Essay about College as the Pathway to the American Dream

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Achieving the American Dream has been the ideal for people living in the United States for decades. People believed that the way to get there was through hard work, also known as the “Protestant work ethic”. The American Dream can vary depending on the person. Some people think that owning a house with a white picket-fence is the American Dream while others think that it is becoming a celebrity with a lot of money. For the purpose of this paper, the American Dream will be defined as the idea that you can achieve financial stability through hard work, which often means going to college. The term “college” refers to any undergraduate or graduate program at a secondary institution. This paper aims to examine the relationship between…show more content…
“Misconception No.1: A liberal arts education is a luxury that most families can no longer afford. ‘Career-education’ is what we must now focus on.” (Ungar, 2010, pp.191) As Ungar has claimed, there is a recent misconception that a liberal arts education is no longer a necessity but luxury because it doesn’t provide an instant career launching education. With so many people having to a need to spend as little money as possible, they are determined to only spend money on preparation for their future career. For this reason they go to college only to take courses that are necessary for their future. “She is in college to take vocational training. She wants to write computer code. Start a business. Get a job in television. She uses college to take vocational courses that pertain to her career interest.” (Murray, 2008, pp.228) Murray explained the story of a girl who is in college solely for preparation for her career. Because of this, she isn’t interested in a liberal arts education. If the course doesn’t directly pertain to her desired career, she prefers not to take it. College has always been used as a means to an end, with that end being their American Dream. Through college, they would gain knowledge that could help them achieve that dream. Over the recent years, with the economic troubles, people have shifted from the idea of
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