Comments about ‘Paying for the party: how a major university failed and derailed its freshmen’

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Published: Saturday, Nov. 9 2013 5:25 p.m. MST

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phoenix, AZ

Maybe it's been a while since I graduated from college or maybe it's been almost as long since I sent out a resume (own a company), but I don't recall ever being asked my college GPA. Seems to me that a resume is about skills and experience. Perhaps these kids can benefit more from some real world experience while in college. If I was hiring a person who claimed his skills included getting an A in an Atmospheric Sciences and my business wasn't about selling clouds, I wouldn't care.

There are people with and without college degrees who are successes and failures. Perhaps parents and primary schools need to better prepare these kids for adulthood rather than relying on the colleges to do it.

Mission Viejo, CA

I went to BYU for 3 semesters, ran out of money. My parents had moved from Boise to Vancouver BC. When I left BYU, penniless, I drove my old Dodge from Provo to Vancouver at 50 MPH. I couldn't work in Vancouver, so I moved in with my brother in Seattle, got a job at Boeing, and transferred to the University of Washington, worked swing shift. I was a pre-med majoring in Zoology, taking chemistry, physics, biology. I went straight through the year, working all along, with no parental help. I never took more than 8 or 10 hours. I got a masters in Plant Physiology and a PhD in forest systems ecology. I had zero student loan debt. I later taught at Yale. I saw the rich undergrads drinking martinis at Morey's. Think George W. Bush.

It is probably impossible to self-fund an education at major universities today. But a degree says something about you. Get it where you can afford it. And try to study something useful. Many majors are useless. If you have a talent, major in that. At least you'll enjoy school. It won't matter after you get your first job.

Visalia, CA

Administrators, its all about the money, blah blah blah blah blah blah. It always someone elses fault nowdays. Its time to own up to our own decisions.The bottom line is our individual value system. If you want to do well in school then you will focus on that. I am quite certain there were also success stories in the same environment.

My parents were not college educated. I was certainly not headed that way myself. But eventually I realized I would be better off college educated. I chose a career I was interested in. After two years at a junior college earning fair grades, off to the state university (all low cost options in California) where I did well and earned a Bachelors and Masters degree. It could have been a worthless experience had I chosen that, but I chose to succeed. That was my influence not a bunch of floozies in dorm, money hungry administrators, or a worthless education....

John C. C.
Payson, UT

Don't measure the success of higher education only by career preparation. We need highly educated citizens know who to vote for and how to raise their own children. Our most valuable educators are parents, not professors. We need leaders, creators, dreamers, and artists of every kind and in every profession and trade. Graduates with broad exposure to the fine arts, literature, religion, philosophy, and other "soft" subjects will probably enjoy a higher quality of life.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

I just read another story about how students often choose the wrong major because they "perceived" that a degree from accounting or engineering will bring them more money over time -- but then, they're miserable.

The biggest challenge I see with young people is that they don't know what they want to do with their lives and then years in college seeking classes and potential majors they like. That's actually a good thing.

Before then, however, "savvy" parents need to discuss career opportunities with their kids at an early age so that it is instilled early on "what" needs to be done to obtain such goals. Kids need to be engaged in extracurricular activities by middle school to build their social skills and expose them to opportunities and career paths beyond what they see everyday (e.g., reality TV or YouTube star).

They also need to know that a degree is just one dimension of their total "product" -- they need to build unique skills that can help them land those unexpected career paths that may not even exist yet (e.g., social media manager is a hot job that didn't exist a decade ago).

Saratoga Springs, UT

Interesting that this article and the research involved focused solely on women. I suspect that the men going to this and other schools encountered the same challenges. Why are we only concerned about the women?

Pleasant Grove, Utah

The Rock,

The advice from your father (post above) is VERY good.

I am an educator, as well as my husband. We advised our children and one got full scholarship at BYU because he tests well, but the other two worked very hard their first semester and got full scholarship after that. It is difficult to keep those one year scholarships, but our daughter did it for her whole time at BYU. She went into English, and even though her dream job is to write books, she took an editing minor because you can get a job in it. She has actually enjoyed it and got a good job but is writing her novel on the side. Our other son also worked hard his first semester and got a full scholarship after that, which he still has.

Both of the last two kids looked at their scholarship as their job, but after working hard for a couple of years and doing well, were able to also get internships that pay but are also a great asset to their degree.

BYU has tons of resources to help students. I am sure many universities do, but most students don't take advantage.

JohnnyEl Paso
El Paso, AR

My mom died after my first year of college. I went to a state university to get away from abuse by my father, who said I was stupid and a know-it-all if I were around him too much. I realized my father loved me, but he was resentful about his life. He dropped out of high school in the 10th grade after his father died to help on the family dairy farm. I had to use most of the money my father's uncle gave for my college education to pay on a farm loan. I worked very hard in college, but struggled with a fear that God was using grades to punish me because I saw God in the way I saw my father.

A child may not be able to get help that could help them. They could be falsely accused of not trying when they struggle in classes.. The problem could be intrusive thoughts with PTSD, OCD or another illness that interferes with a student'a ability to learn.

It is also a challenge to work two jobs and go to college when others party and interrupt your studyimg.

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