American parents: Before you made that baby, did you think about how you were going to send it to college?
We've thought about it, and the costs of college, health care, and housing have been the top three reasons why we've put it off -- and probably will put it off until it's too late.
Because, seriously, how can you bring a child into a world where we're told (1) any kind of success and happiness comes on the heels of an advanced college degree, and (2) a college degree is not affordable for the child of working middle class American parents. To top it all off, the companies which loan you the money to get that degree use some of the most vicious practices in the lending industry, and still manage to bilk the American taxpayer for any money they can't collect from students.
President Obama upset me terribly when he started talking about the importance of increasing college graduation rates. More debt-saddled, unemployable college graduates are the last thing our country needs. How about increasing the ranks of skilled, self-reliant tradespeople and entrepreneurs instead? How about teaching civility, respect, and civic-mindedness at the high-school level, so we can get to work building sustainable communities and raising families, instead of partying, boozing, and drugging through an additional four to eight years of "higher education?" (And then spending a significant portion of their professional lives paying for it.)
This is something I tend to get all worked up and furious about, to the point I can't discuss it without descending into incoherent rage. So instead I'll just embed this handy info-graphic from collegescholarships.org. It does a better job of getting to the root of my anger than I can myself.
Infographic by College Scholarships.org