The Education Crisis
College students and recent graduates are carrying nearly a trillion dollars in student debt. According to a recent report, college graduates in 2010 walked away owing an average of $25,250 in loans; 9.1% of them were unable to find work. Others were forced to take low-wage jobs that did not reflect their skill level. Add to that the escalating cost of a college education— California public universities increased tuition by 21%—and you all but eliminate low-income students from the collegiate ranks. It’s a scandal that America has done so little to make higher education affordable to every citizen.
To those who have been frozen out of the education system, I say don’t give up. I left school in the eighth grade. When I was 15, I joined the Navy (with a fake ID). Painfully aware of my lack of education, I subscribed to a book-of-the-month club. That was followed by a series of correspondence courses. And more reading— everything I could get my hands on. My message is this: You can teach yourself everything you need to know to be successful. You just have to want it. Being self-taught won’t open any doors for you, but it will teach you how to go around them.