My brother and I had an elder for a father, but we both went to college. We were "advised" against it. But, we never took it seriously. The feeling I got was it was a choice, and we chose college. We're both computer programmers. You don't just walk out of high school and get a job doing that and my parents agreed that we'd probably need college. They at first argued for technical school, but regular college won out because nobody going to technical schools was getting good jobs. In the end, we both went to college, but both had to pay our own way. Partially because our parents didn't really agree 100% and partially because they couldn't afford it.
And maybe college is a bad influence (in JW terms). My brother and I are both ex-JWs. And even though we didn't leave right away, it was around the time we finished with college that we did leave. And I must say, our minds did become more open and exposed to more things.
I wonder if the new guidelines are part of a desperate attempt to reclaim lost ground. Obviously, the JWs are losing ground. People are getting fed up and leaving. Partially because of things like the internet. Some because of getting fed up with change after change. Some have waited for 'the end' too long.
Higher educated witnesses don't help. You need them dumb and poor to be the best sheep. Ever notice how the poor and desperate areas have the most JWs. You offer a message of hope to people at the end of their ropes, it works. People with better education and greater wealth tend to be more independent. They think more independently and they aren't as easily controlled. When their ties to the JWs are severed (even if not their will), they can go on. It is not all they have. But the poor and stupid are too afraid to leave. They don't have much and the JWs are all they do have.
So you don't go to college, you work part time, you stay poor. And you pioneer. That also gets more people coming in the door.
I wonder if this will backfire someday down the road. Even though you'd think every JW should work part time at some cleaning business and pioneer the rest of the time, the WTBS needs more educated people. They need computer people at Bethel. They need lawyers (boy, do they need lawyers). And all sorts of other professional positions. What happens when they can't find a good lawyer for the legal department because nobody went to college?
Also, what will the long-term effects be of people who can't afford big donations? Will Kingdom Halls not be able to afford their bills? Will they have to shut down and merge with other congregations? And what of the Society that is also hit. They don't get the donations to them either. And what of the long-term effect on book sales? If these poor struggling people can't buy books and magazines, what will they do? They can't go out preaching armed with only a Bible. They might not go out preaching. Or they might not place as much literature. Net effect, less people coming in. And what about not being able to marry and support a family? That means no little kids to raise as JWs.
I can see pluses for them and minuses from a conspiritorial organization point of view. Either way, the JW youths lose.
It will be interesting to see if the new wording is bold enough (unlike in my case) that people will actually be afraid to go to college.