The College Conundrum As A Prevalent Matter Essay

The College Conundrum As A Prevalent Matter Essay

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Tough depicts the college conundrum as a prevalent matter in America’s higher education system, and investigates the cause of this national phenomenon. He describes the college conundrum when he states, “Why are so many American students dropping out of college just as a college degree has become so valuable and just as young people in the rest of the world have begun to graduate in such remarkable numbers?” (Tough 150). He illustrates the disturbing trend of an exponential growth in college dropouts rates in America, even when a bachelor’s degree is seen as a valuable asset, and graduation rates in other countries have considerably risen in comparison. Subsequently, Tough sought to uncover the root causes for this complication. As a result, he draws his conclusions from a book titled Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities, in which the authors, Bowen, McPherson, and Chingos, conduct a research study to find out the reason behind the rise in drop out rates.. Tough presents an overview of how the study, by which he states, “…(Bowen, McPherson, and Chingos) were able to persuade sixty-eight public colleges, as well as the College Board and ACT, to give them access to detailed academic data covering about two hundred thousand students” (Tough 151). He establishes how the sample population for the study is composed of a databank with academic information that is granted by participating colleges, and institutions that adminster standardized exams. Tough explains their analysis and conclusions, by which he reiterates, “… high school grades reveal much more than mastery of content. They reveal qualities of motivation and perseverance - as well as the presence of good study habits and time managemen...

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...ous non cognitive capacity - call it grit, conscientiousness, resilience, or the ability to delay gratification - all for a distant prize that was, for her, almost entirely theoretical” (Tough 174). Tough asserts that Kewauna was able to overcome her disadvantages due to the listed non cognitive traits. Through her story, he illuminates on the effect of non cognitive abilities to the outcome of higher education. As illustrated through the book, he stresses that academic achievement can be achieved by anyone, regardless of cognitive ability and capacity. He wants us to take the initiative to acknowledge, and to modify, refine, or solidify upon these characteristics associated with success. In all, Kewauna’s story can be used to inspire underprepared students that an application towards improvement can be achieved, even when the cards are stacked against them.

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