Tuesday, May 1, 2012
College: Public or Private?
I heard a story on NPR this morning about the rising costs of liberal arts educations and the question of whether or not these top-tier schools are preparing students for the workplace once they graduate. With the decline in the economy and lack of jobs, many parents, educators and employers question studying Plato and Socrates for four years, while amassing tens of thousands of dollars in debt, with no job prospects in sight. While a young person may have a degree in philosophy or French from an elite private college, will his or her counterpart who studied business or engineering at a state university be far more likely to find a job? (For the entire story, see and listen to an excerpt from “Economy Puts Value of Liberal Arts Under Scrutiny.”)
This can be argued both ways and my husband and I can view it from both sides.
Hubby went to a small, private liberal arts college (above). Here he is enjoying that fine education and all it had to offer.
I went to a large state school (above). Sorry, couldn't track down a photo of me in the early 1990s. Count your blessings.
We both majored in English. We’re fortunate to be English majors who are gainfully employed in the corporate world. And, Hubby one-upped me by earning a masters in international diplomacy and commerce. From my alma mater, though. :)
So, when it comes time for our kids to start looking at colleges, we can see the pros and cons of going small-private or large-public. Of course, finances are going to have a huge bearing on the decision. From the time they were babies, I tried to teach them to say, "scholarship." Seriously, if I have to send my kids to a learning center or tutor to bump up test scores, or enroll them in every sports clinic available to get an edge on athletic scholarships, I’ll consider doing it. Education is the foundation for success. I truly believe that.
That being said, mommy and daddy want to retire one day, kids. And we can’t borrow for our retirement. So, be ready to help pay your way. Yes, I’m serious. No, you can’t go to the University of Hawaii and minor in surfing.
What are your thoughts on higher education? Public or private? And for those kids who may not mesh with a 4-year college setting, what are your thoughts on trade schools? Please share!Images from NPR-Boston Radio, Centre College, University of Kentucky and final photo property of JMW A Place to Dwell blog.