The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 2nd, 2014
College graduates in general do much better economically than those
who do not complete college, which is not particularly surprising given
both the level of economic inequality in our society and the role of
higher education in sorting, selecting, and signaling differences in
prior academic ability. But when we look at how well college graduates
have been prepared for a successful transition to adulthood, the results
are decidedly more mixed.
For our book Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates,
we followed approximately 1,000 students for two years after college
graduation to document their successes and failures. We learned that
while it certainly still pays to go to college, even with the high costs
and debts students often assume, a large proportion of students have
not been particularly well served by higher education in their
transitions to adulthood.