Phi Beta Cons

Higher Ed’s Myth-busting Duo Strikes Again

In 2011, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s Academically Adrift dropped a bombshell on the world of higher education. That book highlighted, with a bundle of empirical evidence in support, that many students can pass through undergraduate programs without having enhanced their overall knowledge and skill set. They may have paid a lot for their education, but they didn’t receive much in return. 

This year, the authorial twosome is back with the release of Aspiring Adults Adrift, which George Leef reviews in this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call article. Arum and Roksa track the same cohort of students who participated in their previous study. Many of those graduates are now underemployed or living with their parents. 

The duo’s latest study also reveals that the career prospects for those attending a prestigious college are no better than those of students attending non-prestigious institutions. Leef describes the book and the authors’ findings as a “cold shower for the ‘We’ve got to put more young people through college!’ crowd.” 

Jesse Saffron — Jesse Saffron is a writer and editor for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a North Carolina-based think tank dedicated to improving higher education in the Tar ...

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