Hot Best Seller

Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education

Availability: Ready to download

For many students, a bachelor's degree is considered the golden ticket to a more financially and intellectually fulfilling life. But the disturbing reality is that debt, unemployment, and politically charged pseudo learning are more likely outcomes for many college students today than full-time employment and time-honored knowledge. This raises the question: is college stil For many students, a bachelor's degree is considered the golden ticket to a more financially and intellectually fulfilling life. But the disturbing reality is that debt, unemployment, and politically charged pseudo learning are more likely outcomes for many college students today than full-time employment and time-honored knowledge. This raises the question: is college still worth it? Who is responsible for debt-saddled, undereducated students, and how do future generations of students avoid the same problems? In a time of economic uncertainty, what majors and schools will produce competitive graduates? Is College Worth It? uses personal experience, statistical analysis, and real-world interviews to provide answers to some of the most troubling social and economic problems of our time.


Compare

For many students, a bachelor's degree is considered the golden ticket to a more financially and intellectually fulfilling life. But the disturbing reality is that debt, unemployment, and politically charged pseudo learning are more likely outcomes for many college students today than full-time employment and time-honored knowledge. This raises the question: is college stil For many students, a bachelor's degree is considered the golden ticket to a more financially and intellectually fulfilling life. But the disturbing reality is that debt, unemployment, and politically charged pseudo learning are more likely outcomes for many college students today than full-time employment and time-honored knowledge. This raises the question: is college still worth it? Who is responsible for debt-saddled, undereducated students, and how do future generations of students avoid the same problems? In a time of economic uncertainty, what majors and schools will produce competitive graduates? Is College Worth It? uses personal experience, statistical analysis, and real-world interviews to provide answers to some of the most troubling social and economic problems of our time.

30 review for Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julianne

    Hmm yeah.... I expected to be raising my fist and shouting AMEN! at his analyses of how traditional college is crazy over-priced and instruction on how there are better ways to become employable. But honestly? It was just o.k. First of all, while he does raise some good/interesting points, the tone of the book sounds mostly like a rant about the poor state of college and the American workforce. He could have held my interest by making his case in fewer words, and writing clearly about what, exactl Hmm yeah.... I expected to be raising my fist and shouting AMEN! at his analyses of how traditional college is crazy over-priced and instruction on how there are better ways to become employable. But honestly? It was just o.k. First of all, while he does raise some good/interesting points, the tone of the book sounds mostly like a rant about the poor state of college and the American workforce. He could have held my interest by making his case in fewer words, and writing clearly about what, exactly the powers that be are supposed to do in order to actually fix things. (Assuming they agree with his analysis.) In the same vein, I felt that it lacked clear direction for students trying to make the best decision about where to go for college. Honestly, if I'd read this book when entering college instead of now, in my senior year, I would have FREAKED because I would have thought I needed to go to trade school and become a welder. The appendixes do remedy this situation somewhat, though, so if you're able to stick it out to the end there's a pot of gold waiting. (Or you could just skip to the end and save yourself some time.) Finally, there were a few times where he was citing stats that made me scrunch my face in confusion. For example, he used the results of a survey taken at a California university to support his point that "The majority of professors are democrats/die-hard liberals." While I'm not in a position to disagree, it takes a very low level of logical capabilities to realize that this is CALIFORNIA we are talking about. Chances are, a conservative prof isn't going to want to take a position in a public school in California because HELLO BLUE BLUE BLUE STATE FOREVER AMEN. I found these instances (they were few in number, but still present) very ironic since his main gripe with modern universities is that they fail to foster critical thinking. So, yeah, it was okay. But I had a high hopes for it and I feel a little let down tbh.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Reid Mccormick

