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DON’T GO TO COLLEGE! March 15, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition.
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Interesting video by Stefan Molyneux below, and one that is most timely for my family.  To make matters bearable for my wife, we “paired up” my oldest and 2nd oldest daughters, born 18 months apart, into the same school grade when the started kindergarten many years ago. This made eminent sense, as the twins came after these two and would constitute their own grade.  So my oldest daughter started homeschooling at age 6 while the next was 4.

But what that also means is that I will have two girls graduating high school the same year, 2018.  For a long time, however, we have had the strong sense that our oldest daughter was not destined for college, while her younger sister was much more likely to go.  And that’s very much turned out to be the case.  Our oldest might go to community college or get a 2 year degree in some kind of artistic field.  Her sister, however, is taking the standardized tests and doing really very well.  She might wind up with a better score than any I was able to attain by the time she’s done.

Right now, however, she’s leaning towards a natural science degree, in a “hard science” like biology.  While she’ll probably attend UD – which is her school of choice – I kind of view a BS in natural science as sort of the floor  for a major that makes getting a degree worthwhile, economically. Especially when you factor in the fact that UD is a private university. I’m also leery of biology as a degree, even at a fairly Catholic uni like UD, because the field of biology is eaten up with the cult of evolution.

The commentary from Stefan Molyneux plays into this thesis.  It makes me want to encourage her exploring engineering a bit more, perhaps biomedical engineering as a cousin she is close to is majoring in right now at UT-San Antonio.  But J really wants to stay close to home.  We’ll see.

I have been pretty upfront with my kids, however.  If they want to get a degree, it needs to be in some field where there is a reasonable payout for the hideous expense involved, be it finance, compsci, engineering, hard science, management information systems, or whatever.  Otherwise, they better get pretty close to a full ride scholarship, or it ain’t happening.  I am also hopeful that online degrees of low cost but sufficient gravitas really begin to emerge as my kids enter college. That might be another alternative.

It is a brilliant point to bring up the fact that making college “free” would have the direct effect of radically reducing the worth of having a college degree – about akin to a high school diploma today.  Then an entire new level of credentialization would have to emerge to replace what college is today – be it post-graduate degrees or something beyond PhD.

Interestingly, that is why my alma mater – The University of Texas – has fought for years to keep its enrollment below 50,000, with about 30-35,000 of those being undergrads (of whom maybe 60-70% actually graduate with a degree).  They have done this for several reasons – limitations of space as an urban university, funding limitations, etc., but also because they want the degrees to have a certain value.  At present, UT graduates about 7-8000 undergraduates a year.  There are typically about 300-400,000 living graduates at any one time.  If UT did what A&M is doing, which is expanding to 70,000-80,000 or beyond, they would produce twice as many graduates and potentially reduce the value of their degrees.

It is exceedingly odd for me to say this, though it is a sense I have had developing over the past several years (college not being worth the expense in many degree fields, in addition to being a source of very dangerous indoctrination).  My parents were the first people in both of their families to ever get college degrees, though my mom did not get hers until she was nearly 40.  My brother and sister and I all went to college as a matter of course.  My wife’s experience is similar.  And yet she only used her degree professionally for a few years before graduating to full time motherhood (which may well be the case for most of my daughters).  Here I feel like I am turning my back on something that has been taken for granted as a critical part of the ascent to the upper middle class in this country for generations.

Yet, there are fewer and fewer reasons to obtain degrees of exponentially increasing cost.  There are sources of learning available anywhere in the world today that were unimaginable when I was of college age.  The college experience is increasingly dangerous for souls.  I just had the lamentable tale related to me a few days ago of a father whose daughter was totally lost in the sexular pagan leftist zeitgeist, a zeitgeist she absorbed while a student at Oklahoma University, of all places.  There are very few intellectually and morally “safe” colleges.  I strongly recommend children either go to a college they can attend while living at home, or living with family that can be trusted implicitly.

Lots of factors. Lots of opportunities for soul-crushing mistakes.  Err on the side of caution.  Perhaps more specifically, err on the side of what is the safest route morally and ecclesiastically, even if that involves something of an economic penalty. Easy for me to say, however.

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Comments

1. Marc - March 15, 2017

Marvelous commentary!! I’m doing what I can to foster entrepreneurship or the trades at this point w/ my children. And that there shall be no borrowing of money to do it.

Tantumblogo - March 15, 2017

If any young men in the DFW area are interested in learning a skilled trade as an air conditioning repair man from a really good AC man I’d be happy to put them in touch. John has been looking to expand his business for years and wants to train young men but has had a really hard time finding any with the motivation to work the long hours and put in the time to develop the needed skills themselves.

