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by Thomas B. Walsh


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College in America Does Not Work the Way It Used To
There was a time in America when college was considered to be for too expensive and only for the elite. The cost of a four year degree was almost equal to the median family income. Only about seven percent of high school graduates ventured forth to the ivied halls. The academic demands were rigorous, but if the student earned her coveted sheepskin, a job and middle-class, or better, affluence were a virtual certainty. Generations of parents and students grew up with this vision.
Today the popular belief is that college is for everyone regardless of cost. Four years at a state university costs twice the median family income. If community college is included in the tally, about seven in ten high school graduates blithely enroll in institutions of high learning every fall expecting the same outcome as from years ago.
However, college in America does not work the way it used to.
It is as simple as the rule of supply and demand. In this slowly recovering economy there are not nearly enough good jobs available of the type the typical college graduate has depended on historically, and there is a Brobdingnagian army of potential recruits.
While the grade point averages have remained about the same, the quality of the education has been eroded. The time spent in academic pursuits-attending class and studying-has dropped by a third in fifty years. Today college students spend less time in academic pursuits than high school students.
Additionally, there is a mismatch between skills gained and skills demanded in the workplace. Silicon Valley can't hire people fast enough, and many job listings go wanting for two years or more while colleges and universities keep churning out more attorneys, archaeologists, and art historians.
According to the Department of Labor only about one in four traditional four-year college enrollees graduates and gets a good job. Another one in four graduate but are underemployed or unemployed. These days the dropouts are stigmatized in the job market. In all, three out of four enrollees are just wasting their time and money.
To make matters worse seventy percent of the students have college loan debt which negatively impacts their ability to buy a house or save for retirement. According to the Department of Education twelve percent are in default.
These outcomes are not what parents and educators had in mind.
There are lots of opportunities that don't require your student to sit in a classroom for years that can result in her getting a great job. If your student just graduated from high school, the challenge now is how he or she will become a financially self-sufficient adult in the next few years. College may be the right answer, or maybe not.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506179315
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/18/2015
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.36(d)

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