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

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

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by William J. Bennett, David Wilezol
     
 

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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:

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In a charged exchange, radio host and Washington insider Bennett (Morning in America, America: The Last Best Hope; A Century Turns: New Hope New Fears) asks the question "Is college worth it?" while coauthor and graduate student Wilezol (associate producer, Morning in America) retorts with "the broken promise of higher education," in a conversation volley that's sure to ruffle some feathers. Phrases such as "paltry amount of learning," "fantasyland," "lower impulses," "morally adrift," and "chains of student debt" are peppered throughout the text as the authors outline the folly of encouraging college for everyone and overlooking the value of a top-notch high school education, trade schools, apprenticeships, and online courses. Controversial statistics and statements are cited in endnotes, although the sources range from government reports to opinion pieces and blog posts that sometimes make it hard to determine fact from opinion. VERDICT Readers expecting an evenhanded discussion of the benefits and risks of a traditional college education will be disappointed. Mildly useful for students and families beginning to explore post-high school options to maximize employment potential and minimize college tuition debt.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595552792
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
397,027
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Dr. William J. Bennett is one of America’s most influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and educational issues. Host of the top-ten nationally syndicated radio shows, “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America,” he is also the Distinguished Fellow of the American Strategy Group. He is the author and editor of more than twenty-five books, and lives near Washington, DC.

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Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every parent and child who wants to go to college needs to read this book! It covers the true costs of a college education, what degrees are best suited for the work force and which are a waste of time and money, and why most colleges and universities don't deliver when it comes to a quality education. Alternative forms of education are also mentioned. The importance and critical need for electricians, plumbers and mechanics are emphasized, along with the fact that they often make more than their college counterparts! I wish I had this book thirty years ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. 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.”
UncleDennis More than 1 year ago
Dr. Bennett and his book partner Mr. Wilezol paint a clear picture of higher education and all its warts -- the system we have and the pressures put on students to go to college, and the mismatch of students (when considering their abilities, aptitudes, attitudes, and place in life) to the institutions and programs of study they select. Really great to see our authors break down the myths that abound regarding college (i.e., Ivy League colleges are always worth the costs, college should be the goal for ALL students, and so many more) and get to what is real (degrees in petroleum engineering have extremely good payoffs, and community college and military service may be right for many high school graduates). Not a very long book, but absolutely a top recommendation for all parents of high schoolers. And, as a working professional in higher education, a must-read for anyone in student services or administration -- if only to see what damage we do when we overgeneralize the idea of "college for everyone" for our applicants and prospects.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
This book is an excellent resource for all young student considering their future plans.  The authors take a good look at our current post-secondary education system and offer some practical advice.  They lay out the black-and-white numbers of tuition and debt, as well as the likelihood of getting a job upon graduation.  What I especially enjoy was how the authors suggested people give a second look at community college, associate degrees, and trade schools.  While these alternatives tend to be looked down upon, the authors demonstrate how they are very lucrative and require great amounts of skill and hard work.  Also interesting was how this book dives into the political direction of many schools and the biases that are taught in some institutions.  While this book gives a list of some schools that they recommend, I must stress that this is just a resource for students and should not be their only reference.  The schools listed in this book are few and do not cover all of them.  While this school put a slight emphasis on evangelical and Christian learning institutions, I was a bit sad they did not include Jewish learning institutions.  After all, Jews highly respect the Tanach (known to Christians as the Old Testament) and are known to have high levels of both intelligence and work ethic in education.