Varsity Blues: Admissions Scandal Confirms That College Isn't for Everyone
When I was eighteen, I won a scholarship to the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. I wanted to go. My dad refused to send me to a "fruit school," as he called it. Years later, after wasting thousands of his dollars by dropping out of ASU (because I didn't go to class—a fact I'm not proud of) we had another moment to talk about what went wrong. I asked him again why he didn't want me to go to Roosevelt and he repeated, "That's a school for fruits." I looked at him and said, "Dad, when are you going to realize I am a fruit?" He laughed and nodded a few times and then admitted that I was right. We came to an understanding that day that it's never a good idea to stop your kid from following their path in favor of the one chosen by parents.
That's what I keep coming back to with this college admissions scandal, especially in regards to actress Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade. Olivia was clearly trying to tell the world she didn't belong in college, had no interest in it, and was already set up to be an "influencer" and YouTube celebrity. College would only give her prestige, not a career (which she already had). She was contracted with Sephora for a makeup line, had almost two million followers on YouTube, and had a bright future doing what she appeared to love to do: talk into her camera and put on makeup for strangers. It might not look like much to us, but I bet she was making great money doing it.
You know who else makes great money? Pipefitters. And the apprenticeship program is free.
Plumbers, HVAC workers, contractors, tons of medical technicians—all have jobs that only require certifications. Nursing, dental technician and a million other jobs don't require a four-year degree. Not every kid will enjoy or do well in college and a degree doesn't guarantee a job. What it does guarantee is massive debt if your kid needs a loan. The average college education costs over $100,000 now.
The college admissions scandal seems to be a bunch of blue-blood parents who can't handle their kids not getting into big name schools, regardless of whether their progeny are up to the challenge. This attitude sends the exact wrong message. There's nothing wrong with community college and trades. In fact, we are running low on people who know how to build and fix things. CBS reported a shocking fact that should concern us.
Today’s man is less inclined to be that handy – in a new survey, 72 percent of men said they could handle VERY basic home repair or improvement stuff, and 40 percent of men say they either can’t do anything around the house, or they probably could but they’d rather call a handyman anyway. Only 51 percent of all men said they knew how to unclog a toilet.
This is unacceptable. Civilization will literally unravel without working sewage pipes. Ask Mike Rowe:
Consider the number of college graduates today, who can’t find work in their chosen field. Hundreds of thousands of highly educated twenty-somethings are either unemployed or getting paid a pittance to do something totally unrelated to the education they borrowed a fortune to acquire. Collectively, they hold 1.3 trillion dollars of debt, and no real training for the jobs that actually exist. Now, consider the countries widening skills gap - hundreds of thousands of good jobs gone begging because no one wants to learn a useful trade. It’s madness. “College For All” might sound good on the campaign trail, but in real life, it’s a dangerous platitude that reinforces the ridiculous notion that college is for people who use their brains, and trade schools are for people who use their hands. As if the two can not be combined.
There are plenty of intelligent people in trades, and some of them are smarter than many of the kids slaving away in college because they're making more money twice as fast with little to no student debt. Rowe continues to point out the failure of our system to even mention trade schools as an option:
Last month, I was invited to comment on the annual list of America’s “Top Jobs” and “Top Schools,” (as determined by one of America’s “Top Magazines.”) I passed. Not just because I’m suspicious of lists - I passed because nowhere on the list of “top colleges” was a single trade school mentioned. Not a one. Not surprisingly, none of the careers my foundation supports made the list of “top jobs.”
This is a classic example of how society quietly discourages careers in the skilled trades. We don’t publish lists of careers called “Jobs We Don’t Want Our Kids To Do.” Instead, we publish “America’s Top Jobs,” and leave off dozens of critical professions. Likewise, no one makes a list called “Schools To Attend If You’re Not That Bright.” Instead, we announce the “Top Colleges,” and omit schools that train people for a whole category of critical vocations. It’s a brilliant way to reinforce the existing stereotype, promote a one-size-fits-all approach to education, and guarantee a workforce that’s dangerously out of balance. But the scariest thing about these lists, is not their obvious bias - it’s their degree of influence on otherwise sensible people.
And what happens when people get it solidified in their heads that the only respectable outcome for their child is a four-year degree from a university? Cheating. Maybe Ben Shapiro is right when he says the Ivy League is the funneling system for our Deep State overlords, and getting in is your golden ticket to the good life in a cushy office where you can be unaccountable and run America. That's probably true, or at least it feels true. But for those of us down here in the trenches, the ones who have no aspirations of telling our fellow Americans what temperature to keep their thermostat set on, maybe we should encourage our kids to get actual skills. Those skills may be the only things pulling us back from the brink when the Ivy League Deep State destroys our Republic. We're going to need electricians and builders when it all goes to hell; pencil-pushing, Ivy League bureaucrats, not so much.
Megan Fox is the author of "Believe Evidence: The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo," a scathing rebuke of the #BelieveWomen movement. You can follow her on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter.