onion article.

Pretty big clue that it is satire, not reporting, since that is all The Onion does (satire/sarcasm)

You're welcome

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:00 | 4309736 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

ya, the sad part is how so many more insane stories in actual 'news' outlets are starting to look like the Onion did those too.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:26 | 4308900 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Hey everybody, let's all grow up to be corporate directors, so we can outsource, and lawyers, so we can litigate patent infringement on imports, oh wait

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:34 | 4308914 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Well, at least you could touch the farreri.  It might also (unknowning) open a few "club" doors while in your possession.


Something about a country of laws versus men comes to mind.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:29 | 4308916 rlouis
rlouis's picture

Listening to young professional athletes speak today and comparing them with the ones of 20 years ago gives a gross insight in to the dumbed-down educational system. I find it hard to believe many of them could even qualify for entrance to college, let alone ever graduate.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:45 | 4308981 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Athletics - college and professional - are  a BUSINESS.  Many of those participating could NOT qualify to enter college - look at the failure to graduate rate of may powerhouse basketball and football schools and he scandals over no-show classes and fictional grades.   Colleges make a ton of money off of athletes who often are NOT well compensated or taken care of health-wise.  They play for a few years and get injured  or maybe go 'pro' for a year or two WITHOUT receiving any education of merit while making lots of $$$ for their employer.


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:41 | 4309185 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Athletes are entertainers, no different from Hollywood actors. And most actors are dumb-asses. You don't need to be educated to be an entertainer. You just have to have a skill that people will pay to watch.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:31 | 4308922 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture

The LONG overdue piercing of the enormous BigEducation bubble, is one of the larger pops we are going to hear in the next decade.

Lots of talentless, preaching academics will be standing on street corners bearing signs" Will smugly condescend for Food".


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:41 | 4308965 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

You forgot to add 'pontificate endlessly with unbridled ego and unjustified self-assurance'.  But that would be tough to fit on a bread board.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:52 | 4308992 combatsnoopy
combatsnoopy's picture

The talentless preaching condescending tribe have more in common with the sick cult of John Lennon worship than an educated populace.  They either FLUNKED out, dropped out, or settled for an Arts/polisci degree with feeble hopes of going to law school. I never saw them at graduation.  I didn't see them in my classes Jr. year.  I didn't see them on campus either.   The school I attended had a bad reputation for a freshman weedout rate so we couldn't mess around.

Yes I actually graduated, the trick is to lose that stupid high school infested inferiority complex so you can concentrate on what the professors want.   

The bookies I know, many actually have their game on.  Many that I personally know are either Clintonites or Reagan Republicans. You won't see us playing politics unless it's the politics between the ACC/SEC/Big10/PAC10.  

Those I did graduate with were working, not trying to get into hollywood or being a PR plant.  That's why you didn't see them.  

And of course, since your collective racist *** didn't notice those who DID graduate.  Many came here from far away lands with different genetic make up than yours.  Do you think the engineers/phycisists/software engineers, etc. could do their jobs if they couldn't pass their courses?  Oh mi gawd!  THat student must be Chinese AMerican, INdian AMerican, possibly Pakistanian...  oops!   
Gees, how do you get through a financial ratio without understanding that algebra stuff?

You're threatened.  Just admit it.   

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:03 | 4309910 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

"Yes I actually graduated, the trick is to lose that stupid high school infested inferiority complex so you can concentrate on what the professors want."

Ok, stay calm, now imagine that this process is repeating iteratively until a new professor is created. What do you have at that point. Think about it, well, of course you can't think, because you are trying to concentrate on what the professor wants.


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:33 | 4308934 The Heart
The Heart's picture

In the new communist/socialist/fascist/nazi states of america, the kids are not taught to be thinkers any more. Rather, they are taught to be good followers, sheeple, slaves, and how to kow-tow to the babylonian money games. Here are two links that should be well known to all.:

College Conspiracy:

8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back:


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:34 | 4308938 max2205
max2205's picture

If you can't afford it skip it....or 2.0 and go

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:35 | 4308939 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

I got through school just before the numbers *really* blew up.

But, y'know, I'm not sure things are as bad as all that.  The illusion was that everybody was fit for college.  Maybe that was just never the case.  If we go back to 1960 levels of elite college education, would that be so bad?  The California junior college system was always a good fill-in for anyone needing just a couple of courses for a real job, and now we have the Internet, too.

