Do Too Many Kids Go To College? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Do Too Many Kids Go To College?

Play associated audio

Getting a college degree is often touted as a way to increase your income and your ability to compete in the job market.

But are too many unprepared students being pushed into taking on large amounts of debt? And would top students with an entrepreneurial bent be better off forgoing college and instead trying to become the next Steve Jobs?

A team of experts took on the topic in the latest debate from Intelligence Squared U.S. — the program's first live debate in Chicago. They faced off two against two on the motion "Too Many Kids Are Going To College."

Before the debate, the audience at Venue Six10 at the Spertus Center voted 39 percent in favor of the motion and 40 percent against, with 21 percent undecided. Following the debate, 47 percent agreed that "Too Many Kids Go To College" while 46 percent disagreed — giving the side arguing for the motion a narrow win. Seven percent remained undecided.

The Oct. 12 debate was moderated by ABC News' John Donvan. Those debating:

FOR THE MOTION

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is an advocate of young people's exploring alternatives to a college education. This year he launched the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, a two-year mentoring program that provides $100,000 in grants toward building the fellows' businesses in biotech, technology, finance, education and more. Thiel, an early investor in Facebook, currently serves as president of Clarium Capital Management LLC and managing partner of The Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital fund.

A political scientist, Charles Murray is the author of two widely debated social policy books, Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980 and, with the late Richard J. Herrnstein, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. In his most recent book, Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality, he argues that too many people are going to college.

AGAINST THE MOTION

Vivek Wadhwa is director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University and a senior research associate for the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. Wadhwa advises several start-ups, founded two software companies and is a columnist for The Washington Post and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Henry Bienen, president emeritus of Northwestern University, launched his career in academics at Princeton University in 1966 as an assistant professor. Bienen is one of the first three university presidents awarded the Carnegie Corp. Academic Leadership Award. He is chairman of the board of Rasmussen College, on the board of the Chicago Public Schools and a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Economic Development and Planning Committee.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Short List Of The Best 'Longform' Journalism Of 2014

Editors at Longform read hundreds of print and online journalism pieces each year. Co-founder Max Linsky talks to Audie Cornish about highlights from 2014, from literary stalwarts and upstarts alike.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #MuslimApologies Grew Out Of Both Anger And Whimsy

Maha Hilal helped launch #MuslimApologies partly as a rebuttal to the more earnest hashtag, #NotInOurName. She tells Audie Cornish how it reflects a divisive conversation in the Muslim community.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.