And I think there are truly only five:
A story in today’s Post talks about a generational decline in study time, the number of weekly hours college students devote to actual study. Since the 1960s, the weekly total has dipped from 24 to about 15. College has become, in effect, a part-time job.
Students say they are more efficient than before, and adults say they are busier - - distracted by work, dependent care and long commutes. Researchers who track study time say those things account for only part of the decline. Even at the nation’s most selective schools, where few such distractions exist, the average student logs only about 18 hours in weekly study.
Here are five schools - - not all elite, and not all private - - where students spent 18 hours or more in weekly study. That means the schools, two of which are in Virginia, are probably among the top 10 percent of colleges nationally in weekly study time, as measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement, the source of the study-time data.
And coming in at #5, my alma mater:
5. Centre College. Here is another remote liberal arts school, with small classes and a tradition of passing the “torch of knowledge” - - embodied by a sculpture at the center of campus. That tradition has, in turn, inspired a ritual of stripping naked and “running for the flame”. The Kentucky campus has the highest average for freshman study time (20.5 weekly hours) of any school I found.
Centre College has a campus culture of intense study, much like the four schools listed above.
“I usually get up around 5:30 or 6 and spend an hour doing personal writing,” said Natalie Pope, a junior from Louisville. Then breakfast, library and the gym. She’s also president of an interfaith organization, and leader of an Arabic language club, and she’s involved in student government, a member of a sorority, and an oboist in the college orchestra. Those things, Pope said, occupy her afternoons. Then, homework from 9 p.m. until the wee hours.
“It's not uncommon to see people closing out the library on a Saturday night,” Pope said.
Another quality Centre College shares with the other schools on this list (save the University of Wisconsin) is its remoteness. There are few hot spots to distract Centre students from their studies.
“It’s a very cute little main street, but there’s not much of a night life,” Pope said. “Your sole purpose in life is basically to be studying.”
Only the Phi Delts ran the flame back in the day.
I could tell a similar story as Ms. Pope. Could, as in if I had been as good a student. If I awoke at 5:30 it was only to relieve myself and then go back to sleep until my first scheduled class. Other than the rigors of D3 football (where you could show up late to practice because of a chem lab), my most time consuming extracurricular was a bi-weekly trip to Nicholasville (i.e., going over the hill) as Social Chairman and then Treasurer of Delta Kappa Epsilon (on Sunday nights we relieved ourselves on the lawn of the Phi Delts -- I'm not altogether proud of my behavior as a college-age male).
Hat tip: BW.