In the April 26 Washington Post, Princeton’s president did his best to support the U.S. education department’s “college for all” doctrine, citing the increased earning power that goes along with getting a four-year degree. But he left out the most convincing counter-argument — the college dropout rates are just awful.

According to

1)  Between 2019 and 2020, about 24% of first-time, full-time undergraduate first-year students dropped out of college.

2)  In 2021, 31.6% of students who enrolled in 2015 were no longer enrolled six years later and had not received their degree.

3)  American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, and Pacific Islander first-year students have higher dropout rates than their Hispanic, white, and Asian peers.

With only a two in three chance of getting a degree, should we be surprised that a good many young people are opting for apprenticeships and vocational training instead of college?  Why pile up debt when plenty of good jobs are available to non-college grads with the right vocational training? 

Richard C. Kreutzberg ’59
Bethesda, Md.