President Obama is not alone in promoting it but he is massively committed to one of the greatest myths in modern American culture. This myth says that millions more young Americans ought to go to college. Who says so? A recent Harvard University study found that two-thirds of American high school graduates are unprepared to enter a four-year liberal arts program of education. In fact, the study concluded that “more than forty percent of students who enter college drop out before graduation.”
Why do so many go to college who are not prepared? The study says their parents pushed them too much, seeing it almost entirely as a means to a higher salary. But the majority of high school graduates are not only not ready for college they are much more suited to other types of work. There are great jobs in management and trades that will make a person as much or more money as most college graduates will earn. In fact, many college graduates are over-educated and under-prepared to really work and will not make what their peers will who used their skills more effectively.
Yet the president insists that we need a massive expansion of the Pell Grant program, thus creating a new entitlement program for college expense. Michael Moynihan, writing at reason.com concludes that “too many people are attending college these days.” He admits that it is “impolite and impolitic” to say so but this is the truth. I don’t expect the president to heed such advice, even when it comes from the left, because his own experience tells him how important college really is. Further, he worked as a community organizer among the poor and accepts the mantra that the way out is college. The truth is very few high school graduates in the places he organized can or will make it in college. For everyone his program helps there will be massive expense that only pushes us closer to bankruptcy as a nation. This is not a conservative position, simply an obvious one.