It’s fall and many young people are looking at those college applications and thinking “is college still a good idea?” It’s a relevant question considering the high cost of tuition and the student debt problem in America. It’s also an issue that spurred debate this past spring. Before you decide whether you should take the plunge, take these factors into consideration.
College applications are a dreaded beast: prepping for, taking, and retaking the SAT or ACT, writing the clever and eloquent essay describing your 18 years on the planet thus far, begging teachers to write letters of recommendation, and then fretting over the final GPA on your transcripts. Now, imagine if all of that process was simply eliminated and instead of jumping through hoops, you made a video. No tests, no essays, no letters, no transcripts. That’s what one college is attempting to do.
Sunday’s Last Week Tonight delivered a 16 minute tongue lashing directed at for-profit colleges and their role in the student debt crisis. The schools have been at the center of a congressional investigation and have been called into question by the media and the public for their recruiting tactics and student loan practices. Host John Oliver didn’t hold back in his recap of the situation.
The race gap has narrowed significantly in college enrollments, with 65 percent of black high school graduates attending college, compared to just under 70 percent of whites in 2011, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. However, the gap in graduation rates remains wide and admission to college has little value if a degree isn’t the end result.
According to a recent report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, some older students are actually leaving school to return to an improving job market. Since last year, enrollment dropped by 0.8 percent; over the previous year, enrollment declined 2.3 percent.
Feeling pressured to gain acceptance to an elite college? Don’t. According to a new Gallup-Purdue University study, it’s not where you study that matters in life, but what happens while you’re there. Researchers surveyed 30,000 college graduates and found that a person’s overall well-being and engagement in their work after college has little to do with where they went to school, but rather is influenced by the formative experiences they had while they were there.
Finding a college professor to mentor you may not be easy, unless you’re a white male or at least appear to be one by name alone. In a recent study of more than 6,500 professors at the top 250 schools, researchers found that professors were more likely to deny opportunities to women and minorities -- a bias that appears after only knowing a student's name. This is especially evident in faculty linked to more lucrative professions.