Magazine October 5, 2009, Issue

Beyond the B.A.

Why fewer people should get one

For decades, parents, guidance counselors, and government officials have given the nation’s youth a consistent message: Go to college. Higher education is a good investment for just about everyone, because it opens doors to higher-paying jobs.

And for many students, college is indeed the best choice. Engineers and schoolteachers, not to mention doctors, lawyers, and countless other professionals, benefit from years of formal education beyond high school. Still others might think it worthwhile to pay tuition and put off full-time work simply to learn.

But the college phenomenon has stretched itself well beyond these boundaries: About 60 percent of high-school grads enroll …

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A reader argues that drug dealers are criminals — and if drugs were legalized, they would still be criminals.