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Universities are reserved only for intellectuals?

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Last response: in Work & Education
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August 11, 2011 2:34:17 AM

Could someone with an IQ (intelligence quotient) of ~100 do well in college? This article claims that college is reserved only for people with IQ's between 120-140, and that someone with a dead-average intelligence would either struggle or fail in college because the rigorously difficult coursework is geared for intellectuals.

http://www.joannejacobs.com/2007/01/not-smart-enough-fo...

Throughout the world, there are millions upon millions of people attending college, and I seriously doubt that many of them have IQ's above the "genius" 140 mark. The IQ bell curve claims that almost 3/4 of ALL people have an IQ between 85-115.

Although I have to admit that studies such as physics, mathematics, engineering, and the hard sciences are definitely NOT for the feeble-minded.

Is it really true that universities are reserved only for intellectuals? And people with average intelligence (the large bulk of the population) are really not capable of attending? I should say that college degrees have become nothing more than a litmus test for employers, and a college education no longer has anything to do with learning/knowledge acquisition.

Today, most college graduates (bachelors degree) are tens of thousands of dollars in debt and cannot find a job. It is important to note that there are many affordable degrees, courses, and certifications offered by community colleges, and vocational/technical schools, which can earn you a job making much more money than a college graduate. For example, there are some plumbers and electricians who make $85,000. While some college graduates working at an office make $30,000 per year.

It is possible to have a successful and high-paying career without having to spend an entire fortune on an education. And for the most part, college is overrated and overpriced.
August 11, 2011 3:45:08 AM

College is going backwards. Pretty soon, the high paying jobs will be technical trades: Like plumbing, electrician, contractors, manufacturers. what about Engineers, physicists, and innovative designers for technology? Those will go up a well, but it will be on their own work and experience.
August 11, 2011 4:06:17 AM

It depends on what you mean by "college". As pointed out, the Certs, AA/AS degrees you can get from your local "JC" are for nearly anyone. I did all my lower level credits there just because it's cheaper. State run colleges aren't much different. The work load is harder but I'm not sure if its because its a higher college or because I was taking mostly higher level courses there. I did (finally) pass some of my general ed classes there but I don't feel that I took enough there to notice a difference.

From what my mother said IQ tests are a joke. I have a brother who is probably of "normal" intelligence but you'll never see that when he takes a test because his brain "freezes" up when he takes a test. I think he's tested before as low as 75. I know the tests and answers and normally test around 130, but I doubt I'm much smarter then most. Last, the test only tests in a few ways. There are many ways to be "smart" that an IQ test will never test you on.

In short I wouldn't worry about it. Your IQ score shouldn't matter when you look at going to college.
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August 12, 2011 11:44:32 AM

If you enjoy something, you don't need a high "IQ". Even IQs are iffy for rankings intelligence.

Passing college is more an issue of dedication and responsibility than intelligence.
August 12, 2011 12:58:04 PM

I had an instructor who used to say having a degree doesn't mean your smart. It just means you're willing to be told what to do longer then your peers.
August 15, 2011 12:01:57 AM

Yea IQ isnt everything. Depends on the following things imo

1. Do you enjoy the subject
2. Is your teacher good or bad.
3. Are you putting the effort into it. (yes this means if you attend class 6 hours a day you should spend nearly that studying and understanding what you just learned)
4. Do you ask questions and get help when needed.

I admit I am going into a little debt getting a degree but I have plans on how to work off those debts fast. Plus not borrowing as heavyly as others. I hope to be debt free withen 2 years after i get my degree. (all debt not just college).

Oh and I dont believe people being stupid. They may not have just found their true calling. Everyone is good at something just most never find it. Which is sad.

August 15, 2011 1:14:17 AM

Nice, but no. Some people are stupid. The worst ones are those who are stupid but think they are smart.
August 15, 2011 1:58:51 AM

You will be fine. I am somewhat slow and I finish university and gets into research. IQ can be a poor indication of how well you do academically. They most important thing is personal effort.
August 15, 2011 6:03:31 AM

4745454b said:
Nice, but no. Some people are stupid. The worst ones are those who are stupid but think they are smart.


Like me... :D 
August 15, 2011 6:51:23 AM

IQ doesn't really matter. Maybe people with a higher IQ might not have to study as hard as an average person, they could grasp concepts easier etc.

Usually the difference between the people who do well and the people who fail is the effort they put in.

Like mf2780 said, the more you enjoy the subject and the better the lecturer (usually one that makes the classes interesting not ones that talk in monotone voice and seems to be chanting a sleeping spell rather than lecturing) the likelier you will spend more time on that subject.

If you talk about subjects that involve a lot of maths/science then it would be believable that people with a high IQ would excel.

Quote:
Is it really true that universities are reserved only for intellectuals?

Isn't that what IV league universities are for?

Personally i think university is more geared towards students learning time management, research skills, writing reports, prioritizing, working in teams, leadership, managing deadlines etc

while also learning the basics of your subjects. You won't really learn how to do your jobs till you are actually employed, well that's what many grads say when they get a job. - this is only an example from a business degree.

Quote:
For example, there are some plumbers and electricians who make $85,000. While some college graduates working at an office make $30,000 per year.

You can't compare these two because the plumber would be late in their career, with years of experience whereas the graduate would just be starting out with little or no experience and still has to be trained.
August 15, 2011 2:36:36 PM

dogman_1234 said:
College is going backwards. Pretty soon, the high paying jobs will be technical trades: Like plumbing, electrician, contractors, manufacturers. what about Engineers, physicists, and innovative designers for technology? Those will go up a well, but it will be on their own work and experience.


I became an engineer many years ago, and mostly it has been good. We've been told for a long time that society needs more engineers for the future, and this has boosted college enrollments and more colleges than ever can provide engineering degrees. However now there are too many engineers. The market is flooded and it is hard or impossible to find engineering jobs. I still have a job but for the past 6 months I haven't gotten paid. I have to keep working on the promise that I might get my salary back sometime in the future. I couldn't go to work anywhere else because there aren't any jobs available.

My wife wanted some carpet installed in one room of our house. We paid the carpet installers, one who couldn't even speak english, more than what I make as a licensed engineer with over 30 years of experience. So you have to ask yourself why a person these days would go to college.

As for the original question, college is getting more and more for intellectuals, but that has nothing to do with IQ. I went to a college graduation this weekend for a family member and almost all of the degrees were for things where you wonder how that is going to enable them to get a job. I think people go to college to learn things that they think will put them above the average person, but not for things that will help them to make a living or will benefit society. As far as IQ, about 15% of the students that graduated seemed to have significantly higher than average IQ, as evidenced by their honors. IOW when I graduated I had a GPA of about 3.9 and I'm considered somewhat average, but only 15% of the students had GPA of above 3.5. I would think anybody that wants to do well in college could beat a 3.5GPA.
August 15, 2011 2:42:54 PM

Saying -most- college graduates is obviously a gross overstatement, as most people who graduated 30 years ago (and after) have jobs and are included in that range. If you're speaking of recent college grads, this is skewed by the fact that some people think that a liberal arts degree is gonna get them a real job... and a good amount of the time it just doesn't. Engineering and science schools normally have >90% job hire rate on graduation with at least a bachelors, while an extra year or two for a masters nets ~98% hiring rate.

As far as being intelligent enough for college... well there's a school for everyone, but the truth is that how much you learn is only limited by how much you want to learn, the resources are out there for you (+1 socialism).

TL;DR If you don't want to learn, then you aren't smart enough to go to college.
August 15, 2011 5:13:24 PM

I always thought of those liberal arts degrees as a scam. What do you use it for? To teach others how to get a LA degree.
August 15, 2011 11:54:27 PM

I went to college to do what I enjoy. I look forward to going to work. It's fun and I get paid to do it.
August 16, 2011 12:14:29 AM

Me? Heck no.
September 2, 2011 1:18:25 PM

ambam said:

It is possible to have a successful and high-paying career without having to spend an entire fortune on an education. And for the most part, college is overrated and overpriced.


This is a great debate. The disparity in the quality of education among top-tier schools and those lower has decreased when compared to 10-15 years ago.

Is spending 4-years earning a degree and then paying off the loans for the next 15-20 years better than spending those 19-24 years in a niche trade job (electrician, plumber, chef etc)? When I'm done paying off my loans over the next 10 years, I may be better suited to answer this question.
September 6, 2011 5:56:08 PM

You get what you put into it. That being said, I sucked at math when I was in high school. I couldn't grasp some of the advanced stuff.. now, math is very easy for me yet I haven't had additional coursework or anything.

Don't view a higher education as the next step - you may need to take some time off before going to a university or college.
September 14, 2011 1:55:40 PM

As many people have said, IQ means little when applied to schooling. Different people excel at different things and enjoy different things. I have always liked math and when I did physics in college i loved it, so I got and degree in engineering. Then I recognized that the GIS field was exploding so I got a masters in that and love what I do every day at work in a rapidly expanding field.

Now, I am not really that smart, but I worked my ass off studying every day for the 7 years I was in school. Simply a means to an end.
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