Getting into college — the more competitive the better — ensures you will have a successful life, or so you’re told.Throw gender and other factors into the mix, however, and the picture becomes less clear.
One recent study shows a disappointing return for elite colleges, especially for women. Another study shows a disproportionate disadvantage for college binge drinkers that are women. Other studies show that college students don’t really learn much.
Researchers found that women with associate degrees from community colleges made about $10,000 less five years after graduation than men who didn't graduate from college.
Women with associate degrees made $27,377 on average in 2007, while men without a degree earned $37,745.
Berkeley Law professor Mary Ann Mason blames the pay gap on family structures: 'Even as women have increasingly become breadwinners, however, they have not abdicated their role as family caregivers...Denied flexibility, many women are also denied raises and promotions, with the wage gap widening as a result.'
This comes from a study that compared 'elite colleges' to schools with a 100-point lower SAT average.
By the mid-eighties, women who attended an elite school in 1976 were earning 7% less than women who attended safety schools.
Economist Robin Hanson suggested that 'women at more elite colleges married richer classmate men, and so felt less need to earn money themselves.' However, by late in life women who attended elite schools were earning 57% more than those who didn't.
Men immediately see a strong return from an elite degree. At the beginning of their career, these men earn 11% more than their peers at safety schools; by the end, they earn 83% more.
Students with parents who graduated from college receive close to zero extra benefits by attending an elite college
Attending an elite college has a 5.2% return for students whose parents did not attend college, according to the study by Dale and Krueger. But it has a close to zero return for students whose parents did.
Researchers speculated that the children of college grads were already part of a network that would advance their career.
Again: College-educated readers should send their kids to a safety school.
If you're a binge drinker and female, your GPA will drop by 0.28 and you'll lose $1,600 a year immediately after graduation
If you're a binge drinker and female, your grades won't suffer, but your annual earnings will.
Women who drink excessively in college will most likely see their GPA drop by 0.28th of a point.
They will also experience a 4.2% drop in annual earnings, or lose about $1,600 a year immediately after graduation, according to a study from Bucknell University.
Source: Amy Wolaver (2008)
Men who binge drink may see their GPA drop by 0.30, but they will lose only $235 a year after graduation
Men get off far easier than women since their grades only drop slightly and their annual earnings fall by only 0.47% or $235 a year.
Economist Amy Wolaver speculates that the results of her study are due to different perceptions of women and men who drink a lot, leaving women to face a higher penalty.
'Even though heavy drinking has a similar impact on grades for men and women,' says Wolaver, 'they may behave differently not because of biological differences in alcohol's effects, but because of different penalties for behaviour after college.'
Source: Amy Wolaver (2008)
This one comes straight from the BLS. 17 million Americans have jobs they are overqualified for, including 317 thousand waitresses and 311 thousand secretaries.
And that doesn't even count degree holders who are unemployed.
45% of college students demonstrate no measurable increase in various intellectual skills after two years of college
Two professors from NYU and UVA came to this conclusion in a new book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.
They followed 2,300+ undergraduates at 24 universities and found '45 per cent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills--including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing--during their first two years of college.'
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