The magazine of the American Federation of Teachers gets on board with encouraging kids to consider alternatives to college:
While counselors should not say “don’t seek a BA,” we should let counselors warn students with low achievement that they have only a 20 percent chance of getting a BA, and we should encourage students to make backup plans.
The College Guide blog adds:
The trouble is that those “backup plans” are mostly pretty crappy.
Someone who’s not planning to earn a bachelor’s degree might attend a community college. Community colleges are overburdened, underfunded, and have a rather hard time figuring out what they’re really there to do. And community college graduation rates are only 25 percent.
Or low-achieving high school students might consider studying a trade at one of America’s many thriving for-profit schools. Oh, except that many of them are dishonest and virtually all of them are frighteningly overpriced. And guess what the average graduation rate is at for-profit schools? It’s like 38 percent.
So sure, there’s something wrong with encouraging everyone to get a BA. But there’s something very wrong with the fact that our country doesn’t really offer much for high school students who aren’t going to earn a BA.