What If the Tuition Drives the Kids to Work Instead of Study?

One of the consistent rationalization deployed by the college industrial complex is that quality costs money. A great college experience is expensive and the only way to gather that cash is to really ramp up the price tag. The true believers just shrug and suggest that the alternative to $1.2 trillion in debt is a bunch of kids scratching at a rock with a burnt stick while the sun beats down.

Elyse Ashburn at the Chronicle of Higher Edumacation brings us another viewpoint: kids are so burnt out from working that they don’t have time to study. They’re charred and fried by the long hours of work-study to learn much of anything. College is just four years of running from job to class to job and back again before collapsing in exhaustion. No one really learns much of anything in situations like that but they do get the all important degree.

The survey’s findings build on a growing body of research showing thatpart-time students—who account for close to 40 percent of undergraduates in the country—and those who have to work generally fare worse than do their full-time counterparts.

But hey, they’re getting exhausted in new, flashy buildings run by top-flight administrators collecting huge salaries. That’s got to count for something, right?


2 Responses to What If the Tuition Drives the Kids to Work Instead of Study?

  1. Why should the CIC care? The only thing they care about is the Benjamins. Whether or not the students learn anything is the students’ problem.

  2. “… College is just four years of running from job to class to job and back again before collapsing in exhaustion” for working students.

    Hm. Do you think this is the market targeted by Online Schools? Uh-huh.

    Moreover, simply by discovering this new market for online educational content consumption (which includes the necessary inferior quality in at least one dimension to make it a true “disruptive innovation”), providers have succeeded in seeding an arms race for credentials among workers — fearful of losing their jobs to someone with a magical sheepskin. Call it credential inflation.

    And how are brick-and-mortal schools fighting back? By downgrading their product with competency-based degrees, in addition to their online products. Again, the result is credential inflation.