You might not just be showing your age if you think college students today just don't work as hard as they used to. There's evidence that grade inflation in colleges has reduced the amount of effort the average college student puts into their studies.
Two University of Calif. researchers who have looked at how college students use their time have produced studies that lead to that conclusion. As written up on the Chronicle of Higher Education Web site, the researchers' work shows.....
"how the decline in hours worked by students is real, not explained by changing survey techniques or even the changing nature of college students. The decline is universal, seen fairly uniformly in different disciplines. Moreover, it cannot be explained by improved technology (e.g., computer search engines reducing manual library search time), increases in student employment work hours, etc."
Worse, there is evidence that grade inflation has been understated, not overstated:
"For example, Ralph and Todd Stinebrinker suggest a 40 minute reduction in daily study time is associated with a 0.24 point decline in student grade point average (GPA) --using the conventional four point scale. Since the decline in student studying is more than twice that great since 1961 on a daily basis, the implied fall in GPA associated with reduced work effort is at least 0.50 (half a grade). Since nominally, GPAs have risen about .50 since 1960 or so, it appears that correcting for falling standards, the standard-adjusted GPA increase has been more like a full grade level (from a C+/B- average to something like a B+/A- average). Academic success per hour, as measured by grades, has soared, despite no evidence that today's students are on average better prepared for college (and some evidence to the contrary)."
You can find the whole item here, along with some interesting links to back-up data: