How to Pick a College

[T]he biggest single test of whether a college is worth attending is not its ranking, its placement record, or the average salary of its graduates.

It’s whether it treats you like an adult. Don’t expect a college to help you become an intelligent adult and a responsible citizen if it does not treat you like one.

Many colleges and universities will not treat you like an adult—someone who can think and act independently—but instead they will treat you like a child in need of sermonizing and supervision while they severely restrict what you are allowed to say and think.

To begin with, if a college is not unambiguously committed to freedom of thought, and its counterpart, freedom of speech, how can you possibly expect to learn how to think critically—to examine opposing positions and analyze the merits and deficiencies of each?

It is the nature of thought itself that it cannot be subordinated in advance to any ideological position. The human faculty of reason is unfettered by allegiance to anything but the truth itself.

Accordingly, the mark of a true university is intellectual diversity—and yet most universities are remarkable for mind-numbing conformity, for a student body that looks diverse but all believes the same things, where dissenting voices are marginalized or ridiculed.

How are you going to learn to think if your university is opposed to thinking?

Think about that.

One good way to get a sense of a college’s commitment to freedom of speech is to check its rating on this website, which will give you detailed reasons for each “speech code rating” it assigns.

How to Choose a College: Here are some tips for finding value in spite of the higher education bubble.

FIRE’s Spotlight: The Campus Freedom Resource

Ozymandias

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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