What Colleges Don’t Want You to Know (and How It Will Jeopardize Your Future)

school sucks

Let me know if this sounds familiar. You go to elementary school. Middle school. High school. College. And if you are really smart and like the academic world (or just unemployed), you go to graduate school. Everyone is doing it, right?

Well, I’m here to tell you:

Don’t go to college. Don’t go to graduate school.

Don’t go to college. Don’t go to graduate school.

Don’t go to college. Don’t go to graduate school.

Of course, there are exceptions to this. If you want to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or any other profession that needs specialized training, then it would make total sense to go to college and graduate school. (Be warned. And I am telling you this as a future doctor. If you choose one of the “respected” professions for the money, you will be sorely disappointed. The money will be less than you think. And the demands for your time will be greater than expected.)

So why am I telling you not go to college or graduate school? Isn’t more schooling good for you? Not always. Getting a higher education will seriously hinder your future. There are millions of people in the US who are so excessively burdened by their student loans, they will never be able to pay them off completely. Let me give you some statistics by the American Student Assistance, a non-profit group “that helps students and families manage higher education debt”:

  • Of the 37 million borrowers who have outstanding student loan balances, 14%, or about 5.4 million borrowers, have at least one past due student loan account.
  • Of the $870 billion – $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, approximately $85 billion is past due.
  • Only about 37 percent of federal student loan borrowers between 2004 and 2009 managed to make timely payments without postponing payments or becoming delinquent.
  • For every student loan borrower who defaults, at least two more borrowers become delinquent without default.
  • Two out of five student loan borrowers – or 41% – are delinquent at some point in the first five years after entering repayment.
  • Student loans account for the most common form of increasing debt among ages 18 – 24.

To add salt to injury, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. And the diplomas are not as valuable as they look. (Why else do you think the delinquency rate so high, at 41%?) The stupid decision of borrowing too much for a useless diploma (one you made while you were 18 – 21) will haunt you for life.

What Colleges & Universities Don’t Want You to Know

This is what colleges and universities don’t want you to know:

They charge you an arm and a leg for a false hope of a better future.

Let me explain. Colleges are not there to educate you. They are not there to give you a better future. They are there to make money. Everything they do is to make money. They are a business.

Colleges’ Genius Strategy

If you closely follow the expenditures of many universities, you will see that a large percent of the budget goes toward their own sports teams. They build large stadiums. They recruit the best athletes from high schools to have the best teams and to win championships. Winning brings fame and recognition to the school, which attract students to attend the school. What do sports have to do with your education? Pretty much nothing.

They raise tuition much, much higher than the rate of inflation, not for your benefit, but because they can. The increase in tuition is not for your education. It is used to beautify the campus, to open state-of-the-art food courts, to build sport stadiums, and and anything else that turns college into a resort rather than a place to learn. Doing so attracts lots and lots of students. High school seniors are fighting over each other to get in and to hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend. Millions of students have bought into the lie that they will make “a lot” of money in the future, so there will be no problem paying off the loans. Once they realize the truth, it is too late. They cannot return their diploma for a refund. They are forever shackled by the debt until they can repay (which some can never do in their lifetimes).

By focusing on entertainment over education, the schools are able to increase their application pool substantially. More students applying means the average GPA and the average SAT score of the application pool are higher. These increase ranking in the US News, which attracts even more students (aka cash cows, which the schools will milk for all their worth).

The money is going everywhere but education. This is why many courses are taught by monotone researchers who don’t want to teach, or the immigrant TA with the heavy accent. They are cheap labor. From a business point of view, this is a genius strategy (for the schools).

However, you as the student pay the price. And if you default on the loan and totally ruin your credit score, your wage will be garnished until you can repay. If you cannot repay, the taxpayers paid the price, for it was their money that funded your education. Colleges and universities have absolutely nothing to lose if you learn or not, if you are successful or not. Hey, they already got your money, right?

Alex, You Got It All Wrong!

You may say that you do not attend college for an education, but for the experience and degree. You are there to get drunk, hook up, and go wild. And after 4 years of debauchery, you get a degree at the end. Sounds good, right?

Well, not really. And here is why:

You are overpaying for your experience. You can get your experience (which will be most definitely an even wilder experience) without going to school, for a fraction of the price. How? Go to Bangkok, Thailand. Backpack through Amsterdam, Netherlands. Set up a temporary residence in Medellín, Colombia. When I was abroad, I had an easier access to alcohol, drugs, and women. My choice to use them was a different story. (And if you stay around, you may read about my experiences later.)

