Katherine Sharp Landdeck: From a Professor's Perspective: Advice for College Students

Roundup: Historians' Take

Katherine Sharp Landdeck, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History, Texas Woman's University. She is associated with the Op-Ed Project.

As university and college classrooms across the nation once again open their doors to their new freshmen classes, expectations are great. Nationwide the cost of college tuition has risen 8 percent since last year alone. The average student loan debt for all ages is just over $24,000.

Pressure is on the students to do well and to get done in four, or even ridiculously three, years in order to keep their debt down and get onto the job market and pay back those loans.

Universities too are under pressure for students to finish their education quickly with funding in states like Texas, Virginia, Colorado and Illinois being linked to graduation rates. With all of this external pressure the students themselves can be lost in the rush. As a history professor I want my students to graduate in a timely manner and with as little debt as possible. But I also want them to learn, have new experiences, and do well. College is somewhat about the potential job at the end, but it is also about learning new things that will stick with them for the rest of their lives....

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