    I have read my fair share of books critical of higher education. Disparaging colleges and universities is a national pastime, it is as American as apple pie. You can find critics of higher education in the 1700’s. Books criticizing higher education are a dime a dozen, however, the book Is College Worth It? is not even worth that dime (or 1/12 that dime if you compare it). I typically do not write overly belittling or nitpicking reviews. I attempt to remain as unbiased as possible, review the deta I have read my fair share of books critical of higher education. Disparaging colleges and universities is a national pastime, it is as American as apple pie. You can find critics of higher education in the 1700’s. Books criticizing higher education are a dime a dozen, however, the book Is College Worth It? is not even worth that dime (or 1/12 that dime if you compare it). I typically do not write overly belittling or nitpicking reviews. I attempt to remain as unbiased as possible, review the details of the book so a future reader can make up their own mind. In this case, I cannot show such restraint. I expected a lot from this book. I picked it primarily because it is written by a former Secretary of Education (I did not know about Bennett’s tenure, his politics, or which president he served under; to me, that information should remain irrelevant when looking at the book). I don’t know how to adequately formulate my response, so I decided to present each issue separately and briefly. I knew this book was going to be rough when I came across this quote in the introduction, “The world’s most talented students will be successful no matter where they go to college or if they don’t go at all.” I had to read that paragraph over and over again because I just could not believe it. The idea that a kid living in government housing, eating off food stamps, attending an underfunded high school has the same opportunities as the kid who drives a new BMW to their private high school is just downright asinine. I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe is fiction. Almost every critic of higher education likes to cite this book as if it is a documentary on modern college life. Here’s another news flash, Animal House and Old School, though probably based on real experiences, are not reality. Though they use some data, the authors rely on a lot of anecdotal stories. In one narrative, they quote a female, “How could I consider having children if I can barely support myself?” Two problems with this. First, I find it interesting that the idea of starting a family is only mentioned during a female’s story. Is a female’s value rooted in starting a family? Second, I want to see these authors write a book entitled Are Children Worth It? From a financial standpoint, children have a horrible return on investment. Perhaps having children, like getting an education, should not be valued only in dollar amount. (The authors do touch on this slightly, but the main theme of the book is economic worth). Like other critics, there is a frustration at the inherent caste system in higher education. Students and parents fight for spots at elite, Ivy League schools. I agree that elite colleges are overvalued, however, we can argue that the market dictates the price. The authors appear to like the idea of a free market however they also want to control pricing. It leaves me confused. What steps should we take Yes, taxpayers are subsidizing higher education. They like to repeat that multiple times as if it’s a new concept. I will give the authors some credit, they do disparage high school education. It is nice to see someone recognize that higher education is trying to pick up the slack. How do we fix higher education when we have not fixed high schools? Apparently, students are living like kings and queens on their student loan money. Just like people living off welfare that eat prime rib and champagne every night. Neither of these statements supported by facts. I’m sure there are people abusing the system, but I do not see evidence pointing to widespread abuse. The authors argue “colleges should think hard about eliminating trendy majors that consistently do no demonstrate their intellectual rigor, fiduciary worth, or ability to produce employable graduates.” So who gets to decide this? Who gets to predict the future? With technology moving so quickly, it is impossible to predict where the economy will go. Do you think college presidents and provosts knew social media would change everything? Economists cannot predict the market, yet somehow colleges should know who will be employable next year and the next decade. That is ridiculous. I know what you are thinking…yes, they do mention the infamous rock climbing wall. I think is mandatory for the rock climbing wall to be cited in every book about higher education. I know there is a difference between street smarts and book smarts. Colleges are no averse to street smarts. In fact, most schools provide some sort of activities or programs that promote holistic development. Those who value street smarts over book smarts should consider a different form of education. There are plenty of job opportunities in the United States that sit vacant because there are not enough trained professionals for those positions. This is classic supply and demand. Some fields grow so quickly that the supply cannot keep up with demand for a bigger workforce. However, the point they tend to gloss over is when these specific markets crash and the supply is bigger than the demand. Then what? Are these students capable of adapting? Petroleum engineering, for example, is booming. With oil profits soaring and fracking technology developing, petroleum engineers are in high demand. Fifteen years ago, newly minted graduates in petroleum engineering were in trouble. Where will they be fifteen years from now? You cannot discuss education in purely consumeristic terms. You do not just pay someone and in return get a valid degree. You have to pay someone, work really hard, and in return get a valid degree. It’s like going to the gym. You have to pay, work out, and then you get into shape. That middle step is crucial. Apparently, according to the authors, students do not major in STEM fields because students are too interested in their dreams. I kid you not. That is one of their arguments. Here is a quote: “The problem is that easy loans empower the student to pursue degrees that are perhaps more personally interesting and fulfilling to them but have little economic value.” Following your dreams are completely worthless unless you make a lot of money. Okay. I am going to stop there. Those are my thoughts on the first one hundred pages. That’s right, there are another one hundred pages that I could critique for you but let’s be honest, if you disagree with me you stopped reading this long ago. If you do agree with me, then hopefully you don’t need more proof. I am sure someone will read this and label me into a box. So let me do that for you, I am a believer in higher education. It has its flaws. It should be criticized regularly and fixed frequently. This book is simply just not worth the time. I don’t think it has well-reasoned arguments.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jack Goodstein

    Conservative attack on college as not worthwhile for everyone since for many it will neither pay off in earnings over the years nor provide an unbiased education free from liberal propaganda.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Orville Jenkins

    Controlling Cost and Quality of Higher Education Bennett focuses on the high and still-rising cost of college and university education in the USA. He analyzes factors and details the commercialization and marketing of education even by traditional universities. He surveys the recent development of for-profit educational companies, and compares offerings and results, as well as costs of these two approaches to education. Along with this he looks at scholarship and government subsidized loan assista Controlling Cost and Quality of Higher Education Bennett focuses on the high and still-rising cost of college and university education in the USA. He analyzes factors and details the commercialization and marketing of education even by traditional universities. He surveys the recent development of for-profit educational companies, and compares offerings and results, as well as costs of these two approaches to education. Along with this he looks at scholarship and government subsidized loan assistance for higher education, showing alarming trends that put graduates deep into debt, in most cases without the prospects promised for job placement. Additionally he outlines new alternative approaches to education and training in free or low-cost alternatives, and the growing trend toward certification in non-traditional approaches, in direct cooperation with companies and industries. These promising new approaches are growing in popularity, and Bennett reports high standards and very high students/learner satisfaction and good placement in career paths now harder to find in traditional high-cost educational approaches. Bennett includes a set of scenarios, with advice on how to proceed and decide. He closes with an excellent categorized descriptive directory of free or low-cost high-quality alternatives for current education, called “Schools Worth Attending.” This was an informative and encouragement assessment from Bennett, a former Secretary of Education and leader of many educational and social ventures over the years.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rob and Liz

