Rich Tucker

 But students at Columbus State Community College in Ohio do accept such warnings.

 As a friend there points out, he and his fellow instructors “know we do no favors by discouraging hard work, especially with the low socioeconomic status of our students. Many choose to be in our classes because they're living lousy lives and want to do better. That kind of motivation is something to encourage. And for those who are unmotivated, well, they're the ones who end up with the C’s, D’s and E’s.”

 In other words, it’s the wealthier students (and their parents) in the expensive schools who believe they’re entitled to four years of high grades for simply getting in. Meanwhile poorer students at less expensive schools realize they’re supposed to work -- and learn -- for their high grades. And those poorer students are willing to accept the fact that if they don’t do the work, they’ll suffer the consequences.

 Attention, students at premier four-year universities: There’s pressure building from below. If employers start to realize that your straight-A average is based on smoke and mirrors, while the A’s earned at community colleges are legitimate, you’re in trouble. That bright future you see now may end up like an exploding star or a dot-com -- brilliant for a moment, then gone forever.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for