Often, all it takes is one phrase typed into the “Search Bar”, and it ends up feeling like a trip down the rabbit hole—a reversal of perspective, a grand epiphany, or perhaps the disturbing, bony prod of the many internet concepts that were never intended for humans to observe. This one, however, started as something much more benign for many young and hopeful individuals, and a great deal of older people now more than ever. Perhaps it was worded differently; perhaps it was asked subtly over time, without hardly taking note of it, but it’s crossed everyone’s mind at least once it seems: Is College a Scam?
Has all of American education become an enormous, hideous culling of the masses—a way to separate individuals from their information either by the exclusiveness of proper education or the abundance of poor education? There’s no easy answer to this question, and yet the quick answer is Yes and No, but mainly, overwhelmingly, Yes. It’s multifaceted and the corporate umbrella that has swallowed university education is something that students have been wailing about for some time—and many others as well—yet universities are still choosing to walk down this incredibly narrow and exclusive path of privilege and hand-me-downs. The Yin and Yang of College Life: If one has not enough privilege, then they best hope for a proportionate balance in hand-me-downs, which are often expressed as “who you know”—i.e. social connections, often belonging to the family more so than the student.
With a low-cost, affordable tuition currently ranging around $10,000 a year, private colleges averaging at over $30,000, America is witnessing yet another sociopolitical stab at the Middle Class. While all universities boast the racial, religious, and ethnic diversities, socio-economic diversity is not something that has become “politically correct” yet (with appropriate sarcasm). The gap has been noted to increase for quite some time, which seems to be generally pinpointed around the American policies of the ’90s with the first Bush and the Clinton Administration, the Reagan Administration being the key element—the foundation—of American economic policy in the ’90s, leading to the Second Bush Administration and so forth. Coincidentally, this continued demolition of Middle Class America reached full swing right around the beginning of the Western Conflict in the Middle East, the increase in domestic surveillance, and the subtle, covert reformation of American education. By manipulating the distribution of both physical supplies and information, the sociopolitical-economic members of society have been able to guide education policies just like they’ve done with most policies over time. Like most others, it went right under everyone’s noses, and we are now left with the largest socio-economic gap in our country’s history primarily because of the people’s elected politicians. If this economy crashes again, this time it’s not going to be a country left to fend for itself, it’s going to be the majority of Americans, completely expunged of all wealth and resources, while the wealthy One Percent leave the country behind like a buried corpse.
Nowadays, college has become a matter of personal social connection, family wealth, or an intensive scholarship—perhaps even a variety of scholarships in order to make it. Quoting an article of similar note on NewsMax.com,
“What this system has become is affirmative action for rich families”
To add to that, if any other people from the other walks of life are able to make it as well, then that’s just swell; but as far as equal accommodations for all, it’s not just diminishing—it’s already gone. As far as reform goes, good luck. American education has become so deeply embedded within the country’s economic system that there is no room for editing or redacting, let alone reforming. It already has such a crucial place in America’s house-of-cards-style political agenda that the people who have effectively put these agendas in place cannot afford to change them, as it would upset the status quo. To put it simply, the status quo is parasitic, and even if young men and women can survive in the system that the universities have set up, they shouldn’t have to. With a disturbing number of college bachelors holding jobs completely unaffiliated to their costly degrees, (if any job at all) that increasingly unnecessary piece of paper can be said to amount to something along the lines of a “signaler,” per se, or a header under the person’s name on their resume. The classes taken, the GPA, and extracurricular activities are largely undiscussed, unobserved, and uninteresting to many employers, because what they are looking for on average is the name of the university, the type of degree, and the completion status, so as to gauge the person’s prestige and workability. Otherwise, unless an individual is getting a job that requires specific certification, these university degrees are selling many people quite short.
Again, for those who feel that university education is helping them, or has in the past, this article isn’t about how college is completely pointless and a waste of time, because there are a great deal of people for whom it is has helped a great deal, and it continues to help many. To further illustrate the context of this overall point: American education has become less about education, and more about wealth distribution and cultural manipulation, with each classroom being the petri dish, and any actual education has hilariously taken a backseat within its own categorization. Furthermore, the mentality that college is the norm and is just something everyone has to deal with is completely false, and the entire state of university education as a whole should be completely reassessed.
Mentally breaking twenty-year-olds in half with five massive college finals at the end of every semester isn’t preparing them for the future—it’s preparing them for mental breakdowns, unhealthy social habits and coping mechanisms, and often drug dependency on a variety of different things in order to maintain. Often these maintenance drugs are dangerous and unestablished SSRI’s, which are becoming known to cognitively hinder the brain’s ability to process empathy effectively. So even if someone is fortunate enough to be able to jump through all the hoops of university education, they still have to suffer for four years or more of their life where everything is sacrificed for their education, because it’s the most important aspect. The thing is however, after such an enormous stint of the aforementioned unhealthy social and personal habits, coping mechanisms, and various dependencies all in the sake of a degree, the person is still left with all this excess baggage that they never asked for, nor even had to begin with. Oftentimes at this point, the graduate is left with an empty degree with little job opportunity, and a portion of their life lacking in personal significance and meaningful interaction amidst the studying, testing, fucking, and binge-drinking. This is what is starting to become of America’s next generation of adults.
Lastly, this article is in no way speaking out against wealth or a person’s privilege to it. Philosophically, this is an arguable overall point, but as the situation stands, unless one is a member of a family within the elite One Percent, the chances are that they are just the children of dedicated and fortunate parents, and no one can really be faulted for the situation they were born into, however fortunate or unfortunate. However, the sociopolitical wealth distribution gap that is being developed and administered through college universities through means of corporate venture is an abhorrent distortion of American education policy, and every day that it remains unreformed is a day longer that future generations will subsequently suffer. So yeah, college is a god damned scam, but then again, what isn’t in post-modern America…