Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum made quite the stir a few weeks ago when he suggested that President Barack Obama was a “snob” for wishing that every American be able to get a college education. His point was that some Americans aren’t meant for a college education, and that trying to convince them otherwise was elitist. However I’m with President Obama on this one, as I’m sure most people are. College education is critical for any person who wants to pursue a fulfilling career, a fact that is clearer now than it ever has been.
It should go without saying that a college education is an asset for someone looking to start their professional career. Not only because you get a degree but also you learn how to think for yourself; it’s about understanding the depth and vastness of the world around you, about how you can do anything you desire if you put your mind to it.
In college, possibilities and new opportunities appear around every corner. Everyone in a university works with the hope that students will do something significant and meaningful with their degree, no matter what discipline they earn it in. It’s probably the most helpful and nurturing intellectual environment that people will encounter during their lives. In some ways, college is like a giant support group, where everyone on the campus wishes for the other’s success. How could you not want to be a part of that culture?
The truth is that more people have college degrees now than ever before. The U.S. Census Bureau just announced that over 30 percent of Americans hold a Bachelor degree now. It is the new norm to have a college education; it’s the bar by which most employers will judge job candidates. College is indeed an expensive enterprise, but it’s one that comes with an immeasurable reward of knowledge and ability, an experience that gives you the necessary tools to operate in the real world.
President Obama is not a snob for encouraging all Americans to reach a higher level in education; he’s an optimist with the best intentions for our youth. I would hope that any parent feels the same way about their child’s education.
Give HOPE. Live HOPE.
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