Monday, October 20, 2008

A college education, not for everybody

From the Chronicle of Higher Education: "America's Most Overrated Product: the Bachelor's Degree"

Among high-school students who graduated in the bottom 40 percent of their classes, and whose first institutions were four-year colleges, two-thirds had not earned diplomas eight and a half years later. That figure is from a study cited by Clifford Adelman, a former research analyst at the U.S. Department of Education and now a senior research associate at the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Yet four-year colleges admit and take money from hundreds of thousands of such students each year!

Even worse, most of those college dropouts leave the campus having learned little of value, and with a mountain of debt and devastated self-esteem from their unsuccessful struggles. Perhaps worst of all, even those who do manage to graduate too rarely end up in careers that require a college education.
Author and career counselor Marty Nemko offers some suggestions to improve undergraduate education and concludes: "College is a wise choice for far fewer people than are currently encouraged to consider it. It's crucial that they evenhandedly weigh the pros and cons of college versus the aforementioned alternatives. The quality of their lives may depend on that choice." (HT: Arts & Letters)

Extra - From Maggie's Farm, it's looking like colleges are just looking for warm bodies.

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