ERIC Number: ED431986
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
College for All? Is There Too Much Emphasis on Getting a 4-Year College Degree? Research Synthesis.
Boesel, David; Fredland, Eric
Over the years, larger and larger portions of high school graduates have enrolled in 4-year colleges. Although many people view college as essential to success in the labor market, the movement toward 4-year colleges also has its critics. These critics contend that the public has come to believe that almost all high school graduates should go to college. This "college movement" is sweeping many marginally qualified or unqualified students into college, and hence the average ability of college students has declined. As a result of these declining ability levels, college noncompletion and dropout rates have increased. Many noncompleters do poorly in the labor market and would have been better advised to pursue other education and training options. These noncompleters are also burdened by unnecessary debts from college loans. Even college graduates are not doing very well in the labor market. This research synthesis examines the evidence for these arguments. Based on published literature identified through traditional bibliographic sources, ERIC, a variety of internet sources, research reports, and Ph.D. dissertations, the synthesis is designed to be empirical, even-handed, and as comprehensive as possible. Topics covered include: the growth of college expectations; changes in ability levels; changes in college completion rates; outcomes for noncompleters; and outcomes for college graduates. Appendixes contain tables; figures; Adjusting Post-1989 ACT Scores; and Research on Human Capital and Screening Theories. (Contains 196 references.) (Author/MKA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Library of Education (ED/OERI), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Medical Center.