Ok, I went to college (university or uni – depending on where you are in the world) for four years from age 18-22.
I had a great experience — I went to the same school my dad and sister attended.
Auburn University (War Eagle!)
It’s a public university (uni) in Alabama (more affordable), three hours from home, and I earned a scholarship.
So, I attended affordably.
But even while there, I knew I would be in business for myself, and I wasn’t sure that what I was learning would serve me in the world.
Ok, so what’s my beef with college?
We’re pushing young people to go to college like it’s the golden path.
But today, there are many great paths, and college is no longer the only one.
It’s a trade school for specific industries – not somewhere you should go to ‘find yourself.’
It is a great trade school to train to become engineers, doctors, and attorneys.
And also teachers.
Teachers have a weird cycle – starting from classroom pupils to leading the same classroom.
(teachers who lack experience outside of the classroom also concern me).
But here’s where we are in our present time.
Today, you can learn a computer language for free online (chatGPT will teach you).
You can get Google certifications.
Here’s a free entrepreneurship course first taught at Stanford
Want a free MIT education? Here you go.
Trade schools in my area are wide open to train folks – welders, HVAC, plumbing.
Local community colleges often have specific schooling – auto mechanics, culinary.
That doesn’t even consider other options that might be more valuable, like taking a year away from education and exploring the world’s cultures!
And to carry on this line of thinking, here’s a bit more reading for you (a few articles we’ve written)…
Ok, carrying on…
I promise I’m not trying to be a college hater. But this one will be useful if you like watching videos more than reading. Or watch below…
So what’s my beef?
We make it appear as if college is the big goal.
But I see a different reality.
We’ve got student loan debt that’s just under $2Trillion, with the average debt for graduating seniors being about $30k.
(Regarding consumer debt in the U.S., student loan debt is 2nd in the U.S., following only mortgage debt.)
What’s my beef?
The idea is that we’re pushing more and more kids in that direction.
In the 1950s, about 25% of students went to college.
Today, it’s closer to 60%.
Now, that’s fine.
More kids with higher education.
Tuition costs keep rising at dramatic rates.
The cost of attending university has quite outpaced the economy’s inflation rate.
Oh, but it gets worse.
The U.S. government gives loans to students to go to school — no matter the cost of the school.
How insane is this?
So the cost of college continues to rise, and the U.S. says, “No problem, we’ll just give the students larger loans to attend your school.”
It gets even worse.
After graduating, if a student cannot pay off their student loans, it’s tough for these loans to be discharged into bankruptcy.
Ok, so why is that bad?
It helps the entire system continue to spiral out of control.
Lenders (the U.S. government) are lenient on loans because they have to be paid back.
Therefore, more loans are handed out.
Colleges make most of their revenue from students getting loans.
If their tuition increases, students get more loans.
And their loans are approved by lenders without significant concern for their creditworthiness.
If just one simple change was made, this escalating roller coaster of insanity could slow down.
Make student loans able to be discharged in bankruptcy, similar to other non-secured debt.
Lenders are more concerned with the creditworthiness of students.
Less loans equal fewer students.
Bloated universities might go out of business (which is fine).
Students who can’t get loans find different avenues (see examples above).
Adam Smith’s invisible hand at work.
So what’s my beef?
That’s my beef.
So here I am.
Starting my university.
Let’s call it my anti-university.
(I think we need a mascot).
I aim for all courses on our platform to never cost more than a single hour at the university I attended.
I also hope to attract dozens of creators and educators.
I envision hundreds of educational course options for any business or hustle you want to start.
From real-world teachers who have done it.
I envision us touching millions of lives.
And if we put hurt on a bloated college or two in the process.
Well, that’s ok, too 🙂