College (Un)Bound

  • by Jeffrey J. Selingo
  • Narrated by Fred Stella
  • 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What is the value of a college degree?
The four-year college experience is as American as apple pie. So is the belief that higher education offers a ticket to a better life. But with student-loan debt surpassing the $1 trillion mark and unemployment of college graduates at historic highs, people are beginning to question that value.
In College (Un)Bound, Jeffrey J. Selingo, editor at large of the Chronicle of Higher Education, argues that America’s higher education system is broken. The great credentials race has turned universities into big businesses and fostered an environment where middle-tier colleges can command elite university-level tuitions while concealing staggeringly low graduation rates and churning out students with few of the skills needed for a rapidly evolving job market.
Selingo not only turns a critical eye on the current state of higher education but also predicts how technology will transform it for the better. Free massive online open courses (MOOCs) and hybrid classes, adaptive learning software, and the unbundling of traditional degree credits will increase access to high-quality education regardless of budget or location and tailor lesson plans to individual needs. One thing is certain: the class of 2020 will have a radically different college experience than their parents had.
Incisive, urgent, and controversial, College (Un)bound is a must-listen for prospective students, parents, and anyone concerned with the future of American higher education.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting but Contradictory and repititive

What did you like best about College (Un)Bound? What did you like least?

As a father of a soon-to-be high school senior about to embark on the whole college application and admissions quagmire, this book was of acute interest to me. There's definitely information I found helpful and enlightening such why the differences in out-of-state tuition and in-state tuition. Never really understood why the big disparity. But there were moments during the listen that I wondering if I had accidentally hit a rewind button or something on my phone as the exact same information was being read. This happened several times, even the sentence structure was the same or very similar.

I also take issue with early on in the book, the author talks about how families and students take on debt to attend the college of their choice when they would have been better served choosing the community college route and transfer after two years. Also if you aren't attending a very top school for your chosen major, that it not worth taking on debt to attend an expensive school that ranked second tier in that field. Then later in the book, he states that students should bypass their state school package even if it completely covers the costs of attending to go to an out-of-state school that's strong in your major. But earlier he talks about degree creep, where a Master's is the new Bachelor and your major isn't that important anyway, it's about critical thinking skill development. Not to mention the time spent discussing the emerging and cheaper online options and making them sound like a great alternative, only to later talk about the on-campus experience and development from adolescence into adulthood and the value of studying abroad.

So what are you saying....Confusing!?!?!

As another reviewer wrote, I found myself wanting to research more after finishing this book. It covers soo many topics within the subject but in presenting all these pieces I found myself getting frustrated with soo many contradictions.

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- Zeus

Unfocused and unconvincing

There are a lot of interesting things about the state of higher education in the US, but instead of looking at a few things and really investigating those issues, the book tries to look at them all but only gets to a very superficial level and doesn't address obvious contradictory ideas among them. The result is that the ideas get confusing and the book lacks any kind of focus. Just when the book starts to discuss an interesting issue, it gets derailed onto a different issue or uses as anecdotes of an individual student that doesn't seem to bear much weight when looking at a system that includes millions of students.
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- Calliope

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-07-2013
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio