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College has become "crushingly expensive," but is it worth it?

Tucker Carlson posed the question Wednesday night, asking whether American families are getting what they pay for out of the nation's institutions of higher learning. 

He pointed to research based on tracking 2,000 college students over several years. It found that 45 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" over the first two years of college and 40 percent "didn't learn anything at all over all four years." 

The study found a 50 percent decline in reported study time by students compared with their counterparts several decades ago. Instead, students spent more than twice as much time on recreational activities. 

"Multiply this by an entire country and you wind up with a deeply ignorant population," Carlson noted, explaining U.S. adult literacy has declined in the last 25 years, despite rising college enrollment. 

Amid these trends, he said colleges have failed to increase "academic rigor" and college classes are getting "flimsier," with grade inflation rampant. Carlson said graduates "are getting dumber" but this is not reflected in grades given to students. 

"Grade inflation is everywhere," he said, pointing out that an "A" is the most common grade, according to the New York Times.  

"More students are failing, yet almost nobody fails. ... Colleges barely teach, yet every year they increase their fees. Try that in a private business, you might get indicted for fraud. Do it at an American university and you get billions in taxpayer subsidies," he argued.

Carlson followed the monologue by talking to St. John's College (N.M.) President Mark Roosevelt, who called his school perhaps the most rigorous in the country. He agreed that overall, there has been "slippage" in terms of what American universities are requiring of students. 

Watch the segment above.


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