Sunday, February 03, 2013

Book Recommendation: Better Than College

Just a quick post to point you toward Better Than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree (students can even download an electronic version for free). It talks about many of the things I did in this post, only it does a much better job. It also gives some reasonably concrete suggestions about how one might go about this. It's also short - 127 pages - so you could easily read it in a night or over a weekend.

I think many of you would be interested in this personally, as parents, as educators, or as policymakers (or some combination thereof). To give you a taste, it starts with 6 propositions:
  1. College is just too expensive.
  2. Higher education and college are not the same thing.
  3. You can give yourself a higher education without college.
  4. Skipping college isn't the best idea for everyone.
  5. It's a gamble either way.
  6. There's a culture of fear around college, but it's the wrong fear.
Not only do I think you should read it, I really think every high school should have at least one copy on the shelves in the library - or in the guidance center. Really. (For those of you concerned about the reaction that might get in your school, note Proposition #4 above - he does a nice job describing many folks for whom college is a great idea.)

Some of you may also be interested in Not Back to School Camp and/or Unschool Adventures.


  1. Back in the '73, my high school principal gave me a copy of This Way Out, which was written along the same lines. The trouble is, when really, really smart kids (the ones most likely to read these books) think they don't need to go to college, they're frequently wrong, just as wrong as all the people who go to college who don't belong there.

  2. I can think of so many students I have taught who would have been able to at least make an educated decision about going to college had they been given something to read like this. Sometimes it is permission that students need from society to make a choice and not lack of knowing who they really are that made them choose something they knew was not right for them. Looking forward to reading it.