College: Worth the cost?


#1

Is a college education worth the cost not just in terms of the price of college but more importantly in the risk to the soul from activist professors with anti-life and anti-religion philosophies that contribute to students loss of faith as well as the general moral decay that is present on many college campuses that encourages sinful activities such as sex and drinking? Is the economic advancement that comes from paying for a degree worth the risks to the faith? Today, many secular economists are arguing on economic grounds to NOT go to college since the costs are higher than the pay offs these days and that investing the money elsewhere and building work experience should mean more than a degree. However, in my view the threat to the faith of a young person should be the greater question. Is economic advancement and educational achievement worth the possibility of losing your faith and possibility eternal salvation?

I would extend this discussion to public high school but in those years parents have direct control over what their kids learn and the parents can counteract some of the bad teaching and influences to a greater degree. In college, this is not a possibility and the new found freedom contributes to the loss of faith and sinful behavior.

From my experiences, the worst classes are philosophy and comparative religion classes in college followed by science courses. Philosophy and comparative religion in Jesuit colleges and secular universities teach errors such as that all religions are pretty much the same and morality does not exist. Teaching like this with a cultural of peer pressure for sinfulness puts youth in a high risk to fall and many do fall. So it begs the question about the benefits compared to the risks of college.


#2

What kind of job can you hope to get without an education? I guess if you go into a skilled trade like carpentry you can do well, but not everyone can do that kind of work. Wouldn't you be stuck in really terrible job with a low chance of advancement?

Whether your faith is affected also depends on what you study. If you're studying philosophy, or sociology, or psychology, or anthropology, maybe, but if you're studying math or engineering or computer science or chemistry or physics you'll likely never hear a professor talk about religion. I never did.


#3

I agree with flyingfish. Sure, you’ll run into professors who teach against Christ but the again it’s your decision whether or not to accept what they’re saying as the truth. In addition, community colleges are becoming more affordable in many areas. Economic reasons may be a setback to many, but it surely is no reason to prevent one’s dreams.

I cannot imagine choosing not attending college simply because I might run into people who do immoral activities or professors who speak agasint Christ. As a Christian I think that it gives you an opportunity to even show them the light of Christ himself.


#4

Yes, it’s worth it.

Just don’t do what I did by majoring in something totally worthless like English or Philosophy.

I respect alot of the professors who I don’t agree with religiously or politically. I’m secure in my views, they have theirs.

The debates and talking about all issues under the sun are a dream.I met friends who I’d lay down in traffic for, still talk to, hang out with-everything.

I hated high school-the worst 4 years of my life, by far. College rocked.

If your insecure with your faith, overly sensitive, or just someone who doesn’t like to work, don’t do it.

The biggest lie of the last 30 years was that college is for everyone. It’s not. You need the make yourself.


#5

I agree with the above - it depends on what subject you're doing and where that can take you career-wise, for one thing.

Remember too, that even if you don't go to college, you will still come across the opinions of people who think and teach contrary to the faith, and can be bad influences.

Both in the media and simply among the people you associate with - be they family, friends, co-workers, or whoever.


#6

To clarify, Im not looking for advice for me. I am a college senior with two degrees.


#7

I had a physics textbook that railed on how the church was bad for suppressing science and how protestants were worse for oppressing the scientists in the Renaissance period. The text even discussed how creationism and intelligent design were wrong.


#8

Who cares? You know the truth.


#9

I think the issue that very few parents, and high school guidance counselors, never seem to take into consideration is if the student is actually ready maturity wise to go to college directly after high school. Some aren't, and if that's the case, then yes, the money is a waste. We as as a society seem to be of the mind set that you have to go to college IMMEDIATELY after graduating high school, and I truly to believe there are some, not all, students, that would greatly benefit from taking a break and going to college when they are ready to fully commit to getting a higher education. A lot of high school graduates are not at college to get a higher education, but solely to get the college experience which is the partying and "discovering" themselves.


#10

Of course a degree is worth it. Unless you want to be satisfied with menial jobs the rest of your life, a college degree is definitely worth it.

Very few people are successful these days without a college degree.


#11

My point in this is not for me. But rather the general Catholic population. There is still a general belief in Catholic circles that a liberal arts degree is very good. Colleges and counselors promote this view. The majority of college graduates will have a liberal arts major. Even in a useful degree, you have gen ed classes that you may or may not have a choice to take for even a useful degree. In addition to classes, there is the morality on college campuses that is pretty low. There was a CAF thread that had a link that showed a high rate of sexual activity at Catholic colleges. This means at a minimum there will be a high amount of temptation. Those that are weaker or more impulsive will find it harder to remain chaste and out of sin in college, not that it is impossible, but it is just more difficult due to the higher amount of temptations.

