Got Time for 9 Essays on: Do We Spend Too Much on Education?

It’s back to school — and homework — now for all three members of our Mod Squad. Only appropriate, then, to assign homework for the parents.

I will be reading the New York Times “Room for Debate” series of essays on Education, titled:  Do We Spend Too Much on Education?

In case you’ve not seen them, the “Room for Debate” discussions bring in outside contributors to discuss multiple sides of an issue on a wide variety of important topics.

Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel. Image via Wikipedia

See the current Room for Debate on Education here. It begins, for example, with an essay by Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, who has offered $100,000 each to 20 people under 20 years old, in order to spur them to quit college and create their own ventures.

There are nine essays in this Education series; here’s the intro:

Americans are spending more and more on education, but the resulting credentials — a high-school diploma and college degrees — seem to be losing value in the labor market.

Americans who go to college are triply hurt by this. First, as taxpayers: state and federal education budgets have ballooned since the 1950s. Second, as consumers: the average college student spends $17,000 a year on school, and those with loans graduate more than $23,000 in debt. And third, as a worker: in 1970, an applicant with a college degree was among an elite 11 percent, but now almost 3 in 10 adults have a degree.

Given that a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree and even graduate school are no longer a ticket to middle-class life, and all these years of education delay the start of a career, does our society devote too much time and money to education?

Sounds like just the sort of question parents of a HS senior should be asking. Let me know if you read these as well and, if so, what’s your take on the debate? Please comment below…

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Filed under Paying for College

2 responses to “Got Time for 9 Essays on: Do We Spend Too Much on Education?

  1. Sure, a lot is spent on education and a college degree; however there are many benefits to a degree that outweigh the financial benefits. For example; learning for just the sake of learning, sharpening your reasoning and analytical skills, showing perseverance by setting goals and then accomplishing them. The jobs aren’t here now but what if they are 10 years from now?

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