Kellyanne Conway Just Said Something About College That Liberals and Conservatives Can Agree With

June 12th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

Americans haven't seen much of Kellyanne Conway recently.

Kellyane Conway

But the controversial counselor returned to the airwaves this weekend, and made a comment about college affordability that both Republicans and Democrats should listen to.

“Not everyone is college material,” Conway told host Jeanine Pirro on Fox’s "Justice with Judge Jeanine." She added, “Not everyone has to graduate from a four-year college with a mountain of debt and very few prospects.”

Conway added that the country needs to place value on vocational careers and training.

“People are saying, ‘Look, if you are in a skills certificate program, you can graduate and be employable — welders, carpenters, plumbers, hair dressers,'" she said. "We need to value that. We need to value that in our country, and Ivanka Trump and her father will be out there doing that."

Conway added that Trump and his daughter Ivanka will be having talks with officials at technical schools in Wisconsin to "really see what’s going on there." The Trump visits will be a part of the administration's "Workforce Development Week." Ivanka Trump, her father, and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta will travel to Wisconsin on Tuesday to visit vocational schools and meet with Gov. Scott Walker.

The development week is reportedly a push by Ivanka Trump to expand apprenticeship and work training programs.

"The reality is that there are still Americans seeking employment despite low unemployment rates, and companies are struggling to fill vacancies for positions that require varied levels of skills and training," the first daughter told reporters on Saturday. "So the Trump administration is committed to working very closely to close the skills gap." She said she was inspired by a visit to Germany to see their work training programs.

In Germany, they make sure college isn’t the only path to success.

Posted by ATTN: Video on Tuesday, November 15, 2016

However, President Trump may not actually increase funding for work programs.


CBS News reported that an unnamed official said the Trump administration does not plan to increase federal funding for government work training programs, but instead streamline them and make them more efficient. The development week also aims to support businesses and trade associations in creating their own training programs, rather than creating new government funded ones. The administration has come under fire for moving federal funds away the Labor Department that could have funded workplace training, according to U.S. News.

There are millions of jobs Americans don't have the skill set to fill.

ATTN: reported in January the Labor Department found that 5.5 million jobs weren't filled. The reason is that Americans can't fill "middle-skill jobs" in the workforce that were previously an entry point into the middle class. "Their productivity drove America’s competitiveness," a 2014 study from Harvard Business School said of middle school workers. "Over the past three decades, however, the United States steadily lost its capability to create and sustain enough jobs to support the realization of the American dream for millions of workers."

Not everyone should be pressured to attend college.

In an ATTN: video, Discovery channel host Mike Rowe said that Americans should talk about vocational and technical job training in the U.S. they same way they talk about college.

"Anything that's not higher education, we don't call it lower education [but] we call it alternative," he said. High school graduates can feel pressure to attend college even when a vocational or technical skill might be a better fit for them.

Expensive 4 year college isn't the only option after high school. -- Mike Rowe

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Jillian Gordon, an agricultural science teacher, wrote a piece for the PBS Newshour's Teacher's Lounge that explained why she tells some students not to go to college.

"I tell many of my students not to go to a four-year college," she wrote. "We are assuming all students need the same thing: that they need to go to college," she said. "When we know that it may not be the best choice for them, we are cheating them of reality and a worthy, challenging education simply because they are the textbook version of a 'good student.'"

While college may not be for everyone, it's become too expensive for many who would benefit from it.

A College Board report released in 2016 found that the price of college for the 2016/2017 school year rose again from the previous year.

Here's the average combined cost of tuition, fees, and room and board, according to CNN:

  • Two-year community college: $11,580
  • For-profit college: $16,000 (without room and board)
  • In-state residency cost at a public college: $20,090
  • Out-of-state residency cost at public college: $35,370
  • Private college: $45,370

A projection by Georgetown University's Center for Education and the Workforce said that 65 percent of jobs in the U.S. will require a post-secondary education by 2020. Paying off the cost of that education could become more difficult, with the Trump administration stripping protections against student loan collection agencies in March and reportedly considering rescinding some of the student loan forgiveness options offered to public servants.

RELATED: How the Trump Administration Just Made It Harder to Pay Back Student Loans