Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Students of the Columbia Teachers College during a graduation ceremony in New York City in May 1918. … [+] They are on the steps of the Low Memorial Library, with Earl Hall visible on the left. (Photo by Paul Thompson/FPG/Getty Images)

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For many people the cost of getting a degree is the biggest investment they ever make. It’s supposed to be a path to higher earnings, many experts say.

But college enrollment is falling fast and the main reason is the ultra-high cost for an education that may or may not help in a material way, new research shows.

Enrollment has dropped by 12.8% over the last decade to 14 million, according to a report produced by The National Student Clearing House Research Center.

While there are many reasons for the drop, such as lower birthrates and the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, the main reason is cost. “the cost of going to college has outpaced the rate of inflation by about three times over the last 40 years,” states an article on the MyeLearningWorld website.

Tuition costs running at 3-times the rate of inflation should be no surprise to anyone. Neither is the idea that college is fast becoming a place for the well-heeled elites to send their kids.

There is also a risk that grade inflation and student activism may have undermined the core of what college is supposed to be about: Learning stuff in a rigorous way.

First let’s deal with the grade inflation. Enough people have told me that an A-grade given now is nowhere near as impressive as an A-grade earned a decade ago, which in turn is better than one received two decades ago.

It’s so bad now that students complain to University leaders if the course is too difficult. An eminent chemistry tutor was fired from New York University (a University from which I received a masters degree) because it was too hard.

Let’s repeat that. The course was too hard so rather than study harder the students rebelled. Now I have studied chemistry and I know it to be hard. I sweated over it continuously, making frequent appointments with the tutor to help me grasp what I needed to know. Eventually, I understood. Nowhere did I think of blaming the teacher. the same is true for the other things I’ve studied.

In simple terms what this comes down to is similar to what’s happening in the economy.

Inflation is depleting the value of your wealth day-in day-out. Yes its gotten better than it was, but still its spending power is declining.

Meanwhile, the value of a college education is declining as students demand higher grades rather than stretch their brain. Yes, learning is hard sometimes.

But if you aren’t forced to absorb complicated and less-than-clear concepts how are you going to get the knowledge you want?

Well from where I stand it is clear that many of the potential students who didn’t enroll over the last decade are wondering what’s the point of college if you aren’t forced to learn? No much point, as far as I can see.

Another way to look at it is like joining the armed forces. Pretty much every one knows that the army needs to mold its recruits into fighting machines. That’s a tough process that requires dedication by the recruits as much as by the drill-sergeants and the officers.

Its hard. So what?

Well college should be tough intellectually as well. When that returns it the devaluation of a first degree may stop.

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The post Times Running Out For College As Student Enrollment Dwindles appeared first on WorldNewsEra.


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