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Two Classes Predict By Professor Doom 
Just a short essay today, but this is an absolutely critical message. Across the country, classes are starting up, students are enrolling, and new debts are beginning to grow. Even though student debt is crushing and inescapable, people do this to themselves because they figure education is a chance to improve themselves, or their economic situation. Just a chance. What if there was a better than 90% accurate test to tell if higher education was a bad idea? Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to identify if someone should risk years of his life and tens of thousands of dollars for that chance? There is such a test, it’s been known to everyone in higher education for years, and allow me to present it to the general public. If you, your child, or even someone you know is a student taking on debt for higher education, here is all you have to do to test if the student is making a huge mistake: Look at all the classes the student registered for. Look for one of two courses:
These courses don’t count for college credit (that’s what the 0 means, it’s a 0^{th} year course, meaning below a first year college course). A student taking one of these courses is a remedial student. If either of these is on the schedule, do everything you can to get the student out of college as quickly as possible. If the student is taking both classes, physically drag him or her off campus if necessary. If you do so in the first few weeks of classes, you can get a good refund. The reason you should get your remedial student out is simple: Less than 10% of remedial students will get a 2 year degree within 3 years. That statistic comes from looking at millions of students. The vast majority of remedial students will require 2 or more extra years (i.e., pay 50% more) just to have a chance at a degree...and coursework without a degree is worthless. Even if the remedial student somehow graduates, it’s been shown that these students disproportionately learn less than other students...their degrees are worthless. Paying 50% more for a worthless degree is a terrible deal, but that’s the only deal for remedial students. A student needs to function at basically the 10^{th} grade level to have a real chance at college (yes, I know, high school goes to the 12^{th} grade, but higher education starts at 10^{th} grade material for many). If the student isn’t at that level by the time he’s 18, his chance of real success in higher education is zero, and he will only be taken advantage of by ruthless college administrators. And now you know a 90% accurate test to tell if someone should stay away from college. Now, some advice for the remedial student determined to succeed at college. First, drop out. You’re hurting yourself taking (and paying for) noncollege courses in college. That’s a terrible thing to do. Next, go down to the local library, check out the books you need for remedial English or math, and STUDY and practice the skills until you know those books inside and out. You don’t need someone with graduate theoretical degrees to teach you what you should have learned in school...and you sure don’t need to pay $5000 or more a year (plus lost wages) for the privilege of having someone teach you that stuff. If your college says you belong in remedial courses, go to the library, check out those books, and do the work. If you can’t learn the things 14 year olds know on your own, then college is a bad idea. The library is a much cheaper way to find that out than in college. Almost twice as many people have student loans as there are students, that’s how inescapable these loans are. I hope my advice can save even a few people from entering perpetual debt, for nothing. http://professorconfess.blogspot.com/

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