Many of us know all too well the high price we pay for higher learning. Some of us have been left with student loans to pay off or are still paying them off.
Growing up, I was led to believe that good grades would get me into a good school, which in turn would provide me with a good education, thus landing me a good job.
I now know different.
We all know it’s nothing like when our parents were first entering the work force. My parents came from another country in the 1970s with foreign education and experience. They were able to get decent jobs, buy cheap houses, and they are retired and now currently living off their pension. They truly are enjoying their “Golden Years”.
The Price of Learning
While I did receive a good education and good experience because I enrolled into my school’s work/study program, I believe that nowadays, the education/experience only takes you so far. In my opinion, it’s a very expensive piece of paper that sometimes will only get you an interview and nothing more. Sometimes even having several pieces of expensive papers won’t get you much further. Perhaps only further in debt.
Forgive my cynicism. It’s just that when it comes to education, especially higher learning, I am appalled at the price we have to pay for it. Especially when it comes to textbooks. Why must I pay almost $200 (perhaps $140 if I got it used) for a book that I will only use for one semester and will only have to read 50 of the 250 pages in it? I decided to keep some of my textbooks in case I ever need to use them for reference in the home office, which I haven’t had the chance to, thus far. They just sit there and the titles on their spines remind me of how I was able to cram all that knowledge (now mostly forgotten) in one semester.
The Cost of Private Education
What I am even more appalled is the price of private education. Living in a greatly affluent town, there are quite a number of private schools available, if one was to take interest in “enriching” their child’s education. I only say I am appalled because I unfortunately don’t have an excess of $30,000-$50,000 (sometimes more) to spend for a child (PER YEAR!) to attend private school or boarding school. Even if I did, I highly doubt I would want to invest so much in their early years of education. I would most likely want to put it towards their university education.
Is the Quality of Education Better at Private School?
Grade school and high school education is free, so who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that? Private schools seem to emphasize the quality of education, extracurricular activities and leadership programs. I think they are trying to give the impression to parents that their children will be more successful in life and will have a better chance of attending a good university. In my personal opinion, I don’t believe that the quality of education is that much better, nor do I believe that people will be more successful in life mainly because of a certain school they went to or that they will get into a good university because they went to private school. Grades matter more in the latter case.
It really all depends on the person and other factors such as work ethic, intelligence, luck, opportunity, passion and drive.
The “Why” Behind Private Schooling
Perhaps children attend private school because their parents did. Or they believe the environment is safer and has more children coming from the same financial background. Perhaps this is where one can start networking early on with the sons and daughters of people in power. Since private school is associated with uniforms, maybe wearing a private school uniform is considered a status symbol. I wonder if the richest people went to private school.
Ironically enough, in Catholic high schools, wearing a uniform is also mandatory. Minus the blazers and ties, it is quite similar to the private school uniform. As much as I hated wearing the school uniform, it eliminated the dilemma of trying to figure out what to wear every day. Everyone looked the same for the most part, thus nobody got made fun of for their clothes. Uniforms seem to have created a level playing field for students of different cultural and financial backgrounds.
I don’t know any one personally who did attend private school, so I can’t share any of their experiences with you. However, I do know several people who went to grade school and high school for free (like myself), and have graduated from good schools and have done great things with their life.
What are your thoughts on private school? If you had the money, would you enroll your kids in private school?