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Higher Education - How can we make it suck a little less?

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Posts

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Thinking in depth is the exact opposite of what you want someone to do if they're operating machinery that could cut off their fingers. You should be paying attention to the simple physical task in front of you, not having deep philosophical thoughts.

    No. The people who don't learn to think are the people who end up on workers comp because they never learn to anticipate situations. I'm the guy who had to send their forms in, so I've seen far too many examples. Daydreaming isn't the same as thinking. Simple physical tasks are a smaller and smaller portion of the available work outside of China, anyways. We have machines for those.
    That is true, that one useful job skill you can learn with a liberal arts degree is writing. I think despite it's reputation, English is actually one of the more "practical" degrees you can get, for that reason. However, like you said, there's a lot of people with experience writing, and only so many jobs available for them to do. And those that do just focus on the core fundamentals of writing- no company is going to hire you to criticize poetry for write a long artistic novel.

    The ability to write and organize puts you in a position to fill the vast majority of entry non-math office jobs in an effective manner. When those run out you're pretty much out of available jobs anyway.

    Incenjucar on
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Fucking Eric Cantor. Fuck you. Fuck fuck fuck.

    I do not have words to describe how angry Cantor's proposal made me, but upending tables and throwing things were not outside of the realm of possibility.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    saggio wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Abolish grades.

    Grade inflation, outside of places like Reed College or Deep Springs, is rampant and totally diminishes the value of Bachelor's degrees.

    Okay.

    How?

    There are three ways that I can readily think of.

    First, adopt the Oxbridge system. Your 'coursework' in a standard undergraduate or postgraduate degree (at least within the Arts) counts for absolutely nothing. After a set period of time, you are examined (and this can be conducted multiple ways, including viva voce) and assigned a designation. This can be done over multiple years or modules, and then the results 'tallied' to give some kind of designation at the end of your degree. Honours, First Class, Second Class, etc etc.

    Second, replace grades with written evaluations by instructors. These are much more useful than letter grades as they allow instructors to identify specific strengths and weaknesses with pupils, and can readily eliminate the difference in grading practices and expectations amongst instructors (professor X is an easy A; professor Y fails everybody).

    Third, simply replace letter grades with pass/fail.

    BTW, I went to a university that had narrative evaluations & pass/fail. (University of California Santa Cruz).

    It is a huge impediment to me and is one of the major reasons I have never gone to grad school. Put simply: grad schools hate them. They don't want to read them, and there's no objective way of measuring my performance against other students. And the more candidates there are, the more of an impediment they become. Since grad school applications have been increasing during the slowing economy, the handicap is getting worse.

    UC Santa Cruz has since taken this into account and now everybody gets grades. (You may also choose to get narrative evaluations in addition to grades.)

    This presents a community action problem: if everybody had narrative evaluations, then nobody would be at a disadvantage. But as long as grades are the standard, institutions and students who buck that trend are setting themselves up with a handicap.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    Another set of statistics to add to the OP: about a third of all college students don't gain any writing, reasoning, or critical-thinking skills during their four years.
    • 45 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" during the first two years of college.
    • 36 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" over four years of college.

    As a new college educator myself, these numbers terrify me. If my profession can't figure out how to reverse these trends, higher education will be increasingly viewed as a scam.
    I'd argue that a big part of that failure is the fault of the students involved. By the time you enter college, you are an adult and are responsible for your own education and future. If you want to spend your 4 years in college getting drunk and chasing tail, that's your choice. But if you find that you wasted your opportunity to get a meaningful education as a result, it's not the school's fault.

    I see college like any other purchase of goods or services. It is the responsibility of the customer to figure out whether the purchase is a good decision on their part, or whether they would be better served spending the money on something else.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    Another set of statistics to add to the OP: about a third of all college students don't gain any writing, reasoning, or critical-thinking skills during their four years.
    • 45 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" during the first two years of college.
    • 36 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" over four years of college.

    As a new college educator myself, these numbers terrify me. If my profession can't figure out how to reverse these trends, higher education will be increasingly viewed as a scam.

