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Topic: Is College Worth It?
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Robert Hansen

Posts: 7,186
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Is College Worth It?
Posted: Dec 25, 2013 9:37 PM
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A recent article featuring William Bennett talks about the new reality of college in this country.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/only-150-3500-u-colleges-worth-investment-former-132020890.html

It includes the usual statistics, student debt over a trillion dollars now, half the students not even finishing college and half of those that do not getting jobs.

He also talks to a statistic that of the 3500 colleges and universities in this country, only 150 offer a positive ROI for the student. In the top 10 of that 150 are many of the Ivy League colleges.

This unfortunately gives the impression that the problem is the quality of the colleges but from my observations, the majority of the problem is the quality of guidance and the quality of standards.

He does talk to the number of students getting soft degrees and that is certainly true, but in soft and hard degrees alike, the ?college filter? just isn't there like it used to be. These schools are not making their students do college level work and when they graduate they find out that the job market will not pay college level salaries for the skills they possess. While it might be rare for a psychology or philosophy major to get into engineering, it wasn't rare for them to get into other good paying professional role. But not when they show up with skills that are no better than a high school freshman's, which is what many of these students are showing up with, after 4 years of college!

I think in the last 10 years I have interviewed maybe 3 graduates of a top tier school. That is out of over 100 candidates. I don?t even recall if they got the job, but I do recall that one didn?t. It doesn?t take a top tier school to get these jobs. It takes a top tier student, and the students in all the Ivy league schools combined are only a sliver of a fraction of the top tier students in this country. What the Ivy?s have going for them is that they, after filling their quotas, only admit top tier students, and they focus on academics, not football.

There are many good public schools with curriculums and programs that are fine on paper, like Devlin?s course. But if you do not challenge all of the students with college level work, it doesn?t matter what the curriculum looks like on paper. Many of the students are going to graduate without college level skills. And they are only going to realize that when they apply for a job.

Bob Hansen



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