The AC expert I know is a nominal Catholic but runs a very solid, moral business and is a true professional. He’s also has quite an intellect.

Marc - March 15, 2017

Can’t help. St. Louis here 🙂 But I think others are in the same boat. My back door neighbor has a difficult time getting mechanics to want to work on Volvos.

2. The Lord's Blog - March 16, 2017

Reblogged this on Jean'sBistro2010's Blog.

3. Margaret Costello - March 16, 2017

As a former transfer counselor for a college admissions office, I would advise all parents to not bother sending their kids to a four year private or public college for the first two years. Obtain the Liberal Arts Core at a local community college and then apply to the four year college of your choice which has the specific major you are looking for. Be sure to work with the four year college’s admissions office to make sure the Liberal Arts Core will be transferred/accepted. Saves everyone two years of high cost education. Also, agree that people should look to the trades and other practical type schools instead of a college degree. That degree (in English and Education) did nothing for me other than maybe a teaching job. But I decided by the end that teaching wasn’t for me. There are lots of online classes you can take for training in computer, graphics etc. as well as business programs like Quickbooks, Windows Office and other programs. If I had to do it over again, I would have gone two years at a CC, majored in business and accounting and done many classes on programs that would get me in the door. College was a cesspool morally. I wouldn’t pay to send my child to lose their soul. God bless~

Baseballmomof8 - March 16, 2017

That is what almost all my kids have done… two years at the CC and two at the local public four year… and they lived at home all four years….except for the one who got a baseball scholarship for his last two years. Very little debt for any of them… except the lawyer kid… but that debt should pay off… eventually.

4. S. Armaticus - March 16, 2017

Great post.

What I would also suggest, and that is to everyone here, is to look up Stefan Molyneux’s videos on “sexual market value” and r/K reproductive theory. The material comes at early adulthood from an “economist’s” perspective.

What is great about the manner in which he presents the critical aspects of this “phase of life” is that it really resonates with girls who are hitting 24 to 28 age. I have two nieces to whom I sent the videos. They really took the information on board. Now when they go on a date, they “interview” rather than just engage in mindless chatter. One has been so successful in fact, that she has a young man (last year in medical school) literally traveling long distances to “win her heart”. She also is hooked, but is not letting on just yet.

I am also introducing this info to my young sons in tiny doses. I figure it’s never too early to start.

On another note, the CC and subsequent transfer to 4 year University is a great way to go. I did just that and had no problems getting into a “top 10” research university for grad school. And I can say that it was worth every penny.

5. Blaine - March 16, 2017

On a related note, I’ve put my kids’ savings into Universal Trusts to Minor Accounts (UTMA) vice the highly recommended 529 plans. This will give them a much more flexibility in their decisions when the reach the age of majority, as they aren’t pigeonholed into college, and also doesn’t support the higher academic scam for 18 years.

I’m working with a financial advisor now to tailor my family’s investments to funds more in-line with Catholic moral principles which is a difficult and costly process but worth it. Ave Maria Funds is a good place to start.

6. Camper - March 16, 2017

Couple of things from a serious expert here. First of all, there is far too much subsidy money in the United States for education, particularly “higher” education. Huge numbers of people are in college who have no business being there, and huge numbers of programs are very flaky (business, sociology, psychology, PC studies, flaky versions of good liberal arts courses, cartography, even history and political science, etc.) I know that Mr. Molyneaux said something like this, but he didn’t say it precisely.

Unfortunately, because of the way the marriage market works, if your child has about an SAT score of 1200 or so or more, than he should probably get a bachelor’s degree, even if it is just an online degree. An online degree plus community college might be the way to go. The disadvantage of this idea is that you’ll probably still be costing the taxpayer money for a degree that often is worth very little. There would be great honor in getting an online degree from a completely private institution instead of putting the taxpayer on the hook for a degree that you yourself don’t value. Something to think about.

If you have an SAT of 1300 or more (1994 scale, which I understand is being reintroduced), then your child, as a Catholic, needs to know some higher-level philosophy and theology. He definitely needs to know apologetics backwards and forwards, because the Church today desperately needs converts. One might try to get college credit for apologetics knowledge, but it may not be out there. For people with above a 1300 on the SAT, I strongly recommend a year at Thomas Aquinas College in California. The school is cheap for a private school, financial aid packages are generous, and one can finish one’s degree at a state school. State schools don’t teach theology, though Texas A&M has a Thomist in the philosophy department.