    According to that article, the reason for the stagnation comes from the students themselves, not the university, teacher, or overall education system.
    The main culprit for lack of academic progress of students, according to the authors, is a lack of rigor. They review data from student surveys to show, for example, that 32 percent of students each semester do not take any courses with more than 40 pages of reading assigned a week, and that half don't take a single course in which they must write more than 20 pages over the course of a semester. Further, the authors note that students spend, on average, only about 12-14 hours a week studying, and that much of this time is studying in groups.

    My question then, how much of the responsibility should college professors take on to imbue students with vigor? How much should parents shoulder? How much should society as a whole shoulder? How much should the individual?

    To make the university suck less requires a massive overhaul of american culture in general, not necessarily focused in education or that system alone. Anything that tries to "fix" the system by changing education only is merely a temporary fix for a larger problem that Americans have embraced with open arms.

    As a new educator like yourself, a beginning to that is breaking students' expectations when they walk in the classroom. Make them work, make them accountable, and don't be afraid to Fail those who don't. But again, this isn't a systemic solution but something to stem the tide for awhile.

    Lilnoobs on
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Abolish grades.

    Grade inflation, outside of places like Reed College or Deep Springs, is rampant and totally diminishes the value of Bachelor's degrees.

    Okay.

    How?

    There are three ways that I can readily think of.

    First, adopt the Oxbridge system. Your 'coursework' in a standard undergraduate or postgraduate degree (at least within the Arts) counts for absolutely nothing. After a set period of time, you are examined (and this can be conducted multiple ways, including viva voce) and assigned a designation. This can be done over multiple years or modules, and then the results 'tallied' to give some kind of designation at the end of your degree. Honours, First Class, Second Class, etc etc.

    Second, replace grades with written evaluations by instructors. These are much more useful than letter grades as they allow instructors to identify specific strengths and weaknesses with pupils, and can readily eliminate the difference in grading practices and expectations amongst instructors (professor X is an easy A; professor Y fails everybody).

    Third, simply replace letter grades with pass/fail.

    BTW, I went to a university that had narrative evaluations & pass/fail. (University of California Santa Cruz).

    It is a huge impediment to me and is one of the major reasons I have never gone to grad school. Put simply: grad schools hate them. They don't want to read them, and there's no objective way of measuring my performance against other students. And the more candidates there are, the more of an impediment they become. Since grad school applications have been increasing during the slowing economy, the handicap is getting worse.

    UC Santa Cruz has since taken this into account and now everybody gets grades. (You may also choose to get narrative evaluations in addition to grades.)

    This presents a community action problem: if everybody had narrative evaluations, then nobody would be at a disadvantage. But as long as grades are the standard, institutions and students who buck that trend are setting themselves up with a handicap.

    You're right, but the effects of grade inflation are pretty fucking rampant and cause more problems than a system of narrative evaluation. Did you know that roughly 40% of each graduating Harvard class carries a 4.0? Compare that to Reed College or Princeton, two institutions which have successfully fought grade inflation. I think only one student in the last 40 years has graduated Reed with a 4.0, and Princeton grades absolutely everything on a curve.

    Princeton's solution is still fraught with problems. Grading on a curve means simply that the only meaningful way to compare a person's performance through looking at their grades is by reference to another student who took the same class at the same time with the same instructor. How does that help graduate admissions committees or law schools or medical schools? Not very much. And really, students have come to expect good grades as a matter of course for relatively little work -- and who wouldn't, if you're paying $5000/year in tuition? Or $15 000/year? Or $40 000/year?

