College: The Cost, and the Why

Discussion in 'Education' started by PoliticalChic, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic
    Offline

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    55,927
    Thanks Received:
    15,706
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ratings:
    +25,070
    1. “A couple of generations ago, if a high school student wanted to go to college, he first had to plan, work, scrimp and save up the money. Sometimes he had to work for a few years after high school graduation before he could save up enough to attend college…. Having to pay for college resulted in students who really valued the college experience, who really wanted to be there for what they could learn, and who were mature enough for it.



    2. Now, the government aggressively encourages all students to attend college. But many students shouldn’t go: Some simply are not academically suited for college; others do not have the work ethic necessary to succeed; others never use what they studied in college for their careers. Yet instead of promoting other types of career development, the government has fixated on colleges, coercing them to lower their academic standards to allow more students in.

    a. There was a time when a college education actually became cheaper each year. As recently as the early 1970s, the cost of a degree was falling annually by 17 percent. Then something changed, and the price tag for college hasn’t stopped rising since.

    b. In 1978, the government started giving out taxpayer-funded student loans to people regardless of their income. From 1978 to 1981, government aid shot up by a whopping 70 percent…Tuition started to rise.



    3. Long story short: More students went to college, costs rose, students complained, the government provided more student loans, grants, subsidies to colleges, and so on.

    4. Monica Johnson is a 35-year-old college graduate who helped organize the “Occupy Graduation” protest at Hunter College in New York. Fifteen years ago, she borrowed $15,000 to pay for college. In 2007, she decided to go back to school for a fine arts degree and took out an additional $60,000 in loans, which shot up to $88,000—after she dropped out of the program….Normally it wouldn’t be in a bank’s self-interest to lend such serious money to such students. But thanks to politicians, it is in their self-interest.



    5. In the past, student loans were much harder to come by. They were given out more like mortgages—or how mortgages used to be. If you wanted a loan for a home, you had to have a good job and good credit history, and you had to put down good collateral (the property). [Today, any student] can get hundreds of thousands of dollars in low-interest-rate student loans simply handed to him. Why?

    a. Congress has passed a law saying that students simply can never default. A struggling student can even declare bankruptcy and still not have his debt wiped clean. Another law says that when a student does stop making his payments, his wages can be garnished without even appearing before a judge and justifying a court order.



    6. Doesn’t it make more sense for banks to lend based upon real-world factors? Things like: what grades did the student get in high school; did the student work a job in high school; does the student have good references; and what degree program does the student want this money to pay for? If a student wants a loan to take courses in Philosophy of Star Trek (no joke), that should be his or her choice. But it is also the bank’s prerogative to charge a higher interest rate, or decline to give that student a loan at all, since the odds of him finding a job afterward and paying back his loan are virtually nil….It would bring accountability and consequences back into the system.

    a. …students would have to take degree programs that are worthwhile. Thus universities would have to find cost savings and cut useless and wasteful programs. If universities wanted to offer programs for occupations that paid less, they would have to reduce tuition costs to attract students.




    7. This system has produced a generation of students taking degree programs that are, essentially, worthless. Some students at Harvard spend $62,000 per year working toward degrees in Folklore and Mythology. Courses include Witchcraft and Charm Magic, Continuing Oral Traditions in Indigenous Communities, Hero and Trickster, and African Women Storytellers. Four-year total cost: $248,000. Job prospect: zero. Probability of debt slavery: Close to 100 percent.

    a. Then there are all the students who graduate with majors that end in “studies”: Gay and Lesbian Studies, African American Studies, Women’s Studies, Medieval Studies. These degrees should be marketed, “Studies in how to make yourself obnoxious to a potential employer and never get a job.”



    8. And sometimes they don’t even get the degree. Each year around 2.3 million hopefuls enroll in college. Over half of them drop out before finishingSucked Under by That College Degree - theTrumpet.com - World News Analysis Based on Bible Prophecy by the Philadelphia Church of God
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. old navy
    Offline

    old navy <<< Action Figures

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,740
    Thanks Received:
    378
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Location:
    U.S.
    Ratings:
    +379
    The ease of obtaining government money is one huge reason for the rise in college costs. The product, overall,is surely not worth the price. I teach two high health occupations courses in the CTE department. Besides medical stuff I teach resumes, interview techniques, dress for success, etc. Part of the curriculum is helping the students to explore/investigate careers in health care, and not to convince them that HC is the career for them.

    One of the first assignments I give them is researching a health care occupation in which they may be interested. The majority say they want to be physicians and some even have the specialty picked out. Two of many truths here are: most of them are and will not be academically qualified to get into med school, and the admission rate for most medical schools is about 3 percent. Getting into nursing school is no cake walk either. High GPA, quality letters of recommendation, and luck are required. I stress the other occupations in medicine that are very interesting and pay well. I also encourage them to look into non-medical careers and always state: Do you know how much a plumber makes.
     
