The Introduction

I have never advised a teenager not to go to college. But I have advised teenagers and their parents to reconsider their approach to obtaining a higher education degree if the teenager and her parents decide that it is important in the scheme of the student’s life.

What you will be reading is an outgrowth of student feedback and my knowledge as a participant in what I call the college experience. I became horrified and disillusioned by the focus of colleges to survive, grow, and compensate their most unworthy and shameful guardians (the college administrators and professors). Most of them have turned their backs on the students and the fulfillment of the students’ needs.

This book will reveal the results of this tragic situation.  It will provide the illumination that is so necessary for those who believe that a college education is in their future.

The observations I make here may be so discomforting as to cause you to deny their existence. But the system as I describe does exist. It is the logical result of an inequitably balanced system in favor of the guardians, and has resulted in shame to higher education. The student has been denied any semblance of return on his time and money spent. But perhaps the most important thing to take away from this is the distinction between first- and second-tier universities. In our society, the college degree is perceived as the defining characteristic between the have’s and the have not’s, between those with opportunity and those without. But this ideal is actually a fantasy fueled by the higher education industry itself and segments of corporate America that are dependent on higher education for their livelihood. This distinction is not real. For most college students, there is little opportunity and little education.

The real distinction in our society—the distinction that truly separates those who have opportunity and those who don’t—lies in a segment of the university population that I call the top-tier universities. These include the Ivy League universities and a small handful of colleges that offer true value and opportunity to the graduating student. They employ professors who are not just top academics but leaders in their fields of endeavor. They have spent time in the line of fire and have proved themselves worthy of the title “competent.” Most can be considered educators and successful practitioners.

These top-tier universities offer something even more valuable to the graduate-opportunity. They offer a return on the student’s investment of time and money. It is here where corporate recruiters reach out for their future executive-level employees.

For the remaining 99+ percent of the universities in our country, there is little effort made by corporations to seriously recruit on their campuses.  This second-tier is the wasteland of student hopes and dreams. I have been there, and I know this to be true.

Unfortunately, identifying the top-tier universities can be difficult in many cases. There is no accrediting agency to help us.  Are there a dozen top-tier colleges? Are there more? It is impossible to tell for sure. But it is possible for us, as individuals, to be controlled and focused on the information that we will need to make an informed college decision.

Personally, I have maintained that Ivy League schools, a handful of academically- and some military-oriented schools would be considered top-tier because of their ability to meet the career needs of graduating students. Throughout the book I define the types of information and the focus of the college that is required if you wish to identify a college that is top-tier for your needs.

Finally, this book will offer to parents and students a strategy for selecting a school. It will be a strategy that will help you maintain control over the decision making process, and allow you to make a logical decision even in the face of what I call the “college frenzy.”

Before I close the Introduction, I would like to leave you with a quote from the Department of Education’s website. In the frequently asked questions under FSA Collections the department makes a strong case for honoring loan agreements. If you have a student loan under the direct loan program of the government, (or any other borrower) you are not excused from honoring your separate loan contract with the lender.

Department of Education’s website:

“Students bear responsibility for examining before they enroll whether a school offers training that meets their academic and vocational needs.”

In other words, before you step into the school as an enrolled student, you had better make sure you know what you’re doing. You’re paying a lot of money for this so called “education.” Make sure you can see through the hype, the lies and the distorted facts. I urge you to read every word, every page and every chapter. I can help.

The Author’s Experience

As an executive in several of the nation’s largest banks and a consultant for the financial services industry, I have directly managed, instructed, hired, trained, and replaced thousands of college students. My particular field required access to graduating students, so I became an executive member of recruiting and mentoring programs for almost ten years. I was a heavy user of the talent of our higher education industry.

As an adjunct professor who taught for over six years in accredited universities (at one point teaching four courses in two schools), my students were the most important component of the educational process. It is this point that forms the cornerstone of Colleges Behind Closed Doors.  My last two years interviewing hundreds of students and graduates, and discussing with them their hopes and disappointments, have brought me to a point of observation that few people have reached. Few professors, bankers, and students of higher education have seen what I have seen or felt what I have felt. What I have found in these discussions and observations will stun even the most perceptive of students, parents, and interested spectators.

  • I urge high school students and their parents to understand their investment and make the right decision before jumping in.
  • I urge college students today to begin a process of peaceful change.
  • And I urge each and every person who has any interest in higher education to take heed.  We have been caught up in the college frenzy. When I speak to my associates in industry or talk to parents of graduated students and give them my insight, many often ask: “Why didn’t someone tell us about this before?”

Well, here it comes. Read this book and consider yourself told.

You can buy the book here, it is available in print and Kindle formats.