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"The Math Doesn't Work" - Americans Are Losing Faith In College

“不值当”——美国人正在对大学失去信心

One of the hallmarks of a successful society is the widespread belief that education is a key to success.

一个成功社会的标志之一就是人们普遍相信教育是成功的关键。

For that to be true there have to be:

而要使人们相信这一点,就必须:

1) enough jobs farther up the food chain to make four more years of studying worthwhile, and

1、有足够多的工作机会,使四年的学习物有所值

2) schools that are good and cheap enough to make the equation work.

2、学校足够便宜、足够好。

The US is losing both:

而美国正丧失这两点。

(Wall Street Journal) – Americans are losing faith in the value of a college degree, with majorities of young adults, men and rural residents saying college isn’t worth the cost, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey shows.

据《华尔街日报》和美国全国广播公司一项最新调查显示,美国人正在失去对大学学位价值的信心——大多数年轻人、男性和农村居民称大学不值得花这么多钱。

The findings reflect an increase in public skepticism of higher education from just four years ago and highlight a growing divide in opinion falling along gender, educational, regional and partisan lines. They also carry political implications for universities, already under public pressure to rein in their costs and adjust curricula after decades of sharp tuition increases.

调查结果反映了从四年前开始,公众对高等教育的怀疑日益增加,并凸显了不同性别、教育程度、地区和党派之间的意见分歧越来越大。这些看法也会给大学施加政治影响,大学已经遭到了公众压力,要求他们控制费用,并且在学费几十年来大幅上涨之后调整课程。

Overall, a slim plurality of Americans, 49%, believes earning a four-year degree will lead to a good job and higher lifetime earnings, compared with 47% who don’t, according to the poll of 1,200 people taken Aug. 5-9. That two-point margin narrowed from 13 points when the same question was asked four years earlier.

根据8月5日至9日对1200名受访者的调查,总体而言,有49%的美国人认为,四年本科教育会带来一个好工作以及更高的终身收入,而47%的人则不然。认同者仅仅比不认同者多2%,而四年前这两者间的差距是13%。

The shift was almost entirely due to growing skepticism among Americans without four-year degrees—those who never enrolled in college, who took only some classes or who earned a two-year degree. Four years ago, that group used to split almost evenly on the question of whether college was worth the cost. Now, skeptics outnumber believers by a double-digit margin.

可以说,这个变化完全是因为那些未获得四年本科学历的群体——那些只获得两年大专学历、或只学过部分课程,以及从未上过大学的人。四年前,这个群体对“大学花费是否值得”这个问题的态度几乎是平分的。而现在,怀疑者的比例比相信者高两位数。

Conversely, opinion among college graduates is almost identical to that of four years ago, with 63% saying college is worth the cost versus 31% who say it isn’t.

相反,大学毕业生的观点与四年前几乎完全相同,63%的人认为大学是值得的,31%的人认为不值得。



(图片解释:绿色为认为值得,红色为认为不值得,左边项目从上至下为所有性别、男性、女性、18~34岁、35~64岁、65岁以上、本科学历以下、本科或以上学历;黑线为2013年的调查结果)

Big shifts occurred within several groups. While women by a large margin still have faith in a four-year degree, opinion among men swung significantly. Four years ago, men by a 12-point margin saw college as worth the cost. Now, they say it is not worth it, by a 10-point margin.

一些群体的态度改变很大。女性很大程度上仍然信任四年本科学历,但男性的观点显著改变了。四年前,认为大学学费是值得的男性比认为不值得的多12%。而如今,认为不值得的反倒比值得的多10%。

Likewise, among Americans 18 to 34 years old, skeptics outnumber believers 57% to 39%, almost a mirror image from four years earlier.

同样,在18到34岁的美国人当中,怀疑着与支持者的比例是57%比39%,几乎与四年前翻了过来。

Today, Democrats, urban residents and Americans who consider themselves middle- and upper-class generally believe college is worth it; Republicans, rural residents and people who identify themselves as poor or working-class Americans don’t.

如今,民主党人、城市居民和认为自己是中上层阶级的美国人普遍认为大学是值得的;共和党人、农村居民和那些自认为是穷人或工薪阶层的人不认同。

Research shows that college graduates, on average, fare far better economically than those without a degree. For example, the unemployment rate is 2.7% among college graduates, compared with 5.1% among high school graduates who never attended college, and Labor Department research shows that bachelor’s degree recipients earn higher salaries than those who never went to college. But the wage premium of getting a degree has flattened in recent years, Federal Reserve research shows.

研究表明,平均而论,大学毕业生的经济状况要远远好于无学位者。例如,大学毕业生的失业率为2.7%,而高中毕业生的失业率为5.1%。美国劳工部的研究显示,本科生的工资比非本科生高。但美联储的研究显示,近年来,学位带来的工资优势已经没那么明显了。

Student debt has surged to $1.3 trillion, and millions of Americans have fallen behind on student-loan payments.

学生债务已飙升至1.3万亿美元,拖欠助学贷款的美国人有数百万之众。

“Costs have gone up considerably to the point that I think there are a number of people who maybe rightfully say, ‘I’m not in the league of Harvard and maybe not even in the league of really good state schools,’” said Doug Webber, a Temple University econimics professor. Many of those Americans are concluding that paying high tuition at less-prestigious schools isn’t worth it.

坦普尔大学经济学教授Doug Webber 说:“学校费大幅上升,我认为有很多人可能会说,‘我上的又不是常春藤,甚至可能不是好的州立学校,为什么要花这么多钱?’”这些人中的大部分认为,为不那么有名的学校支付高额学费是不值得的。

College is clearly still a good thing, just not at current prices.

很显然,大学依然是个好东西,只不过目前的价格不是这样。

Put another way, higher ed has been in a bubble fueled by government loans and deceptive marketing, and now that bubble is bursting. The old model of extended adolescence in which mom/dad/Uncle Sam cover five or more years of partying and sampling various majors is now beyond the means of more than half the population.

换句话说,在政府贷款和诱导营销的推动下,高等教育出现了泡沫,而现在泡沫正在破裂。有大半人口已经担负不起过去那种在大学花5年或更长时间“延长青春期”的模式了。

And the trend is just getting started, as soaring debts make it harder for future governments to subsidize higher ed and automation makes an ever-longer list of degrees pointless.

这一趋势才刚刚开始,因为不断飙升的债务使得未来政府更难补贴高等教育,而自动化令非常多的学历变得毫无意义。

The result: The gap between educational haves and have-nots will continue to widen, as formerly middle-class kids find themselves with – at best – working class prospects. And the political and financial instability that flow from inequality will define the coming decade.

结果是:随着出身曾经的“中产阶级”的孩子发现他们最好的前景是工人阶级,受教育的富人和穷人之间的差距将继续扩大,这种不平等带来的政治金融不稳定将决定接下来的十年。