Uni. of Dallas is a pale copy of TAC. I understand that UD is a major consideration since you live very close by. One thing to consider is that Americans today are overwhelmingly ignorant and tend not to have intellectual lives, even among brilliant people, due to the effects of democracy. Nevertheless, it is far better to go to TAC for a year, then transfer to a state school. One of the Dougherty sons got honors in the philosophy department at UD but had never read Plato’s Republic. That’s a damning indictment, not just of the philosophy department, but of UD as a whole.

You can’t understand the importance of philosophy and theology until you’ve learned it, which means that parents are advised to send their child to TAC for a year. Those who don’t study philosophy and theology from TAC won’t understand how dramatic a reform America’s educational system really needs. Really. UD is a pale shadow of a school compared to TAC.

Tim - March 16, 2017

For the theology and philosophy you can still do better on less money. My son goes to St. Marys College run by the SSPX and gets the real deal. TAC still has Novus Ordo influence. Plus, St. Marys is much more economical. ~$12k for tuition, room and board. Then the student can transfer the credits to Kansas State or University of Kansas or a few other schools to finish a 4 year degree.

Camper - March 16, 2017

I’m SSPX so obviously I would support St. Mary’s in principle. Are you sure that their credits would be accepted by Kansas public universities? What about universities in other parts of the country? I thought St. Mary’s classes were not accredited.

Tim - March 16, 2017

They are not accredited. However, the Dean at St. Marys has made arrangements with Kansas State University in Manhattan and University of Kansas in Lawrence for direct transfer. There were a few other smaller colleges in Kansas and Missouri that he has made arrangements with, but I don’t recall them. Ironically, my son, who graduates from St. Marys at the end of May, got an acceptance letter from Kansas State University today. He may be able to live in St. Marys as well as St. Marys is only 20 miles on US 24 from Manhattan. MUCH better environment than the main campus housing.

Eoin Suibhne - March 16, 2017

TAC alum here. As for understanding the importance of philosophy and theology once you’ve learned it, I say, “Amen.” I’ll also say emphatically that one year at TAC is not enough to learn either of those things. Indeed, we were reminded regularly that the entire four-year program was itself “only a good beginning.”

Eoin Suibhne - March 17, 2017

To underscore my point, freshmen at TAC read only the bible in Theology; students don’t even crack open St. Thomas (in Theology) until junior year. Philosophy is more robust, if you will, in the freshman year, but again, to leave TAC after one year believing you have “learned” either is incorrect.

around here - March 17, 2017

UD grad here. Extremely difficult for me to believe that a philosophy major could get by without reading The Republic. I wasn’t a philosophy major and only took the required four philosophy classes for all undergrads. We probably covered it a bit in philosophy but the place I do remember reading some of it was in the intro to Politics class which was required of all students. This was in the eighties.

As far as the blogger’s artistically inclined daughter goes, it would be great if she could do UD for three semesters — her freshman year, then the Rome semester. Lots of exposure to art and architecture. Then transfer if needed.

As far as biology at UD goes, it’s been awhile since I was there but the “real” science majors had to compete with the pre-meds back in the day. UD at the time had a high acceptance rate for med school — due to Sr. Clo’s “weeding out” process from what I understand. RE: evolution or anything else you don’t subscribe to — If your student is up for the fight — and I hope a homeschooled student would be — they can enter the field of their talent and choice and be the one who changes things. Don’t just sit back and let people railroad you. I maintained my Catholic faith through public school here in the Bible Belt.

Camper - March 17, 2017

The philosophy major had two opportunities during his time at UD to read it. What I remember is that he didn’t read it. Maybe this is a case of telephone in which I’ve forgotten that he read part of it, but that’s not what I remember him telling me. Absolutely damning of UD as a whole. He was an honors student, too. UD has changed significantly since the 80s or even the 90s. Not the same place. The administration obviously is no longer orthodox Catholic. It looks like the faculty and the student body are still relatively Catholic.

Jamboree - March 21, 2017

As a recent UD grad (2016), I find your anecdotal story unbelievable and philosophy snub highly specious. The Republic appears in at least two core classes and was frequently referenced by professors in off-discipline subjects. It’s possible the student didn’t read it, but that’s on him not the university. Running with your story, it would be impossible for that student to make it out without a thorough basis in Thomistic thought, given that Thomas shows up in every single philosophy class. Further, I was amazed how often my history, literature, and theology professors referenced philosophy fluently. The required Am Civ and West Civ tracks are squarely grounded in western tradition. Every core curriculum professor was well read and cross disciplined; the majority were Catholic.

