Google auto-complete can tell you a lot. I just typed “college is” into the search field, and the four choices are: … a waste of time … the next bubble …. overrated … not for everyone.
Hmm. Seems everywhere I look these days people (from economists to politicians to recent college grads to educators) are saying increasingly negative things about the value of a degree.
Homeschooling parents sometimes have a lot of anxiety about their kids getting into a good college. I think this worry is unnecessary for several reasons.
For one, college isn’t for everyone. (There’s that Google suggestion again.) My oldest son, for example, decided a year ago that what he wanted to do “when he grows up” is to be a luthier. This is really perfect, since the profession combines his two passions: woodworking and guitar. It doesn’t require a college degree, but it does require going to luthier school.
A boy and his (handmade, custom) guitar. Next stop, Luthier School
If your child wants to be a doctor, scientist or engineer, then college is probably the right path for them. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard for these kids is to simply figure out which college(s) they want to apply to, and follow their admissions guidelines. (This would usually require keeping really good records of one’s achievements in high school and a focus on excellent standardized test scores.)
US News & World Report: Homeschoolers well-equipped for college.
For the other young people, they can avoid student debt, begin earning meaningful income sooner, embrace entrepreneurism, and skip the negative aspects of college life (I doubt I need to spell that out) by becoming a hackademic.
A few more resources for those who want an alternate route to a great education:
The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education – this is one of my favorite homeschooling books of all time. A must read for homeschooling parents of teens – and the teens themselves.