I think the problem is much more on the job side than on the college side.  Even graduating from an elite school doesn't help if there are just no salaried jobs that pay the delta.  Entrepreneurship doesn't really require you get your ticket punched.

Nobody cares what an employee knows anymore, "there's an app for that", so hire a monkey with a smart phone and pay him bananas.



Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:36 | 4308947 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Peak education.  Bitchez.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:36 | 4308948 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Even in Canada it's not worth it most of the time... I know several people with degrees that can't get a job in their line of work so they end up in bars and restaurants working as bartenders or waitresses...

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:38 | 4308953 libertus
libertus's picture

These guys have a model. Why not give them a chance? They are even crowdfunding their answer. The business plan looks solid and they actually are pretty transarent. Their CEO looks like a dork but smart.  

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:38 | 4308954 libertus
libertus's picture

These guys have a model. Why not give them a chance? They are even crowdfunding their answer. The business plan looks solid and they actually are pretty transarent. Their CEO looks like a dork but smart.  

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:39 | 4308958 all-priced-in
all-priced-in's picture

I would like to see the breakdown by degree -

I will guess that engineering and accounting degrees did slightly better than anthropology and mass communications.


If you borrowed heavily to get a degree in psychology do you at least learn enough so you now know that borrowing heavily to get a degree in psychology was not a good decision?



Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:01 | 4309269 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

Gender or Reparation Studies will guarantee you a job as Diversity Manager in large corporations.  At least for now.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 22:05 | 4310092 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Well, here's a really interesting link regarding distribution of degree by major by year.

The thing I noted is that there has been no increase in the number of degrees in the physical sciences (the most demanding and useful degree area) from 1970 to 2010, but the number attending in the that time has doubled. (So, that's why I can't find any suitable US student additions to my research group!)

There are a lot more low mentality individuals attending now and they are financed by .gov.  We need a German type vocational education system so at least they may learn a few practical skills in HS such as drafting, computer programming, machine and wood working, automobile shop, even home economics.  These were all taught when I was in school-now, not so much.  The HS teachers then had degrees in the area they teaching, not stupid education degrees.  So, even those on an academic track taking Calculus, advanced physics and chemistry etc. had the experience of knowing how to run a lathe, milling machine, drill press etc.  These skills are immensely useful in real life.  I've rarely had a graduate student or post-doc who knows how to design and fabricate a part for an experiment.  If they can't buy it, they can't do it!  This is a sad state of affairs.  We used to be a nation of tinkerers.

By the by, a degree in the physical sciences will teach you the most valuable tool for life-how to think and solve problems using the scientific method.  Then, getting a  job is the least of your worries.  You'll know how to figure out if you doc is a quack, a chemical is dangerous or not, and how to repair that outdated air conditioning system to name just a few things of great utility. 

Interested in business, english, psychology or history-go to the local library (the leading degree majors), don't waste my taxpayer dollars.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:41 | 4308966 combatsnoopy
combatsnoopy's picture

Didn't it cost the Boomers something like $400/year to attend?  They didn't make good of it, Gen X was the group that aggressively went after tech credentials, it seems like tech was built on the backs of Gen X.

Then you get the boomers in the "busines" (socialist competition eliminating) side of the equation calling Zuckerberg the "Toddler CEO".

Something tells me that the consumer side of the equation isn't at fault for the steep price increase, in the same way the tech workers living in SAn Francisco have little control over what the landlord charges.

But then again, politics caters to the useless Boomer voting majority that appears to be threatened by the younger generation while India gets subsidized college educations and can steal accounting jobs from the Yay Area.   And yes, the boomers have admitted that they like to put down the younger generation in order to feel better about themselves. 

Sorry, this appears to be a malicious plot to rob people of their earning potential, which is what we don't need in this economy.  As a matter of fact, in light of the world economy- we DO need more business (vs. Political) savvy workers.  I think ignorance and intimidation from the finance sector caused the population as a whole to hate but not understand the wrongs of TARP well enough.  

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:56 | 4309031 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

That which cannot be sustained, won't be.  Those in the "financial sector" will have the value of their labor recognized for what it really is soon enough...

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:25 | 4309133 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Let's start by showing everyone we know the "top 30 under 30" list from Forbes. Maybe that will be a start to get people questioning things? (I might as well put a sarc here)

"I wanna be a billionare so fucking bad....
... I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine...."

- line from some faggot song they keep playing on the radio all the time

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:41 | 4308967 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

Not only is it not worth the money, there are no employers hiring new grads. Everyone wants 10+ years experience. 

