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A higher education, or continuing education, is one of the most important decisions you can make in our lives. It is something that could end up determining what our careers are, what our jobs are, how much money we make, and what general path our lives take after from the moment you go and every moment after. Or at lest that is the way it is supposed to work. Get interested in something, study for it, then pursue a career. But yet with it being such an important decision do we really consider the cost?

I mean sure parents think about this for a while, or are supposed to, I remember my Dad considering our options when I was five or six. Which I consider to be quite insane, but that’s beside the point.

But no, do we really sit here and think about the cost? Or more importantly the why? After all there are some rather convenient Government programs all set to take care of us so why even bother with details of financial planning. Let them worry about it!

One thing I do know. Financial costs for college are rising. (Source) At my College (Link), and hell even NPR is taking notice of the fact, (Link).

But hey they even said that it could outstrip current Government efforts to provide for us so you know what that means right? *sigh*.

But I am told we need this. Hey you don’t want to be a failure in life right, you do not want to flip burgers forever, hey you need this to succeed and get a descent job. I have heard this all before.

And maybe they are right. After all getting educated can’t hurt, can it? Well maybe a debate for another day.

But what has this idea, this notion if you will, done to us? What has it done to the cost of our education? That you have to get an education otherwise you will have a remedial job for the rest of your life and you will be some dumb hick.

Let me put it to you this way: Ever heard of the concept of supply and demand? OK maybe you haven’t.

What about in Oil?

Oil is something that we, currently, depend on for our society.

Everything from our clothes to our transportation to our energy supplies. Everything. It is a part of us. Something we need cheaply and efficiently if we expect to keep our current lifestyle going.

OK judge this how you will but what happens when the supply of oil drops? Or the demand of oil goes up?

Prices go up. We suffer, we have to consume less. And eventually the prices stabilize. Well maybe.

Is college magically exempt from this formula?

Everyone is supposed to go to college, everyone has to want it, and most people do it. The demand increases…well through the roof. There are more people going all the time. After all the population is still increasing.

But even if you can’t go, if you can’t afford it in your own, just wait there are these wonderful Federal Programs that you can take. Thus the demand is increased ever higher, through artificial Government means to boot.

Fewer spaces needing to be filled. More teachers, more classrooms, more classes, more time, more effort, more resources, being used up. Costs go higher, the higher the costs, the more the demand, the more the need for higher tuition and fees to pay for it.

Is this the whole story? Probably not. The state of the cost of our higher education is pretty complicated and I am sure there are no easy solutions. I just know that we have been sold an idea. An idea that we have to go to college or some ‘formalized’ education after high school in order to be successful. I know this idea makes it so parents get cranky and demand you go to college and kids usually agree. Now now now, before the penny drops.

I know what this does in every other economic principle, and I know that there is no way this idea can possibly deflate our education costs.

I think and suspect that everyone does not have to go to college, and if so they should wait. Until they can afford it and in a style that best conforms to their own lives. With their own finances not relying on Government’s help. But learning, and building a life, for themselves, and not being any more or less a failure because of it.

I even know of people who did not go to college and are very successful, like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Or they tried it out and succeeded on their own. Glenn Beck is in this last category. Or they went to college and found success in another field unrelated to their original area of study, Michael Savage is one of them. I have read several authors who are.

Wasn’t Tom Clancy an accountant?

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