Should Everybody Go To College?

Should everybody go to college? A new report questions some basic assumptions about the best path for American kids.

Students walk through the UMass Amherst campus. (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

Students walk through the UMass Amherst campus. (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

Libya’s ablaze. The Arab world’s in revolt. Wisconsin’s in turmoil. Unemployment’s still sky-high. The world, the future, looks so up for grabs.

Meanwhile, a new, young generation of Americans is trying to figure out what to do with their lives — where to aim their careers. The big strong message to high school students has been “go to college.”

But is that really the answer? Should everybody go? A new report says no. It says we need to develop much stronger, prouder paths in vocational education.

This hour On Point: Questioning “college for all” calling for something new.

- Tom Ashbrook


Robert Schwartz, leader of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Pathways to Prosperity Project, which has released a new report on American education strategy.  He’s also academic dean and professor of practice of educational policy and administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Matthew Crawford, author of “Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work.” He’s a research fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

Paul Harrington, labor economist and director of Drexel University’s new Center for Labor Markets and Policy.

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