    Not all kids should go to a four year college directly out of high school. The basic premise of this book is simple and moderately profound. College is not worthwhile for many kids. Some kids are better fit to pursue a trade (see Mike Rowe's scholarship program). Other kids are simply not ready to work hard and learn in college and might benefit from a gap year or two. Other kids have not yet been accepted In a college worth attending and might be better off doing a couple of years of community Not all kids should go to a four year college directly out of high school. The basic premise of this book is simple and moderately profound. College is not worthwhile for many kids. Some kids are better fit to pursue a trade (see Mike Rowe's scholarship program). Other kids are simply not ready to work hard and learn in college and might benefit from a gap year or two. Other kids have not yet been accepted In a college worth attending and might be better off doing a couple of years of community college while working to get scholarships and acceptance into a worthy program. Be aware of the strong conservative political bias of this book. The policy analysis describing the drivers of the high costs of college and how this relates to government lending policies is insightful but one-sided.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I was excited to read "Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education," thanks to the BookSneeze program. In the circles I run in, thinking about college for one’s child can become pretty stressful pretty quickly. What do you mean, your child is a sophomore and you haven’t yet made half a dozen college visits? Maybe your child could qualify for a $50,000/year school! A prestigious school! Then again, ma I was excited to read "Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education," thanks to the BookSneeze program. In the circles I run in, thinking about college for one’s child can become pretty stressful pretty quickly. What do you mean, your child is a sophomore and you haven’t yet made half a dozen college visits? Maybe your child could qualify for a $50,000/year school! A prestigious school! Then again, maybe your child won’t get into as “good” a school as mine! It goes on and on. Thankfully, this book was a welcome hop off the crazy train. Because, what if you did pay $50,000 per year for your child to attend a prestigious school. She gets a history degree. Four years later, she’s serving grande lattes at Starbucks and has a lot of knowledge, very little income, very few prospects for jobs in her field, and over $100,000 in debt. That’s a whole lotta lattes. Or suppose your child heads off to school with a good head on his shoulders. At least, you think he does. But after he hits the college campus, things don’t go so well. He gets in with the wrong crowd and spends more time partying than he does studying. His firm convictions are contradicted and ridiculed by his college professors, who are far-left liberal almost entirely. You turn around, and there’s your talented kid, hanging out at an Occupy Wall Street rally and shouting obscenities at anyone who might listen. Yeesh. Bill Bennett discusses these and other relevant issues in this book. I really enjoyed it — it’s like discussing college today with a smart friend. Some things I found interesting – * Many kids go to college just because it’s “the next thing” expected of them. Majorities of high school seniors do go to college, even though many of them really don’t want to go (at least, they don’t want to go and study). Our own President has even said that every American should get some higher education. Every American? Really? Because there are lots of house builders, electricians, and landscapers out there who have no business in college. I couldn’t do their jobs if I tried. But I really don’t care if they went to college. Bennett goes into how our society looks down on those without college degrees, and this is probably true. It’s a shame though, because by pushing everyone into college, the colleges are forced to lower their standards. * Colleges are lowering their standards. Colleges must make money. With the advent of the internet, students can rate their professors. Students are more likely to highly rate “easy” profs who give little homework. Tougher profs usually earn lower ratings from students. Fewer kids sign up for their classes, and soon they have to decide — do they decrease the rigor of their courses, or run the risk of losing their jobs altogether? * Many colleges today spend vast sums on things that have nothing to do with education. They feature million dollar gyms and more — all to try to attract the more well-heeled students and their parents. * Colleges also often feel that a higher price makes them appear more “prestigious.” Yet Bennett has charts of various schools — their 4 year cost, and the 30- year “return on investment” of attending them. Many have a negative return: the student would have been better off investing college money and going straight to work out of high school than paying to attend those colleges, because it will take so long to pay back the cost. What madness! * The stereotype is accurate: college professors are liberal by wide margins, and that means that many of their students come out of school with liberal ideologies as well. Additionally, while many lower-level college profs and assistants are low-paid, colleges also have their share of “prima donnas” who teach only a class or two, offer little to no office hours, and spend most of their days shuttered away in their offices enjoying luxurious perks. Recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    The book for review is "Is College Worth It?" by William J. Bennett. It falls in the genre of general and political science The author dives into the cost of going to college in this day and age. How the cost of rising tuitions is related to the higher debts students are incurring. When a student graduates, if they do, the odds of finding work in our present economy is not as readily available as it use to be. It's also not as it has been promised by the institution that recruited them. The highe The book for review is "Is College Worth It?" by William J. Bennett. It falls in the genre of general and political science The author dives into the cost of going to college in this day and age. How the cost of rising tuitions is related to the higher debts students are incurring. When a student graduates, if they do, the odds of finding work in our present economy is not as readily available as it use to be. It's also not as it has been promised by the institution that recruited them. The higher tuitions go the more money is available for students to get on loans to accommodate the cost of going to college. Even if they do graduate the price of paying back the loan, which is six months after they walk across the stage, dips into their way of life for the monthly payments is so huge it takes away most of their paycheck. This is not a quick read at all. There are numerous stats to support the facts the author writes about. There were some pages it got overwhelming with the statistics that were being tossed out to the reader. It is however very informative if you have a child or will have a child in college. As a college graduate I to got burden with school loans to pay off but in the 1980's colleges had not reached the all time high of tuition fees like it has now. This book will infuriate you at the business side of colleges and banks as this book reaches in and explains what is going on behind the scenes that you might not know off. This is an interesting book to pick up. This book was received for free in exchange for two honest reviews.

