Friday Humor: Most Financially Responsible Act Of A 17-Year-Old's Life

Tyler Durden's picture

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Saying the turn of events will greatly benefit the 17-year-old’s economic security, sources confirmed Friday that local high school senior Emily Harrison’s failure to get into the University of Southern California, a private academic institution, will be the single most financially responsible act of her entire life.

According to reports, Harrison’s rejected application, which she spent weeks preparing in hopes of spending four years at her “dream school,” will save the young student a total of nearly $370,000, including $205,768 in tuition, $3,714 in fees, $57,392 in room and board, and $101,670 in student loan interest payments.



The rejection, which led a visibly devastated Harrison to agonize over whether she should have participated in more extracurricular activities or obtained additional letters of recommendation, will reportedly allow her to avoid a period of 10 years or more in which she would have struggled to repay her loans, inevitably racking up credit card debt to cover basic necessities and ultimately leaving her unable to buy a home.

Sources said the teen will still face financial disaster if she follows through on her long-term plan to enter a PhD program, which would require her to spend approximately one-fifth of her adult life bringing in little to no income.

Source: The Onion

*   *   *

Indeed, while this satire is humorous, as Charles Hugh-Smith recently detailed, a system that piles debt on students in exchange for a marginal or even zero-return on their investment is morally and financially bankrupt.

Every once in a while you run across an insider's narrative of a corrupt, morally bankrupt sector that absolutely nails the sector's terminal rot. Here is that nails-it narrative for higher education: Pass, Fail: An inside look at the retail scam known as the modern university.

Here are excerpts of the article, which was published in Canada but is equally applicable to higher education in the U.S.:

A university degree, after all, is a credential crucial for economic success. At least, that’s what we’re told. But as with all such credentials—those sought for the ends they promise rather than the knowledge they represent—the trick is to get them cheaply, quickly, and with as little effort as possible. My students’ disaffection is the real face of this ambition.


I teach mostly bored youth who find themselves doing something they neither value nor desire—and, in some cases, are simply not equipped for—in order to achieve an outcome they are repeatedly warned is essential to their survival. What a dreadful trap.


One in particular matches perfectly with the type of change I’ve observed on my watch: the eradication of content from the classroom.


All efforts to create the illusion of academic content are acceptable so long as they are entertaining, and successful participation requires no real effort and no real accountability.


Remove your professor hat for a moment and students will speak frankly. They will tell you that they don’t read because they don’t have to. They can get an A without ever opening a book.


But don’t worry—you won’t go bust because of this failure, not in the modern university. So long as your class is popular and fun, you’ll be favoured by the administration and probably receive a teaching award. This, even though your students will leave your class in worse condition than they entered it, because you will have pandered to their basest inclinations while leaving their real intellectual and moral needs unmet.


There is no clearer example of administrators’ contempt for faculty. But there is also no clearer example of their contempt for students.


As money is siphoned from academic programs through attrition, it is channelled into a host of middle-management positions.


From 1979 to 2014, central administration and staff ballooned by three and a half times, while the size of the faculty merely doubled.


Parents, students, and governments keep supplying them with capital, assuming there will be a genuine return on investment. But since the institution no longer produces anything, no such return is forthcoming.


Spending on the student services sector in Canadian universities increased an incredible six-fold between 1979 and 2014.


The student services cabal is no longer there to support faculty in their work of educating students “but to compete with them to define the student experience.”

Insiders are quiet after they read this, because they know it's true.

The financial burden created by the higher education cartel is immense and expanding:

To mask the enormity of the sums squandered on "education" that has little measurable results, the federal government has purchased most of the debt:

No inflation here--just a 137% increase in 15 years:

A system that piles debt on students in exchange for a marginal or even zero-return on their investment is morally and financially bankrupt.