  3. PoliticalChic
    Offline

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    55,927
    Thanks Received:
    15,706
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ratings:
    +25,070
    WHAT????


    You actually believe that there should be a variety of occupations??

    Of educational paths???

    Of options????


    You....you.......conservative, you!


    "One of the first assignments I give them is researching a health care occupation in which they may be interested."
    Excellent.

    The link in the OP actually gives the numbers that may be needed in the future of several occupations....
     
  4. DGS49
    Offline

    DGS49 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,973
    Thanks Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Ratings:
    +2,261
    ALERT: There is a strong movement afoot in Congress (no need to state which side of the aisle is quietly promoting it) to start allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS.

    You know the drill. They will trot out some pathetic jerk who was raised in a garbage can and through hard work and perseverence - and a brazillion dollars in student loans - made his way through college and medical school, then THWACK! he got smashed by a hit & run driver and can never become a doctor. And now he is saddled with a brazillion dollars in college loans that he can THROUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN, never even hope to repay.

    "Shouldn't this poor bastard be allowed to have his student loans discharged in Bankruptcy? Boo, who, who!"

    Then they start drafting the legislation to help this guy and what do you know? It turns out that just about everybody in the country with a student loan and a sob story can avail themselves of this "compassionate" exception to the B'ruptcy laws.

    You heard it here first. The only question is how long it will take.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  5. DGS49
    Offline

    DGS49 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,973
    Thanks Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Ratings:
    +2,261
    Note on college from an Old Timer (Vietnam Era Baby Boomer):

    I started at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 1967, right out of high school. At the student orientation as we incoming Freshmen sat shoulder to shoulder in a large auditorium, we were told to look to both sides and note the students sitting next to us. "Of the three of you, only one will graduate. The other two will wash out."

    Ignoring the fact that this demonstration has been done in many other contexts (Airborne Ranger School, Harvard undergrad, etc), the fact WAS that more than half of the incoming Freshmen at schools like Pitt would fail out for academic reasons. This was done on purpose because the institution took pride in not being a "diploma mill," and having real academic standards that the students would have to meet.

    Parenthetically I will add here that I did fail out - rather spectacularly I must say. Then I went into the Army and came out three years later, when I as readmitted (on probation, of course) and finished my degree some 5 years late.

    But the point is, Pitt (and most other colleges) were, in 1967, "institutions of higher learning," and proud of it.

    Then came Vietnam and the incredible hordes of Boomers. The professors (and administrators) of colleges around the country began having second thoughts on their academic philosophies based on two unprecedented factors: (a) The hordes of new HS grads made it possible to expand the institutions to previously unimaginable size, and (b) the real presence of the Vietnam draft made it possible that failing a student would ultimately result in his death on the battlefield. Literally. (I assume all are aware that in the first several years, you could not be drafted as long as you were a student in good standing, and when you got tossed from college, a target went immediately on your back, the local draft boards were notified by the schools that your "2S" deferment was no longer in effect).

    So in a fit of humanitarian altruism, the schools began lowering their academic standards to (1) get more students and grow the schools, and (2) to keep the students from failing out. It became easier to get out of academic probation, bullshit majors were instituted, and add/drop periods were extended so that if you were taking a class that you were going to fail, you could drop it and pick up an easy one, several weeks into the term.

    In a perverse bit of irony, during my first term back at Pitt there was a letter to the editor of the student newspaper, speculating that it was virtually impossible for Pitt to get rid of a bad student, if the student took advantage of all the bullshit and was determined to stay there.

    I was personally appalled to see advertisements in the newspapers for "Recruiters" for what had previously been very selective colleges - "Sales experience required." Are you shitting me?

    So the academic philosophy and objectives of colleges in our society did a "one eighty" as the result of the Baby Boom and the Vietnam War. Although our colleges and universities are still "institutions of higher learning," for the top students - and commendably so - they are mainly institutions where marginally-motivated superannuated adolescents can go for a couple years to live a life of relative ease, luxury, and debauchery, with palatial Student Unions, olympic-quality gymnasiums and swimming pools, and a campus that would make a medieval English lord blush.

    And all this is expensive as hell, as reflected in tuitions that make it virtually impossible for a "working class" student to graduate free of debt. As has been noted above, our idiot-Congresspeople have determined that every American is "entitled" to a college education, provided they can find some institution willing to take them, and has made discounted loans available to fund it. Total academic and economic idiocy on the part of all.

    Rather than providing educational opportunity for the "top 20%" or so, which would be appropriate, colleges now provide a recreational opportunity for the top 60% or so, with the end product being a piece of parchment (not sheepskin) that might, if fully valued, result in a job delivering cars for Enterprise, selling phones and other gadgets for Apple, or exploring the wonders of retailing or fast foods.

