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It's Time to Homeschool College

For decades I've been carrying a message from John Holt that has really come home to roost now that my children are college age: Our oldest has graduated college; our middle child hated college, left, and is working instead; our youngest starts college this fall. Plus I've been advising and consulting parents about how to get their nontraditionally educated children into college since the eighties. A popular speech of mine that we turned into booklet in the early nineties was titled: "Teenage Homeschoolers: College or Not?" wherein I argued against going to college just because you are 18 and can do so. I argued there must be better reasons for going than "because I can." But the message of John's that echoes more today than ever for me is this: college is among the chief enslaving institutions of America.

When Holt said this I believe he was thinking about graduates who spent time and money on degrees to work in fields they no longer enjoy but are now trapped by their mortgages and loans into staying. Now this critique is gaining traction outside the circle of alternative schooling, probably because the cost of higher education is so out of alignment with its benefits. Nonetheless, the conventional wisdom is we must send our kids to college so they can make more  money than high school graduates do. James Altucher, a Wall Street Journal writer, claims: "in my view, the entire college degree industry is a scam, a self-perpetuating Ponzi scheme that needs to stop right now." Here are two of the seven reasons not to go to college that Altucher makes that take the money argument on directly:


3. The differential in lifetime income between a college graduate and a non-college graduate over a 45 year career is approximately $800,000 (read on).

4. If I put that $200,000 that I would've spent per child to cover tuition costs, living expenses, books, etc. into bonds yielding just 3% (any muni bonds) and let it compound for 49 years (adding back in the 4 years of college), I get $851,000. So my kids can avoid college and still end up with the same amount in the worst case.

There are other good reasons not to go to college that he presents and I recommend reading the full article.

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Reader Comments (3)

I don't like the stigma many homeschoolers have that college is evil or worthless. I do think the traditional college model is completely broken and probably should be avoided by most homeschoolers, but there are wonderful benefits to actually having a college degree.

I think the key for homeschoolers is to seek out alternative methods to earning a degree that better fit with the mentality of a homeschooler. Like off-campus options, dual credit, CLEP test, DSST tests, AP, etc.

Homeschoolers are known for being creative and there are many creative ways for a homeschooler to earn a degree now. They don't have to go into debt or spend 6 years on a college campus.

If you're a homeschooler or a homeschool parent and you'd like to find out how prepared you are for college or for earning dual credit, you might want to take this quick survey, it's pretty powerful -- Without a doubt, the traditional brick-and-mortar college is dead. It's a worthless institution, especially for homeschoolers who are used to non traditional learning concepts and schooling outside the confines of a large classroom.

But, getting a college degree can have its benefits, even for homeschoolers, and the idea of getting a degree shouldn't be automatically dismissed if you're a homeschooler.

There are great alternatives for homeschoolers to get a college degree, without any debt, and without being brainwashed by liberal professors. The options are out there, find them.

If you're a homeschooler or a homeschool parent and you want to know if dual credit or college can work for your student, take this quick survey to find out, it's very informative --

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Matthew is right about getting college credit through options like the CLEP exams. Another reason why a traditional college is unadvisable is that it doesn't make sense to go into debt to learn things when the same material is often online for free. The library is another good source of free learning.

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCollege Alternatives

Thank you for your analysis and sharing, from your article I learned more.

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNew era hats

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