Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"anything below an IQ of 110 is problematic"

In today's OpinionJournal, Charles Murray argues that too many people are going to college:

There is no magic point at which a genuine college-level education becomes an option, but anything below an IQ of 110 is problematic. If you want to do well, you should have an IQ of 115 or higher. Put another way, it makes sense for only about 15% of the population, 25% if one stretches it, to get a college education. And yet more than 45% of recent high school graduates enroll in four-year colleges. Adjust that percentage to account for high-school dropouts, and more than 40% of all persons in their late teens are trying to go to a four-year college--enough people to absorb everyone down through an IQ of 104.

I think that it does make sense to boost vocational training as an alternative to four-year colleges, but tying the argument to IQ is not a good idea, since standardized tests such as IQ tests are not a good predictor of college success. Murray also expresses a lot of faith in "advances in technology [that] are making the brick-and-mortar facility increasingly irrelevant" such as lectures on DVD.

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