I attended college from 1965 until 1989, acquiring three degrees as well as taking other postgraduate education courses. The total tuition for my undergraduate and graduate classes was approximately $10,000 during the "golden age" of a college education.

Today, many parents have to mortgage their homes to pay for their son's or daughter's college education. And it's not only the tuition price tag, but the outrageous costs of books, lab fees, required course software, etc. Parents and students are being "nickeled-and-dimed" to death with such incidental expenses.

I am reminded of a father I spoke to a couple years ago. He was so proud when his daughter received a $10,000 per year scholarship. That is, until he was shocked to learn that the yearly tuition cost was $40,000.

The financial nightmare doesn't end upon graduation. There are the student loans (plus interest) to pay back - an ordeal that haunts graduates for years, even decades.

While working out at the gym the other day, I was talking to a young man who just completed his master's degree in education with a major in mathematics. I was shocked when he informed me of his student-loan debt: $101,000! His grandchildren will still be paying it off.

Life after college is no picnic for many graduates and their parents as well. They can't find employment in their degree areas and have to live at home, still being supported by their parents and working part-time, low-paying jobs while interest accrues on their hefty college loans.

You would think college deans would see to it that all their graduating students would be offered entrance-level positions in their areas of expertise upon graduation, considering the extreme tuition.

But it gets even more frustrating for hardworking parents when they realize that their children were college "guinea pigs" that have been indoctrinated by many unrealistic, narcissistic professors who think they have the panacea for the human existence via liberalism.

When I matriculated at college, I was, of course, surrounded by many liberal university educators.

Liberal is defined as "not narrow in opinion or judgment; tolerant."

Most of my professors had no qualms in expressing their liberal tendencies.

Were they trying to sway students to embrace their philosophical views and values?

Of course.

However, my college professors were tolerant and listened to students who had different viewpoints on various topics. They never embarrassed or penalized anyone in their classes who expressed thoughts contrary to their liberal outlook on life.

In contrast, many of our contemporary liberal professors in the college and university academic arenas have gone way too far with their beliefs. They have become dogmatic with no "tolerance" for other points of view.

Such professor attitudes have "muted" the voices of intelligent students who may have different, more conservative ideals. Why? For fear of upsetting their "profs" and receiving lower course grades.

Furthermore, where do you think many college students are being indoctrinated to believe that "socialism" is the cure for all of society's ills?

Of course, they are being "brainwashed" in the collegiate classroom setting by pseudo-intellectuals who should know that socialism has failed horribly wherever it has been put into practice.

To be honest, most teachers working in their classroom "cocoons" have no concept of what it's like in the private-sector workplace.

I have to laugh when I think of one of my former classroom colleagues. He was offered a position at a local business that would pay him twice as much money.

His last day as a teacher he informed us, "Well, folks, I'm going out into the real world."

A year later, he was back in the classroom.

We all want our children to be well-educated adults, but use common sense. If your children are not that excited about book work, don't waste their time or your hard-earned money on college. Instead, point them in the direction of the trades. The price tag is much, much lower, their paychecks will often be equivalent or even better than those of college graduates (who can find a job), and they will have a deeper understanding of living in the real world.

Bill Welker is a Wheeling resident.