A person claiming to be a Kansas State University student from Olathe has created an online buzz after he took to Facebook to announce that he is quitting college because of the rising cost of earning a four-year degree.
Billy Willson posted the message Saturday, including in it a photo of himself posing while making a not-so family-friendly gesture in front of a K-State sign. Willson said he just finished his first semester, claiming to have earned a 4.0 GPA.
Whether Willson actually earned such a high academic achievement remains in question. University professors have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to submit final grades, according to the university calendar.
University officials have not responded to an email seeking to verify if Willson was enrolled at Kansas State during the fall semester.
Willson held little back in voicing his frustration with the cost of public higher education.
“Yes I have dropped out after finishing my first semester (with a 4.0 GPA),” Willson wrote. “And it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Not because I am adverse (sic) to learning, but actually the exact opposite.”
Among other things, Willson said students are spending four years to later work in professions whose pay fails to keep pace with inflation. As students, they are paying “$200 for a $6 textbook.”
“YOU ARE BEING SCAMMED,” he wrote. “You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will see it some day. Heck you may have already seen it if you’ve been through college. You are being put thousands into debt to learn things you will never even use.”
Willson also said, “You’re spending thousands of dollars to learn information you won’t ever even use just to get a piece of paper.”
In many cases, work experience often trumps classroom work, Willson said in the Facebook posting.
“I once even had an engineer tell me ‘I learned more in my first 30 days working than in my 5 years of college.’ What does that tell you about this system?” he wrote.
But Willson’s comments on Facebook did not sit well with others who said they are students at K-State. There were nearly 6,000 comments to Willson’s initial Facebook post.
Others posted on Facebook their views on the value of a college education.
“Now that I’ve finished my last first semester I think it’s safe to say... YASSS COLLEGE,” wrote Sam Wayne Edwards.
“YOU ARE NOT BEING SCAMMED. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will see it some day. Heck you may have already seen it if you’ve been through college.”
Edwards also wrote: “While student debt can be a serious issue, there are always scholarships to apply for and alternatives to a traditional four year degree (wassup JCCC?).”