Alumni Adrift

By Allie Grasgreen

Researchers created quite a stir last year — to say the least — with the release of Academically Adrift, the book about a longitudinal study that found many students don’t learn much in college, particularly in the way of skills like critical thinking and analytic reasoning. The culprit, the authors argue, is a lack of academic rigor in most classes that required little reading, writing and studying.

If true, those findings alone are grim enough. But a new study from the same authors says the data’s implications for students extend beyond their time in college and into their early years as graduates.

The new study found a positive correlation between poor performance on the Collegiate Learning Assessment — the test used in Academically Adrift to measure gains over the students’ time in college — and unemployment, credit card debt, and likelihood of living at home.

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