Sandra Dodd

Hard to name this subject. :-)

Below is a link to a new article from the UK, so the terminology will confuse Americans and those from other educational systems.

“College” has people who are 16, 17, 18, and haven’t gone to university.
It’s not like American “college (a two-or-four year school for post-high-school). For the sake of Brit readers, our “university” will also offer a master’s degree or PhD, but colleges might only go as far as a bachelor’s degree.

Anyway, the article says that many of the schools are no longer pressing all their students to aim for university degrees, for liberal arts, but are helping them get more practical skills. And it talks about why.

This information might help you as unschoolers, and there might be grandparents or other friends or relatives who are worried about whether your kids can or will go to university who would feel better seeing that article.

If any of you know other articles about universities being less desireable than they once were, about the expense or the changing value of the degrees, please bring those links here and I’ll collect some for the future.

There was an article on a finance site five or six years ago (?) about the cost of a university degree, and the financial advantage, with the cost of student loans. They compared that to just having put all that money in the bank and collecting interest, and the degrees seemed to be a bad financial deal. If anyone remembers that or could find it. that would be good. There might be an updated version.

If someone wants to do / be / know something that requires a degree, they will want to do that! This is a whole different thing from going just because high school (or UK college) is over, and it’s time to go to the university. If it’s something parents make a child do just because the neighbors are looking, it’s probably not as good a use of money and energy as lots of other things might be.

Another thing rarely factored in is the money that could have been made by the person working during those years, and being a few years further along in a job that universities don’t and can’t even train for. Stories like that are worth collecting, too. Or articles about that.


Sandra Dodd

-=-Is this the article you were thinking of?

It's an interesting equation. And I like that they consider inflation, fees and taxes in the bottom line. -=-

That’s not the one, but it looks good for a collection. Thank you for finding and bringing it!

I’ve known some families who invested in a kid’s musical interest (helped outfit a band, or bought other equipment), and who supported artists getting started and such. Some question along the lines of

“What if” not-college

is what I’m vaguely kind of fishing for. :-)

If “not college” is failure for school kids, can we manage to see it as success on the different plane we find ourselves on?

My son Kirby has worked since he was 14, and has been a manager of teams since he was 22 or so. He’s 31. Zero debt (well, some to his parents), owns a car, has a mortgage. Takes care of his wife and her daughter; plans to adopt the daughter when the law allows.

Those are “marking of success” as people say. But to some people they will ask about college, and if he says no degree, some community college, they won’t be listening anymore. SO much pro-university-degree prejudice in the world, maybe especially among those with lots of student debt and no glorious jobs. They need to think it was worth it, to be out of the job market, to suffer through tests and papers, to find out they couldn’t easily get a job because of it… it could make them mean.