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Billy Shears's picture

Hey, we do it for the childrens. Shut ya mouff!

chicaboomboom's picture
chicaboomboom (not verified) Billy Shears Apr 1, 2016 7:00 PM

Unfortunately, a 17-year old will have to live with Mom and Dad forever >>

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) chicaboomboom Apr 1, 2016 7:02 PM


LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) Occident Mortal Apr 1, 2016 7:14 PM

Womyn's Studies - a life ticket to a high paying gubmint job with huge pension, getting paid to control other people's lives, retiring at 53 years old.  Be part of the 1%.

ACP's picture

Nailed it.

With one small correction: "...getting paid to fuck up other people's lives..."

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) ACP Apr 1, 2016 8:02 PM

Ah, yes... I stand corrected.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I guess she wasn't a special snowflake afterall?

But she had all the right ribbons.....

Stuck on Zero's picture

The kid up the street moved 3000 miles to go to an expensive private college on the East Coast. After three years and $150K he decided he really wanted to go to film school so he came home and is applying to Cal State to major in film production.  I'm wondering if he'd been better off taking the $150K and making a film.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Stuck on Zero Apr 2, 2016 9:35 AM
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

The "smart" move would be for her to move just north of USC, (the San Fernando valley), and "work" for 4 years in the uh..., ah..., film industry and make $370,000. Then she can go to USC on her own dime and come out with a degree free and clear. I hear they pay the most for "fresh faces" in that end of the film trade.

Heavy's picture

The government is not about to invest in the arts of children, unless the children accidentally decide they like bankers or wars; the great bulk of the money goes to funding the slave factory.

monkeyshine's picture

What a shame, paying to get fucked up instead of being paid to fuck.

Himins's picture

I see what you done there

well deserved comparison 

monkeyshine's picture

Ambiguity raises a reply into the realm of art. Or at least that's what I learned at university. Who says a BA degree is worthless?

sheikurbootie's picture

I have a friend who's son is graduating this semester with a 3.8 in mechanical engineering from an A level University.  He's applied for countless jobs and has interviewed with several.  NOT ONE OFFER.  He's moving back in with mom and dad in a few weeks.

The notion that "what" you major in is soooo 3-4 years ago.  Today, it just doesn't matter AS much.  Good luck Millennials.  Your savior Obozo didn't do anything good.   I didn't vote for him, so I'm not sorry.  I'm sorry for your plight, but so many of the Millennials drank the kool-aid and rallied around this phony.

crazzziecanuck's picture

I wish I could have spoken with him years ago and saved him grief.

I graduated with an ME degree in robotics and automation in 2009 and got *two* interviews in total ever since.

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

"Good luck Millennials.  Your savior Obozo didn't do anything good."


At least Bernie will guarantee that everyone is equally miserable.  So we can all be equal.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) sixsigma cygnusatratus Apr 2, 2016 9:38 AM

Yep, what 1%er wants an overpriced American when they can have H1B slaves paid nothing and terrified of being deported back to the 3rd world.

maskone909's picture

Its who u know. Was the same shit in nursing. I couldnt get a job for months while all the other classmates scored major gigs. Reason being their filipina aunties got them in. I just trade full time now. But the depression lead to some nasty habits i had to fix. I found out how the real worldworked and it destroyed me. Was a pleasure shorting the nursing school $coco to the ground mother fuckers!!!

Dubaibanker's picture

Wow! This is what degrees get you....The future is here... 

Educated male doctors, male lawyers etc have turned into sex workers in Egypt! 

This is what a weak economy does to the self respect of human beings when earning a wage to survive is not possible with a degree but doing degrading work as as male prostitute is the better option - just in order to survive!????

'Night Men': Male Prostitutes Roam the Streets in Egypt

Read more:

Handful of Dust's picture

I know two mechanical engineers who just got the ax in Houston. Many of those energy companies are still firing ... ooops, I mean 'restructuring.'


Murphy Oil Cutting Jobs in Every Location as Downturn Deepens

Murphy cutting capital spending by 73 percent this year

Murphy Oil Corp. in joining U.S. producers in cutting jobs at home and abroad as a prolonged collapse in crude prices crimps cash flows.


