Why Did Georgetown University Call Me Out?

You can’t make this up. Georgetown University just put out a study called “The College Payoff” to explain why going to college pays off. I’m laughing so hard I can barely type. And then in the middle of this highly academic report they bashed me personally.

This is not going to be my usual post. My usual post contains something embarrassing about me which I turn into a life lesson. Like, “I abandoned my baby as a child and now am making up for it with increased father time” (true story).

($70,000 a year for…here)

But none of that here! Instead, I’m going to specifically make fun of the hard work and effort put into this magnificent report by (one second while I look it up)….Anthony Carnevale, Stephen Rose, and Ban Cheah.

They do a very thorough study. They divide it up by race, gender, years of education and I guess they come to the conclusion that highly educated white men make the most money. I don’t know. I didn’t even read the whole thing.

First off, Georgetown University costs $41,000 a year. Why don’t you add in room and board. Do you think Georgetown is a cheap place to live? I called up my business partner, Dan, who went to Georgetown and actually played on their famous basketball team (if you call sitting on the bench for every single game until Allen Iverson joined the team, then Allen demanded your specific number, and then you quit, “played”)

“Are you kidding me?” he said, “I’d say the average apartment that you share with five other guys in Georgetown will cost you $1000 a month. All in, Georgetown is probably $70,000 a year.”  And then there’s books . And don’t forget people need to eat. Not to mention due to the high amount of senators and representatives per square foot in the nation’s capital, the cost of high-priced hookers is through the roof.

So at Georgetown you’ll be spending about $400,000 pre-taxes, give or take. The other day I heard about another 47 year old dying of a heart attack. “The guy ran a marathon every year,” my friend told me and showed me a picture. The spitting image of health. Two daughters, just like me. You know why everyone is dying of heart attacks? Because they feel they have to spend $400,000 on sending their kids to Georgetown.

(Allen Iverson went to Georgetown)

Or else their kids won’t have good lives. Or else their kids will die homeless and sad. And studies like this Georgetown study are brainwashing you into believing that. Misinformed studies filled with lies are basically killing you.

How biased can you be?

So ok, back to the report: they did show how the more years of education you have, the higher you make. Now, we all know college is not about the money but I have to dispute this one “statistic”.

Any college Freshman who takes Statistics 101 (and I know I’ve said this before so I wish these Georgetown people would let me teach their Statistics classes) will have heard of something called “Selection bias” which this report is littered with.

In other words, they did not just select people with many years of education. They inadvertently also selected “the type of upper middle class person who is intelligent, ambitious, aggressive” who chose twenty years ago to go to college. That type of person will certainly make more money than his peers twenty years later.

But what if he didn’t go to college? Let’s not forget 20 years ago, college costs, college debt (student loan debt now at it’s highest levels ever) were much lower. So now smart, aggressive people can reasonably choose NOT to go to college. Will their income levels suffer 20 years later?

Will they be less happy? Maybe even sad or suicidal?

I highly doubt it. In fact, my guess is they, and their parents, will have more money in the bank. How come? Five year head start over their college-bound peers and five extra years to make money and, at the end of those five years, NO DEBT. I like no debt.

(the SATs)

Anthony Carnevale is Director of Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Do you think he’s going to put out a report saying smart kids will make more money, have less stress, less debt, and be happier people if they don’t go to college? Guess where he was before he was at Georgetown. He worked at the Educational Testing Service! The scam monopoly  that forces your kids to take multiple choice exams that will make or break their college careers. That will MAKE OR BREAK THEIR LIVES, according to this report.

Seriously, you can’t make this up.

Then they call me out in the middle of their report and say, well…I’ll let you read it. They claim I have made a bunch of errors in a blog post. Oh my gosh! A blogger said something. Who knows? All I know is, they still have not tested the right thing, they don’t admit selection bias, and they are trying to scam kids and parents into taking on more debt to go to their little school so their kids can become either diplomats or lobbyists, both very noble professions involving lots of fancy dinners, funerals, and high-priced escorts.

But what about learning?

I’m going to tell you a business idea you should go ahead and do. I’d do it but I’m a little bit lazy.

For every subject, English, History, Math, Physics, etc. find all of the courses that are being delivered online by higher education sources. Coursera.com seems like they are taking a crack at this but I bet they/you can do even better. Put it all together as one “curriculum”. Now you can get a college  education by paying nothing.

But what about socialization? Are you kidding me? Does it cost $400,000 to learn how to make friends? In my case it probably does cost that, even now, but what about for you or your kids? What about networking? I’ve solved that problem for you over here.

What about sex? Don’t you have a lot of sex in college so you get that over with? Sowing your wild oats, as they say. I sort of feel that’s like learning how to read. When I was five years old my mom threw a book open in front of me and said, “Read!” She was disappointed I didn’t already know how. But by the time I was 18 I knew how. And so did every other kid. Same with sex. (odd to include mother, reading, and sex all in one paragraph. I will promptly erase this from my memory).

Did James just write another post about college education? Is this, I don’t know, the eighth one he’s written?

Here’s the problem: Everyone is lying to you. And maybe three people are telling you the truth. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY.

At the end of the day we want to be happy. There are a million ways to get educated. To enjoy life. To enjoy your passions. To do the work on this planet that you were destined to do. God is not a high school guidance counselor. College is not a mandatory step to happiness. But it will give you debt, stress, indentured servitude (to pay down the debt), and ultimately limit your choices (because you will feel required to do what you majored in college).

Don’t limit your choices. And don’t die young.

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