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In Which Joel Gives Advice to the New York Times

If you're going to write a detailed column about a young college graduate who borrowed \$100K to attend NYU and can't pay it back, you probably shouldn't wait until the 30th (!) paragraph to let us know what sort of useful degree she got for her money:

She recently received a raise and now makes \$22 an hour working for a photographer. It’s the highest salary she’s earned since graduating with an interdisciplinary degree in religious and women's studies.

To be clear, I have quite a bit of sympathy for this girl. Surely she was bombarded with messages, from the President on down, that going to college was the responsible choice. Meanwhile, politicians were making it harder and harder to escape student loan debts. No one at NYU had any incentive to tell her that she was borrowing stupid amounts of money to pay their gargantuan tuition, and no one in the Department[s] of Religious and Women's Studies had any incentive to tell her that they were teaching her absolutely nothing of value and that she'd be lucky to someday get a job "working for a photographer," which doesn't actually require a college degree.

Even she seems eager to admit that going to college was a huge mistake:

“I don’t want to spend the rest of my life slaving away to pay for an education I got for four years and would happily give back,” she said.

I bet the New York Times could get an interesting column or two out of these themes. Maybe "College is a Huge Racket" or "Interdisciplinary Studies Can Be Your Ticket to a Life Filled with Poverty and Hardship" or "Politicians' Pro-Schooling Propaganda Is Good For Them and Their Supporters But Might Not Actually Be In Your Best Interest."

But my guess is they won't.

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