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ERIC Number: EJ794095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May-2
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
America's Most Overrated Product: The Bachelor's Degree
Nemko, Marty
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n34 pB17 May 2008
This author reports that, 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. While four-year colleges admit and take money from hundreds of thousands of such students each year, the students who dropout leave the campus having learned little of value, with a mountain of debt, and devastated self-esteem from their unsuccessful struggles. Even those who do manage to graduate too rarely end up in careers that require a college education. The author states that colleges should be required to prominently report the following data on their Web sites and in recruitment materials: (1) Value added. A national test, which could be developed by the major testing companies, should measure skills important for responsible citizenship and career success; (2) The average cash, loan, and work-study financial aid for varying levels of family income and assets, broken out by race and gender; (3) Retention data: the percentage of students returning for a second year, broken out by SAT score, race, and gender; (4) Safety data: the percentage of an institution's students who have been robbed or assaulted on or near the campus; (5) The four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates, broken out by SAT score, race, and gender; (6) Employment data for graduates: the percentage of graduates who, within six months of graduation, are in graduate school, unemployed, or employed in a job requiring college-level skills, along with salary data; (7) Results of the most recent student-satisfaction survey, to be conducted by the institutions themselves; and (8) The most recent accreditation report. The college could include the executive summary only in its printed recruitment material, but it would have to post the full report on its Web site.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A