A century ago, a year’s tuition at Harvard University cost just $150, while Stanford and many state universities charged nothing for tuition. Today, a year’s tuition at Harvard University costs $43,938 without financial aid; and for tuition, room, board, and fees combined, total cost of attending Harvard is $62,250.
To bring things into perspective: consumer price index witnessed a 2,263% rise over the past 100 years, but tuition costs saw a staggering increase of 42,930% in the same period.
In 1996, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that over a 15-year period, average tuition at 4-year public colleges for in-state, full-time students increased 234%, while median household income increased 82% and the Consumer Price Index increased 74%.
In 2015, a federal report found that American families with incomes of up to $31,000 paid, on average, $12,300 (equivalent of 40% of their annual income) to send a child to a public university, after grants and scholarships were subtracted.
With college tuition rising faster than household income and inflation; with $1.3 trillion of outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. (President George W. Bush signed a bill into law in 2005 which made it so that no student loan debt could be discharged through bankruptcy like other debt); and with college degrees becoming less and less useful in guaranteeing a job; students are challenging the value of college, and whether college education is necessary to succeed. After all, it wasn’t necessary for Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Richard Branson.
After Jeremy Rossmann dropped out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology to start the first anti-college in 2012, Billy Willson dropped out of Kansas State University over a college debt scam.
In a viral Facebook post, Willson laid out his case for why he was dropping out, despite finishing his first semester with a 4.0 GPA:
“Now that I’ve finished my first semester I think it’s safe to say… FUCK COLLEGE. Now before all you of you go batshit crazy… I have a few points to make:
“1. Yes I have dropped out after finishing my first semester (with a 4.0 GPA). And it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Not because I am averse to learning, but actually the exact opposite.
“2. YOU ARE BEING SCAMMED. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will see it someday. Heck you may have already seen it if you’ve been through college. You are being put thousands into debt to learn things you will never even use. Wasting 4 years of your life to be stuck at a paycheck that grows slower than the rate of inflation. Paying $200 for a $6 textbook. Being taught by teacher’s who have never done what they’re teaching. Average income has increased 5x over the last 40 years while cost of college has increased 18x. You’re spending thousands of dollars to learn information you won’t ever even use just to get a piece of paper. I once even had an engineer tell me “I learned more in my first 30 days working than in my 5 years of college.” What does that tell you about this system? There are about a million more ways you’re being scammed into this… just watch the video I’m gonna comment if you want to see more.
“3. Colleges are REQUIRING people to spend money taking gen. ed. courses to learn about the quadratic formula (and other shit they will never use) when they could be giving classes on MARRIAGE and HOW TO DO YOUR TAXES.”
Willson had been studying architectural engineering at K-State but now he plans to pursue his own business — RaveWave, an electronic store that sells merchandise, clothing and paraphernalia for the electronic dance music community.
Although, the reaction to Willson’s post is varied, he has started selling t-shirts online to help raise awareness for the scam that college has been and is becoming. Apparently 10% of the profits will go to the Boys and Girls Club of America to support and grow underprivileged youth in becoming leaders of tomorrow.
“I quickly realized that I was learning so much more outside of class than I was inside of class by reading and informational videos on YouTube. I feel like there are a lot of other students just like me who are really driven to learning and it doesn’t matter what the platform is, they’ll learn anywhere they go.”
Do you agree with Willson? Is college unnecessary? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below…
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Thank you. This is the counseling we need and should be receiving before going to college. Best wishes.
I’m not sending my kids to any college after reading this.on the job training is were its at.
You didn’t even read the whole post..what you should do is let your kids explore what they like and help them pursue it… College only gets you mainstream information which most likely won’t be getting in use unless you work for a company like the rest of the people that he calls out.
Don’t force them on a job, check out what they are interested in
(I dropped out of top IT school in France two weeks ago. I can now put a lot more time and effort on my projects (on the same subject) and learn whatever the college gives me for free in 1/4 of the time)
Of course it’s a waste of time and money, I come from one of European countries and I moved to the states in 8th grade and finished high school here but the thing was I already learned almost everything by 8th grade there what they were teaching us by the 12th here, then I found out if I had finished high school over there I would of had more knowledge if I finished 4 years of college, I always thought it was a scam cuz they won’t teach you enough at high school level so you would have to go to college, and worst part is that companies won’t hire a person that has 10 years of experience in their field but they chose the one with a peace of paper and no experience and no clue how is done in real life. Hands on works best for me and guess what I make more than majority of college graduates and I’m happier, I make around 75k and hopefully in few years it will go up
Now watch the corporate world make this story look like a scam itself. Good stuff Sir Billy Willson!
This fellow was going to be an architectural engineers but will now go into retail merchandising. Architectural engineering requires a degree. Merchandising doesn’t. Good enough.
College textbooks are a scam. Tuitions are far too high.
It is true that college is expensive. On the other hand you must have a degree to work in certain professions. So if you want to sell shirts then sure, don’t go to college. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, social worker etc. then you must go to college. I also think that Gen Ed courses can be helpful because many times students don’t know what they want to do yet. Gen Ed allows you to learn about different types of professions. My husband thought he wanted to be an engineer. He took gen ed courses and realized he wanted to be a social worker. College is a time to learn about different topics, explore different professions, and learned specialized skills.
Quote: “College is a time to learn about different topics, explore different professions”
I disagree. I think high school is the place for that.
Yes, college is too expensive and costs are accelerating out of all proportion to the rest of our society. In large part that’s because we as a society are investing less in education and putting more of the burden on families. HOWEVER:
1) The writer clearly needs college so that he can learn to use plural (teachers) instead of possessive form in writing when appropriate. His grammar and sentence structure is also lacking.
2) College is not supposed to teach you about “marriage and how to do your taxes”. Generally, “marriage” (what exactly about marriage does he want to learn?) is a matter of personal choice, customs, culture, and personal maturity: These are not things an educational system can (or should) teach. “How to do your taxes” would be simple if he paid attention to that math class he scoffs about.
3) College isn’t teaching you things you’ll never use. You will simply use them in ways you don’t expect. Although I formally studied history, psychology, theater arts, and economics, among other things, I use my math skills (algebra) every day as a successful business owner. I use theater skills every time I apply for a loan or close a business deal. I use history every time I decipher the bull**** that is politics these days, and I use psychology 24/7 to make be a better parent and human. Higher level reasoning and thinking skills come in various “majors” and descriptions, but they provide a baseline for learning that last a lifetime.
4) I smell a rat: Looks like this is all a set-up to promote his new business.
I mean, I’m a plant molecular biologist. I would lie if I said college was optional for doing this job. That being said, certain fields of knowledge can be easily replaced with self-study, while others require you guided, focused learning, because you have no clue what is relevant and what isn’t on this jungle that is the Internet. Selling stuff is one of the least socially relevant things a man can do, because it doesn’t produce anything of value. US is probably one of the places you do not want to go for anything but a college with scholarship for being gifted. Europe is where you get solid basic knowledge before college and only marginally less excellent science than US. FOR FREE most of the time. That is the scam, education is a basic human right, not another tool of financial enslavement.
Trying being in the medical profession with out schooling? Or obtaining a law degree! With which you pay your tuitions off with in the first years. And from that point on are making a very comfortable amount of money after that. Selling stuff to the party community, great direction our world is going in. You have fun selling clothes and stuff to a bunch of druggie drop outs!! Why is this even news??
Seriously??? this wussy only took 1 semester people, don’t make him out to be some kind of genius.
As Foxworthy would say
If you think this guy is a hero…You might be a Millennial! (And Not smarter than a fifth grader)