  8. 4 out of 5

    C

    4.5 stars for content, 3.5 for delivery. Despite their "non-profit" status, colleges will take as much money as they can get. It's not malicious; it's just that when you're aiming to provide a good educational experience, there is no such thing as too many student/faculty/staff services, too few students per class, too nice an arts/sports/residential facility, etc. The harsh truth is that the financial burdens students bear once out of college are not really the college's problem, so they tend n 4.5 stars for content, 3.5 for delivery. Despite their "non-profit" status, colleges will take as much money as they can get. It's not malicious; it's just that when you're aiming to provide a good educational experience, there is no such thing as too many student/faculty/staff services, too few students per class, too nice an arts/sports/residential facility, etc. The harsh truth is that the financial burdens students bear once out of college are not really the college's problem, so they tend not to concern themselves with them. This book highlights some of the things that prospective college students and their parents should be considering in addition to what college advertisements, popular culture, and even some politicians tell them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    If only he would have left his political opinions to himself I might have given this book a higher rating. Good supplemental reading for parents with high school aged children. The college search process is much more difficult than I remembered from 25 years ago!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Entire contents could have been an opinion piece in a newspaper.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    While not all accurate in regards to for-profits, it should be required reading for high school (even middle school) students.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Miller

    This is a superb book that should be made mandatory reading for high school students. It details the many flaws with the traditional model of higher education, covering everything from astronomical tuition costs to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs going unfilled because of societal expectations. William Bennet and David Wilezol not only offer solutions to the problems in higher education (as well as K-12), but offer guidance and advice for every type of young person considering This is a superb book that should be made mandatory reading for high school students. It details the many flaws with the traditional model of higher education, covering everything from astronomical tuition costs to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs going unfilled because of societal expectations. William Bennet and David Wilezol not only offer solutions to the problems in higher education (as well as K-12), but offer guidance and advice for every type of young person considering college. From the straight A's student accepted into Harvard to the student who couldn't care less about his grades and would rather work with his hands, they have written a book that supports accommodating different peoples' educational interests and career choices. This book challenges traditional thought that a diploma is a "golden ticket" for a well paying job, instead explaining it is character and skill that are most valued by employers. An important highlight of the book is the case they make for students who pursue different paths after high school instead of college. They do this by giving success stories and examples of talented young entrepreneurs and the high earnings of those who enter trades or STEM fields. As the authors explain in the beginning of the book, they aren't arguing for students not to attend college at all. They are arguing for students who are unsure or otherwise wouldn't go to college to perhaps consider alternatives before they buried in college loan debt they can never repay. They are also equipping students who hope to attend college to be prudent in selecting the best institution for their money. I'm currently in college, having finished my first two years at a community college with substantially lower tuition than a four year university. This book taught me a lot, and I'm thankful for the authors writing it. I reaffirm my belief that this book should be made required reading in high school. Although some of the statistics will be dated soon (if they aren't already), much of what they say is still true and helpful. If this book were to be made standard reading, it would be my hope that the authors would routinely update it every four to five years to stay abreast with the times and economic circumstances. It would also be a great investment for schools to use it in college preparation classes or teach the book in such a class. Overall, this was an excellent book that should be read by every student, if not also taught in a class.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    Whenever a book title contains a question, I always feel like a review should answer said question. I want to know. Is College Worth It? Answer: It depends. Ok, well props to Bennett for looking at both sides of the issues and presenting facts and statistics that show our perceptions of what a degree will grant us are different from the realities of life after graduating. He rallies against the ease in which one can obtain a loan in the six figures with no collateral, he presents statistics that s Whenever a book title contains a question, I always feel like a review should answer said question. I want to know. Is College Worth It? Answer: It depends. Ok, well props to Bennett for looking at both sides of the issues and presenting facts and statistics that show our perceptions of what a degree will grant us are different from the realities of life after graduating. He rallies against the ease in which one can obtain a loan in the six figures with no collateral, he presents statistics that show most graduates of four year programs aren't ready for the workforce at all, and because it is easy for students to get loans colleges spend the tuition income they receive in irresponsible ways. If you want to be a doctor, an engineer, or work in the technology field, get those loans. Art history? Nope. (Trust me on that!) He promotes the idea that blue-collar work is honest, that community colleges have great vocational programs, and that we need more apprenticeships in the US. Bravo! Bennett definitely has a conservative bias, which rankled me a little when he belittled women's studies and other identity-type courses. He claims that we should focus first on being Americans, that we are all one. Bennett, I know you wrote this book before the election of Trump, but puh-lease. You have to address the inequalities in order to right the wrongs. I do agree with you, however, that taking out a huge loan to study these inequalities is ridiculous, especially since the type of employment that would take on these issues probably doesn't pay much at all. A good read overall. Recommended for parent with students in high school or adults contemplating going into more debt to go back to school.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Andrews

