By Bill Maher
Is going to college still even worth
it? College grads are coming out with degrees, yes – and herpes – but
also with student loan debt totaling $60,000, $80,000, $100,00. These
kids haven’t even gotten started in their careers and they’re already
saddled with what’s tantamount to a full mortgage. In this sucky
economy, graduates find themselves back in their old bedrooms at their
parents’ homes, taking jobs in the service industry that they could have
gotten without a college degree.
The cost of higher education in the US
has soared in recent decades while median incomes have stagnated. The
California State University schools raised their tuitions
for the second time in less than a year, making this year’s tuition
over 23% higher than the previous fall’s. And those are just the most
recent increases. Attending a Cal State school now costs twice what it
cost just back in 2007. And that’s not even counting the price of weed.
The old canard is that people with
bachelor’s degrees make twice as much as high school graduates over
their careers. But average starting salaries for college graduates just
fell 10% and, if you take into account the higher income taxes paid by
college grads and the four to six years they spend out of the job market
getting their degrees, is that $60,000 to $100,000 in college loan debt
really worth it?
And is the degree really worth it? A
new comprehensive study of college grading over the decades finds that
just about everybody who pays their tuition bills is deemed exceptional.
43% of letter grades awarded today are A’s as compared to just 15% back
in 1960. By 2008, A’s and B’s represented 73% of all grades awarded at
public colleges and 86% of all grades awarded at private colleges. It’s
Lake Wobegon, “Where all the children are above average.” And that’s in
spite of studies that show college students spend far less time studying
today than they did decades ago.
If everybody is a genius, aren’t you
paying $100,000 to $150,000 just to get your ticket stamped? You’re not
buying an education so much as you’re buying a degree with a commendable
GPA. Has the college degree with a B average become just a consumer
product you can buy with a $100,000 loan? Wouldn’t a bright, industrious
kid be better off in this economy to just jump into the job market and
try to excel through merit?