William Deresiewicz's Article 'Don T Send Your Kids To The Ivy League'

Improved Essays
In 2014, William Deresiewicz published an essay called “Don’t Send Your Kids to the Ivy League” in the New Republic Journal. In this article, he criticizes the elite education in the United States, focusing exclusively in how the prestigious schools do not teach students how to think, but rather “train them in the analytic and rhetorical skills that are necessary for success in business and the professions” (Deresiewicz). The author gives examples of his previous experience working for some of these prestigious universities, accurately depicting to the readers of his article – parents for future college kids – how these institutions are creating students focused on their grades instead of students focused on learning. The result, is a group …show more content…
The author, for example, says that “it almost feels ridiculous to have to insist that colleges like Harvard are bastions of privilege” (Deresiewicz). In his point of view, the elite universities are creating a system that is not beneficial for students. However, is it only their fault that the system for higher education is not doing its best? I think that the author could have talked about other causes for these problems with our education. The problem is created by employers’ exigencies for new employees, which causes students to focus on getting a job since entering college. Many go to universities only to get a job in the future, even if not actually learning much. A survey conducted by Cengage Learning found that more than 73% of college students’ primary reason for attending college is getting a good job (Strang). Due to this trend, most students have the tendency to focus on whatever will get them a good job after graduation, as this is their primary focus. But, what gets students a good job? Employers expect students coming from great universities, with high GPAs and a filled …show more content…
In his, opinion, “The first thing that college is for is to teach you to think”. He ignores the fact that some students need to go to school to improve their financial situation. I think that Deresiewicz is mistaken when he criticizes the importance given by students to the return on investment (ROI) of their education. Focusing on the financial return on investments of one’s degree does not mean that the only objective of going to college is to get a high paying job. The focus on the education’s ROI reflects the high cost of getting an elite education. Research shows that around seventy percent (70%) of students who graduated from colleges in 2014 had student loan debts (“Project on Student Debt”). How are these students not supposed to think about the return on investment of their education? How are these graduates not going to prioritize money after leaving college with thousands of dollars in debt? The return on investment is extremely important for someone who is indebted. This debt might also be a cause of the importance of GPA for students. Following the belief that they can get a better job with a higher GPA, students who need to pay attention to return on investment are more pressured to get higher grades. Thus, Deresiewicz’ idea that ROI is not as important as it seems, ignores the

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