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Deep Racial Divides Among Californians on Whether College Is Necessary
A new Public Policy Institute of California poll indicates residents are worried about the cost of college
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Is college necessary? It turns out about half of Californians don’t think so, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California survey.

And the difference of opinions among ethnic groups is even more surprising: While two-thirds of Latinos answer yes, a slight majority of Asian- and African-Americans think so — but only 35 percent of whites agree.

The same disparity holds across different income groups, too: Almost 60 percent of those from households earning less than $40,000 say college is necessary, while only 42 percent from households making at least $80,000 agree.

So what’s behind the numbers? For one, the mounting costs of a college degree and mountains of student debt are big factors behind the growing cynicism, experts say. Another reason: It’s human nature for one group (whites) to underestimate the value of something that comes easier (college access) than it does for others.

But while Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg managed to do just fine without a degree, that’s hardly a recipe for the rest of us. Not everyone has a safety net that makes dropping out of college in the hopes of becoming a tech titan a feasible option, said Audrey Dow, senior vice president of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

Students of color generally don’t have access to the same wealth and capital as their white peers, she said, and their families view college as a path forward.

White families, on the other hand, are more likely to have sent several generations to college and might not recognize that some of their success is due to higher education.

Lower income families may be “feeling like something about their own training falls short,” said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California. “Most people earning over $80,000 think there are many ways to succeed. Obviously many do have college degrees, but maybe they feel their own personal qualities or social networks account for that.”

The survey of more than 1,700 California adults between Oct. 8-17 also found significant gaps between native-born Californians and noncitizen residents on the question of whether college is necessary, with 75 percent of noncitizen California residents saying college is crucial to success and just 38 percent of native-born California residents agreeing.

• Category: Economics • Tags: Academia, College 
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  1. escobar says:

    “Necessary” for getting ahead and making it . Nothing else?

    Nobody asks anymore if necessary–or just contributing to — shaping graduates with a “better understanding of the human condition,” as college catalogs once dared to propose. Or, as the goals of the Harvard Redbook (1945) suggested, an “education for democracy,” citizens capable of making informed decisions about their philosophy of life and their society.
    Liberal arts education—death by murder (students) and suicide (faculty).
    The place where the Redbook was created was described recently as “a hedge fund with a college attached to it.”

  2. Issac says:

    Or, more apty, the cost of college is not fobbed off so easily for whites. There are few scholarship opportunities for them, aside from the top 10% or so who can compete with their Asian peers for merit based assistance. There are also no private or non-profit organizations working to connect them with tertiary funding, assistance, counseling, or loan guarantees. And while the Asian cohort skews very heavily into the upper-middle class, whites are still a comparatively cross-sectional slice. Ergo, many of these below-average to slightly-better-than-average whites have made the rational decision to devalue that expensive degree.

    Aside from a chance to virtue-signal on the part of the author, this presages good news for the whites remaining in California. Their survival in a hostile environment will largely depend on them integrating themselves into networks which bypass the traditional bureaucratic order of things. That bureaucratic order being increasingly hostile to their interests, and showing no signs of abatement, suggests that a rough and tumble swords and plowshares cohort will be the only meaningful remnant to thrive in the coming generations. They will, of course, still be pissed down upon by their ethnic competition, and higher status whites, but understanding their position in the pecking order is the first stop on the road to a reasoned defensive posture.

    The news, conversely, reaching college administrators, is that whites are now more than ever the evil antithesis of their golden brick road to an ultra-woke enlightened future. When will they finally find the necessary combination of libel to rid themselves of these awful people?

  3. College degrees are necessary to get a job in the US especially if you are white and Christian.

    Employers use college degree attainments as a useful filter for eligible employees because it is defensible in a court of law.

    Federal interference in employer hiring practices in favor of diversity people have made it important for employers to avoid endless federal litigation by erecting artificial employee filters in the form of college degrees.

    • Replies: @Issac
  4. White families, on the other hand, are more likely to have sent several generations to college and might not recognize that some of their success is due to higher education.

