New School MBA- Is College Creating Adults or Just Older Kids?

If you’re new to my New School MBA section, it’s a section where I point out the brokenness of the college and university system. It is riddled with problems that burden young and old students with unnecessary debt and years of trouble, often producing few benefits worth the time or cost.


Research done for the new book How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims points to another problem with the college system. We assume that going to college is a necessary transition for young people to grow into adults, but it’s not necessarily the case. For the vast majority of students, they simply become older and larger big kids with adult-sized debt that forces them to move back home with mom and dad.

The following quote is from a recent Los Angeles Times interview with the author…

“…with kids who choose a four-year college, we think that’s so challenging they need a parent to manage their every moment…My colleagues who were not seeing this were at community colleges. Those students have a lot of self-reliance.”

It would almost seem as if it goes back to an entitlement phase where the wealthier four-year college kids need mom and dad to helicopter them through to a degree. Then we find that the same isn’t true of community college students, many of whom are not as wealthy, are more independent, and, guess what, graduate school with much less debt. Not only that, but many community college students graduate sooner, start working while in school, and move on to better jobs immediately after graduation.

So, here are the lessons I’d like to point out…

  • Four-year schools are very good at increasing debt and prolonging childhood
  • Community colleges offer a better solution of work and school together while students transition to adulthood

You also need to consider before entering either one if you really need it. Maybe all you need to do is get out there and launch something. College shouldn’t be the thing you do simply because you’re not sure what to do. It’s a very expensive method for conquering indecision. Maybe all you need instead is some good old life experience.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims


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