Making a College Degree More Valuable the Wrong Way

It’s old news by now that the wage premium attached to a college degree largely depends on the field of study. Engineering and health care, for example, are far more likely to lead to a faster economic payoff than the arts or religion. But what if prospective employers were provided convincing evidence that graduates actually … Continue reading “Making a College Degree More Valuable the Wrong Way”


Could College Exit Exams Restore Confidence in Higher Ed?

Although there is no shortage of college graduates, a degree alone, unfortunately, does not guarantee students learned anything of substance while in college. The grade point averages listed at the top of many graduates’ resumes aren’t always reflective of students’ actual academic capabilities. University classes, particularly in the humanities, have become increasingly watered-down, making students’ … Continue reading “Could College Exit Exams Restore Confidence in Higher Ed?”


Blowing the Boiler of American Education

The need for change in the visual arts may offer a way to fix two of the many fundamental problems afflicting American liberal arts education in general. These are the related problems of grade inflation and providing students with degrees that may lead to a good career. Over the last decade, the number of Americans … Continue reading “Blowing the Boiler of American Education”


If All Men are Created Equal, Why Do We Need Grades?

I just finished a fascinating book, The Recovery of the West, by polymath Englishman Michael Roberts. Roberts became famous as a poet, but was trained as a scientist and spent much of his life as a teacher. Brief history of grading The book was published in 1941. A teacher in a typical English school at … Continue reading “If All Men are Created Equal, Why Do We Need Grades?”


Higher Ed Reform Hits Prime Time

The movement to reform higher education is finally entering prime time. Although major news outlets have previously aired interviews and television segments about various aspects of higher education, the coverage seems to be reaching an all-new level. Last month, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson announced a month-long series dedicated to answering the question “is college worth … Continue reading “Higher Ed Reform Hits Prime Time”


Grade Inflation Just Got Respectable: The New Eligibility Rule Governing Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship

Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is now in its twenty-fourth year of existence. Originally the brainchild of then Governor Zell Miller, since 1993 this merit-based scholarship program has distributed in excess of $9 billion in lottery proceeds to about 1.7 million qualifying recipients. In order to be eligible for HOPE, which covers about 80% of tuition at … Continue reading “Grade Inflation Just Got Respectable: The New Eligibility Rule Governing Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship”


How Our University Reacted to an Exposé of its Grade Inflation Problem

In a 2011 Pope Center article entitled “Too Many Rhinestones,” Professors T. Norman Van Cott and the late Clarence Deitsch examined Ball State University’s (BSU) grade inflation problem. After comparing grade distributions and grade point averages (GPAs) from Fall 1990 and Fall 2009 in principles-level courses, they found that BSU was no exception to the … Continue reading “How Our University Reacted to an Exposé of its Grade Inflation Problem”


An Idea Whose Time Has Ended?

Take our poll: Should the federal government get out of the student loan business?