Americans’ Advice is Clear: College Teaches Important Life Lessons Beyond Coursework

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Almost three-quarters of Americans believe college isn’t just about school—it also teaches important life lessons.

That’s according to a new poll of 2,000 adults, which revealed 73% agree that college educates you about adult life beyond coursework and the classroom.

While doing well in school and getting good grades was found to be the hardest part of college (46%), time management (45%), having more responsibilities (44%) and living on your own (43%) also were some of the top challenges.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Texas Tech University, results also revealed that 44% of respondents are currently considering returning to college or going for the first time—with 42% saying they are interested in learning new skill sets or changing career paths.

Of the respondents who have attended college, 85% believe college prepared them for adult life, but 80% agree if they could go back, they would change some things about their college experience.

42% cited ‘helping with job interviews and applications’ as an area where colleges could improve. Being more affordable also ranked high on the list (39%).

When it comes to choosing a school, 41% of those surveyed are looking for classes or seminars that teach about life beyond the classroom.

“We all hear the national conversations about the costs of attending college, asking whether the experience is worth it,” said Texas Tech vice president for enrollment management Jamie Hansard. “While what students learn in the classroom can be foundational for the goals and careers they want to pursue, it’s important to understand that the value of college goes far beyond a person’s academic achievements.”

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