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The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price, Second Edition by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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36. Are Students Really Learning?

Colleges and universities, for all the benefits they bring, accomplish far less for their students than they should.

—Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University

Much of the zany hoopla surrounding college involves getting in. But what happens when the warm-up to college is finished and the main event arrives? After students settle in at college, do they learn much?

This might seem like a weird question to ask when a bachelor’s degree appears more coveted today than ever. A college degree is the currency that society—or at least employers—use to determine whether a person possesses enough intellectual heft to create an ad campaign, negotiate a business deal, or teach a sixth grader what DNA is. Without ...

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