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College: Useful or Not?

September 7, 2006

Here’s a provocative article from the Chicago RedEye (a Chicago Tribune spinoff) on the merits of dropping out of college.

Because of the maturity level of most high school students these days, I’m not sure that any article pointing out the demerits of college is constructive. Even thoughtful and caring high school students often do not possess the tools of the liberal arts today (i.e. solid reasoning skills, the ability to empathize, knowledge of ethics). I will concede that college doesn’t universally rectify those inadequacies, but at least it gives ‘the system’ another chance to turn out more mature, thoughtful citizens. – TL

PS – The paper version of the article contained a footer highlighting famous people who never completed college. There’s nothing like seeing America’s star system put to good use. – TL

PSS – Sept. 12, 2006 Update: Here’s a CNN article on the costs of not completing high school. It’s steeper in the U.S. than in any other country on the planet. There’s something else for the “Is-schooling-useful?” crowd to consider. To be fair, perhaps many in the anti-college crowd would recoil at the idea of not finishing high school? I hope so. – TL


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  1. I can hardly see any merits in dropping out of college. There will always be exceptions in all domains of gifted individuals having built up their status without needing that much. But the system is there for the mass, and the majority of people do belong to the mass who need a systematic and agreed upon path to follow aiming a successful contribution to the common society.

    Rabah Qial


  2. Rabah – But even the gifted benefit from the system, especially in college when they're generally outside the eyes of their mostly over-protective parents. It's for the gifted that school generally, and college in particular, grants social benefits. Plus, how can the gifted be hurt by continually perfecting the skills they have? Professors have a lot wisdom (if not knowledge) to offer about their fields. Except for reasons to do with pride, why should the gifted receive a free pass on college? – TL


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