How could I even think such a thought? But many of my cherished and longstanding beliefs on education have undergone changes over the past few years. To wit: the virtue of private liberal arts colleges, a la Oberlin and the like. I was saving up for these, but when it came to the decision, we went for free public institutions over pricy (even with some merit aid) colleges. I think Mr. FS and I feel more agony over the decision than my children do. Had we only had one income, and our children thereby eligible for full need aid, then it would have perhaps been a different story. Likewise, if we had higher incomes or wealthy families backing us up.
Two cases I have heard of late are making me ask "Is college necessary?"
Case 1: Talented musician, mediocre student. Got into out-of-state college with good music department. Received instate tuition, but entered on academic probation. After 3 years of Ds in all subjects other than music performance, he is taking a year off and working in a restaurant. The manager loves him and suggested that he think of a career in restaurant management. The restaurant in question is part of the empire run by a superstar Louisiana chef. He has a significant amount of student debt. What would be the point of his getting a college degree?
Case 2: Heard this one yesterday. Academically talented student, only child, attended prestigious lefty New York college. Suffered a tragedy: her boyfriend died suddenly of a congenital condition. Took leave from college. Working as buyer in mother's uber-successful clothing boutique. She is brainy enough to learn on her own. Or she could avail herself of the many nearby colleges. What is the point of her getting a degree?
That I--a true believer in art for art's sake--even entertain such thoughts is a shocker.
What do you think?