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Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Can College Have Bad Effects?



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A reader who commented on my recent assertion that college doesn’t necessarily teach students good traits like responsibility and perseverance brought to my attention a study released in 2008 finding that “college-bound youth report lower levels of criminal activity and substance abuse during adolescence compared to non-college-bound youth. However, levels of drinking, property theft, and unstructured socializing with friends increase among the college-bound after enrollment at a four-year university, and they surpass the rates of less-educated peers.”

The upshot seems to be that while many students learn little or nothing of value during their college experience, a fair number of them acquire some bad traits. Put a lot of academically disengaged, fun-seeking kids together, and that outcome seems more than believable; almost inevitable, I’d say.



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