WEATHER »
iLife

Emad Hajjaj, Jordan

iLife


The Virtual College Education

Is the Value of University Learning Overrated?


A hundred years ago, only 10 percent of Americans made it to college. Most young people ended up with less than a high school diploma. It suited them and their families better to stay on the farm, where they were needed and did some real productive work. If you were privileged enough to get a university degree in those days, it set you apart from the crowd intellectually and financially. Let’s face it — today, that is not the case. College diplomas — even master’s degrees — are a dime a dozen.

More Chinese graduates have PhDs than there are college students in the whole United States, and they’ll work for pennies compared to what you expect and demand for that level of education here. Unfortunately, this means in the current market that people like you or me are not very special if all we have is a measly bachelor’s degree. Sorry to break it to you, but a college degree doesn’t make any particular American young person (or older one, either) stand out any more than anyone in the general population. The typical grad these days can’t even find a job that’s much better than a barista at the local coffee shop. For as much as our society insists and expects that a college degree is still exceptional, the truth is that a university diploma hardly sets you apart from a normal laborer or even a dropout. Sure, the family may be very proud of the son or daughter who graduates from the University of X — but let’s be honest — big f-ing deal!

Do you know the real effort (besides paying tuition) that it takes to graduate from university these days? It means barely managing to roll out of an STD-infected dorm bed — one you can’t even remember falling asleep in after a night of reckless and unprotected partying — and then hopefully making it to some obscure lecture hall to show your unmemorable face to an underpaid adjunct who patters “Blah, blah, blah … ” You take a final one-hour exam at the end of the semester and hand in a seven-page half-plagiarized attempt at a research paper, which the professor probably doesn’t read, and there you are — four years of that, and you’re good to go. Just don’t miss any payments.

That’s an education? Honestly, do parents or society or prospective employers actually see any point in performing or mastering this kind of half-witted academic obstacle course? Nowadays, what is so hard about posting any professor’s lecture on YouTube for free? The notes can be effortlessly transferred within a matter of seconds and attainable on the Internet 24/7 by students literally everywhere. Are you saying you want to ask students to pay thousands and thousand of dollars for less than this with their parents’ hard-earned money? That’s wrong.

Tell me, Master, Dean of Admissions, Mr. Big Man on Campus, elbow-patched College Professor — exactly what information are you privy to that any geek with a cell phone can’t find without your expert and exclusive instruction? There is not one university teacher — or whole campus for that matter — out there that can provide a student who really wants to learn with the amount of information and knowledge that can be accessed from a laptop by a user in pajamas — and for the price of zero.

The only point to believing it is beneficial to send our children or selves to college is to propagate this mass fraud of so-called “higher education” and to fuel the antiquated and indifferent establishment of the greedy and corrupt hustlers who profit from this lie. Some complain that it is the students who are apathetic; in reality, what sits fat and happy is the clueless administration of this outdated institution that has not kept up with the advances of technology and the computer age. Do you see any point of the traditional classroom, blackboards, desks, bells, lectures, textbooks, and fuddy-duddy old professors anymore — except to keep raking in the unjustifiable, continually rising, and unnecessary tuition fees?

Every kid with a smartphone enjoys the miracle of the practically free and unlimited transfer of information. Everyone can ask Google whatever academic or inane question they would — and be immediately connected to at least a thousand direct sources. There is an endless fountain of interviews, videos, scholarly articles, e-books, alternative media, historical archives, viewer comments, interactive websites, blogs, newspapers, magazines, and a million other constantly updated sources at your fingertips that instantly send you to the facts and opinions you desire, and to the perspectives that provoke and arouse your curiosity and that satisfy your passion for the truth. Are you saying you’d rather go and learn from that college on the hill — where you pay two hundred dollars for a textbook, struggle to find a parking space, and hurry to be at class on time?

School is supposed to make you educated. But a smart person really knows better, I hope, than to pay for a college education in this day and age. Then again, if it’s the degree you truly cherish — and the value you imagine it holds — then let me point you in the direction of a friend of mine who will do all your college homework at a far cheaper cost than the effort and time and stress that you’d suffer in performing it yourself. He’s quite reasonable — at $20 per page, whatever the assignment. He has even been known to take final exams via email and texting. Your parents will be so proud …



event calendar sponsored by: