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Success Without College: Why Your Child May Not Have to Go to College Right Now--and May Not Have to Go At All Paperback – March 20, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (March 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767905717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767905718
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,332,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Success Without College:

"In this brilliant, brave, and oh-so-needed book, Linda Lee explodes the myth that all young people must stay on the same conveyor belt through college or perish. That myth has led to the demise of many a young person, and their parents along with them. Now Ms. Lee shows us another way. This book is a godsend. Millions of parents and their children will benefit from discovering the alternative paths explained in this book. Written with the warmth of a mother, and the research, analytic skill of a New York Times editor, Success Without College appears like an angel in the midst of massive suffering. At last, a guide to a better way."
--Ned Hallowell, M.D., author of Driven to Distraction and Connect


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

If your child seems indecisive about college, don't read the riot act, read this landmark book instead. College is not the only alternative. A New York Times editor and concerned parent tells you why and helps you to find happy alternatives to starting college before your child is ready.

As an educated, committed parent, Linda Lee harbored the usual expectation of a prestigious college degree as the illustrious preface to a top-flight career for her child. Some fifty thousand dollars and several disastrous report cards later, Lee recognized that her seemingly rational expectations were proving far-fetched and that her son was simply not ready for college. Moreover, she was shocked to discover that his experience was not the exception but the rule; only 26 percent of students receive a bachelor's degree within five years.

Why, then, are parents led to believe that their children must go to college immediately and that it is the right choice for everyone? If not attending college worked for Bill Gates, Harry S. Truman, Thomas Edison, and William Faulkner, why can't it work for your child and what are your alternatives?

Success Without College is a groundbreaking book that reveals the surprising facts of why many bright kids are not suited for college (or at least not right after high school). Lee's accessible, knowledgeable style informs parents why this should be more a source of pride than shame by providing profiles of students and parents from around the country and their creative, positive solutions to the college dilemma. With a college education now costing an average of a hundred thousand dollars, maybe it's time for American parents to reconsider: Do you really need college to succeed?

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Success Without College explodes many of the myths about college that abound in upscale suburban neighborhoods where parents expect all their children to go to the Ivy League and thrive. It helps you determine if your child is ready for college, or for a different kind of experience as early as age 15. More importantly, by improving the perspectives of parents, this book will change and reduce unrealistic pressures on youngsters that can make the teenage years difficult. In the process, parents can take satisfaction in helping launch their children onto a more productive path.
Despite the fact that U.S. high schools seem to create poorly educated students, a higher percentage of people leave those high schools to attend college than in any other country in the world. College is expensive, and this is a great drain on families and students. Yet, most of those who go off to attend college will not graduate in 4 years. Many will never graduate, and will receive little of value to sustain them as people and economically. Frequent binge drinking seems to be the main experience that people get at college these days.
A great strength of this book is that it is based in part on personal experience. The author's own son went to college for two years and did poorly. He then went out to work, and began learning how he needed to proceed with his life in the process. For many young people, college right after high school is too soon. You have to be both academically and emotionally mature. More people are the former than the latter. The book has a wonderful quiz that you can use to assess the emotional maturity of your youngster.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By M. JEFFREY MCMAHON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Linda Lee's Success Without College is a sobering refutation of the assumption that high school graduates should march straight to the university. Starting with her son's disastrous jaunt into an expensive college, Lee does some soul-searching and concludes that in too many cases college is wasted on people who are not poised to benifit from it. She cites many reasons for not going to college. Among them a lack of maturity, the low rate of college graduation, the culture of hedonism, slackers, and ant-intellectualism, the binge drinking at college campuses, the many students who go for lack of any other alternatives, the outrageous college costs, the "dumbing down" of too many colleges. Lee suggests that young high school graduates might be better served if they take time off and do "character-building" activities such as volunteer work on an Indian reservation, an orphanage, or some such place. Only after someone has matured and is hungry for college learning, Lee argues, should that person go to college. Finally, she points out that many successful people never went to college and that many high-paying jobs only require, at the most, a certificate or a two-year community college degree.
There is much to admire in Lee's critique of Americans' blind march to college. However, some of her arguments seem less than convincing. First, her idea that high school graduates should take time off may result in protracted drifting. These young people, more than ever, may need structure and guidance found in some college environments. Second, the "character-building" activities Lee discusses require a certain emotional maturity, the very thing these young people lack, which is why they're not ready for college in the first place.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am so glad this book came out. From the day I set forth in college, I knew I was not college material. Based on circumstances, I was led to feel inferior if I had not gotten a degree. We have treated college degrees as status symbols when for the most part, we have more to learn about life than how to study for a test in college. The stories the author has about famous people who did not go to college and succeeded anyway made me realize that we all have opportunities to change our destinies. Not having a formal college education would be another excuse for not pursuing a dream.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Judy G. Graham on November 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has impressed me with the facts presented. I'm a vocational guidance counselor and I have a hard time recruiting students to take one of our technical/vocational programs. Parents are determined from the day a child is born that that child will graduate from college with a four year degree. As the author so well puts it, very few kids are actually suited for college. This book will help me put together a presentation to my students' parents to help them make a well informed decision about their child's education. I can't say enough about how much I have enjoyed this book and how it will help me in my work.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mountainloverdisplaced on August 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
College is not going anywhere.

What do you do when your child graduates? You give them an ultimatum: two options, college or job, right? This book gave me peace and saved me from beating myself up over the fact that my child pursued option number two; a modeling career in California this fall.

Creme rises to the top irregardless as shown through the examples of this book. The fact of the matter is people are born with different temperaments, abilities and ambitions. This book aides the exceptance.

My daughter takes on line prerequisites with our local Florida community college from California (she feels as though she would be a total loser if she didn't due to societal programming). I'm apprehensive to pass this book along to her because I'm afraid she will not develope her innate intellectual nature at some point. That makes this book Rated Restricted to parents...first, then maybe your child, but in my case, not. Still, wonderful quick read and talented author.
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Success Without College: Why Your Child May Not Have to Go to College Right Now--and May Not Have to Go At All
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