Regarding education, UD grads are currently spreading across the country spread Classical education in Great Hearts schools. SOunds like a pretty dramatic education reform to me.

Camper - March 21, 2017

UD obviously deserves a lot of credit, and your points are well made. I still think the place should be boycotted by orthodox Catholics until they agree to change the name of Cardinal Farrell hall. That right there is reason aplenty to boycott it. It’s good that UD students are highly familiar with the Republic. I still think that the process at TAC is superior when it comes to studying the Republic and the rest of good Greek philosophy. Maybe this honors’ student was a real outlier. At TAC, students spend four or five weeks in freshman seminar studying the Republic alone. UD and TAC focus on different things. At UD, there is biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, and maybe nursing. I still hold that if one hasn’t studied four full semesters of Plato and Aristotle at a minimum, one hasn’t learned enough about Greek philosophy to properly reform US education. One really needs to have studied the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics for that. That doesn’t count a lot of other important study of classical antiquity. A minor in philosophy is apparently what the Jesuits used to require when they were orthodox.
Students at TAC read so much more than students at UD that I would hope that a smart and successful TACer would automatically win the respect and deference of a smart and successful UDer who had studied philosophy, theology, and the classics at UD. TAC has UD beat hands down in the liberal arts. It just isn’t serious to say otherwise. TAC also doesn’t have the other disadvantages I’ve enumerated throughout the comments’ section of this article: Protestant services, an obviously heterodox administration, a party-scene that is tolerated, and no dress code. It’s a shame, because UD obviously used to be a very good school. One important advantage that UD has over TAC is that UD teaches Austrian Economics, which is very important. Still, one can learn enough about Austrian Economics by spending time on lewrockwell.com.
Have you seen the reading list at TAC? Go check it out and then argue with me.

Clamshell - March 23, 2017

I knew a father who pulled his son out of TAC because the son started arguing with the father on the phone during every conversation. Perhaps arguing is not the end all be all.

Camper - March 23, 2017

Really smart people need an outstanding education. Most people aren’t cut out to know college level philosophy and theology. TAC is an outstanding education.

7. Camper - March 16, 2017

One last thing. Biology alone is a terrible field. Biology continuing to medicine is a good field, but not for a woman who wants to be a stay-at-home mother. Engineering is a better field because one can flee America with an engineering degree. Not true with many other science degrees.

8. Camper - March 16, 2017

I tried not to do this, but I forgot something important. The opinion of Dr. Gary North is definitely worth considering. garynorth.com. He doesn’t appreciate the importance of philosophy and theology; he is a Protestant, and an ignorant one at that. He’s an economist, which is not the same thing as an education. If you try to study philosophy and theology on your own, or maybe avoid UD, then Gary North’s website is a must.

9. Camper - March 16, 2017

I just read that UD actually has Protestant worship services on campus! It has decided to name its new hall after Cardinal Farrell, a traitor who has aggressively pushed Pope Francis’ heretical teaching in Amoris Laetitiae. Furthermore, the School of Ministry has a heretical undergraduate program in theology.

Eoin Suibhne - March 16, 2017

A few comments regarding UD. YMMV.

Friends of mine whose son attended UD (and whose siblings attended both TAC and Christendom) told me, “You can find serious Catholics there, if you want to.”

I met their president a few years ago at an event on UD’s campus. He was clear in saying that UD has a very generous understanding of what it means to be Catholic.

The on-campus party culture is well-known and tolerated by the administration. I was told this by a former UD administrator.

David - March 17, 2017

My younger brother and a few friends (who I keep in touch with regularly) are UD grads from the 1990s. The classes at UD were not easy, professors taught (not TAs), classes were small, and grade inflation was virtually non existent. My brother got an art degree in four years, which required 139 hours, including a foreign language plus philosophy and theology.

Compare to many state schools, there are 200 students in Biology 101 with a TA who puts notes up on the board. Tests are scan tron (uh, do those still exist?) and graded upon exiting class, and quite a few students ride the curve. Had I been an 18 year old freshman at a large school, I would not have lasted. I did go to a larger school as a retread college student, where most of my classes (except for about four) were composed of forty students.

Camper - March 17, 2017

“A very generous understanding” is a key phrase. UD no longer has a dress code, and students on campus dress like pagans. Definitely not an appropriate place for men. I think Ave Maria has a dress code, which says something not so good about UD.

