A program on PBS that aired in May of 2011 attracted much attention. The discussion question of the day was, “Is a College Diploma Worth the Soaring Student Debt?” As a parent, what worries me is the uncertainty of what the educational landscape will look like by the time my girls are ready to attend university. I think this debate is important. I find myself asking many questions…
- Is education intrinsically valuable at all times, in all circumstances, and for all children?
- When is it and when isn’t it worth the debt to get a BA degree?
- Does a UCLA graduate who delivers pizza and has a $60,000 debt really have an advantage in life when compared to an 18-year-old who delivers pizza and has no debt? If so, what is this advantage? Does the advantage depend on the person’s goals post-university? What if an 18-year-old is not ready to determine whether their career path requires a diploma?
- Are there other equally valid ways for our children to gain critical knowledge? Does it always have to be in a classroom? (Such as joining AmeriCorps, the army, or traveling the world?)
- Can our children be successful in life without a college education?