Research shows that with the exception of vocational type college majors such as engineering, accounting and finance, career students probably do as well or better than average college grads — those majoring in the humanities and other liberal arts areas such as sociology. And engineering is not for everyone. Only the top 5% or 10% have the ability and drive for these more difficult programs.

In addition, there should be no student or parent fees for public school career training, and students may be able to put money in their pockets at age 16 or 17 rather than at age 22 or 23, which is often the case with students today who struggle through college. It cost about $120,000 (loans, tuition, plus the cost for leaving the workforce for 4-5 years) to pursue a college education. Mark Peters and Douglas Belkin, “Bachelor’s Degree Payoff Can Seem Elusive,” The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2014.

And that six-year difference between age 24 and age 17 represents 29% of the 24-year-old student’s life at that time!

Let’s remember that undergraduate loans alone are in the neighborhood of $30,000 and yet the February – March 2014 Gallup Poll of 30,000 college graduates showed that only 4% of those with an undergraduate debt of $30,000 were thriving in their work environment.

There are lots of good things about college, but money should probably not be the primary motivator.elephant 003

The Elephant in the Classroom.