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:54 | 4309020 denverdolomte
denverdolomte's picture

Exactly. I've found it insane what companies are listing as "Required Qualifications" anymore. Average "entry" level sales gig for a reputable company will require you to carry 5-10 years of B2B experience, carry either Lean Six Sigma or PMP certs, or need some specialized certifications. 

99% of the time applicants are not qualified (college grads), underqualified (mid-career people), or overqualified (which is just the company not liking someone). 


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:28 | 4309371 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Chances are they have a candidate or two in mind and need to post this to keep the feds happy. If someone else sends in their resume they can become the "fly in the ointment" if the job spec is not written very tight. They get the resume from the candidate and write the requirements around it. 

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 10:37 | 4311288 fallout11
fallout11's picture

Absolutely true here (at work) for sure. Its all about knowing somebody, not what you know.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:49 | 4309216 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture


Not only is it not worth the money, there are no employers hiring new grads. Everyone wants 10+ years experience.

And it started getting that way before the financial crisis. 

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:44 | 4309692 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

That's because the previous financial crisis never actually ended.

the MSM said it did but as usual, they lied.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:43 | 4308975 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I have been offering a variation of the 'hoteling' concept for years.  It occurred to me very early in my misguided career as a professor that what young people desire is not college, but rather 'lifestyle camps' where they can party and mingle, use drugs, and engage in casual sex.  The studies really just get in the way for most, and the thing is, many individuals will tire of that lifestyle and go on to more serious pursuits once they get it out of their system.  The 18-24 year old range is fraught with difficult social choices and I have witnessed the high droput rates and debt problems firsthand.  What is wrong is the concept itself and the actual goals of the kids.

Also, I think it would be a good idea to have the semi-professional football and basketball not be a part of the university experience.  I know it's a tremendous money-maker, but it is not at all in line with the stated goals of higher education and it breeds mediocrity in the form of semi-pro athletes pretending to be students.  They are not students in any traditional sense, their coursework is a joke.  It's time to remove that aspect completely, pay the athletes for their performance, and stop the lies.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:11 | 4309084 RobD
RobD's picture

LOL, I joined the Navy and got all(well most) of that out of my system before starting college. Still took me 6 years to get my EE degree working part time with no debt on graduation day.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:44 | 4308980 maskone909
maskone909's picture


is what most collage grads encounter when applying for a job.  only, how does one gain experience if thyne cannot obtain employment?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:47 | 4308988 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Lie and say you have experience. If caught, you hopefully proved yourself for a slap on theme wrist. If not. Well now you have experience for the next employer !!

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:51 | 4309224 RKDS
RKDS's picture

Upvoted.  They tell you growing up that two wrongs don't make a right but that looks more and more like a load of bull each day.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:10 | 4309290 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I ran a 3-barrel bluff on a job interview and told them I have a college degree.  I don't.......and still got the gig. 

Thankfully for me, the guy hiring me was so swamped with work at the time (this company is run by cheap jews), he told the HR person to bypass some of the background checks anyways (I still had to take a piss test - which I passed despite smoking hash on the Thursday before.  Thank you, cranberry juice.  Thomas Jefferson would of been rpoud of me!).

I really have no qualms about it because this employer took advantage of ZIRP interest rates to buyback its own stock via JP Morgan (and via the Fed) and cheap (slave) labor from the Chinese and Vietnamese.

It's all bullshit.  Lie, cheat, even steal to get ahead.  Wall St does, why not level the god damned playing field?  There only going to take away more and more stuff as we slowly head into a Japan-style decline (rising markets = declining society).


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:24 | 4309354 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

You ought to put on some seminars Shizz for real.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:07 | 4309285 darteaus
darteaus's picture


Get an internship during the FR/SO, SO/JR, and JR/SR summer breaks.  Get them all in the same field as the classes you're taking.  Get a reference from the highest titled manager in the place of internship.

You should at least get an offer from one of the places you interned at.  Regardless, you show up at an interview with experience at 3 companies with 3 references.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:41 | 4309682 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

funny thing about internships: I hear they are, frequently in America, for $0 pay.
So basically if you're rich & can afford to not get paid to work, yet put in full time hours, you're good to go.
Otherwise you should never even start.
No matter the "experience" the fact of working without pay amounts to slavery. I'd be better off apprenticing for welding.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:54 | 4309719 Wilcox1
Wilcox1's picture

The internships at my school went to the connected kids who were going to get jobs anyway.  

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:45 | 4308983 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

The issue is not whether college is worth it, but whether idiots will continue to get bad college educations?

