I think the cost of “higher education” plus the “benefits” of a college degree are ridiculous. I went to a local community college in the 1960s where tuition was $50 a semester plus lab fees and books and a parking permit. I commuted to school and lived at home with my parents, worked in the family business and did my chores without complaint. No student loans. I did have a scholarship that paid my tuition. I was studying to become a school teacher which was one of only 3 career choices for women at the time (other were nursing or secretarial/bookkeeping). They were really pushing for teachers at the time which meant the career path was full of aspiring teachers when I graduated after 4 years.
I married and had a family but had to reenter the work force in the 1970s. There was a surplus of teachers and few positions opening up. God opened up a new career path for me in social work, Children’s Protective Services. No, I was NOT one of those child snatchers. I worked with parents to keep their families intact. During the course of following that path, the State of Texas made a stipend plan available to its employees and I was able to go into a Master’s Degree plan for Social Work. No student loans. I agreed to work for the state for a specified period of time and signed a contract and I worked full-time and went to classes on the weekends, spending one semester on campus as a full-time student.
I retired from Social Work in 2011 after working with people from the cradle to the grave. I worked for the State, for hospitals in discharge planning and social work, for Hospice and Home Health, and as a mental health therapist in nursing homes and eventually in a locked unit for adolescents.
College was NOT playtime for me. I was not in a sorority and neither were my friends. I lived life much as I had as a high school student. Yes, there were football games to go to and social events, even a political rally or two but for I was there to prepare for teaching junior high/middle school and high school subjects, English and history. Little did I know that most history teachers were actually in the coaching profession and taught history as a side line and their wives (former cheerleaders) did the same with the English classes. Rude awakening.
Now the colleges have multi-million dollar athletic complexes and stadiums. The coaches are millionaires and make money on the side endorsing products (shoes, vitamins, sporting equipment, vehicles, etc.). Is it any wonder the colleges are turning out a “me” centered group of child-adults who majored in the easy “Mickey Mouse” courses of study that amount to a big nothing at all?