    Great insight into the student debt crisis and the astronomical inflation rate in the cost of higher education. A must read for anyone looking into college. Just because everyone is getting student loans, doesn't make it OK. The average graduate is coming out with huge amounts of debt which will take years and years to pay off. This is actually effecting the economy since these grads cannot buy houses or do other things that college grads could do 20-30 years ago. The return on investment for mo Great insight into the student debt crisis and the astronomical inflation rate in the cost of higher education. A must read for anyone looking into college. Just because everyone is getting student loans, doesn't make it OK. The average graduate is coming out with huge amounts of debt which will take years and years to pay off. This is actually effecting the economy since these grads cannot buy houses or do other things that college grads could do 20-30 years ago. The return on investment for most private schools is very poor unless you are in major/field that is very marketable like engineering or healthcare. Schools have jacked the costs up as a result of the ease of people getting into student loans. When student loans were not the norm, schools were not able to charge what they do today. The easier it is for kids to get loans, the more the schools increase the price. The student loan crisis is said to be the next bubble like the 2008 real estate crash.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana Gomez

    If you have read no other information on the fact that a college degree is likely no longer "worth it," on the tragic state of student loan debt, or on the changing face of college in relation to employment, and this book is the only one you can find, I suppose this is a good read. It has generally the same information in that regard that all the other ones do (which I guess explains all the five star reviews from people who didn't already know that college is going kaput.) But otherwise, this b If you have read no other information on the fact that a college degree is likely no longer "worth it," on the tragic state of student loan debt, or on the changing face of college in relation to employment, and this book is the only one you can find, I suppose this is a good read. It has generally the same information in that regard that all the other ones do (which I guess explains all the five star reviews from people who didn't already know that college is going kaput.) But otherwise, this book has some serious flaws that I would argue, should discourage most from reading it. My biggest problem with this book is that he falls into the pitfall that college education should be little more than a job training site, an idea I used to believe until it was fully debunked for me in the far-superior "Will College Pay Off?" That author effectively argued that using college as a job training site is worse for everyone--except, sometimes, employers. I agree. But I could've been persuaded otherwise, had Bennett made any actual points about the relationship of employers and graduates. He did not. Mostly this book made me really, really angry. Maybe it's just because I'm reading this in the post-Trump era, but I am seriously scared that this man was ever Secretary of Education. Instead of a book on the worthiness of college--I would've settled for monetarily or educationally, as long as they were conclusions fueled by data--this book discusses what Bennett personally thinks is wrong with the system. Sometimes, what he thinks is wrong is contradictory, like when he advocates for employment-based education in technical fields like engineering and oil mining, and pages later laments the fall of a broad, liberal arts education that he claims, was good enough for England to build what he alludes was the greatest empire ever (nevermind that citing England's problematic nightmare of colonialism in a book about college as a healthy example of government is a bit tone-deaf, as educated readers will know how hurtful that colonialism was worldwide.) Often, what he wants seems to not be based on an objective anything, but rather on his subjective feelings. For example, he complains that most professors on college campuses are liberal. Later, instead of arguing for colleges with a diversity of viewpoints (which would make sense, although I still think it's besides the point and scope of this book,) he encourages students to go to colleges with histories of conservative traditions. So apparently, one-sided political views are only wrong if they are not in agreement with him. Similarly, he uses code words like "ethical" or "moral" when he really means aligned with "Christian" (or what US conservatives today think of as Christian, I'll let you do the math on whether that's actually Christian or not) values. He spends an inordinate amount of time on the disadvantages of coed dorms and the pitfalls of partying. He loudly champions colleges with openly evangelical agendas, even though according to his logic on the pitfalls of education having only one viewpoint, this is probably not the best idea for students. And sometimes what he says is incendiary, being subtly sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise morally (not a code word, I mean actual right-and-wrong) incorrect. He states that all identity studies--on race, gender, disability, or sexuality-- are a waste of academic time, actually saying that they are "everything that's wrong with humanities today." He seems to think that hiring a diversity coordinator is a complete waste of money for a university, despite the obvious historical record that we need these people to work with students who otherwise wouldn't be there (look to the disability movement if the racial one is too charged to stomach.) And he somehow believes that reading the classics through a postmodern lens by comparing and contrasting them to other, more recent and diverse works, or noticing their elitist, bourgeois, etc. undertones, cheapens them, when those of us who were taught this way actually know it did quite the opposite. They can be taught respectfully and historically, recognizing that the Declaration of Independence is a beautiful document while also being hypocritical because some of its writers, while preaching equality, owned slaves. Learning that contradiction is actual education, not indoctrination, which is what he seems to be leaning towards as an ideal model.

