I think the GI bill was, overall, a net benefit to this country. I think offering scholarships to people of need who desperately want to go to college (and beyond) is a wonderful idea.
But I also think too many people go to college right now. According to the US Census Bureau in 2002 over 45% of colllege aged students were attending college. http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2002.html
I think there are many people ill prepared at 18 years of age to go to college and actually get an education.
I think what it leads to is this:
Too many students uninterested in doing the work of college students and burdening down the system.
A job market where employers demand a potential employee have a diploma to answer the phones!
A university system that realizes students need these diplomas to be employable and lower standards to ensure students graduate.
Students who graduate and realize they have no employable skills
Students who determine that because of “diploma creep” they now need to go to graduate school for the education that was previously available at the undergraduate level as well as the ability to separate themselves from those who “just” attended college.
A situation where even state run educational systems turn, almost by default, into a profit making machine as the goal becomes seeing how many students they can cram into the classrooms.
I’m not advocating any system where we go back to the good old days where only the privileged get to be educated and the rest can suck it. I am advocating for us to go back to the good old days where going to college actually meant something. I’m of the opinion that it means very little these days other than the social stigma of NOT going to college because it’s so prevalent in society. But it’s that commonness that’s killing its effectiveness.