Henry Bienen: Why Too Many Kids Go To College

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Henry Bienen, president emeritus of Northwestern University disagrees with the premise that too many kids go to college. To support his opinion, he says that we should not use the anecdotal records of those select few like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, no matter how compelling, to generalize about the population as a whole. He professes that the argument about too many people going to college was made in the 70’s and was wrong then, and it is still wrong. He asserts that we now have lots more information and studies to support why it is wrong. An important point that Mr. Bienen makes is that the “. . . more years of school, post-secondary, [one has] are positively correlated with earnings over one’s lifetime, and also correlated with lower…show more content…
According to Henry Bienen, president emeritus of Northwestern University speaking as a panel member in an Intelligence Squared debate “Too Many Kids Go To College, “. . . more years of school, post-secondary, are positively correlated with earnings over one’s lifetime, and also correlated with lower rates of unemployment and shorter duration being unemployed when a higher degree is obtained. ” (8) The American middle class is rapidly shrinking. More and more people are dependent on their own earnings in order to just be able to meet their expenses and survive. They have no family that is able to support them if they don’t make it on their own. Therefore, it is necessary for most students to get the best paying job possible. It is a wonderful attribute to be altruistic and to want to spend your life helping others. However, living in the economic conditions in this country, too few of us have the financial means to be able to do so. Most people are not trust-fund babies. By today’s standards most of us may not even be middleclass any more. As Mr. Bienen, pointed out, attending college correlates to earning more in one’s lifetime. Thus, it is necessary for most students to graduate from college and obtain a good paying job so that they can once again live a middleclass lifestyle in this

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