So true…I don’t even know why people are all that upset about it. The college experience has become just like anything else, corrupted by our society’s wealth inequality and insane greed. So many for profit colleges graduated students whose degrees weren’t even worth the paper it was written upon, meanwhile the actual value of a college degree has plummeted. If you really want what a typical liberal arts college student received (even from a really good school) you can get it off of YouTube, these days…and it will likely be far more entertaining than those boring college lectures ever were.
As for this prestigious college scandal, what parents are really trying to buy is access to an elite and prestigious group…and hey, there is real value in that…always has been. And yeah, people will lie, steal and kill for that, it’s always been that way as well. These prestigious colleges like to pretend that they are all about meritocracy…well they are…until a fat check gets written (and at those schools they always do!) Then it’s about someone’s name on the side of a building and everyone knowing that particular student can do no wrong…not with a building being named after his father or grandfather…doesn’t matter if he comes drunk to every class, blatantly cheating…that student gets a pass…always. Who didn’t know it was like this? Really? Come on!
College actually used to do something, educate people on a certain basic and consensual world view, and thus allowed them to appear “educated” and “professional.”
That basic and consensual world view is all but gone, and appearing educated and professional is easier than ever to accomplish without college (due to the internet)…and even with all the above, a college degree, a real education behind it and a highly professional demeanor, gainful fulfilling employment is still an ever evasive crap-shoot.
In order to get THAT, you need the right CONNECTIONS, and that is why people lie, steal, cheat and maybe even kill to get their kids into these prestigious schools, hob- knobbing in elite circles is well worth the price of admission. Sooooooo, it’s not actually about the college…it’s about gaining admission to an elite and privileged club.
That machine however, only works for the very privileged and wealthy, regular people are largely wasting their time with it, unless willing to self-deprecate in such a way as to ingratiate themselves to the super privileged…so that they may catch some crumbs if the super privileged ever feel even a teeny, tiny bit generous.
But…there are many scrappers who will fight ferociously for those crumbs…and for them, usually, they came by those scraps via the meritocracy, which is to say they worked damned hard for them!
So I don’t know…merit is in there somewhere…just not in the way you think about it typically.
The Information Age has largely made college unnecessary…except for those wanting professional degrees, doctors, lawyers etc. As for those who still go? (Especially to the prestigious schools), it is a luxury akin to a four or five year country club stay…and the colleges are being built like that, now. (Did you know Disney has a college? It does! Very expensive! Around 50k a year…imagine going to college inside a theme park. What could possibly be more fun?)