Frustration Friday: A Degree As Conspicuous Consumption

You know how much college costs? If you do these days, you probably think about it with a shudder of dread. Things are pretty freaking expensive these days, education wise.  You don't even want to know how much (or how little) my entire college degree cost in the 80s – with dorm fees.

I've actually talked to teachers who worry that the expensive college degrees are becoming a detriment not just financially, but psychologically, making people loose interest in college. Yes, seriously, I've heard people worry that students don't want to go to college because it's too expensive and won't pay off. That's a terrifying thought.

And let's face it – college is insanely expensive, pay rates are going down, no one knows where the jobs are, so on and so on. It's scary.

Know what scares me? The possibility that a college degree might be considered a form of conspicuous consumption.

Think about it–it's hard to get the time and money to get a degree unless you already have said money. Getting a degree without going into soul–crushing debt (or surviving that debt) is almost a way of showing off, or showing off your resources or family resources.

Let's face it, some jobs want a degree just to know that, well, you're capable of getting a degree. I worry it may not just be the academic achievement, the degree could become a way of showing off financial savvy or simply having enough family money to get the damn thing.

I don't want a college degree to become a form of conspicuous consumption. For modern, information–age nation, degrees of somekind should be normal.

Steven Savage