Case-in-point: GOP Presidential Candidate, Rick Santorum.
Recently, he criticized President Obama for daring to suggest that "Americans should have an opportunity to attend college." In Santorum's world, that's just plain "snobbish."
Really? Doesn't he have a couple of degrees himself? Doesn't his wife have a law degree? Isn't one of his 7 kids presently in college right now? Won't the others be heading there eventually?
I guess that's not "snobbish."
Frankly, his rants shouldn't detract from the issue that today's harsh economic climate practically demands a "college degree.", The sad truth is that today's bachelor's degree has the same value as yesterday's high-school degree. An associate's degree doesn't really figure into the equation as highly but they're still useful. And let us not discuss the gender, racial and class differences when it comes to the earnings of these graduates.
In other words, a bachelor's degree just gets you to the table. It doesn't necessarily guarantee you a "seat" there anymore.
Of course, not everybody wants to attend college, or needs to attend college. Last I heard, plumbers, mechanics, beauty salon owners and other skilled trades do quite well for themselves. Honest work is honest work. There's absolutely nothing wrong with those career choices. If anything, they should be highlighted even more.
Nevertheless, one should have the right to "dream" about attending college. Prospective students should then receive the kind of "strategic planning" that wealthy families often conduct to make that dream "a reality." Whether one chooses to attend a four-year or two-year school doesn't matter really. The type of school one should attend will depend largely on the career path and the money available to pay the tuition.
For wealthy families, college attendance is "a given" for their kids. For families of "modest means," just the act of "dreaming" about college is sometimes too much to imagine. In Santorum's world, they shouldn't be thinking "too grandly" anyway, lest they disappoint themselves. In other words, "skip the imagining."
One of the resources I highlight in my book are college-prepatory programs. These programs are designed to work with families, especially those who have a child that will be "first in their family" to attend college. The organizations I list are more than happy to "map out a plan" for prospective students. Their mission is simple: "Every American should have an opportunity to attend college." One may not be always successful in getting into the college of his/her choice, but at least, the option is there to explore.
There's nothing "snobbish" about the dream of higher education. In this world, it's about having as many "positive options" available to improve one's life standing. And if college could help a person do that, then that option should be on the table.
No one should be allowed to "diminish" the dream of college. And if that's considered "snobbish," then so be it.
P.S. -- If you are looking to help your child achieve his/her college dreams, order the book by clicking here