Yes, but the consideration of value, in and of itself, has never been the basis for good decision-making.
Since value, at least in part, is subjectively determined, it logically follows that anything can have value given the right person and context.
Getting married has value. Staying single has value.
Starting your own business has value. Working for someone else has value.
Spending money has value. Saving money has value.
Speaking your mind has value. Keeping your thoughts to yourself has value.
Being in the company of others has value. Spending time alone has value.
Everything and its opposite has value.
The mere assertion of value in some particular instance, however, should never be mistaken for an argument demonstrating why a person should sacrifice their time, energy, or resources in an effort to procure such value. In other words, pointing out the positive attributes of a thing isn’t the same as giving someone a good reason to actually pursue it.
For example, the New 2014 BMW 7 Series 740i Sedan has some pretty amazing features. Does that mean you should buy one? Would any responsible adult give a blanket “yes” to this question without considering other elements in the potential buyer’s life?
In a world of finite resources, where choices must be made to the exclusion of other possibilities, there are several questions that need to be asked when an expenditure of any kind (and, yes, college is an expenditure) is being considered.
Can you afford it? Do you actually have access to the resources you need to make it happen? Do you have the ability to spend those resources without becoming a slave to unmanageable debt?
What are your goals? Do you have solid reasons for believing that this opportunity will increase your probability of success? Are there other valuable options that might warrant the investment of your time, energy, and resources instead?
The asking of such questions is not some rebellious new fad invented by modern-day hipsters. These questions are part of the age old practice of “cost-benefit analysis.”
Arguing for value is a futile exercise if we’re not willing to talk honestly and thoroughly about the costs involved in attaining value.
So, back to the original question: Is college valuable?
Of course college is valuable, but so is your time, your energy, and your financial resources. And make no mistake about it, college is going to demand all of those things from you.
Given that fact, here’s a much better question to ask yourself:
Should a person’s decision to spend thousands of dollars on a college education be subject to cost-benefit analysis or should colleges be exempt from the usual scrutiny we apply towards other major purchases and financial investments?
Want a free PDF copy of our book? You can download The Future of School here! The book includes…
Chapter One: The Ideal
Chapter Two: The Reality of Today’s Education System
Chapter Three: My Story
Chapter Four: How Change Happens
Chapter Five: Alternatives to the Current System
Chapter Seven: How You Can Take Charge of Your Career and Education
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Isaac Morehouse is an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He is the founder and CEO of Praxis (www.discoverpraxis.com), an intensive ten-month program combining real world business experience with the best of online education for those who want more than college.