They're all college dropouts.
Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and Peter Jennings have in common?
They never went to college at all.
But today all kids are told: To succeed, you must go to college.
Hillary Clinton tells students: "Graduates from four-year colleges earn nearly twice as much as high school graduates, an estimated $1 million more."
We hear that from people who run colleges. And it's true. But it leaves out some important facts
That's why I say: For many people, college is a scam.
I spoke with Richard Vedder, author of "Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much," and Naomi Schafer Riley, who just published "Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For."
Vedder explained why that million-dollar comparison is ridiculous:
"People that go to college are different kind of people ... (more) disciplined ... smarter. They did better in high school."
They would have made more money even if they never went to college.
Riley says some college students don't get what they pay for because their professors have little incentive to teach.
"You think you're paying for them to be in the classroom with you, but every hour a professor spends in the classroom, he gets paid less. The incentives are all for more research."
The research is often on obscure topics for journals nobody reads.
Also, lots of people not suited for higher education get pushed into it. This doesn't do them good. They feel like failures when they don't graduate. Vedder said two out of five students entering four-year programs don't have a bachelor's degree after year six.
"Why do colleges accept (these students) in the first place?"
Because money comes with the student -- usually government-guaranteed loans.
"There are 80,000 bartenders in the United States with bachelor's degrees," Vedder said. He says that 17 percent of baggage porters and bellhops have a college degree, 15 percent of taxi and limo drivers. It's hard to pay off student loans with jobs like those. These days, many students graduate with big debts.
Entrepreneur Peter Thiel, who got rich helping to build good things like PayPal and Facebook, is so eager to wake people up to alternatives to college that he's paying students $100,000 each if they drop out of college and do something else, like start a business.
"We're asking nothing in return other than meetings so we make sure (they) work hard, and not be in school for two years," said Jim O'Neill, who runs the foundation.
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