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I saw this a few weeks ago
on February 18, 2012
I saw this a few weeks ago and I wanted to make a few comments. Some of the students mentioned that they never had to write a paper---where did these people go to college? I had to write a paper for every class every semester---even during the summer semesters. Not that my four year degree is better than their's, but seriously. I went to a smaller state university, but always wanted to go to a bigger school---now I am sort of glad that I didn't after watching this.
Here are my thoughts on this. College, just like life, is what you make out of it. If your only goal is to get a degree to get a good paying job, maybe college isn't the best choice. If the student's goal is that, he should really evaluate whether his degree will pay off or not and if he has the ability to get the degree. The student might be better served by going to a community college or vocational school. Getting a degree requires some discipline and sacrifice. Giving up four years of full time work and going to class and studying and writing papers (or I guess not in some cases) will get you that degree. In my college work, as long as students did their work they will pass with a C or better. If students don't want to do that, then they need to move on and do something else.
I think that the real reason for the high drop out rate is because these men and women are young adults who don't know what they want from life. All their lives, people have told them to go to college to make something out of their lives and then they find out that they don't need a college degree to have a successful life. Some students also go to college to please their parents. In college, they become young adults and start making choices for themselves and choose not to continue college.
I was shocked by the inequality of financial aid--it isn't right that some students get refunds for financial aid while others have to work full time to pay for school. Once again another government program that has failed. The documentary also failed to mention that there are significantly less students now than there were in the past, which explains cuts in higher education.
The last comment I wanted to make about the documentary was the variety of students that they interviewed, especially the guy who was drinking five days a week. If I was his mom paying for his education and was aware of his social life, I would cut him off. I don't know if he is receiving financial aid, but if he is he should be cut off and the money should be given to a more deserving student.
Finally, I have to admit that I will be saving money for my daughter to go to college, but I am probably going to ask that she contribute some money for her education. If my daughter decides that she doesn't want to finish college or even go, I will understand and encourage her to look at other options.