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Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. William J. Bennett is one of America’s most influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and educational issues. He studied philosophy at Williams College (BA) and the University of Texas (PhD) and earned a law degree from Harvard. Host of the top-ten nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett’s Morning in America, he is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981–1985) and Secretary of Education (1985–1988), and first director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (1989–1990). Bennett has contributed to America’s leading newspapers, magazines, and television shows. He is the author and editor of several national bestselling books, including The Book of Virtues, America: The Last Best Hope, and The Book of Man. He and his wife, Elayne, reside in North Carolina and have two grown sons. Follow him on Twitter: @WilliamJBennett.

David Wilezol is the associate producer for Bill Bennett’s Morning in America. He is also a 2012 Publius Fellow of the Clare- mont Institute and currently a graduate student in Greek and Latin at Catholic University in Washington DC. Follow him on Twitter: @davidwilezol.
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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480546259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480546257
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Dad of Divas TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As someone who works in higher education I am a proponent for continuing one's education whether it be in a four year undergraduate setting or in some other alternative setting. I went into this book wondering if it would be a diatribe of reasons for not going to college. Especially with the name of the book, and with the media hype recently about a supposed lack of jobs out there. I was pleased to find that the book however was a well laid out argument to truly explore all of the options that may be available to you based on what you might want to study as well as the costs attributed to that dream as well. The book provides some practical advice for anyone thinking of continuing their education, and while some of the data that they present in my view could be looked at in various ways, the information provided within is still invaluable, and the idea of being a savvy consumer is even more relevant in today's higher education race. This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone looking at continuing their education after high school as it will make you think about your options in a very different way!

*I received a copy of this book for review - all opinions are my own*
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Albright on April 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
[Note: This book was provided for free by Booksneeze/Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]

This particular book is clearly written from a conservative position, and that is made plain throughout the book. Nonetheless, it is not a strident book, but is rather based on logical arguments and data that are often not brought into play in what is often a very emotional decision. William Bennett, himself a Ph.D in philosophy (and a former college professor and civil servant) and David Wilezol (a current graduate student) speak from experience. As someone with a couple of master's degrees myself and an embarrassing and heavy burden of student debt, this book struck home with some personal resonance as well. Parents and students alike will find this book to be worthwhile as they seek to plan the best future for themselves and their families.

This book is divided into five (fairly large) chapters along with some closing material that give more specific recommendations on higher education. First, the book looks at the borrowing binge, the harrowing burden of student debt that is rampant in our society, and of which I am a textbook example. Then the book examines, clinically and rationally, how the current financial mess of higher education came to be through extremely biased selection as well as guaranteed easy federal (and private) lending for often economically dubious decisions made often in the absence of accurate information about the true worth of many degrees. After this the book examines the lower side of higher education, in its seedy corruption and immorality in many circumstances, as well as its lack of commitment to standards of excellence in many cases because of its desire to continue the gravy train.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John Bird on May 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
After graduating with my bachelor's degree, the reality of four years of student loan debt set in. I didn't enjoy my job, was making little money, and wondered if the time spent at the University was worth it. I remember saying that if I could sell my diploma to pay off my student loans, I would.

William J. Bennett and David Wilezol's new book, Is College Worth it? is full of stories like mine (and much worse.) While I finished college with a relatively low amount of debt, it's not uncommon for graduates to owe $100,000 or more. "Total student-loan debt in the United States has surpassed $1 trillion."

To make it worse, college no longer guarantees a good job--or any job: "The number of PhDs on food stamps tripled between 2007 and 2010." And while the cost of college soars, the quality of education declines.

So what do the authors say--is it worth it? "It depends." Some should definitely go; some, definitely not. "The most fundamental reform that should be made is abandoning the idea that a four-year college education is the appropriate or even necessary choice for everyone."

Bennett and Wilezol say that whether one should go to college or not depends upon a variety of considerations: the student's ability, their financial situation, their interests, and their goals. If you've worked to earn good grades in high school, you're interested in engineering, and your parents can afford it, then go. If you don't know what you want to do other than meet girls, you should probably consider something else, at least until you mature. If you would rather start a business and you have the ability, why delay?
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49 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The authors hit readers head on right from the start. Slightly less than 54% of U.S. college graduates in 2010-11 were unemployed or dramatically underemployed. Much of what is taught in humanities and social sciences is nonsense and worth little in the marketplace; as for political perspective, the authors show data that professors are overwhelmingly liberal (around 15 or 20:1). Law school students don't fare any better - only 55% of 2011 law school graduates had full-time, long-term positions requiring a law degree 9 months after graduating.

Then there's the problem of paying for college. The authors provide some data on recent college cost inflation rates; I wish they'd also gone back further, however, to the days when I went to college ('63 graduate)- the cost escalation has been enormous and students today can no longer pay as they go for their college education as I and many of my peers did. Those burdened with student loans often are unable to make major purchases because of those debts - 30-year-olds (the median age of first-time home buyers) with no history of student loans are more likely to have a mortgage than those with debts from school, per a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of N.Y.

Continuing, Peter Morci, economics professor at the University of Maryland, has stated that 'More than 15% are still paying back student loans at age 50. We have folks being hounded by collection agencies in their 80s, and Social Security checks being garnished.' Apologists respond that the value of a college education can't be measured - eg. becoming more informed citizens, leading a more informed life.
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