The Biggest Misconception About Today’s College Students

Title: The Biggest Misconception About Today’s College Students

Author: Gail O. Mellow

Source: The New York Times

In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, president of LaGuardia Community College and ACE Board Member Gail O. Mellow offered her perspective on today’s college students. Namely, they aren’t who you think they are, and the higher education community could help remove barriers to their success by realizing that.

Mellow points to realities that may be surprising to some. More than 40 percent of the country’s undergraduates attend a community college. Over half of all undergraduates are living at home to make their degrees more affordable. More than 40 percent work more than 40 hours a week, and one-quarter work full-time and go to school full-time.

Today’s college students face an array of hardships and pressures that were less common in the past. To better accommodate them, Mellow suggests increasing funding to community colleges, making federal and state financial aid more flexible, and enhancing paid internships and work study programs.

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