College: Pay More, Get Less

May 06, 2008 04:29 PM
by Shannon Firth
Tuition is rising, fewer are graduating, and fewer still are adequately prepared by their degrees.

30-Second Summary

The current school year has seen tuition increases ranging from 4.2 percent at community colleges to 6.6 percent at public four-year schools.according to College Board data.

But a new study says the soaring cost of higher learning may not translate to better-prepared graduates.

According to USA Today, the Delta Cost Project study found that “the percentage of students who complete a degree hasn’t kept pace with increases in enrollments, revenue and total spending.”

In fact, the paper goes on to cite a 2007 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stating that, although the United States spends more money per student than any other industrialized nation, its 54 percent graduation rate ranks as one of the lowest.

Even some of the students who complete their degrees find themselves lacking in important critical thinking skills.

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ Commission on the Future of Higher Education reported in 2006 that “prose literacy ‘for all levels of educational attainment’ and document literacy ‘among those with at least some college education’ decreased between 1992 and 2003. In addition, the report said, ‘employers complain that many college graduates are not prepared for the workplace,’” reports Brown University paper the Brown Daily Herald.

The trend hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Spellings Commission is currently developing a university-level standardized exam with which the Department of Education could hold colleges accountable for student performance.

Headline Link: Have colleges cheated students of their educations?

Background: Graduates less proficient

Related Topics: More adult children live at home; graduates enticed by Wall Street salaries

Reference: The Delta Cost Project Report; Web Guides to colleges and careers


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