College Scam – The Great Financial Equalizer is a Lie

College Scam? Yes, as the recent economic calamity has created a bottomless pit of uncertainty in the global job market. As a result, many turn to the academic world of continuing education having little or no recourse but to enroll in a local college to pursue a college degree and for some, a graduate degree. Regardless both will eventually lead to lifelong debt and often employment instability.
College Scam
The usual selling point for college admissions has been the reliance on the traditional acceptance and belief of upward mobility, job stability or even a mid life career change. The combination has created a profit system that has corporatism at it’s root. It has developed into the educational industrial complex resulting in student debt which now surpasses credit card debt in the USA.

I remember reading about Natalie Munroe, a teacher at Central Bucks East High School in Doylestown, Pa who was suspended without pay for writing controversial blog posts about her students. Her harsh and negative comments included, “rude, disengaged, lazy whiners” in describing her students as well as future career options, “I hear the trash company is hiring.” She also verbally lashed out against other teachers and administrators but never identified the school by name.

The media attention and subsequent backlash intensified which clearly originated from an overprotective liberally bias perspective of what George Carlin referred to as a “Child Fetish” syndrome. This solicitous and parental attentiveness can and will ultimately lead to precisely the mentality, attitudes and perspectives of students that Natalie Munroe chastised in her blog. The educational system has created this self perpetuating cycle, maintained by both parents, administrators and teaching methodology alike.

These oblivious parents believe they are being dutiful in their duties, by providing a structured regiment in spite of their overly protectionist nature. However, when these students leave grade, middle and high school, the consequential negative qualities have been reinforced over the years, resulting in a student unequipped to deal with the realities of being a responsible critical thinking individual. High School valedictorian Erica Goldson, made national attention as she passionately appealed to the masses in her speech, urging originality and critical human cerebral innovation against the droves of human automatons created by the American assembly line education system.

This indoctrination process of mass education continues at the college level. Students have already been accustomed to the process of “anti-learning” during all their previous years of compulsory education. This process of being forced to learn, by an overbearing educational administration which designs a cookie cutter curriculum intent on turning out droves of mindless unoriginal thinking students who are complicit, obedient and passive to what they are academically spoon fed. This higher education does little to inspire originality, creativity and critical thinking. Students have been programmed to accept from top down what their educational experience will entail. There is little if any questioning of the subjects, topics, design and overall outcome. Instead the same process of rote memorization and regurgitation of the same useless facts and figures is emphasized on a higher level. Four or five years later the student has graduated, paper in hand, often unsuspecting of what he/she accomplished and without real world skills BUT heavily in debt. A recipe for a disaster in today’s economic depression and globalized competitive world.

But who is too blame and is the fault strictly one sided?

College Scam

The marketing of college to the mainstream student, begins with continual and sustained efforts by droves of high school guidance councilors and teachers, who sell the image of success and getting ahead amidst an ever growing and competitive market. The problem begins when all students are sold the same story and product. This is reinforced by family, friends and even peers who have been directly influenced by the same cyclical factors. Much of the reasoning is masked behind consumerism and materialistic motivations such as keeping up with the proverbial Jones.

How else can you afford that nice house, shiny car or snazzy new gadget?

There is little if any individual assessment and consideration of possibly developing a unique path based on self awareness and independent thought. No afterthought on the uniqueness of each student. Just churn and burn. It’s a number game. The potential student compounds matters by maintaining an unquestioning attitude for he/she believes this person “selling” the value of education has the best interests of the student at heart. The student has already been conditioned by years of general education which has provided him/her with all the answers and more importantly, questions – so, why should the concept of higher education be any different. Just get in line, sign for the loan, sit in class, do the work, get a job and continue to pay your lifelong debt, NEXT! The business system behind higher education understands this paradox all to well. The student is coming for the answers and will not question the offer. They are often anxious to begin a life of more productivity and will not hamper or be defensive towards the sales pitch. This is the next rung up the ladder of controlling the masses by shaping their collective thought process through repetitive uncreative education. As a result, the machine of society is supplied with the necessary cogs, smart enough to run the machines but not inquisitive enough to figure out the overall function of the system.

The deluge of for profit colleges and schools marketing themselves as legitimate institutions of higher education has exploded in America. The union of big business and the medical health industry as well as insurance has been common knowledge for some time. However, most people and especially low income minority students are completely oblivious to this shady unscrupulous industry. Profit, greed and selfish monetary aims are at the central helm of these institutions. They are marketed to the masses of already uneducated, lower income students who have dismal prospects beyond simple food and service sector jobs. Most possess only a GED or high school diploma and are more inclined towards vocational studies as opposed to college education. This scam markets and sells a cheap version at a huge expense to students who are used to being non-critical, compliant and passive in terms of their educational pursuits. As a result, they make the perfect prey for the wolves who hawk these educational contracts from far too many diploma mills, along with massive student loans attached to enrollment.

The students themselves are equally to blame. The uncool stigma attached to being perceived as intelligent is one of the most consistent social concerns for students coming of age in schools everywhere. It becomes particularly evident in middle and high school with either excessive alienation, bullying or complete marginalizing of the student in the “out” crowd. In fact, considering a country (USA) that exports the ghetto mentality (urban fashion, Ebonics, music) and the anti-intelligent coolness with being stupid, the trend comes back to haunt such students when they enter the college and university arena. Often these very same sophomoric mentalities have endured for so long, reinforcing habits and perceptions over the years, exacerbating the stereotypes resulting in unquestioning apathy. Ever wonder why team sports and the resulting pride along with ridiculous mascots and school colors/uniforms are so predominant in American schools from middle school all the way to College? It has a reinforcing principle that programs the complacent group conditioned person, to accept identity through the group perspective rather then the individual, which seems in my opinion, counterproductive to what higher education and individual merit mean as a measure of potential individual success.

Incidentally, while writing this particular hub I am currently enrolled in an undergraduate political science course in international relations at a local southwest Florida community college. Politics, world conflict, history and all social current events has been a major pastime for me, so this course was an experiment of sorts, concerning my own previous self education in contrast with the academic curriculum. Considering I have been to six college/universities thus far, I was curious about the outcome as the course was completely online using distance only learning. This was also my first attempt into the world on the virtual classroom, were everything in terms of a discussion and debate exists in an online forum, were students post questions, responses and assignments. My GPA at this school is currently a 4.0 and I was using this to bolster my acceptance rate to various graduate schools I am currently applying. I consider myself disciplined and astute in various eclectic topics – but I was surprised when I received this email from the Professor regarding my performance and what seems like the comparison of me to my peers based on what this hub addresses as the root problem in higher education on the college level. This email is exactly as I received it minus my identification.

Gxxxxxx, your passion and interest in the subject is evident throughout our work in this course. You are far more advanced in your studies than most (being generous) of the students in this course. Your intensity is inspiring and can stimulate students to further study. Please remember that this is an introductory course and the first course of this subject for most of the class. I just want to make sure that your colleagues are not overwhelmed by your extensive analysis!

This seems like a very inconsiderate and dubious attempt at informing me to “dumb down” my posts (which are all in relation to the course topics) to conform to the educational level and mentality of my peers. It would appear as if my instructor who holds a doctorate degree, feels my current level of involvement is counterproductive to the educational betterment of the class. One would think the opposite would be true, that such intensity would inspire and motivate rather then stifle and cause illegitimate concerns. I think this recent personal experience, has provided the justification to prove the concerns I have raised in this hub, which unfortunately directly address the products of an American standardized educational system.