Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Is College Worth It? by William J. Bennett and David Wilezol

In Is College Worth It?, William J. Bennett and David Wilezol "expose the broken promise of higher education."  They examine the financial crises caused by student loans, the rising tuition costs, how tuition money is being misused by universities and how many students are often unable to find employment with their degrees after accumulating thousands of dollars of debt. They take a hard look at the quality of education students are receiving and whether or not a college education is worth the investment. Alternative post-secondary educational options for various types of students are also discussed.

There were several aspects of this book that I appreciated, like how they exposed the misuse of student and taxpayer money at many universities to pay presidents and faculty outrageous salaries, offer programs and courses with little academic value, and improve campus aesthetics.  It opened my eyes to how much our culture looks down on blue-collar jobs, when there's actually a great need for skilled workers to fill those positions.  It also points out that classic literature, disciplines and character training are no longer being taught, nor do students learn to effectively write, speak, teach or make decisions.  Tolerance and diversity has become the great mission of many universities, meanwhile identity studies are actually damaging to individuals and societies.

However, despite the positive qualities, I also found the book to be quite boring at times.  I recognize that statistics and numbers are necessary to prove where the education model is lacking, but I think the information could have been presented in a more interesting manner.  Although the book is definitely informative, I don't think a teen considering what kind of post-secondary path to pursue would likely read through the book far enough to make an informed decision. Overall, I would rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through and was not required to write a positive review.

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