Energy producers from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. to Devon Energy Corp. to Chesapeake Energy Corp. have been shrinking their workforce to weather the worst market rout in a generation. The downturn has deepened globally after claiming more than 250,000 jobs and $100 billion of investment last year as companies become increasingly strapped for cash.



Lostinfortwalton's picture

That is depressing. Several years ago I counseled the son of an old friend to get a degree in Civil Engineering. To my astonishment he did and was able to get on with one of the firms he interned with. He is two years out and making $70,000 with good benefits and doesn't even have his PE liscense yet. Your firiend's son could go into the USAF or Navy as an officer and stay in mechanical engineering field, most likely. Beats moving back in with his parents.

Freddie's picture

Your firiend's son could go into the USAF or Navy as an officer and stay in mechanical engineering field, most likely. Beats moving back in with his parents.

Joining MIC, Zio-Cons and fighting wars for the banksters and elites - ain't much of a way to make a living boy.

At least the Navy is a little better.  One of the job web sites advertises Navy jobs paying $162,000 a year for surface warfare officer.  On  WTF is that?

Lostinfortwalton's picture

That was a recruiting come on. The $162,000 is the value they put on the education you can receive in a sub-speciality, in this case, as a nuclear propulsion officer. I thing the lower level ensigns (2nd lieuteant equivalent) start out around $50,000 and the benefits cannot be beat. Just have your kid stay out of the Army and Marines.

FredFlintstone's picture

I just hired 2 ME's and 2 ME interns. Also an ITT tech grad all within the last couple of months. My son will be an ME grad at the end of the month and had 3 job offers.

Lore's picture

In the USA?  Were they for regular full-time positions with benefits?

FredFlintstone's picture

Ohio. The 4 year grads are pulling down $62 to $64k. The interns will be making $16 to $18/hr and the ITT 2 year grads will make $47k. Cost of living is low here are well.

Don't know how long this will all last, but they are doing better that their friends who chose other paths.

Niall Of The Nine Hostages's picture

Tell him to invest in a sex change. He'll be hired immediately.

Corporations want Girl Fridays. They don't care to give free job training to the young, ambitious man who wants to be their competition one day.

johnconnor's picture

Of course he won't because he is not Indian and at this point they have already taking over all the STEAM jobs and the first thing an indian manager do is to bring more of their clan (region of India where he/she grew up) on H1B over

RaceToTheBottom's picture

That is the real driver, the long term effects of getting a short term cost savings by hiring Indians.

They only hire their own;

They only understand Technology, nothing abut real  business process

And they will decimate your company culture faster than you can say H1B

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Billy Shears Apr 1, 2016 7:01 PM

"Well, the world needs ditch diggers too"

~Judge Smails

Zero Point's picture

No worries. All the jobs requiring degrees in 15th century feminist left handed basket weaving are taken anyway.

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Zero Point Apr 1, 2016 7:23 PM

This is a tragedy!


How is she ever gonna learn how to regurgitate Gordon Wood, talkin' about, you know, the Pre-revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.?

WrongNumber's picture

I work at a Big 10 University and this line rings true for about 70% of the kids there. They believe when they complete their classes these AMAZING jobs are waiting for them the moment they step out of school. Some have been told the jobs they want don't exist yet...but they will soon!

The people running the programs..they have lived their working lives in an educational bubble. There is a incestuous relationship between schools. Most managers know nothing of reality and have lived "on campus" for years. 70K dollars a year selling false promises. 50 year olds fret over their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They worry about TV shows and the latest memes. They cancel meetings because feelings are being hurt by what is happening in the news. They believe the utopian world is just around the corner. Support for the most liberal causes come with veiled threats in case you feel like a dissenter and want to challenge their arguements.

Be afraid of what is coming, many of these kids are the most special snowflakes I have ever met. They truly believe society will bend to their will. I recognize this is a much bigger issue than colleges; it starts with society, it's values, parents, governement. The colleges and people running those show have conned them with empty promises and they are willfully restrained in debt slaves shackles.


