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DiMaria

Inside The Mind of Alex Cisneros

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"My point is just that there are likely more factors going on here as to why he is actually dropping out.  Haven't you seen this before from other people?  I have.. Very serious underlying issues leading to dropout, while putting on a facade of ambition. I just think the wrestling community shouldn't take such a judgmental tone with this kid...There's no reason to tear him down on an anonymous message board, and it's best just to wish him the best in his journey to maturity.   Even if he does not make the "Forbes 50" list, he may very well end up in a happier/better place than the situation he was in at Cornell."

 

First of all, I don't think there is anything wrong with being judgmental. I think fear of being judgmental is a modern day excuse for not forming an intelligent opinion based on available evidence. I don't know all of the facts of his situation, but I still think the interview was terrible no matter what the situation. 

 

I know plenty of people that dropped out of college. It worked out for some. I don't have any problem with someone dropping out. If he had some family situation, say so. If he just hated college, fine. No big deal. He doesn't owe anyone all the details. He could simply say that family matters make continuing college impossible at this time and he is pursuing other options. I just don't think that he should be encouraged for outrageous statements about his future plans. Sure he's young and can recover, but when he says dumb things he should be called out so he can adjust. I don't wish the kid any ill will. I hope he does well. But I don't think anyone is well served by encouraging half baked plans that amount to nothing. I had a coach that used to say that sometimes it's cruel to be kind. I think there is wisdom there. Encouraging a guy with a terrible plan because you don't want to hurt his feelings isn't kind. It's cruel. 

 

I don't know much about the kid. Most kids that win a couple of state titles have experienced some adversity along the way. For all we know, he doesn't care about what some anonymous internet message board says about him. If he does, maybe he got some good feedback. If he doesn't care, then why worry about his delicate ego?

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The reality is only 59% of students complete college within six years. And of the 59% who get through, 25% make less than the top half of high school grads. So if you do the math, college only makes financial sense for 44.3% of students who initially enroll in college.

 

And then within that 44.3%, the incomes vary based on course of study. For example, kids with engineering degrees will earn more than kids with degrees in recreation and fitness. 

 

IMO college is not a good bet for everyone. 

 

I think your stats are a bit misleading. Your numbers suggest that, of those who even begin college, about 59% of that population will earn a degree within six years. Presumably the other 41% either drop out or take longer than six years to finish. That does not mean that 59% of the total population get college degrees within six years of beginning the process. There's a difference.

 

The fact is that only about 35% of the total population ever completes a four year degree. If your statement that 25% of those getting their degree (those 59% you note) make less than the upper half of those with only high school degrees (your statement is confusing on this point because all college grads have high school degrees and thus, given your statement, it would seem to include individuals with both high school and college degrees). But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that you mean that 25% of those who complete college within six years earn less than the top half of high-school-degree-only people. That would mean that 8.74% (=25 x 35%) of the college educated population earns less than the top half of those people who only have a high school degree.

 

Now, using that understanding, it would seem that your point is that a college degree isn't economically rational for 8.75% of the population. Of course there are a lot of other issues that go into deciding whether college is worthwhile or not, but for 8.75% (using your standard of comparison of the earnings of upper half of the only high school graduates) college wasn't a rational choice.

Edited by npope

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When adversity strikes a man, he either quits or becomes stronger.

 

Cisneros quit wrestling when he began to struggle - plain and simple.

 

Its hard to think he won't quit when adversity strikes him in other areas of life as well.

 

Real warriors never quit.

Edited by BraunMann

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That's inaccurate.

 

New York Fed researchers recently found that the lowest-earning 25% of college grads earn less than about on half of high school grads. http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2014/09/college-may-not-pay-off-for-everyone.html#.VUA5ASFViko>. The high school grads also had an extra four years to make money and no college debt.

I didn't break out all the data from this report to see how they calculated it but it looks like they used a binary differentiator of college graduate or non-college graduate. The assumption being that an individual enrolling in college will complete the degree.

