Is College a Scam?


is college a scamWith college costs increasing nine-fold since 1976, a lot of parents are balking at shelling out for their kids this fall. James Altucher says that's just fine. Great, in fact, and goes on to say that the college degree industry is a huge scam.

We have been programmed to believe that without a college degree you can only work in minimum wage jobs, or will have to resign yourself to manual labor. But I know more than a handful of people who have succeeded wildly without that piece of paper.

So how can kids make it if they don't head to the U?

Altchuer suggests you take the money you were going to spend on tuition, books and housing and give your kid $20,000 to start a business, or a few businesses. Giving them that kind of head start, he feels, is equivalent to a college degree.

When Altchuer cites the stats that say the income disparity between a college grad and a non-college grad winds up being $800,000, he again advises to invest that $200,000 you would spend on a four- or eight-year degree (it costs that much??) and that will put your child ahead of the game, yielding $851,000 after 49 years, in a conservative estimate.

Other suggestions for widening your child's horizons without college include, letting your child travel the world for a year before hitting the work force, have your child volunteer or simply put them to work the day after high school is over.

I hope my kids go to college. It's an opportunity to meet a variety of people from around the world and learn about topics that simply don't come up on a regular basis once you're out of academia. (I'm thinking fondly about my Medieval History course.) Also, it's a time where you're developing your own identity, away from parental control but without the responsibilities of a full-fledged grown-up. I want my kids to have that breather.

I appreciate my college years for more than simply the degrees I earned. Do I wish I wasn't still paying off my student loan? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Do you think college is a scam?

Image via alamosbasement/Flickr

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kelli... kelli0585

Any opportunity to educate yourself is not a scam.

I just read the full article.  Actually, he makes a lot of sense.  He doesn't completely negate college.  He recommends travelling the world or getting some work experience beforehand, and THEN go to college when you are more mature, and able to appreciate and afford it. 

That's exactly what I'm doing.  I made a huge mess of my transcript when I was 18.  I didn't officially drop out.  Instead, I partied, didn't go to class and consequently failed.  I was immature, "engaged," and working a full time job to pay rent. 

I ended up moving to a different city, joined a few bands, made music, toured and travelled, volunteered, joined grassroots organizations, and gained many life experiences.

I'm going back to school right now.  I'm a single parent, more mature, with tons work experience.  I have a deeper appreciation for education and am currently thriving in my courses.  Yeah, I had to learn a few valuable lessons, but for the most part, I have no regrets.  Dare I say. . .I'm glad that it didnt' work out at 18, or I wouldn't have found the opportunities that I had in the past few years. 

At 25, I've "lived" more than many people that I know.  Wouldn't trade it in for anything!


KatieP. KatieP.

depends on the degree. My engineering degree is worth a pretty decent salary, and was definitly worth every penny. while some arts degrees certainitly are interesting and nice to have they don't guarentee a good job right out of college and spending that money on something else may be more worthwhile, ie if you study art and don't ever want a 9-5 job then it may be more worth while to spend the money on opening your own gallery or studio or whatever.

Jesse... JessecaLynn

There are definately jobs that you do need a degree in and the time in college to learn that job.  That is besides the other benefits that you get from college.  The friendships, networking opportunities, and relationships that you won't get from just going straight to work.  I really hope that my children go to college to get the education and experience from college.

scien... science_spot

College is not a scam.  Many student scam the system and get their diploma by skating through the college years doing the minimum work possible, but they do themselves a disservice. 

A college education is one of many tools available to people who want to make themselves more employable.  While a collecge education is required for many good jobs (or to move up from your current job), it certainly is not required for all good jobs.  Each person needs to be familiar with the requirements for any career path they are interested in.  For example, you may not want to bother with a traditional college education if you want to be a chef - hands on experience and trade school would serve you better than a biology degree, no matter how good your GPA is.



Pnukey Pnukey

I love learning for the sake of learning. I learned my way to a BA and an MS degree. Now, I sit up to my elbows in student loans, and haven't had a job for 2 years. Was it a sham? Perhaps, a bit.

Carey... Carey2006

No...but costs have gotten totally out of hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially with in the last 15-20 years!!!!!!!!!!!!

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