Reasons for Attending College

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If you ask high school students what the next step is after high school, a majority of them will reply to you with the answer, “College.” Now with that said, ask them, “Why will you be attending college?” Some may answer because they want to extend their education further or so they are able to achieve a higher paying occupation. Others may respond with “Because my parents did, so I am.” In Souls Without Longing, Robert C. Bartlett argues that attending college is part of the “American Dream;” whereas in Degrees Widen the Gap, Stuart Tannock implies that a majority of the students attend college because they want to be on the upper end of the wage gap. Is college only known as the “American dream” or is it just to get to the higher end of the wage gap?

“Students are firmly oriented to the gap”, says Tannock. As I entered college, I had set high standards for myself to become one of the most prestigious fashion designers in the country. I was aiming for the higher end of the wage gap, and I knew it would take a lot of work. In Tannock’s essay he states, “The number one reason college freshmen give today for pursuing higher education is to get a good job and secure a higher standard of living.” Many classmates of mine were accepted into a university of their choice, but were going because that’s what was “expected of them.” These students are tolerating how to live the American dream.

Bartlett explains that “the injunction to be tolerant is decisive in determining the moral mood of students, but it is not at all helpful in specifying that to which they should dedicate their lives.” With just going to college because that is what is anticipated from their parents causes the student to be “supplied more with platitudes than serious direction.” Students without the desire to go to college for greater career opportunities, “they are understandably frustrated or baffled by what they are offered in college” because they were not prepared to partake in the rigorous...
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