 

The best data sets I have seen have isolated for multiple levels including, among others, college graduate, attended college but did not graduate, and graduated high school but never attended college. It is the group that attends college but has not yet earned a degree that often earns comparable salaries to college graduates. In fact, one of the token success stories from the Thiel Fellowship cited in your link--Eden W. Full--does not fit into the no-college category. Full left Princeton after two years of academic study to accept the Thiel Fellowship and has since returned to finish her degree.

 

But the college graduate camp also includes people that have left the workforce and re-entered which often skews mid-career and median earning stats. This often includes stay at home mothers and stay at home fathers that commonly command lower salaries or those that choose a low income career like social services.

 

Trends are fine but you make a lot of assertions as if everything is cookie cutter. Doing a ROI analysis is good practice for benchmarking but it is never a predictor of future successes.

 

Unless you go into something like engineering, a college degree is merely a sign of potential.

An engineering degree is also only a sign of potential. The economic term is signalling.

 

 

 

 

Honestly, I don't care what the kid decides to do. Everyone is free to pick their own path. He seems more like someone that is trying a lot of things a doesn't know what he wants to do. There isn't anything wrong with that as it is a good way to get exposed to a lot of things but it seems like he is trying to make it sound like he has already arrived which would make it hard for others to help him.

 

This whole debate about this kid's chances of success are superfluous. If success is being happy then he could already be successful. If it making $60k a year then it is highly likely he will get there. If success is making $500k a year then the chances are greatly reduced but still possible.

 

I never understood telling people they are making the wrong decision when you don't even know the person.

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C'mon headlock, I still have my cutco knives I bought back in college ... pretty durable. Not really sure about the guy who sold them to me though.

C'mon, JasonBryant, this is a wrestling forum.

 

So... Can you name the NCAA champions that came from the same town as your cutlery?

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I think your stats are a bit misleading. Your numbers suggest that, of those who even begin college, about 59% of that population will earn a degree within six years. Presumably the other 41% either drop out or take longer than six years to finish. That does not mean that 59% of the total population get college degrees within six years of beginning the process. There's a difference.

 

The fact is that only about 35% of the total population ever completes a four year degree. If your statement that 25% of those getting their degree (those 59% you note) make less than the upper half of those with only high school degrees (your statement is confusing on this point because all college grads have high school degrees and thus, given your statement, it would seem to include individuals with both high school and college degrees). But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that you mean that 25% of those who complete college within six years earn less than the top half of high-school-degree-only people. That would mean that 8.74% (=25 x 35%) of the college educated population earns less than the top half of those people who only have a high school degree.

 

Now, using that understanding, it would seem that your point is that a college degree isn't economically rational for 8.75% of the population. Of course there are a lot of other issues that go into deciding whether college is worthwhile or not, but for 8.75% (using your standard of comparison of the earnings of upper half of the only high school graduates) college wasn't a rational choice.

 

I know it can be tough when numbers come up, so let me just repeat my same point with a hypothetical. Assume 100 kids enroll in college. Only 59 of those kids will get a degree. And of those 59, only 75% of them will earn more than the top half of high school grads. 75% of 59 is about 44. So that means if 100 kids enroll in college, only 44 will actually financially benefit from it. 

 

So that's what we're looking at. College is not a good financial investment for 56 out of 100 kids who enroll. Now, there other reasons to go to college. Perhaps you really like reading novels and writing papers. Perhaps it makes you feel really good to do that. Fine. But if we focus only on the financial side of things, based on the way things actually work out, college is not a good investment for the majority of kids who enroll. So all I'm saying is that kids should really think about why they want to go to college, and what they want to get out of it. 

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I didn't break out all the data from this report to see how they calculated it but it looks like they used a binary differentiator of college graduate or non-college graduate. The assumption being that an individual enrolling in college will complete the degree.

 

The best data sets I have seen have isolated for multiple levels including, among others, college graduate, attended college but did not graduate, and graduated high school but never attended college. It is the group that attends college but has not yet earned a degree that often earns comparable salaries to college graduates. In fact, one of the token success stories from the Thiel Fellowship cited in your link--Eden W. Full--does not fit into the no-college category. Full left Princeton after two years of academic study to accept the Thiel Fellowship and has since returned to finish her degree.

 

But the college graduate camp also includes people that have left the workforce and re-entered which often skews mid-career and median earning stats. This often includes stay at home mothers and stay at home fathers that commonly command lower salaries or those that choose a low income career like social services.

 

Trends are fine but you make a lot of assertions as if everything is cookie cutter. Doing a ROI analysis is good practice for benchmarking but it is never a predictor of future successes.

 

 

An engineering degree is also only a sign of potential. The economic term is signalling.

 

 

 

 

Honestly, I don't care what the kid decides to do. Everyone is free to pick their own path. He seems more like someone that is trying a lot of things a doesn't know what he wants to do. There isn't anything wrong with that as it is a good way to get exposed to a lot of things but it seems like he is trying to make it sound like he has already arrived which would make it hard for others to help him.

 

This whole debate about this kid's chances of success are superfluous. If success is being happy then he could already be successful. If it making $60k a year then it is highly likely he will get there. If success is making $500k a year then the chances are greatly reduced but still possible.

 

I never understood telling people they are making the wrong decision when you don't even know the person.

 

What you're saying seems odd to me. 

 

First, I am simply talking about college grads versus high school grads. IMO it's a pretty reasonable distinction. If you want to parse the levels of education further and link me to studies showing me how they people in those camps do, go ahead. 

 

Second, as for the kids who Thiel paid to stay away from college. Some of them were straight out of high school, and some of them went to college for a bit first. So what? The Thiel stories are only a few examples of kids for whom college was not the best investment. Whether they figured that out at age 17 or 20 is irrelevant. 

 

Third, I am making simple, common sense observations based on the available data. When I say a college degree is often only a sign of potential, I am taking about potential job performance. Here's why I say that. Many college degrees are not terminal, and most are not narrowly tailored to a specific job. So if you are hiring for a specific job and you see someone fresh out of college, you don't know if the person has a knack for the job you're hiring for, or even much interest. Degrees in engineering and the like would be the exceptions. 

Edited by Katie

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When adversity strikes a man, he either quits or becomes stronger.

 

Cisneros quit wrestling when he began to struggle - plain and simple.

 

Its hard to think he won't quit when adversity strikes him in other areas of life as well.

 

Real warriors never quit.

 

Quitting can be a great thing. Not everyone finds the career path or job they are best suited for right off the bat. It often takes trial and error to really come into your own. Every second you're doing something you suck at and hate is a second you could be doing something you'd be amazing at.

 

So sticking to what you tried first is not always a good idea. 

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I know it can be tough when numbers come up, so let me just repeat my same point with a hypothetical. Assume 100 kids enroll in college. Only 59 of those kids will get a degree. And of those 59, only 75% of them will earn more than the top half of high school grads. 75% of 59 is about 44. So that means if 100 kids enroll in college, only 44 will actually financially benefit from it.

 

Katie, I thought you were actually on to something.... until you got to your conclusion (underlined)! :-D

 

I'm no stat geek, but just because the bottom earner in the college educated group doesn't surpass the top earner in the group that did not attend college - doesn't mean that the former didn't benefit from college, nor that the latter would not have either!  You're making more out of numbers than what's really there.

 

Quitting can be a great thing. Not everyone finds the career path or job they are best suited for right off the bat. It often takes trial and error to really come into your own. Every second you're doing something you suck at and hate is a second you could be doing something you'd be amazing at.

So sticking to what you tried first is not always a good idea.

 

 

Now that I can agree with - along the line of the old addage, "doing the same thing and expecting a different result..."

Edited by redblades

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I know it can be tough when numbers come up, so let me just repeat my same point with a hypothetical. Assume 100 kids enroll in college. Only 59 of those kids will get a degree. And of those 59, only 75% of them will earn more than the top half of high school grads. 75% of 59 is about 44. So that means if 100 kids enroll in college, only 44 will actually financially benefit from it. 

 

So that's what we're looking at. College is not a good financial investment for 56 out of 100 kids who enroll. Now, there other reasons to go to college. Perhaps you really like reading novels and writing papers. Perhaps it makes you feel really good to do that. Fine. But if we focus only on the financial side of things, based on the way things actually work out, college is not a good investment for the majority of kids who enroll. So all I'm saying is that kids should really think about why they want to go to college, and what they want to get out of it. 

 

Hi Katie. But your numbers are still jumbled here. Assume 100 kids enter college. You suggest that 59 of them will actually finish their degree (within six years). I got that - that is a fair assumption, I think. The statement of "only 75% of them will earn more than the top half of high school grads" isn't clear, however. The implication is that 25% will earn less than the top half, but the top half isn't a specific point but rather, a range. Thus, 75% do not earn more and 25% earn less. In point of fact, there are any number of people with college degrees that would have incomes within the range identified by the earnings of the top half of those with only a high school degree.

 

In the end, my point is that the number of college educated people earning less than the top half of those with only high school degrees is probably less than the 25% you suggest (more on the order of 9%). In general, going to college results in significantly higher lifetime earnings, by a wide margin (at least, by all of the statistics that I have seen).

 

That said, more money (whatever the reason for its accumulation) does not specifically equate to more happiness or satisfaction. College is great for some people (not the majority, however), and it does likely lead to significantly more income over one's lifetime. However, the true source of a person's happiness and satisfaction is not so simply measured; it is more complex - a matter that we likely agree on.

Edited by npope

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Quitting can be a great thing. Not everyone finds the career path or job they are best suited for right off the bat. It often takes trial and error to really come into your own. Every second you're doing something you suck at and hate is a second you could be doing something you'd be amazing at.

 

So sticking to what you tried first is not always a good idea. 

He is an amazing wrestler though - nearly won California States 4 times.  But things got tough in college and after the loss to Villarreal.

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What you're saying seems odd to me.

 

First, I am simply talking about college grads versus high school grads. IMO it's a pretty reasonable distinction. If you want to parse the levels of education further and link me to studies showing me how they people in those camps do, go ahead.

 

Second, as for the kids who Thiel paid to stay away from college. Some of them were straight out of high school, and some of them went to college for a bit first. So what? The Thiel stories are only a few examples of kids for whom college was not the best investment. Whether they figured that out at age 17 or 20 is irrelevant.

 

Third, I am making simple, common sense observations based on the available data. When I say a college degree is often only a sign of potential, I am taking about potential job performance. Here's why I say that. Many college degrees are not terminal, and most are not narrowly tailored to a specific job. So if you are hiring for a specific job and you see someone fresh out of college, you don't know if the person has a knack for the job you're hiring for, or even much interest. Degrees in engineering and the like would be the exceptions.

I don't know what you mean when you say it is 'odd'...

 

I find it interesting that you say the Thiel Fellowships proved that "college was not the best investment" without recognizing that the incentives were manipulated. They were paid a salary, in addition to being able to get access to a very influential VC, and being able to pursue anything they would like for two years. You say they said college wasn't worth the investment but that isn't true. They found when they felt was a better option given the incentives. It is possible without the support and structure of the program they would have not thought it was worth while. In fact, the fellowship has been called an internship by many since college still remains the focus. The program is still relatively new (only a few years since it launched) and last I heard was six of the twenty kids on fellowship had already returned to college with nearly all of the others planning to return to college.

 

My point with the distinction is that you can't isolate for the effect of continuing education. You want to use the simple metric of a degree to say if the degree is worth anything or not but you don't want to account for the education people get even if they don't get a degree. You seem to be arguing that if someone isn't going to get a degree that they shouldn't take any college classes which makes me think that you only see an education as credentialing. If that is the case, would you say a high school kid would be better off not even bothering to attend the ninth grade if he would ultimately leave school before earning his high school diploma? Or maybe as you say, there is no point to the high school courses if they aren't going to be going into a field like engineering.

 

Maybe you think that's hyperbole but it is the logical extension of the argument. If there is merit in the continuing of education then there can be growth an gains made from the continuing of education. Everyone knows that a bachelors degree is arbitrary. Why required 120 credits rather than 100 credits? Why not five years of study?