I think I should re-frame my question a bit: is college for a traditional liberal arts degree worth the cost? The feeling I get from the above posts is that based on the financial alone this may not be a wise decision. So should Catholic universities such as Franciscan and Christendom move away from liberal arts and towards more useful degrees and areas such a science and engineering that really require more attention in the modern world than English or History? With the amount of money that many Catholic universities charge, it makes it a hard decision to go between getting a degree that is not worth very much and a good grounding in the faith. In my degree area, aviation, there is no faithful Catholic college that deals with such an area. It is a useful area in terms of getting a job long term but most Catholic colleges are liberal arts. So for a useful degree, you in many cases have to trade off Catholic grounding and morality or a useful degree. John Paul the Great tries to address this area but it is limited in the majors.


#12

Liberal arts degrees are not worthless. Of what use are math or science without the context and wisdom that come from being well grounded in the liberal arts?

I majored in classics with an emphasis in Greek and Latin. 20 years later, I do not regret my choice in the least. I am an analyst and don't think I would be nearly so versatile had I majored in something like math or business.


#13

So, my view is somewhat correct. It is worth it but not for everyone. The majority go to college for a liberal arts degree because they are told by counselors and colleges themselves that any degree will make them a lot of money. These days a liberal arts degree is not a money maker unless you have work experience or are good at selling yourself. Many management positions require a masters degree to be considered. Engineering and computer science do not require a masters for the most part but they want a lot of experience in a wide variety of program languages.

There are many areas that make a lot of money or have the potential to that do not require a degree. Airline pilot, air traffic control, aircraft mechanic do not require college degrees. Plus, there are shortages in some areas of the economy because of the liberal arts degree explosion that now make good money that do not require a degree.


#14

College has gotten so ridiculously expensive that my advise is if you can afford to go, do not go "generic", i.e. history, english, literature etc. Those subject you can self teach after hours. You need to go for what the economy needs and what you can translate into a cash requirement, i.e. math. engineering, construction science, biology, computer science, nursing, med school - focused on dental, and regardless of what your major is, take the extra time to get a teaching certificate. There are some states that will pay your college loan to come teach.

Otherwise, pursue plumbing, which can be a very lucrative job, or something associated with Health Care, which is only going to get huge.

And be prepared to go again and again, as the economy is changing so fast, that whatever you learn, may be obsolete in 10 years as to job potential.


#15

Without a college degree you’d have a hard time getting your foot in the door however, it’s expected now that you will have a college degree in addition to work experience.

The examples you mentioned, like being a mechanic or a pilot aren’t things a person can walk in off the street and do. You still need an education to do those jobs.

It’s true that not everyone is cut out for college, but if you have the intelligence, why would you voluntarily choose not to go? What kind of work experience are you going to be getting instead? Cashier/waiter or something along those lines?

If you want to be a pilot or a mechanic or a carpenter, that’s great, go to flight school/become an apprentice or whatever is needed to become qualified. But what if you don’t? Choosing voluntarily not to go to college because you might end up having a secular professor doesn’t seem like a very good life plan. If you don’t want to do a skilled trade, you’re really looking at working boring and low paying jobs all your life without a degree.


#16

Not to mention that money is only a means to an end, education is rewarding and fulfilling in itself as is participating in the intellectual life in a college.


#17

Nearly all airline pilots started out as pilots in the military. Military pilots are all officers and a degree…even if it is English is required.


#18

If money is all that you are after, you don’t even need a degree. My ex has made 6 figures for over a decade without a degree.


#19

[quote="flyingfish, post:15, topic:189632"]
Without a college degree you'd have a hard time getting your foot in the door however, it's expected now that you will have a college degree in addition to work experience.

The examples you mentioned, like being a mechanic or a pilot aren't things a person can walk in off the street and do. You still need an education to do those jobs.

It's true that not everyone is cut out for college, but if you have the intelligence, why would you voluntarily choose not to go? What kind of work experience are you going to be getting instead? Cashier/waiter or something along those lines?

If you want to be a pilot or a mechanic or a carpenter, that's great, go to flight school/become an apprentice or whatever is needed to become qualified. But what if you don't? Choosing voluntarily not to go to college because you might end up having a secular professor doesn't seem like a very good life plan. If you don't want to do a skilled trade, you're really looking at working boring and low paying jobs all your life without a degree.

[/quote]

That is not true. The govt requires only three years work experience in any job for air traffic control. No degree required. With a little luck and with ATC hiring off the street you can do it without any degree and make 80K in 3-5 years.

I am a college senior. I am a few months from my degree. I do not need to worry about college. I have that more than covered.


#20

[quote="dulcissima, post:17, topic:189632"]
Nearly all airline pilots started out as pilots in the military. Military pilots are all officers and a degree...even if it is English is required.

[/quote]

False, 60% of airline pilots come from civilian flight schools.


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