Feb 2020

OPINION: When the next step isn’t college

Thinking about the world we live in right now

By Michael B. Horn and Bob Moesta

To students for whom going to college would be something they are doing primarily to satisfy someone else’s expectations for them or to get away from a bad circumstance, a four-year college is often not the right next step.

That’s the daunting conclusion for many in the education world that we reach in our new book, Choosing College: How to Make Better Learning Decisions Throughout Your Life.

Students who enrolled in college because they felt it was expected of them ended up dropping out or transferring 74 percent of the time, our research revealed. More than half of the students we interviewed who chose college to get away from something else in their lives had left the institution they were attending without a degree at the time we interviewed them.

In a world of low college tuition and low opportunity cost, that might be acceptable, but that is not today’s world.


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