Denmark's free college has created "eternity students" who never graduate

Sounds like a great idea. Take easy, fun, useless courses, party hearty and take 20 years or so to graduate at the taxpayers expense!

“But some Danes, especially older citizens already in the labor force, say the extra freedom can eliminate a crucial sense of urgency for 20-somethings to become adults. The country now deals with “eternity students” — people who stick around at college for six years or more without any plans of graduating, solely because they don’t have any financial incentive to leave.”

Prepare for a 2-3 trillion dollar (or more) price tag on so-called free education in the US.


That doesn’t happen here?

Not yet.:wink:

Jbiden makes free college, I’m going.


Guess you never heard of “professional students”…lol. My late wife worked at a SUNY campus in our area back in the late 80’s…There were students there in their late 20’s still going to school, way past their 4 years…its nothing new.

“Professional student” is a slang term commonly used in colleges to describe a student who stays in school for many years rather than embarking on a career"

Well, never mind then. If all the kids are doing it, it must be ok.

Didn’t say it was ok…Just making the point that it’s nothing new, and free college education isn’t the cause of it.

35% of those earning an undergraduate degree in the US take longer than 5 years.

If only there had been a cost benefit analysis included in the article related to the Danish education system it would have enhanced the article.

The term professional student was used when I was in school. I don’t think it ever meant students who never planned to graduate, but students who took their sweet ass time graduating.

I think what the OP is referencing is, who is cutting the check for them to go to school, eat and be housed? In the case being discussed, it’s the government. Was that the case in the example you gave, was it a loan or was it the parents?

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My condolences for the loss of your wife.

During that time period I was a student at a private college in Florida.

My now retired French professor was contemptuous of students who were afraid to finish their studies & move out of their parents’ home. And there wasn’t even talk of free college them.

The eternal student is neither new, nor did they originate in, nor are they limited to, Denmark. Perhaps a better way to attend is to find an employer, like Starbucks, who pays its “partners” (term they use instead of employees) tuition for an online degree from Arizona State University:

The students are already working, so they’re not hiding from the world outside academia & may already be focused on career goals.

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Advantages to U S students delaying college, possibly finding an employer who offers tuition reimbursement, are

The students are already working, not using university to delay it, and

Employers have limits on what they pay. Am not sure about this with Starbucks, but both the agency that employed mom & the private company where I work

pay for up to two courses at a time to avoid workers tiring or calling out frequently, and

cover only those courses related to the job of the agency or corporation.

Working for mom’s agency & want to pursue a paralegal or social work degree? They’re in. Nursing degree, you’re on your own.

Something related to our branch of health care or business administration, they’re in. Other program, or courses specific to other divisions of health care, like nursing internships or pharmacology courses, you’re on your own.

Seems to me many 20 somethings in the U S have already delayed supporting themselves through nonsense like the Affordable Care Act, which allows them to remain on a parent’s health insurance until they’re 26. Some are pretty proud to admit they aren’t paying for a group sponsored policy of their own.

Many are using their parents’ divorce or some other excuse to not marry. Several times I’ve handled billing on 26 year old patients pregnant & covered by parent’s health plan. Guess whose most likely on the hook for both parties’ health care once the baby is born?

Anyway back to topic as professional student isn’t limited to Denmark. Here’s a group that gets little attention, although modern Israelis tend to resent their exemption from ever serving the defence force (IDF) mandatory for both men & women there:

As long as they are paying for it and not me, who cares?


Is college free in Denmark?

So what? Why shouldn’t I be able to keep them on my insurance if I want to?

Well that whole thing was a lie to begin with. You could always keep your kid on your insurance, you just had to pay for it instead of the cost being being spread out to people who didn’t.

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It discourages them from adult independence.


Wow, people are going to stick around for an eternity and there’s nothing that can be done about it.