Friday, August 2, 2013

Most US citizens don't believe that going to college is necessary

Believe it or not, under 25% of Americans go to college.

The cost of tuition at many US colleges is so high, that many Americans (more than half) now believe it isn't necessary to go to college.

Actually, in the USA there are "state" universities and "private" universities.  I still think the state universities are affordable and a student can receive an excellent education at such a school.  I went to a state university (The University of Wisconsin at Madison) for my BA and then to a private school (Teachers College at Columbia University) for my MA.

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a sound investment - sound means "good" or stable in this situation.  "Sound" often has a good meaning/connotation.  Although the college I attended is not famous, I received a sound education there.

on the heels of - if something is on the heels of something else, it followed something else closely.  In this case, the US Congress made a mistake (which it lately corrected) in which it accidentally raised the interest rates on student loans.  Interest is the extra money you pay which is added to your loan.

a hike - a rise

the impact - the effect

eroding - disappearing.  Wind and water erode rock.  That means the rock slowly disappears.

surveyed - 1 in 5 people who answered questions

to postpone - to put something off until later

to tarnish something - if something is tarnished, it no longer looks as good as it once did.  Silver tableware often tarnishes - it becomes a brownish color.

differentiator - this person is saying that Americans are foolish to ignore the value of a college degree.  It is an important 'differentiator' - it separates people - in the job market. If you have a college degree, you will get a better job and make more money.

mortgage delinquencies -  people who are late paying their mortgage. So basically the article is saying that even though Americans are turning against a college education, people are still borrowing a lot of money.

to accelerate s/t - to make something go faster


  1. This is a wonderful piece on education and how college degrees are worth next to nothing nowadays. I have graduated from a city college with my BA in Marketing and I can't find a job even if my life depended on it. The companies are not willing to shell out money for a qualified employee. They would rather focus on their budget and exploit their new hires for as low as $10 an hour. How are we supposed to pay the loans back with that kind of salary?
    Aside from the article, I love coming to this particular website and learn new vocabulary. I live with my parents and I speak three languages at home. It's a bit hard for me but I manage. I came to the the US at around 14 years of age

    1. Hey anon...I wish you had written back to me. Why so shy? Drop me a line, I can use a new friend.

  2. Thanks for the nice comments. I started this 'blog' for my own students, so we'd have things to read and talk about, but people from around the world began looking at it.

    I am so sad to hear about your situation. If you want to be buddies or keep in touch, please email me at - I didn't know that people in new York might be reading the blog as well. :)