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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 19, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Higher education

Low graduation rates don’t mean system is failing

Liz Tidyman was appalled in her letter to the editor [“Higher education may no longer be worth it,” Northwest Voices, June 6] that only 59 percent of those who enter college in this state eventually graduate. But as a matter of fact, that is not only higher than most states, it’s high even by historical standards.’

Not everyone who enters college can, or should, graduate. Many quickly find that it’s not for them and go on to other perfectly valid options. Many are only intending to take a few courses for professional or social reasons. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either.

And then there’s the politically incorrect little secret that millions of women leave college as soon as they marry to become wives and mothers as their chief roles in life. That’s another equally valid choice.

But of those who stay for at least four years, almost all graduate, and that’s the only figure that counts.

— Brian Templeton, Des Moines

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