NoBillsOfCredit's picture

Your comment need some serious editing to make sense.

Zero Point's picture

Hey grammar cop: Yours needs an "s" and a comma.

Huckleberry Pie's picture

I had a good belly laugh. Thanks.

Zero Point's picture

Lol, no worries, but I think I skipped a comma there myself haha.

Lore's picture

@ NBOC:  Don't be a prig.

I need more asshats's picture

Ah, an article trying to lure in the younger crowd.

Welcome to The Fight Club kiddies. Fasten your fucking seat belt.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Emily, I know it doesn't seem like it now, but this is a good thing!

Go and learn to be an electrician, plumber, mechanic, or other tradesman, and you'll be among the wealthiest of your friends from here on out.

crazzziecanuck's picture

For tradesmen to be prosperous, they need people who can afford to outsource house repairs. If wages all around are being gutted, it's not safe for anyone. Everyone is also telling people to do this so there is a mad rush into trades as a direct reaction to the problems of the post secondary system that will result in gluts.

If you're a household that needs repairs and don't have the money, you tend to do the work yourself. More than what people would imagine they can do.

Lore's picture

Anecdotally, I'm surprised by the helplessness of neighbors who want help with basic tasks like mounting a hose reel or replacing a light fixture. If you have training for something important like electrical or plumbing or masonry, you're an asset to your neighbhorhood.  Cash payment may be replaced to some extent with barter in a SHTF scenario, but the need for your services remains. Such training may be worth considering if you're between careers and looking to add value.  Demand for skilled trades in parts of Canada is mind-boggling. I talk with guys who are turning jobs down regularly because they can't take on any more work.

OverTheHedge's picture

I HATE plumbing. I loathe and despise any work involving pipes and liquids. And yet, with YouTube at hand, everything is possible. Oh, and lots and lots of swearing helps.

I rebuilt the dishwasher a while ago - much to my surprise, I might add.

Got to love YouTube

DCFusor's picture

And that's why things like plumbing pay.  You're not alone in a large way.  I hate plumbing too, yet built a rain collection and water processing system for my off-grid homestead - something even a pro plumber wouldn't touch due to various fears of violating "the rules".   Oh, in a building I built myself, and I'm no carpenter.  Somehow, it stands anyway.

Ditto my solar power system.  I'm an EE (among other things) yet hate basic wiring and infrastructure, I'd rather be designing chips or data acquisition gear.  But again, no licensed electricition would tackle this and do it the way I wanted for fear of retribution from inspectors.

(Funny, years later a building inspector "dropped by" and I showed him my stuff - which includes a fairly impressive physics lab.  He asked "how long has all this been here.  "About 10 years".  Any issues?  "No, works fine".  "Come to my office and fill out a few forms and give us a couple hundred and we're good".  Ok.  I never did it, and he forgot.  The joys of country living.)

In all cases the tradesmen I contacted expected sky-high rates (and wanted to build thing costing 3x what is necessary), and while I'm not poor by a long shot, I recoiled.

Seems like all work considered "nasty" by the pansies, um, special snowflakes, out there is high pay and in demand.  They can't be bothered to shift for themselves.  Initiative has long been how one gets ahead - do what others shy away from and be thanked financially and socially.

But also, youtube, books (I'm old skool) and advice from pros - learn yourself, you'll save money on your own stuff and have a way to make more from others, fiats or barter.

RopeADope's picture

Postgraduate cost in ~1993 was $1900 per semester for maybe 1.5 years. Now it is $43,000 per year for 2 years and at least 1 semester of that is material that used to be covered in the undergraduate degree.

That is a 1400% increase.

Enough with the pretending that higher education in the US is not a complete ass-fucking of American youth.

gwar5's picture

C'mon, I think an education can still affordable and a good idea.

You can go to community college the first two years very cheaply and even live with mom and dad to save more. Then transfer to a state college and graduate with a useful degree and you can have a yourself a big leg up on life without the huge debt hangover.

You could also declare that you self identify as an
African American and get yourself a free ride.