The "bait" is that a college degree will practically guarantee employment upon graduation and enable graduates to generate more income over the course of a lifetime than if they didn't graduate from college.
The lesson to high school seniors is clear: "If you don't go to college, you're going to be one of life's losers."
Many of the nation's institutions of higher education promote this lesson by advertising how their degree is worth the price of tuition and room and board.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Iona College--a Catholic college in New York--boasts on its website that 93% of its graduates have entered the workforce or graduate school within 6 months of graduation.
"Wow!" a potential applicant thinks. "If I go to Iona, I'm practically guaranteed a job upon graduation. Well, if not a job, I'll be able to get into graduate school." (Of course, the applicant doesn't realize that graduate schools charge tuition, too.)
What Iona's website doesn't state is that the 93% boast is based on responses from 17% of 743 graduates (n=126) of the Class of 2011.
For its part, Iona claims the sample is valid. But, the National Association of Colleges and Employers states that the average response rate for schools concerning graduates' first jobs is 48%. Why is Iona's response rate so low? Are its graduates part of the "Occupy" movement?
For his part, the President of College Measures, Mark Schneider, claims that most alumni polls aren't scientifically sound. Why? Alumni with positive news to report on the job front are more likely to respond to institutional surveys. (It's the grown up version of the "My child is an honor student at XYZ Middle School.")
The "take away" for high school seniors and their parents?
"Caveat emptor!" (Let the buyer beware!). Those institutions desperately covet the $$$s that unwitting students generate for them by going deep in debt, all the while believing that attending schools--like Ion--will substantially improve their employability and lifetime earning potential.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Wall Street Journal article, click on the following link:
"Colleges Are Tested by Push to Prove Graduates' Career Success."