Trish Regan: Society puts too much emphasis on college

FBN’s Trish Regan weighs in on the college admissions scandal and says that society puts too much emphasis on college.

More lawsuits directed against the parents that federal agents say tried to lie and cheat their kids’ ways into school, as more people come forward to sue the schools themselves. What will happen to the kids that engaged in this cheating scandal remains unclear?

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One thing that is clear to me: as a society, we put way too much emphasis on a slip of paper — that college diploma. The diploma has become a brand and learning should never be about a brand. Learning, the real kind, actually never ends. Every minute of every day, we should be challenging ourselves to grow intellectually and to stay curious about the world.

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Instead, there is some ridiculous power-play going on with families struggling to keep up with, or stay ahead of, their neighbors. Colleges are the status symbols that they seek because they want the ability to say, “My kid goes to blank.” I mean, how many times do you see parents driving around town with the college sticker plastered against their real window?

A brand, a diploma, a party scene and an elite set of friends is not what college is supposed to be about. College is for learning— but, somehow that message is now continually lost. It doesn’t help when there are kids like Olivia Jade, Lori Loughlin’s daughter, saying that she does not know how many classes she is going to attend. She just wants to experience the partying and quote, “I don’t really care about school.”

So why go?

Don’t waste the professors’ time, and don’t waste your own time. Don’t waste half-a-million dollars-plus of your parents’ money. Here’s the bottom line: college, for many, is a giant waste. Many would be better off taking time to work or be an apprentice in a trade.

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It’s not that I don’t respect higher education. I do, and I’ve had plenty of it. But I don’t respect the idea of going to college just for the sake of going to college. Colleges should be more selective and families should recognize that a slip of paper from one school or another is not worth much. A lot of students would be wise to figure out, sooner rather than later, that the diploma they paid so much money for — and five dollars — might not even buy them a macchiato at Starbucks.