  16. 4 out of 5

    PuchoAlmighty666

    I liked some portions of the book, the author did make some valid points. . .I chose to read this book, cause I am against the so-called higher learning in America (which is a huge colossal failure. . .people get their precious degrees, move back with parents and work at a fast food restaurant to pay off their debt). P.S: I gave it 3 stars, cause during my reading of the book. I Googled William J Bennett's name and found out he was the politician, that wanted Time Warner parent company of Warner I liked some portions of the book, the author did make some valid points. . .I chose to read this book, cause I am against the so-called higher learning in America (which is a huge colossal failure. . .people get their precious degrees, move back with parents and work at a fast food restaurant to pay off their debt). P.S: I gave it 3 stars, cause during my reading of the book. I Googled William J Bennett's name and found out he was the politician, that wanted Time Warner parent company of Warner Music Group to drop Ice-T from their label.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    When you read the title of this book your first thought might be is the author going to convince me college is not worth it? Not the case! The book does a great job giving advice on what questions to ask to determine if and what college plan would be right for each person. College shouldn’t be a cookie cutter 4 yr program everyone has to complete with no guarantee of a job and you are left with debt to pay back. This book will be a great reference as we begin to navigate post high school educati When you read the title of this book your first thought might be is the author going to convince me college is not worth it? Not the case! The book does a great job giving advice on what questions to ask to determine if and what college plan would be right for each person. College shouldn’t be a cookie cutter 4 yr program everyone has to complete with no guarantee of a job and you are left with debt to pay back. This book will be a great reference as we begin to navigate post high school education for our kids.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bob Collins

    The book was in print five years before I read it, but it feels very contemporary; the current statistics are not so much different (maybe a little worse) than those given in the book and the advice is still pertinent. Recommend to anyone who wants to go to college or to send someone off to college.

  19. 4 out of 5

    David McClendon, Sr

    Who would know better about the state of education in America than a former secretary of education? William Bennett and David Wilezol explore the state of education in this very informative book. Everyone who is contemplating attending college should read this book. The authors tell the reader about how the cost of tuition rises to meet the financial aid available. The authors also confirm something that I have been sure of all along. Colleges are not teaching anything any longer. They are cr Who would know better about the state of education in America than a former secretary of education? William Bennett and David Wilezol explore the state of education in this very informative book. Everyone who is contemplating attending college should read this book. The authors tell the reader about how the cost of tuition rises to meet the financial aid available. The authors also confirm something that I have been sure of all along. Colleges are not teaching anything any longer. They are creating a product and trying to satisfy customers to keep the money rolling in. As a result, the level of education received is of little to no value. We see in this book about the state of the K-12 education system in the United States and how it must be improved. Years ago, my wife’s grandmother had to read and understand A Tale of Two Cities. Grandma was in the third grade at the time. Today, students do not read that book until high school, if at all. I have seen projects turned in for a master’s level course that was full of grammatical errors and misspellings and that project received an A. When I see the level of work that is A level for a junior college, I think that level of work is unacceptable even at a junior high school level. All is not lost. The book provides a list of schools that provide a good value for the investment. I am very happy to see some of these. I am disturbed by the schools that did not make the list. This book is very well documented and well researched. It is well written and easy to read. I count this as a “Must-read” book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  20. 5 out of 5

    David

    authors' answer to the title question, maybe unsurprisingly, is that it depends. If you are going because you want to qualify for a job with a high salary, but you are neither good at nor interested in school, spend 5+ years at [or perhaps drop out along the way, like about half of your peers] a mediocre, expensive private school in a liberal arts major, and run up massive student loan debt, then no, it was not your best option. A community college or trade school or military enlistment or just authors' answer to the title question, maybe unsurprisingly, is that it depends. If you are going because you want to qualify for a job with a high salary, but you are neither good at nor interested in school, spend 5+ years at [or perhaps drop out along the way, like about half of your peers] a mediocre, expensive private school in a liberal arts major, and run up massive student loan debt, then no, it was not your best option. A community college or trade school or military enlistment or just getting any job you can while taking free online courses would have been preferable. if on the other hand you are a focused go-getter intending a STEM major and/or get in to one of the most selective/prestigious schools in the country and/or get sizable need-based scholarships or have rich parents who can and will write the check, and/or want to be in a Christian envt. [coauthor is a grad student in Greek and Latin at Catholic U, which turns out to be one of the schools they cite as worth attending!), then have at it. Most of the material will not be new if you pay attention to higher education trends and studies or are even casually attentive to business info (not sure anybody who is considering both would have failed to figure out that petroleum engineering > anthropology on average for getting you a high-paying first job after graduation), but against a backdrop of widespread encouragement of college for all, it does serve as a useful reminder that you don't have to go to college to make something of your life, and not everybody is ready to make the most of the opportunity at age 18. Beyond that, you may find the book tough sledding if you don't share the authors' conservative politics. Lots of sneering, more than extended argument, about the pointlessness of, for instance, Williams College having a queer life coordinator, the existence of too much partying and video game playing among young people who don't work as hard as Bill Bennett and his peers did back in the day, and so on.

  21. 5 out of 5

    John

    A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education. It's provided 21,674 books, articles, and dissertations on Shakespeare from 1980 to 2006, 3,584 on Faulkner, 3,437 on Dickens, etc. K-12 spending has tripled over the last 50 years, and the results are getting worse not better. Until K-12 education improves dramatically, there is only so much room for improvement in higher education. The crime here, beyond the squandering of pu A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education. It's provided 21,674 books, articles, and dissertations on Shakespeare from 1980 to 2006, 3,584 on Faulkner, 3,437 on Dickens, etc. K-12 spending has tripled over the last 50 years, and the results are getting worse not better. Until K-12 education improves dramatically, there is only so much room for improvement in higher education. The crime here, beyond the squandering of public dollars, is the waste of time we inflict on children. 12 years of education are compulsory, and many kids have nothing to show for it afterward. "If you live like a professional while you are in school, you will live like a student while a professional." 12 million full-time postsecondary students in US, this debt is spread far and wide across the US economy. 1 in 5 households owe student debt; 40% of households headed by someone 35 and younger In 1960 fewer than 10% 25 and older Americans had a college degree, By 2012, the number was a little more than 30%. Harvard predicts only 1/3 of jobs created in the near future will require a BS or higher. In 1960, 75% of professors were full-time, tenure-track professors. Today, only 27% are. Many colleges and university's are more concerned with their bottom lines than their student's academic well-being. 58% of all first-time students who started 4 year schools in 2004 graduated within 6 years. Why should America tell its high school graduates that college is always the best investment, when many pay an enormous amount of $ for no degree? With unemployment rate for recent grads hovering around 50%, we suspect the calculus for the return on college is likely to change.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kelly

