Undergrad enrollment decline is healthy

Undergraduate enrollment nationwide fell by 3.1 percent last year or 465,300 students (“Undergraduates are ‘continuing to sit out in droves’ “ Los Angeles Times, Jan. 14).  But rather than view the decline as a disaster, I say it’s a good sign. 

A recent study by the Manhattan Institute found that the top 25 percent of high school graduates earned more on average than the bottom 25 percent of college graduates.  Since most young people say a well-paying job is the No. 1 reason they are pursuing a degree, perhaps more of them will consider a vocational curriculum coupled with an apprenticeship.

We have been wildly oversold on the importance of a college degree in this country. College is merely the most convenient place to learn how to learn.  It is not an absolute determinant.

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