    With tens of thousands of dollars in discounted student loans to pay off over the following decades.

    If American colleges were serious about education (as they are in many European countries), they would be 1/3 the size, twice as academically rigorous, have no sports, and provide degrees that any graduate could be proud of. A college or university that was serious about its mission would only require classroom buildings (no gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, student unions, etc), would have a minimum of 40 students in every class, and could easily run on a not-for-profit basis with a tuition under $10,000/yr. EASILY. But that is not what we want, is it?

    Witness all the bullshit that is going on at Penn State right now over a non-academic program that directly involves approximately 100 students each year out of tens of thousands.

    To paraphrase the favorite chant of the students of that August institution at their football and basketball games, "We are FUCKED UP!"

    [Being a Pitt grad, maybe I'm being a little harsh].
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  6. PoliticalChic
    Offline

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    55,927
    Thanks Received:
    15,706
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ratings:
    +25,070
    During the New Deal, a stake was put through the heart of the Constitution....but, as Huey Lewis sang about Rock and Roll...it's still beating.

    Yet when we look at the Blaisdell Decision, shredding the contracts clause of the Constitution, why should there be any surprises in you post.


    Horrified, but not surprised.
     
  7. DGS49
    Offline

    DGS49 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,973
    Thanks Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Ratings:
    +2,261
    Did anyone notice the advertisement for the University of Pittsburgh in this thread?

    Way cool.
     
  8. Si modo
    Offline

    Si modo Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    41,538
    Thanks Received:
    6,382
    Trophy Points:
    1,810
    Location:
    St. Eligius
    Ratings:
    +8,703
    Student loans eligibility are a small part of the problem of crazy costs, IMO.


    In the 1980s, the Department of Education wasn't satisfied with it's stranglehold on primary and secondary education alone. They had to find a way to get their grubby and polluting fingers on higher ed. But, higher ed was having no part of that. They had standards, you know.

    So, what Ed did was decide to offer research grants through the competitive grant process to universities for studies in higher ed - to "improve" it...to "improve" what was by far and in general, the best in the world at that time.

    LOTS of grants and big-ticket grants.

    The grants started out as research into getting those secondary ed students who would normally NOT be accepted into higher ed for various reasons already identified that did not involve financial ability (low performance, lack of academic discipline, lack of aptitude, etc.). The great experiment of accepting poor students (not monetarily poor...just bad students) into higher ed.

    Thus, acceptance sky-rocketed. But, classrooms could no longer handle the capacity for the higher numbers of lower classmen.

    So, the universities solicited grants from Ed to build more buildings so that this great experiment FROM Ed could be continued, observed, and gather some useful data. Universities got those, of course. But, the grants couldn't pay for the entire cost, but a lot of it. Those remaining costs could be passed onto the students. And, the increased costs weren't all that bad....or noticeable.

    The data was gathered on accepting these poor students (poor academically) and, as a surprise to few, few of the students couldn't cut it past the first year, and those that could, rarely made it past their second year.

    Ed didn't like these results. See, because that's a reasonable experiment to do. But, the results were not too favorable to what Ed wanted. Now, this is where it gets tragic.

    In its infinite "wisdom" *thick sarcasm*, Ed gets this idea that Retention is the issue. RFPs are put on the street to study retention of students (who should never have been in higher ed in the first place) past the first and second years.

    Universities applied and were rewarded grants for that. Same thing - more capacity needed for higher enrollments AND higher retention time, more buildings and costs associated with them, more monies from Ed, more costs to students, etc.

    Now the tragic part: Of course the majority of these students can't cut it past the first two years. They are bad students for whatever reasons, but they cannot cut it. But, Ed's monies to the universities for those buildings depend on perpetuating the continuation of the great experiment. And, to retain those students who are cash cows, the universities naturally dumb down the first two years - grade inflation, less subject matter covered than before, etc.

    Ed's back door entry (and the unintended pun is an appropriate analogy to what Ed always does to education at any level) into higher ed is ensuring that students will not be prepared for the workplace.

    THAT, in my experience, is the major cause for increased costs to students for an education that really doesn't mean all that much any longer in a competitive job market.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  9. rightwinger
    Offline

    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    120,476
    Thanks Received:
    19,872
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Location:
    NJ & MD
    Ratings:
    +45,508
    Still doesn't explain WHY colleges cost so much more

    Where does the money go? Professors salaries? Athletics? facilities? Administration?

    Don't tell me a Freshman course being taught by an Associate Professor with 150 students paying $3000 each is not making a profit
     
  10. Si modo
    Offline

    Si modo Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    41,538
    Thanks Received:
    6,382
    Trophy Points:
    1,810
    Location:
    St. Eligius
    Ratings:
    +8,703
    Hmmmm. I thought I just gave an explanation for the main reason why.

    There is no profit in non-profits. :eusa_hand:
     

Share This Page