Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

How to Learn a Lot in College

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From Academically Adrift, via Chris Newfield’s ongoing critique of Obama’s higher-ed plan.

1. Take many demanding courses (20 or more pages of writing per term and 40 or more pages of reading per week) (72-73, 94-95).
2. Spend much more than the current norm on her academics (class time and studying together average 16% of a student’s week, with studying averaging a total of 12-13 hours a week) (69, 97-98).
3. Work with faculty that have high expectations for her and her peers (93).
4. Major in a strong academic field in the liberal arts and sciences, not in a vocational or strictly “practical” field.
5. Minimize non-academic social commitments: no fraternity and sorority membership, minimal off-campus socializing, minimal group study (103-04, 101).
6. Minimize work for pay, do not work off campus, and never work more 10 hours per week (the current average is 13 hours per week) (102, 85-86).
7. Bring your net cost of college as close to zero as possible, with no loans (109).

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