One theme that is becoming increasingly popular these days is the ridiculously inflated cost of higher education in the United States. My opinion on this is rather stark- American higher education, with some exceptions, can reasonably be labeled a scam. Rather than produce graduates who go on to higher paying jobs, it is producing legions of barista debt slaves. No doubt if you’re a parent, you’re agonizing over what to do when your children graduate high school.
Obviously this advice will be more or less useful depending on the age of your child right now, but my general recommendation is this: Give the American higher education system the finger and prepare your children to study abroad. There are several countries that will educate foreign students either for free, or practically nothing. Teach your child to master several foreign languages, one of them being German. Even if they enroll in an English language program, this will help them immensely.
What about supporting themselves? No problem. After high school they should take a gap year and in that time, get a TEFL certificate. These are quite easy and relatively inexpensive to obtain, and will allow your child to work in order to support themselves while studying abroad. Moreover, a foreign education will open up their opportunities for gainful employment, unlike in the US, the land of outsourcing, unpaid internships, no-benefits jobs, temp work, and numerous other screw-the-worker policies.
There are other benefits as well. By traveling abroad, your child will get a real education, as opposed to one which was concocted in the fantasy-land of American academia. For example, they will learn that there are millions of people who would be quite thrilled if the worst they had to deal with on a daily basis were only “microaggressions from so-called allies,” and who stare blankly upon hearing an explanation of “cultural appropriation.” This will teach your child that the rest of the world is not America, and in fact all Americans, especially liberal arts academics, are incredibly “privileged” by comparison to most of the world’s population. On the flip side, they will also learn what America does right; they will truly appreciate those things and work to preserve or defend them.
The choice is clear. You can get suckered by the American education system or you can think like the capitalists, and take your business elsewhere. Your kid will end up getting a far better education, not only in the formal sense, but in a practical way which is far more useful. It’s either that, or they can come back to live on your sofa while they work off $40,000 of debt at some menial service job. What’s it gonna be?