    At the time I read this book and am writing this review, I have two teenage stepsons in high school. Where and whether they will be going to college is a looming decision. The prevailing wisdom is that going to college is a good decision and will improve the lives of those who do so. I spent several years in college, so I know the answer is more nuanced. For me, college was definitely the right decision, but for many of the people I knew there, it was not necessarily so. As the author of this bo At the time I read this book and am writing this review, I have two teenage stepsons in high school. Where and whether they will be going to college is a looming decision. The prevailing wisdom is that going to college is a good decision and will improve the lives of those who do so. I spent several years in college, so I know the answer is more nuanced. For me, college was definitely the right decision, but for many of the people I knew there, it was not necessarily so. As the author of this book is conservative, I went into this book somewhat expecting to read diatribes railing against hippies and lesbians brainwashing today's youths on college campuses, but I knew from the reviews that the author did cite evidence for his conclusions. There was a bit of discussion about the quality of education being offered in colleges today, but not too much. The author's answer to the question posed by the title is "It depends." He does a good job explaining who he thinks would benefit from a college education and who would not, along with what types of colleges and majors are and aren't worth the expense. He also makes the very good point that there *are* good, skilled, high-paying jobs available that don't require a full four-year college degree. I disagreed with some of the author's conclusions. He is a Catholic, and he seems to believe that the best possible education is to be had at small religious colleges with a more traditional curriculum. All in all, this is a very thoughtful book that is highly recommended for anyone making choices about college for themselves or their children.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    The whole book, from different points, brings to light the fact that schools are failing, students don’t really care – they are just looking for a piece of paper, schools are irrelevant for today’s employers, and overall prices (due to ever increasing school loan availability and ever increasing tuition raises because of the availability of the loans – it’s a circular phenomenon). The book highlights the costs of attending a university and the payoff of attending. The book advocates not attendin The whole book, from different points, brings to light the fact that schools are failing, students don’t really care – they are just looking for a piece of paper, schools are irrelevant for today’s employers, and overall prices (due to ever increasing school loan availability and ever increasing tuition raises because of the availability of the loans – it’s a circular phenomenon). The book highlights the costs of attending a university and the payoff of attending. The book advocates not attending college if the circumstances aren’t correct and how many times ‘white collar workers’ look down upon ‘blue collar workers’ because of a perceived lack of education. However, many times, the blue collar workers are making more money than white and are doing it without going to school. It’s just another example of why schools are antiquated and unfulfilling. Test scores go down while funding goes up. Page 103 – Payscale.com numbers on best ROI (Return on Investment) for 1,248 four-year colleges. Page 141 – Bennett laments the current state of K-12 education. From the College Board 2012, “SAT reading scores for graduating high school seniors hit a four decade low; just 43 % of test taking students were college ready.” Page 145 – Mark Cuban “As an employer I want the best prepared and qualified employees. I could care less if the source of their education was accredited by a bunch of old men and women who think they know what is best for the world. I want people who can do the job. I want the best and brightest. Not a piece of paper.” Page 217 – Schools worth attending www.veggierunner.com

  24. 4 out of 5

    Coyle

    "Don't flush your money away on college" is the basic message of Bill Bennett's and David Wilezol's Is College Worth It? Between rising education costs, fewer job opportunities, and the reality that most jobs do not require a college degree, ICWI makes a compelling argument that you very well might be better off foregoing college and learning a trade, participating in online education, or simply entering the workforce. Overall, ICWI Is very a worthwhile book. First, it is by and large well-written "Don't flush your money away on college" is the basic message of Bill Bennett's and David Wilezol's Is College Worth It? Between rising education costs, fewer job opportunities, and the reality that most jobs do not require a college degree, ICWI makes a compelling argument that you very well might be better off foregoing college and learning a trade, participating in online education, or simply entering the workforce. Overall, ICWI Is very a worthwhile book. First, it is by and large well-written and a quick read. The exception to this rule is that from time to time the flow gets bogged down a bit in statistics (which is a drawback I list below as well), but as far as I could tell none of the statistics were superfluous and it wasn't distracting enough to make me want to set it aside. Second, ICWI is brutally honest about the increasing financial cost of a college education compared to the real-world opportunities-- opportunities a college education doesn't really open up at all, despite the common cultural belief that if you don't go to college you've somehow failed at life. To repeat: college does not guarantee you a good job and a happy life. People who say otherwise are either ignorant, liars, or university recruiters. Read the rest here: http://coyleneal.blogspot.com/2013/07...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    The authors' main points are college is not for everyone (in contrast to a quote attributed to President Obama that a goal should be for everyone to have a college education), student borrowing is out of control, schools have expensive and unneccessary amenities and programs and many schools are not teaching or students are not learning the classics, history and marketable skills. And while I believe that the authors make some valid points, I also think that some of their figures and statistics The authors' main points are college is not for everyone (in contrast to a quote attributed to President Obama that a goal should be for everyone to have a college education), student borrowing is out of control, schools have expensive and unneccessary amenities and programs and many schools are not teaching or students are not learning the classics, history and marketable skills. And while I believe that the authors make some valid points, I also think that some of their figures and statistics must be misleading. Somethings that surprised me: "...only 58% of all first-time college student who started at four-year schools in 2004 graduated within six years." (163) SIX Years?! "...China, seeing many graduates unable to find jobs, planned to cancel college majors in which the employment rate for graduates falls below 60 percent for two consecutive years." (66) This seemed like a good and logical suggestion: "Another possibility would be for each college to pay a fee for every one of its students who defaults on a student loan, or have a 10 to 20 percent equity stake in each loan that originates at its school." (54) This book was a quick read with lots of food for thought.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Armand

