Is It Time To Sue or Face Facts?

Trina Thompson earned her information technology from Monroe College in April.

With an IT degree, Thompson expected to quickly find a job. She didn’t so now she’s filed suit against the school, telling the New York Post, “They have not tried hard enough to help me.”


Thompson claims her school didn’t provide her with the leads and career advice it promised and is now seeking to recoup the $70,000 she spent on tuition.

I applaud her boldness, but she’s not getting her money back. And to be fair no one ought to rely solely on the school to find a job.


You should never place all your eggs in one basket, and as one reader points out, now is the time for people to start thinking smarter and more realistically about college and their futures.


“Hi Michael,

I'm ambivalent towards the emphasis on higher education in our culture. While it's true that college graduates tend to have higher incomes than non-college graduates, in my opinion, this does not justify the social tidal wave that mindlessly sweeps high school students into the university system. I believe that people go to college with the belief that despite whatever debt they earn a degree offers a pretty secure means of becoming successful.

This is a great collective deception, of course as success is different for everyone and won't be found in a textbook or by doing AP practice tests over and over again. Even if someone defines success financially – as so many people do without realizing it – a college degree doesn't guarantee a decent salary. But this shouldn't come as a tremendous shock; graduating from college also doesn't guarantee any person that he or she will be married, or have good health, or anything else that college is statistically associated with.

I think the other reason college allures young people is the prestige that it affords its graduates. A degree implies that a person has attained some level of competence in a field, has completed a widely expected social development milestone, and has been deemed culturally acceptable by some large body of other people. It's a standardized certificate of social validation, but in the great cosmic scheme of things, it’s little else.


High school students should be encouraged early on to nurture their passions and talents, and think carefully about what they'd like to do with their time on this Earth. This is the hardest part of the entire problem, but just because it's hard doesn't mean it can be safely ignored.

If the path involves college as a necessity, then a student can take the plunge with no regrets. I would also urge students to have worked out a "Plan B" and a "Plan C." As a rule, I would urge a student not to go to college unless they've gotten to the point where they are so motivated they could just burst into show tunes.


Life is ridiculously short, and it's nothing short of tragic to live in a self-inflicted misery.”



So are you ready to sue your school, too, or do you agree with Elizabeth about giving younger people a new perspective about school?


Leave your comments below and share your recession stories with me at

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.

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