If you have a child in college, or are planning to send one there soon, Craig Brandon has a message for you: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
“The Five-Year Party” provides the most vivid portrait of college life since Tom Wolfe’s 2004 novel, “I Am Charlotte Simmons.” The difference is that it isn’t fiction. The alcohol-soaked, sex-saturated, drug-infested campuses that Mr. Brandon writes about are real. His book is a roadmap for parents on how to steer clear of the worst of them.
Many of the schools Mr. Brandon describes are education-free zones, where students’ eternal obligations–do the assigned reading, participate in class, hand in assignments–no longer apply. The book’s title refers to the fact that only 30% of students enrolled in liberal-arts colleges graduate in four years. Roughly 60% take at least six years to get their degrees. That may be fine with many schools, whose administrators see dollar signs in those extra semesters.