Are college degrees inherited?

Are College Degrees Inherited? asks Ronald Brownstein in National Journal. No, not really. But the children of college graduates are much more likely to enroll in college and earn a degree compared to children from “no-degree” families. Only 23 percent of “no-degree” students went on to complete a college degree.

Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality shows “Midwestern University” co-eds partying a lot and studying a little. Affluent students can choose an easy major, party hearty and use family connections to get a job. Working-class women — often poorly prepared and poorly advised — end up in debt and without a useful degree.

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  1. Michael E. Lopez says:

    They must be. It’s genetics, man. Genetics. Check this out:

    I got mine in 1996, and then just a short while later, my Dad got his!

    Coincidence? I. Think. Not.

  2. Crimson Wife says:

    A big issue in many public schools is the appalling lack of guidance. I went to a public secondary school in an affluent suburb where there were 2 full-time guidance counselors whose sole job it was to shepherd the 65 kids in my graduating class through the college admissions process. By contrast, the public high school for which my kids are zoned has around 500 kids in their graduating class but only a single guidance counselor handling college admissions. No wonder all the families who can afford to hire a pricey private admissions consultant do so.

    • dangermom says:

      I think that’s true. A lot of young people have no real idea of what college is like or the concrete steps to get there, or exactly why they should besides that’s it’s some sort of magic ticket.

      Back in my day, I didn’t even know that counselors were supposed to help you figure out what to do with your future. And I certainly wouldn’t have trusted my guidance counselor to help me get where I wanted to go. (Lovely person. Dingy as all get-out though.) Heck, my high school did its best to stop me from going to an elite school; I had to argue with them about it.

  3. Even at top academic schools in affluent, highly-educated suburbs, guidance counselors may be less than useless. That was true at two such schools my kids attended. The schools had about 6 counselors and 4-500 kids per grade and the counselors had little to no interest, let alone expertise, in any academic matters – in HS or in college applications; their interest was all in the social-emotional aspects of HS. The parent network was what worked.

  4. Miller Smith says:

    Intelligence is highly heritable. This fact is the 800 pound gorilla in the education debates.

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    Getting a job through family connections could be called genetic, in a sense.
    But why would a woman from a working class family end up with a useless degree? Is it genetic that she would choose art history or womyn’s studies?