Your degree means nothing. Sorry to break it to you, but your diploma doesn’t mean anything. It is only worth as much as the paper it is printed on. Millions of diplomas are given out every year. So how does yours stand out exactly? What the diploma tells me and your future employers is that you paid massive money to be a lemming, a part of the crowd. Totally forgettable. Totally replaceable.

What does a bachelor’s degree mean?

  • You took a bunch of bullcrap courses to learn information you may never use in your life.
  • You passed some multiple-choice exam.
  • You were able to follow instructions from professors and administrators.

When you are done with school, wouldn’t it make sense for your boss to expect the same? Follow instructions, complete paper work, and become just another cog in the business?

Make Your Money and Time Count

The amount of money and time spent pursuing higher education must be viewed as an investment. Are the $100,000 – $200,000 in tuition and the 4 year time commitment a good price to pay, to be like everyone else?

For many people, the answer is no.

It’s Not About Degrees, It’s About Skills

So what should you do?

If you are reading this before attending college, you are fortunate. Think long and hard before going. If you are currently in college, think about dropping out. And if have already attended and graduated from college, you need to alter your mindset.

Do not focus on degrees. Focus on skills and how you can get paid for your skills. Usually, the skills people pay for offer them some kind of benefit. So if you must attend college, think twice about a degree that offers no skills, such as “women’s studies. “

If I was a fresh high school graduate, I would definitely not rush off to college. I doubt I would ever go. Instead, I would:

  1. take $2000 and build an online business. An online business is really cheap to set up. And if I fail, I would not lose too much money.
  2. immerse myself with books that interest me. Libraries have a whole bunch of books, which I can borrow for free.
  3. get a job as a sales person. I would pick a company that trains me how to find clients and how to present the product. I would avoid companies that says, “Approach all your friends and family members and try to get them to buy a product because they like you or feel sorry for you.”

By building my business and reading books, I would have taught myself so much more than I could ever learn in business school. And by learning how to sell, I can write my own meal ticket. If a person is bringing in the money, he is too valuable to fire.

In my opinion, everyone should learn how to operate a business and how to sell. Everyone. After 4 years, you will make enough money to live on, without the crushing student debt.

But if you do not want to build a business or learn how to sell, you still have other options that is infinitely more attractive than going to college.

Travel abroad and explore. If you stay in a country long enough, you will learn another language. If you stay in a country for 4 years, you will become fluent in another language. Make sure you befriend the locals instead of hanging around other expats.

Volunteer in anything that interests you. Do not settle for something menial, like filing and other clerical work. Do something meaningful that interests you. So if you like animals, volunteer in an animal shelter and learn how to take care of animals. If you like people, learn how to organize events. The opportunities are only limited by your own imagination.

Even better, get hired and get paid. You may have to start out low on the totem pole. Maybe even offer to work for free for a limited amount of time (like a trial period). But if you can keep acquiring skills and keep on doing a good job, your boss may like you enough to give you increased responsibility and increased pay. After 4 years of working, you should be making decent money, probably more than what a college graduate would make.

Basically, do anything but college and bumming around.

If you would like to acquire skills (and ultimately a job) by doing the things you want to do and by developing relationships with influential people, be sure to check out the free e-book, The Recession-Proof Graduate. Although the author claims that you can get a job within a year of finishing college, a more accurate claim is that you can get a job within a year — period, even without college.

Top Players Play a Totally Different Game

I have news for you. There are some people who will never have a hard time finding a job. They never have to send out resumes and cover letters to thousands of companies, hoping to get an interview. In fact, these are the very same people that headhunters and companies try very hard to recruit. They are known as the top players. They get constantly get lucrative offers. And as a result, they constantly jump ship to the bigger and better opportunities.

What does the top players have that other people don’t?

Certainly, it cannot be degrees, since everyone has them. These are not the type of people who collect degrees like baseball cards (although many of these people are very well education and have some type of higher education). The main difference is that they can produce results. They can generate massive revenue for their employer. Or, they are so key that a business would be worse off without them.

In the The 80/20 Principle, author Richard Koch calls top players the 20%. These 20% produce 80% of the results. Without the 20%, a business will be only be a fraction of what it currently is.

You don’t need the proper credentials. You don’t need degrees. You need the proper skills. So acquire the skills to become the 20%. And you will play the game in a whole new way. If you are a top player, your boss cannot afford to let you go.

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Comments

  1. Hey Alex could post a link or a search query I could use to find the expenditures of college?

    Thanks

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