Go to college to get dumb

To the editor:

“What a waste of money,” Hjalmer snorted. “Parents send their kids to college to get dumb. After four years of beating their brains out at da Tech, they don’t even know how to fix a tractor.”

His remarks were directed at a lad hired to help grade his yearly crop of potatoes. He’d asked the lad what plans he had for the future. When told of intentions to enroll at Michigan Tech, Hjalmer couldn’t believe his ears.

“Go to Detroit and get a job. Things are booming there. Don’t waste your money at that college,” he stoutly declared. The year was 1953.

Is there any truth in Hjalmer the potato farmer’s strong words? Does his contemptuous advice have merit today?

Much can be questioned about the present state of higher education. Since the 1960s, costs at leading universities have skyrocketed almost exponentially. Annual tuition costs at MTU for residents, for example, were less than $500 in the mid-1950s. Today they are $14,774, far outpacing inflation.

Factoring in costs such as room and board the sum total is $29,100. Commensurately higher figures exist for non-Michigan students.

Why are educational costs so high today? Many tell us that everyone deserves a college education, despite the fact one may lack the intellect and fortitude needed for undertaking rigorous courses of study.

As I best recall, in 1954 roughly one-fourth of enrolled MTU freshmen had washed out by the end of their first quarter. There were no tears of commiseration shed by anyone for those failing to make the grade. There were no outcries from anyone that failed students were being denied an opportunity to succeed.

Today at most leading universities all a kid has to do is run with a football and score some touchdowns. Forget going to class. Yet intellectuals nonetheless insist that all and sundry deserve a break.

Many students and their advocates whine that it’s the taxpayers’ obligation to subsidize freeloaders. What snowflakes can realistically expect, however, is a good stiff dose of socialist dogma, which is exactly what their elitist egg-headed prof’s impose on them. (Could this be a left-wing conspiracy?)

Does this sound fair, amigos? Does it make sense sending to college every gullible Tom, Dick and Suzy under the sun? College is not intended to be a lark.

In context of the present-day academic milieu, Hjalmer the potato farmer is vindicated.

Gail Wickstrom

Newell, West Virginia

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