Book Review: Is College Worth It? by William J. Bennett and David Wilezol

The premise of this book is, “The world’s most talented students will be successful no matter where they go to college or if they don’t go at all” (location 123 in the e-book version). Overturning the commonly held belief that everyone should go to college, the authors believe that not everyone should go to college. Success isn’t determined by the degrees one amasses, but by having the right skills and the right knowledge for the job at a certain time.

According to the Census Bureau and Department of Labor that more than 54 percent of recent college graduates were unemployed and underemployed, the belief that a college graduate earns $1 million more than a high school graduate is a myth. Today’s skyrocketing tuition fees of higher education create an unprecedented bubble of student loans, while at the same time college graduates’ earning power diminishes.

The authors, however, didn’t totally disregard the value of college education. They argued that certain majors and certain top universities are still worth pursuing and worth the escalating student loans. Top majors to pursue included petroleum engineering, aerospace engineering, actuarial mathematics, and chemical engineering and top schools worthy of the high tuition fees included Caltech, Harvey Mudd, and MIT. They also discussed the reasons behind the high cost of education and why it has been turning out to be monstrous.

This book is current and provides detailed analysis on how student debts have been an overlooked financial bubble ready to explode. The myths surrounding education, the education system, the lenders, the financial aid system, and the society’s expectation out of college graduates have caused the current mess. It also provided a solid argument on why a college education is not for everyone and that the society doesn’t need too many college graduates.

Overall, this book confirms my own hypothesis and provides an enlightening perspective on what matters most for high school graduates.

[I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. This review was published on]

Book Details:

Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publish Date: April 30, 2013
Review Date: May 9, 2013
Author’s Site: