College is a time for academic inquiry, personal growth, and, of course, studying. But three studies published in the past three years suggest there might be less studying happening on college campuses than there used to be. According to one of them, by economists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, college students today spend about 40 percent less time studying outside of class than they did in 1961.
Is this a sign that college today is too easy? Or is there more to it? Peter N. Stearns is Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University. He’s taught for over 40 years and believes his students are working as hard as ever. Richard Vedder is a researcher at Ohio University who studies the economics of higher education. Like Stearns, he has also taught in the classroom for over 40 years. But unlike Stearns, he believes college has become a place where students relax rather than challenge themselves.