College no automatic ticket to success


    I don’t need to remind anyone who goes to the university how much college can cost.

    Many university graduates who now have jobs are still paying off student loans and there is no end in sight for them – especially in this economy.

    Some are undoubtedly still struggling to find a job to begin paying off their loans.

    ABC news show “20/20” ran a story a few months ago asking if college is really worth the costs. It featured the stories of students who had obtained college degrees, couldn’t find jobs and are drowning in college debt. It raised some serious questions about college.

    Is it really worth the cost?

    The assumption that people go to college make more than those who don’t may be a little misguided. College students are the most likely to be successful regardless of their educational choices because they are more likely to be hard working, smart and ambitious. Many could probably work at McDonald’s and still be successful.

    However, many people who promote college education believe in the fallacy that a college education will automatically make a graduate rich.

    The media, politicians, high school counselors, the universities themselves and other sources make college seem like a machine in which you insert high school students and four years later, out comes a graduate who is ready to make it in the real world. It isn’t.

    This brings up the idea that some people should not be going to college. People who are in the bottom of their graduating class in high school probably shouldn’t bother with college as it will only mean years of disappointment and debt. In these cases, it’s probably better to go to a technical school and learn marketable skills.

    Besides, while college may help some people be successful, it doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot make it without it. Successful people like Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, Bill Gates, founder and CEO of the Microsoft Corporation, Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Group and Virgin Mobile, and many others did not finish or even go to college. Some people say that these are exceptions, but there is no denying that, especially in the U.S., success without a college degree is entirely possible.

    I’m not saying that no one should go to college. If someone has the grades and the determination to become a doctor or a lawyer, college is a no-brainer.

    However, when President Barack Obama says, “We expect all our children to go to college,” people have to re-evaluate whether that is really the best choice for their families.

    Michael Lauck is a freshman broadcast journalism major from Houston.