Success Without College
Why Your Child May Not Have to Go to College Right Now--and May Not Have to Go At All
By Linda Lee
(Three Rivers Press, Paperback, 9780767905718, 336pp.)
Publication Date: March 20, 2001
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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?
Linda Lee is an editor and writer for the New York Times. She frequently contributes to the Style, Art & Leisure, and Business sections. The article she wrote for the education life supplement in 1998 entitled “What’s the Rush? Why College Can Wait” generated an enormous amount of mail. In addition to the more than eighty articles she has written for the Times, Lee is the author of several books. She lives in New York City.
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