    Or maybe they’re smart enough to understand that a trade can pay just as well, and be more secure in hard times.

    The growing “maker” movement threatens to make the justifications for technical higher education obsolete in a way those for the liberal arts aren’t affected by.

  5. Good. More people should wise up to the worthlessness of a libart degree. IMO the only degrees worth getting these days are STEM degrees. But a CS degree is not always necessary in tech. I’ve worked with many people in tech who never went to college. Some taught themselves how to code, others went to coding school for 3 or 6 months, or simply start as a temp/intern fresh out of high school then work their way in and up.

    If you have unlimited funds, by all means send your kid to an expensive private liberal arts college, even if they just party for 4 years and end up with a worthless degree in sociology, they’ll likely meet other equally wealthy students and make good connections.

    Many young women who graduated with liberal arts degrees from state schools end up working as admin in tech/startups, a job that didn’t use to require a college degree and still has no need for one. Many of these young women are just hoping to marry tech guys with stock options, tech guys with either STEM degrees or didn’t go to college at all. Meanwhile their richer counterparts who got their libart degrees from expensive private schools often go into non-profit, government or media/entertainment. They make $40k a year and still depend on bank of mon-and-dad to help pay the rent.

    Where do young men with libart degrees go? I’m guessing low paying jobs in education, government or non-profit. Or store manager for Bed, Bath & Beyond? Or on to grad school in law or business. I think I read somewhere that millennials are getting married later or not at all because millennial men are not making enough money. Many are probably libart grads. Too good to marry girls who didn’t go to college, not good enough to marry those who did, who just want to marry guys with STEM degrees and better job prospects. Maybe that’s why so many have joined up with Antifa & BLM.

  6. Issac says:
    @Joe Franklin

    “College degrees are necessary to get a job in the US especially if you are white and Christian.”

    Rather pointless if the majority of jobs you might take up with such a degree would not hire you or would replace you with more diverse candidates.

    “Employers use college degree attainments as a useful filter for eligible employees because it is defensible in a court of law.”

    The same courts that openly uphold discrimination against white employees and reverse themselves in the case of any and all minorities.

    “Federal interference in employer hiring practices in favor of diversity people have made it important for employers to avoid endless federal litigation by erecting artificial employee filters in the form of college degrees.”

    You could argue that is the optimal approach for the top quartile of white students, but for the majority of white students their degree will ensure them only debt. The job market will be fiercely competitive and they will enjoy a large handicap due to their race. They are paying all that tuition money for consideration, yes, but consideration at the bottom of the stack.

    Far better that the average white Californian finds another way. Skilled trades, entrepreneurship, anything to keep one’s livelihood separated from vengeful white liberals and their ravenous diversity.

    • Replies: @Alden
  7. ‘To college or not to college’ leaves out many other opportunities for careers in the technical realm. You’ve already mentioned Steve Jobs and Bill Gates but also the thousands that reported to them and followed in their paths that also didn’t bother with college. After high school I flunked out of college then 7 years later went to computer school for 11 months. It wasn’t a ‘classical education’ but then how many can afford that luxury today? Those 11 months at computer school led to a 25 year career as a software coder/analyst that paid very well! And my computer teacher said ‘We’ll require you write a LOT more programs than they do at college’. At my 3rd computer job (TransAmerica) I was hired because management finally figured out something that should be obvious: Those with work experience are more desirable than those with a college education and NO work experience. As for ‘higher education’ I remember an old maxim: Those that can do; those that can’t teach!

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  8. TheJester says:

    It depends on what you consider a university education to be.

    Is it exercises in Cultural Marxism and feminism with “safe spaces”, “trigger warnings”, affirmative action, and actions to resolve disparate gaps among the myriad populations in the Coalition of the Fringes oppressed by cisgendered white males? WORTHLESS!

    Or, is it an excellent education in the Greco-Roman classics and Western Civilization that I received from the Kansas State University of Agriculture and Applied Science in the 1960s? PRICELESS!

