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?


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