Russian Language Journal


tradition, educators, academics, undergraduate, American


Contrary to a long-established and seemingly irrefutable tradition, American parents, educators, private and public sector leaders, and students are beginning to doubt the value of a university education. Charges have been leveled, for example, that students today are spending substantially less time on academics than their predecessors and are making little progress during their undergraduate years in their ability to read, write, speak, or think analytically and critically (see, for example, Arum and Roksa 2011, Vedder and Denhart 2011). Others have argued that college is burdening young people with lifelong debt to the degree that it is stifling their creativity and freedom to innovate. The Thiel Foundation, for example, awards $100,000 stipends to bright young persons who choose to pursue their own ideas independently rather than attend a college or university.