 

I don't understand why you keep mentioning engineering. My family is filled with engineers and I have never once heard anyone talk about an engineering degree making someone prepared to be an engineer. In fact, I have heard the opposite that kids don't realize how little they know until they start working after school. Engineering is not the exception it is like everything else where the better educated you are on a wealth of subjects the better chance you have of being able to draw on a wealth of knowledge and experience in order to build solutions that lead to success. Engineers, in many fields, aren't even set after their degree as they must pass the FE, spend years getting on the job experience and then pass the PE.

 

Engineering degrees are just like everything else, they mean you have a foundation but there is still a lot of learning that needs to happen. That is not different than anything else. It sounds like you don't think that there is value in liberal arts courses or any classes that won't prepare you for a specific job. It is often in these situations that people like to talk about the success of dropouts that they say didn't need college to succeed. But in doing so they cite people that did attend college. Steve Jobs seems to be the most often referenced now but he has always been open about the calligraphy class in college changing the way he thought about design and he attributed the topography of Apple products with being a competitive advantage that helped them succeed early one.

 

I often cringle when I hear people say that you shouldn't go to college if you don't know what you want to do with your life. It is true that it is not for everyone but it doesn't mean that if you haven't been exposed to things that really interest you that you shouldn't go to an environment that has been known to introduce people to new concepts and industries. You never know when you'll draw on those liberal arts classes or ideas you heard or people you met and be able to apply them to new situations. The most you learn the more you're able to learn.

 

No college degree qualifies you to be a success and it is true that the math and sciences often have higher starting salaries since there are less people with those foundations but the more you learn the more likely you will be to succeed.

 

And just like the term 'odd' I am not sure what you mean by 'common sense' but I have noticed you make the same consistent arguments in the Cejudo thread in addition to this Cisneros thread without appearing to know them as individuals. It really seems out of place with the one size fits all plan and it makes me think you're not an engineer. That is the issue I have. Your data trends are correct but they are merely snapshots and do nothing to be able to inform an individual of what they should do. It is the critical thinking process that seems to be lacking but I will let you read 'academically adrift' or any of the other pieces of research on the topic on your own.

 

I am not going to continue to post on the topic because really this discussion is worthless on this thread and in this forum. It is all in abstract without having any individual and determining what is best for them.

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Katie, I thought you were actually on to something.... until you got to your conclusion (underlined)! :-D

 

I'm no stat geek, but just because the bottom earner in the college educated group doesn't surpass the top earner in the group that did not attend college - doesn't mean that the former didn't benefit from college, nor that the latter would not have either!  You're making more out of numbers than what's really there.

 

 

Technically you're right. But as a practical matter I think I'm right. To assume that a substantial portion of the bottom 25% of college grads would be in the bottom half of high school grads without a diploma seems far-fetched to me.

 

But at the end of the day, there's no evidence that graduating from college guarantees a higher income. People act like there is. And as a factual matter 25% of college grads earn less than the top half of high school grads. 

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Hi Katie. But your numbers are still jumbled here. Assume 100 kids enter college. You suggest that 59 of them will actually finish their degree (within six years). I got that - that is a fair assumption, I think. The statement of "only 75% of them will earn more than the top half of high school grads" isn't clear, however. The implication is that 25% will earn less than the top half, but the top half isn't a specific point but rather, a range. Thus, 75% do not earn more and 25% earn less. In point of fact, there are any number of people with college degrees that would have incomes within the range identified by the earnings of the top half of those with only a high school degree.

 

In the end, my point is that the number of college educated people earning less than the top half of those with only high school degrees is probably less than the 25% you suggest (more on the order of 9%). In general, going to college results in significantly higher lifetime earnings, by a wide margin (at least, by all of the statistics that I have seen).

 

That said, more money (whatever the reason for its accumulation) does not specifically equate to more happiness or satisfaction. College is great for some people (not the majority, however), and it does likely lead to significantly more income over one's lifetime. However, the true source of a person's happiness and satisfaction is not so simply measured; it is more complex - a matter that we likely agree on.

 

If that was too complicated for you, I can't help you. 

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