Thursday, April 15, 2010

For College, Don't Give Into Peer Pressure

As an teacher I try to be realistic about the benefits of education. I've mentioned the possibility that education is a placebo, but also shown the non-economic benefits of a college degree. I've even discussed why I'm glad I got B's in college. But there are certain students who can benefit from a good education, those who normally wouldn't:
A new study finds that the students who are least likely to go to college (based on family background, abilities, and friend group) are the ones with the most to gain from a degree. Jennie E. Brand and Yu Xie find that the unlikeliest male college graduates earned 30% more over their lifetimes than comparable men who earned only a high school degree. In contrast, male college graduates most likely to go to college earned only 10% more than their non-college-educated counterparts.
Related: my earlier attempt at a cartoon about peer pressure.

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