No Pain, No Gain

by Jay Schalin

Intuition and common sense tell us that college should be harder than high school. But a funny thing has happened on our way to the perfectly equal society in which everybody has a college degree. Many college classes have been dumbed down in order to make sure passing them isn’t too much of a challenge. At the same time, school districts have been forced to create more and more AP classes and magnet schools, largely because the better students want to be challenged.

In a piece for the Pope Center, one UNC–Chapel Hill rising sophomore tells how his high-school teachers were right when they said he would get a rude awakening when he went to college for the first time. Only, it wasn’t quite the same lesson they said he would get. 

His sort of “upside-down” academic experience might be a major reason why many recent studies, such as Arum and Roksa’s Academically Adrift, suggest that many students gain little or no intellectual added value in college.


Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.