When students do not improve during their college years it is either because they are poorly taught, or because they do not apply themselves, or because they find a way to take easy courses. At many colleges, moreover, standards are not what they should be.
What I find more disheartening are articles such as this one. I have earned a B.A., an M.A, and a PhD. I have never enjoyed anything like a decent salary. Many high-school grads have made much more than I have. My job-security has floated — and often sunk — on the whims of the market. Nevertheless, I would not change my course if I were given a chance to do things over. My education is precious to me. It has allowed me to live more broadly and to experience more deeply than I would have without it. It has allowed me to examine my actions and choices critically. It has filled my mind with interesting and beautiful things, history, music, poetry. I spend much of this treasure every day without any fear of depleting it.
So please don’t tell me that college is useless.