  9. @Robert Dunn

    As for ‘higher education’ I remember an old maxim: Those that can do; those that can’t teach!
    Try finding a professor at a research-oriented university who cares a fig about teaching. They get rewarded based on research grants funded, with their indirect dollars underwriting the administration.

    I’m guessing your computer teacher actually could teach, then, given your 25 year career? I bet he could also program.

  10. enigma says:

    Here we go again – College!

    The American public school system is a sham, and college education is a part of it. If your kids have not yet begun public school, go find out how to home school them – they will be better off in their lives. As far as a college degree – bah humbug! We don’t need 1/2 the graduates from college we have now. Teach your kids a trade – plumbing, woodworking, carpentry, electrical, air conditioning – they’ll have work for as long as they want it. Even better, teach them – if you don’t know, learn yourself – accounting basics so THEY will know if the new tax “cuts” are really going to help them or not. Finally, teach them – again, if you don’t know, learn along with them – how to start/run a business with all the accounting/legal/insurance involved. And, your kids will be much better off than 80% of the college graduates of their same age 20-40 years down the road. Finally, teach them (your kids) – AGAIN! if you don’t know, learn with them – how to invest their hard earned money. Let them learn what real money is, what debt should an should not be used for – get off this soap box of college degrees. Go to your local library and check out “Weapons of Mass Instruction.” If that doesn’t get you to thinking a little differently about college, God Bless you!

    • Agree: Triumph104
  11. Daniel H says:

    A huge portion of the labor pool already works for the government, where a college degree is now mandatory, even for the simplest of jobs. I anticipate that in the future move of the economy – especially stable jobs with good benefits and pensions – will be captured by the government. Though these white youth are correct that college is largely a waste of time in learning anything useful, without that degree they will have excluded themselves from so many stable employment opportunities. I would tell the white youth, “Bite the bullet. Get through the grind as fast as possible and study strictly for utilitarian purposes.”

    • Replies: @Alden
  12. Alden says:

    Weed saved an entire generation of California Whites from destitution due to affirmative action. But now it’s legal and taxed so we will have to find another way.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  13. Alden says:
    @Daniel H

    As more and more of the economy is captured by the government, more and more of the economy will be off limits to Whites because of affirmative action.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    , @RadicalCenter
  14. Daniel H says:

    >>As more and more of the economy is captured by the government, more and more of the economy will be off limits to Whites because of affirmative action.

    True, in a way. The government will try and exclude more whites from government jobs, but as the white percentage of the country dips to 50% or less, it will be hard to make explicit racial appeals that exclude whites, but they can pull the slick maneuver of claiming that white applicants don’t have the “necessary” qualifications if they lack that college degree. Whites will have to learn to play both a good offensive and defensive game.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  15. @Alden

    Open a dispensary.

    • Replies: @Alden
  16. @Daniel H

    They will have no difficulty making explicitly racial efforts to keep whites out. Go to court and convince the nonwhite and likely antiwhite Judge to give you redress.

    Whites should get the least expensive in-state college degree possible, precisely so they can’t use your lack of a degree as an excuse. (Do it without any debt, living at home with parents for at least the first two years, if necessary.) And yes, to “make contacts”, which can matter.

  17. @Alden

    Definitely true. Try getting hired or promoted in the Fed gov in DC or California as a straight white man. Speaking of which, there seems be an incredible number of homosexual white males, or supposedly straight but “uptalking” and mincing white males, in the fed and state governments wherever I have gone.

  18. Interesting, but totally worthless article. It reports on peoples’ opinions not real world facts. And largely the opinions of uninformed people. The actual market value of a degree is very different than what people think the value of a degree is.
    Moreover, the actual value if a degree depends largely on the major and the school attended. Getting a degree in Gender Studies, Art History, or Critical Race Theory is not of much interest to a prospective employer.
    Also, people have been brainwashed to think a college degree is necessary. Would a young person be better off going to a trade school and getting a job that pays well OR getting an expensive, worthless college degree and then end up as a cab driver or bartender.

    • Agree: Triumph104
  19. Alden says:

    They will soon be taxed 45 percentt

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