There are obviously several damning things against UD. I argue that the place needs to be boycotted by zealous Catholics to punish them for naming their newest building after Cardinal “Traitor” Farrell and their other unpardonable sins. Be crucified to the flesh, folks, or we will be crushed!

TAC is a glorious contrast.

Eoin Suibhne - March 17, 2017

It is, Camper, though TAC’s dress code standards with regard to modesty have sadly declined. The world at large would not notice, but I and many of my fellow alumni have noted the change.

TAC has become quite respectable, even prestigious, in the eyes of the world, especially in Southern California. This is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but the college does now attract a greater number of worldly students than in the past. This may be influencing the declining standards of modesty.

This being said, among those Catholic colleges to which I am considering sending my children, it remains the only I know of that offers the TLM every day. And the education is top notch!

David - March 17, 2017

Camper:

I know Christendom College has a dress code. I have donated money there, and collared shirts, slacks, skirts, etc. are required for class and other functions. I think New Hampshire Catholic has one (that’s the one in Warner, the campus was once called Magdalene, and was really strict that dating wasn’t even allowed) too.

Ave Maria University is having some turnover and change (i was disappointed that the pre theology program for prospective seminarians was dropped in 2011) in order to help attract more students and more programs, but it is a good school, and 1 out of 5 alumni have married a classmate. Students there like the fact that the “hookup culture ” found at several universities is basically non existent at Ave Maria University.

A faithful Catholic friends of mine has six children, and one of his daughters is in her second year at the University of Mary in North Dakota and seems to like it there. It seems like a good place.

Tim - March 17, 2017

St. Marys has a very high standard dress code, the only theology and philosophy that does not convey the errors of V2 or the Novus Ordo, is the most economical and has agreementsome with state universities to transfer the credits. It is the “no brainer” choice. Not going at all or going to a local school are other reasonable choices. I have seen so many kids raised by good parents who went to an SSPX, FSSP or ICK parish and then sent the kid to the “safe” Catholic colleges only to see their kids embrace novusordoism or lose the Faith entirely. It’s hard to know what to do.

Eoin Suibhne - March 17, 2017

True enough, Tim.

I know a young man raised in a traditional parish who went to a “safe” Catholic college. He entered thinking he had a Traditional priestly vocation only to fall under the sway of faculty members openly hostile to Tradition. He now is attending a N.O. seminary.

Tim - March 17, 2017

I met some fine students from TAC on The Remnant’s Chartes Pilgrimage a few years ago.
They came in as Novus Ordo youth who hadn’t been shown what Tradition has to offer. After the Pilgrimage it seemed that the experience really opened their eyes to what that had been missing and started embracing it. God bless Michael Matt and Fr. Pendergraft for their great work on the Chartres Pilgrimage each year. ANY young Catholic can get sponsored and go for next to nothing if they simply write to Mr. Matt at The Remnant. There are lots of trads who donate for this funding. If you child isupport high school or college aged……..DO IT, you/they won’t regret it.

10. Canon 212 Update: If We Just Accept More Death, We Can Achieve Greatness! – The Stumbling Block - March 16, 2017

[…] DON’T GO TO COLLEGE! […]

11. KM - March 16, 2017

George Brown College in Toronto offers certificate-level technical training (electronics, electromechanical technician, automation, PLC) online at quite reasonable costs. I’m a mechanical engineer with a bit over 20 years experience and took the electromechanical program as continuing education and was quite satisfied. All solid technical material, no dodgy “arts options” where the secular rot can be slipped in. It is a Canadian college certification, equivalent to a 2-year full time program, thus below bachelor’s degree level. But it is quite affordable, and quite useful for someone wanting to get into that field. https://coned.georgebrown.ca/courses-and-certificates/subject/technical-training-distance-education/

12. David - March 17, 2017

Cost is a big issue today. My brother graduated from Sam Houston State in 1991, and his whole education, including room and board for 4 years totaled was around $18K. (That was back when state tuition was about $24/semester hour ). I graduated from A &M in 1994 and for 2.5 years paid around $8K per year, but my rent was only $150/month and I did have a summer co-op. (Tuition was something like $36/semester hour by 1994).
Today, $24K per year for everything is normal for a state school in Texas. That’s about $100K for college.

Although some degree programs are a little longer (engineering was normal to do 4.5 or 5 years, particularly with a co-op and 135 total hours), there’s really not much of an excuse for a history or political science major to be on the 5 or 6 year plan, particularly when his or her degree is only 128 total hours without having any laboratory time.


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