Unintended consequences of growth

In the drive for greater tertiary attendance we have netted negative unintended consequences—dropouts, underemployment and a heavy debt burden for both the individual and taxpayers. The question is determining the ability, and I might add the disposition, to benefit. In egalitarian societies, open admission institutions appear to have exceeded their ability to identify students who have the potential ability and disposition to benefit. In the normal distribution the yield from the left tail exceeds the right. Admitting students lacking the potential ability and disposition to benefit is a disservice to those students. It is the institution and not the student at fault.

William Patrick Leonard