Phi Beta Cons

America Has Always Had a Rather High College Dropout Rate

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I discuss the recent paper by Prof. John Thelin, a paper that disproves the notion that there was some golden age in American higher education when nearly all students who enrolled completed their studies and graduated.

High dropout rates were not perceived as any problem (except insofar as it hurt school finances) because educational credentialitis had not set in.

Thelin suggests that dropout rates today are “troubling,” but I can’t see why. We’ve badly oversold higher education. Many of those who drop out are wisely cutting their losses on an expensive credential that probably won’t do them any good.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular

Elections

Weirdo O’Rourke

Friends of the young Bill Clinton and Barack Obama spoke of the special glow of promise they had about them, even back in their early twenties. Angels sat on their shoulders. History gave them a wink and said, “Hey, good lookin’, I’ll be back to pick you up later.” Robert O’Rourke? Not so much. He ... Read More
U.S.

McCain at Annapolis

President Trump has been doing a lot of tweeting today -- against TV programs, companies, and other things that have incurred his displeasure. These tweets make for interesting reading. One of them is this: So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent ... Read More