I stumbled across this excellent post from Sounds & Fury recently from a study covering what typically happens to students who graduate in the bottom 40% of their classes once they get to college:
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!
ACD from Sounds & Fury nicely echoes my sentiments with the following blog bit:
Also not surprisingly, colleges themselves have exploited our culture’s mindlessly equalitarian postmodern idiocy in respect of a college education for all. It’s the money, of course. Idiots and geniuses pay the same, and there are far more idiots than geniuses.
Choosing college has undoubtedly become the default next step after high school regardless of your actual temperament and goals. Is college necessary for everybody? Definitely not. Are there a lot of people in college that really shouldn’t be there. Definitely.
Does a college education always better your chances at future success in life? It’s likely to do so, but certainly not in every case. My Road Warrior Without an Expense Account book covers the perils of mindlessly marching through college (check out similar material on my Articles page if you don’t want to buy the book…. actually, check out the Articles page anyway!).