US undergraduate education – not as rosy as it appears

It is that time of the year in the US – high school graduates enter undergraduate programs every Fall. While most of us think it is a rosy picture, it is not. For curriculum & study workload, I think US undergraduate programs from good colleges are one of the toughest in the world. It is far from what you see in Hollywood movies.

Photo by Faustin Tuyambaze on Unsplash

According to this NY Times article,

  • A tiny percentage of undergraduates have a great life – partying, extra curricular activities.
  • Of the country’s nearly 18 million undergraduates, more than 40% go to community college.
  • 14% of community college students had been homeless at some point.
  • Ivy league schools are the most sort ones amongst the undergraduates, especially in India. A mere 0.4% of students in the United States attend one of the Ivies.
  • Cost of education in the US has been increasing over the last decade which has forced over 50% of the students to stay at home and attend college.
  • 25% of the students work full-time to attend college, this happens in India too but if one cannot afford a college degree they seldom attempt to get a degree.
  • In view of increasing costs students take 3-6 years to complete a 2 year associate degree program.
  •  25% of undergraduates are older than 25, and about the same number are single parents.
  • Every year colleges receive about $41 billion in donations, but most of these funds go to a handful of elite colleges.

The number of international students attending undergraduate programs in the US is on the rise. This is good business for US colleges. But rarely these international students realize & appreciate what they have.

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