    Absolute must read for anyone who is considering pursing a college degree or parents with kids who have started to consider the option of college. The book was an eye-opening account of higher education in America. The author listed specific bullet points that have stayed with me, such as: • Half of all college graduates 2010-11 were unemployed or dramatically underemployed • The three most successful college attendees of our generation were dropouts- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg • I Absolute must read for anyone who is considering pursing a college degree or parents with kids who have started to consider the option of college. The book was an eye-opening account of higher education in America. The author listed specific bullet points that have stayed with me, such as: • Half of all college graduates 2010-11 were unemployed or dramatically underemployed • The three most successful college attendees of our generation were dropouts- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg • If all of K-12 education in the United States were as good as the best of K-12 education in the US, America’s high school graduates would be better educated than most of today’s college graduates • By the year 2018, nearly 14 million jobs will be available that will require more than a high school diploma but less than a four year degree • Two-thirds of people who go to four-year colleges right out of high school should do something else.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    If you subtracted Bennett's social conservatism, this would be the perfect book. K-12 education needs to be more rigorous and prepares students for work in the modern world. likewise, universities should do more to cultivate personal development, a la John Stuart Mill. ( I'm a huge fan of Mill.) Furthermore, we have to stop looking down our noses at skilled employment. Smart people work hard in every field and must be valued for their contributions. Following, there should be clear vocational tr If you subtracted Bennett's social conservatism, this would be the perfect book. K-12 education needs to be more rigorous and prepares students for work in the modern world. likewise, universities should do more to cultivate personal development, a la John Stuart Mill. ( I'm a huge fan of Mill.) Furthermore, we have to stop looking down our noses at skilled employment. Smart people work hard in every field and must be valued for their contributions. Following, there should be clear vocational tracks as valuable culturally and educationally as college. As for correlating promiscuity with low academic standards, I find that as pernicious as finding all values as meaningless as tribal sexual mores. Common democratic values exist and are vital to our society even if we don't agree on the "right" ways to express human sexuality.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Annie Kate

    Colleges are encouraging students to get into debt for their education, and this has serious consequences. In the United States, most students have significant debts upon graduation. Many cannot afford to get married, have children, have a stay-at-home parent, or buy a house, for years and years. Some young people’s situations are even worse, because some degrees lead to such poor jobs that repaying the loans is almost hopeless. Is a college degree worth all this?.... Read the rest of my review. Colleges are encouraging students to get into debt for their education, and this has serious consequences. In the United States, most students have significant debts upon graduation. Many cannot afford to get married, have children, have a stay-at-home parent, or buy a house, for years and years. Some young people’s situations are even worse, because some degrees lead to such poor jobs that repaying the loans is almost hopeless. Is a college degree worth all this?.... Read the rest of my review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cafelilybookreviews

    Every parent with children, should read this book. It is eye opening and informative, and just may change the way you look at college for your child's future. This book gives parents tools to research the best educational path for their children. Readers should take away from this book that a college degree does not guarantee a job in the times we live in, and there are other effective methods in preparing for various careers. This book was very eye opening and interesting to read. I highly reco Every parent with children, should read this book. It is eye opening and informative, and just may change the way you look at college for your child's future. This book gives parents tools to research the best educational path for their children. Readers should take away from this book that a college degree does not guarantee a job in the times we live in, and there are other effective methods in preparing for various careers. This book was very eye opening and interesting to read. I highly recommend it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Very readable - easy to "digest" format and very eye-opening. A must read for parent's of high school children, especially those who may be college-bound. College costs, academic rigor, and the value of education as it relates to employment have drastically changed in the past 20 years - appallingly so. Highly recommend. I did feel though that the last 100 pages were a bit repetitious - mostly summarizing with a bit of new material, and then filled out with endnotes and index. Very readable - easy to "digest" format and very eye-opening. A must read for parent's of high school children, especially those who may be college-bound. College costs, academic rigor, and the value of education as it relates to employment have drastically changed in the past 20 years - appallingly so. Highly recommend. I did feel though that the last 100 pages were a bit repetitious - mostly summarizing with a bit of new material, and then filled out with endnotes and index.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...