As long as we import ONE STEM from India or China or any other place, we could provide that person via our own College system. 

The issue is not is the degree worth it, the issue is why are Americans so stupid to get bad educations?  Why are familyies so stupid to edumacate their kids into believing that they cannot achieve a real technical degree?


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:13 | 4309308 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture


The issue is not is the degree worth it, the issue is why are Americans so stupid to get bad educations?

They'll hire the Chinese or Indian kid, anyways.  We are considered "spoiled" by the management class here in America; if you have any sense of dignity you have no place in corporate America.

If you STFU and work hard and keep your head down (like the Asian counterparts), that';s what they want.  Soemone smart enough to do the paperwork but dumb enough to take ip up the ass without force.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:22 | 4309349 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

There is truth in what you say Mr. Shizz.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 18:41 | 4309550 RobD
RobD's picture

Funny, what got me my first engineering job out of school was not my grades, it was my prior military experience. The chief engineer of the company had found that prior military types were more reliable.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 23:06 | 4310262 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture


Funny, what got me my first engineering job out of school was not my grades, it was my prior military experience. The chief engineer of the company had found that prior military types were more reliable.

That's awesome....that's how it should be.  Military personnel understand how to interact into a dynamic team on the fly much more better that civies.  Its a shame now they don't get considered for more better work when they come back.  I have a former marine buddy, 2 tours in Afghanistan, and he's been on the firefighting wait list for 2 god damned years.  Aced all the exams.  And all he can get for a job (while he waits for the city bureaucracy to clear) is a bouncer gig at a shitty bar in town.

It's easier to get a loan than it is to get a job.  Even if you were a god damned Navy Seal.  You can thank the Federal Reserve for that.




Tue, 01/07/2014 - 21:12 | 4309934 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

What they want are slaves, Chinese, Indian, American, they don't care, as long as the slaves work their plantations for them, and they can golf at the club, and complain about how hard it is to find good help.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:48 | 4308990 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

Strive for life-long learning.  This could include college or not, but it does include reading lots of books, and ZeroHedge.  

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 15:52 | 4309008 Magnum
Magnum's picture

Why are college costs now so high in USA?  In the 1970s nobody had heard of a college loan.  In Europe, Scandinavia, college is mostly free is it not?

Asian culture is to sacrifice everything you own so your kids can get an education.  They will pay any price. My family in SE Asia spends a fortune on a private school for one neice, and it's just a privately-owned money factory sporting a fancy swimming pool at the entrance, packing kids into rooms and educating them poorly.

Now in USA the same culture is taking hold.  PAY for sheep education.

Waldorf Schools, summer camps for kids allowing them to explore the wild and sing songs and do creative skits -- essential building blocks that stimulate kids to move on toward becoming pioneers in medicine, technology, the building trades, etc etc et.  Ask an Asian if they want their kids involved in this.  Ha they change the subject faster than you can start.  I've tried.  Their kids go to math camps and Tai Kwon Do bullshit.  

It's still up to parents how their kids are guided.  There are a lot of options for low-cost higher education as well.  

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:30 | 4309144 skipjack
skipjack's picture

" In Europe, Scandinavia, college is mostly free is it not?"


Free ? Are you certain you are on the right website ? I think you need to go to Salon or the HuffPo to talk about "free" education.


College in Europe is "free" just the same as public education here is "free".


Sheesh !

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:46 | 4309203 Magnum
Magnum's picture

No (Zero, as in ZeroHedge) tuition fees for university in Norway. Sweden was completely free until recently and I believe if you are a Swede, they remain free.  Not sure about Finland.  Tuition next-to-nothing in Netherlands and Switzerland.  Not sure about other countries.

Now to USA: Tuition is $22,000 per year for a medicore state university, in the state where I live.  One of my kids is gifted academically and I have discovered that tuition rates for the more prestigious universities in USA are about $55,000 per year.

Is there a special club on HuffPo and Salon where they talk about university fees in Europe?  I don't get it.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:55 | 4309241 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

So there really is a free lunch?


Just who pays for the teacher's salaries, bldg overhead, upkeep, etc?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:04 | 4309277 darteaus
darteaus's picture

They use pixie dust.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:05 | 4309280 shepherd
shepherd's picture

Yes, it's free. It's paid for by the taxpayer. But last I checked Sweden and Norway don't have the national debt America has. So what's the downside?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:21 | 4309344 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Lack of market forces, runaway costs to the taxpayer?

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!