Why some say college is no longer the sure path to success

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An alarming—yet illuminating—new study conducted by Third Way, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, concludes that many who go to college come out earning less than the typical salary of a high school graduate. Contrary to popular opinion, which contends that the path to success is rooted in attaining a college education, the findings indicate that half of U.S. colleges in 2018 left their students earning under $28,000 a year.

In past generations, primarily the upper-class, wealthy elites attended universities. After World War II and the passing of the G.I. bill, soldiers returning from the battlefields were offered financial assistance to attend college—and they did so in large numbers. Slowly over time, in the ensuing decades, enrolling into college became almost commonplace for the average American. Today, there is great pressure put upon high school students to attend universities—even if they lack the aptitude or interest. Sometimes the pressure exerted on kids to attend top-tier institutions is intense. This was clearly exemplified by the recent college admittance scandal, in which the rich and famous parents allegedly bribed school officials to get their children into ivy league and top-tier universities.

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