SOME Occupy Wall Street protesters complain that not only are they unemployed, they are deeply in debt for the college educations they thought would insulate them against joblessness.
William McGurn, writing in the Wall Street Journal, said that despite the horror stories, the average debt load for a degree from a four-year private college is about $28,100, and the average for degrees from public schools, $22,000.
Clearly, some students are making more prudent decisions than others.
There are at least two schools of thought about the way forward.
One contends that students should concentrate on "practical" degrees - those that prepare students directly for work. But McGurn wrote that there is some evidence that doesn't work.
Josip Roksa of the University of Virginia and Richard Arum of New York University, authors of "Academically Adrift," followed the progress of more than 2,300 undergraduates at two dozen universities.
"They found that more than a third of seniors leave campus having shown no improvement in critical thinking, analytical reasoning or written communications over four years," McGurn said.
"Worse, the majors and programs often thought most practical - education, business and communications - prove to be the least productive."
Ann Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, thinks students are better off with a broad base in the liberal arts that will allow them "to compete successfully in our globalized economy and to make sense of the modern world."