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Letters: Is college worth it?

Letters in a computer with red mailbox flag

Tess Vigeland: It's Wednesday, so let's have a look at the inbox.

Our segment that seemed to get the most responses this past week sought to answer the question: is college worth it? Tech reporter Steve Henn and education correspondent Amy Scott squared off on venture capitalist Peter Thiel's $100,000 scholarships for high school entrepreneurs; that was so they don't have to spend their time getting bachelor's degrees.

Here are just a handful of your thoughts on the question.

Robin Richesson: I have to say that students by and large come a long way during their college education. I have seen people who would have otherwise not been able to have an education, be able to come and really be transformed, and have experienced people from other demographics in a learning environment.

Carson Sprock: College is simply a degree factory, a high-priced stay-away camp for four or more years in which the vast majority of people learn nothing, and don't want to either. Classes are dumbed down to try to keep the GPA of the school up. And most people don't work hard because they have the impression that a college degree is a golden ticket, and it's not.

Shondra Summers: Any family would be proud to say their student attended Stanford, Wellesley or Harvard. However, if parents are borrowing money against their homes, emptying retirement accounts or the student is taking out $100,000 in loans for an undergraduate degree, you have to decide whether or not that makes good financial sense.

Those voices came from Robin Richesson, an artist and college professor at Cal State Long Beach; Carson Sprock, an economics and math major at University of California, Santa Cruz; and Shondra Summers of Las Vegas, a mother of three sons -- two of whom are in college now.

Before we wrap up, one small correction: in yesterday's story about John Bryson, the new nominee to head the Commerce Department, we mentioned he was the founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. That's what it said on the page in front of me. But the words out of my mouth were National Resources Defense Council. It's "Natural."

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