- http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674049574 - Harvard University Press, promotional material for the new book Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality. "The other woman, saddled with burdensome debt and a low GPA, is still struggling to finish her degree.... [i]n an era of skyrocketing tuition and mounting concern over whether college is 'worth it.'”
- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/01/colleges-party-emphasis-maintain-economic-social-inequality-new-research-suggests - Inside Higher Education, a daily online news source for academics. "Prospective college students who are working class and not wealthy...should be wary of attending a four-year residential university."
- http://ideas.time.com/2013/01/23/does-college-put-kids-on-a-party-pathway/ - Time magazine. "Across the board, American colleges and universities are not doing a very good job of preparing their students for the workplace or their postgraduation lives."
Alarming quotes sell books. Harvard University Press's latest contribution to the hand-wringing over the state of college today (high tuition for 4 years, lousy employment market at the end) is generating buzz which will undoubtedly do the job of selling.
How true are the claims?
I haven't read the book. It tackles the class divisions of those earning college degrees. The wealthy will stay wealthy. The poor will stay poor. College doesn't help, not matter what the American Dream Masters of Illusion (also known as Admissions Officers) tell you.
It's more complex than that, of course. One issue the book promises to address is who promotes and sustains the college lifestyle of just showing up, rather than tackling learning, expanding one's horizons, developing extended skill-sets beyond what is offered in classrooms.
So what's the take-away? This blog is about you, the students. You're not out to reform college and university systems.
The take-away is that you need to make the most of your college education. If you "just show up," rather than finding an internship, taking a class in computing, visiting Career Counseling, developing leadership skills through extracurricular activities, going to networking events and job fairs before you really need to.... Well, life is going to "just show up" when you get out of college.
You get out of it what you put into it.