This essay was written for the USBundles.com Scholarship
College was never intended to produce worker drones. You’ve we’ve got the rest of our lives to slave away. It’s not there to serve as some sort of infomatic compression chamber, jamming so much information into your head you feel like some sort of encyclopedial WMD, though this is occasionally a biproduct. Since the Athenian sophists ran the first rhetoric academies, high education was intended to be just that—a higher elevation of the consciousness. It served to distinguish oneself not only intellectually, grasping the universe in its entirety, no that would be nigh impossible, but the mere complexity of it. That if anything is ever black and white it means you’ve probably made an error. Secondly it serves, or ought to serve the elevation of the moral plane. That the aforementioned powers of reason developed are sacredly bound to a responsibility to those less fortunate and less educated, lest their knowledge be turned a weapon of oppression against society.
Within the moral mandate bound to higher education exists the responsibility to share that knowledge wherever and whenever possible, not to guard it jealously as an intellectual tyrant. This may take one of two forms. Firstly, the educated may directly share their knowledge, by teaching, lecturing and conversing with those outside their own area of expertise. Secondly, as graduates of an institution, concrete and accredited or otherwise, it is the learneds’ responsibility to make said institution as accessible as humanly possible, be it financially, materially or practically.
The confinement of higher education to tree pulp textbooks and four-walled classrooms should be seen as academic elitism, isolating the intellectual haves from the have-nots. College is already criminally expensive, and rejection of the advancement into the Age of Information should be taken as a war on the students of the world.