    Grade inflation means two things. First, everyone who wishes to go to postgraduate school needs to have a very high cGPA. This puts pressure on both institutions and students to inflate grading practices, regardless of subject and regardless of talent or intelligence of the students. Second, postgraduate schools and programs need to constantly raise their threshold for applications to sort out the 'wheat' from the 'chaff,' which only adds more inflationary pressure on grades. On top of that, it forces these postgraduate schools and programs to look at outside factors beyond grades to determine whether a candidate is suitable or not. Things like the LSAT, MCAT, or GRE are put into the mix. As are things like writing samples (for graduate work), letters of recommendation, and other 'soft' factors. All of which increases the burden on admissions committees and all of which nevertheless fails to give an accurate picture of whether or not a person will succeed in a postgraduate program (doing well on the LSAT doesn't mean you'll do well in law school or be a good lawyer; it just means you rock at tests and logic games).

    You abolish grades, you get rid of many of these problems. Not all, obviously, but enough of them that I think it's something that universities and public university systems need to seriously think about.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    You can also fix those problems by having everyone grade on an actual curve. You only really get on average impressions of a student, but you only really get those anyway. And now grad schools don't need to sort through thousands of pages of text just to figure out where there applicants stand.

    Syrdon on
  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The argument ultimately being that individuals shoulder an unfair amount of the cost compared to the value gained by society of having well educated individuals.

    Unfair? Really?

    Education Level vs Average Lifetime Earnings

    No HS diploma: $1 million
    HS diploma, no college: $1.2 million
    Some college: $1.5 million
    Associate's degree: $1.6 million
    Bachelor's degree: $2.1 million
    Master's degree: $2.5 million
    Doctoral degree: $3.4 million
    Professional degree: $4.4 million

    So about $1.1 million more for having a 4-year bachelor's degree than for having a diploma and skipping college. 4 years of public college at the OP's tuition prices comes out to ~$31k for in-state students, and ~$48k for out-of-state students.

    $30-50k in tuition vs $1.1 million in additional career earnings.

    That looks like a pretty good return on investment at an individual level to me.

    BubbaT on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Every time I read one of these threads I seriously consider dropping out

    By the time I graduate we'll have 13% unemployment and have to sell Texas to China to pay our debts, who's going to need IT people then?

    Need to just go get a welding technical diploma or something

    override367 on
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    saggio wrote: »
    You're right, but the effects of grade inflation are pretty fucking rampant and cause more problems than a system of narrative evaluation.

    That's an excellent point. You're right, this is a big issue.
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The argument ultimately being that individuals shoulder an unfair amount of the cost compared to the value gained by society of having well educated individuals.

    Unfair? Really?

    Education Level vs Average Lifetime Earnings

    No HS diploma: $1 million
    HS diploma, no college: $1.2 million
    Some college: $1.5 million
    Associate's degree: $1.6 million
    Bachelor's degree: $2.1 million
    Master's degree: $2.5 million
    Doctoral degree: $3.4 million
    Professional degree: $4.4 million

    So about $1.1 million more for having a 4-year bachelor's degree than for having a diploma and skipping college. 4 years of public college at the OP's tuition prices comes out to ~$31k for in-state students, and ~$48k for out-of-state students.

    $30-50k in tuition vs $1.1 million in additional career earnings.

    That looks like a pretty good return on investment at an individual level to me.

    Ecological fallacy here: just because the average ROI across all bachelor's degrees is $31k:$2.1m doesn't mean that the ROI is the same for all students, institutions, and fields.

    It is unfair to tell kids "If you get a bachelor's degree, you will likely make twice as much over the course of your career" without being honest that many people who get bachelor's degrees don't. To a certain degree, asking kids to pay up front (even on a loan) for a degree in the hopes of hitting it big in the job market is a little like asking children to buy into a lottery.

    We need to mitigate that risk as much as possible (without causing moral hazards, of course), which means we need to subsidize more and distribute the burden on those who did make it.

    That brings us right back to taxing the rich and using the money to pay for education nationally, which is why I want to punch Eric Cantor in the face.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Adding to what Feral said, I'd like to see a regression study of how much of that extra income comes from college graduates coming from wealthier families. Because a highschool student who's family will put him through college, and a highschool student who's an orphan and can't possibly go to college, are definitely not on an even footing.

    Pi-r8 on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Why can't an orphan go to college? I mean I had to wait till I was 24 to go because my mom defaulted on her loans and it wasn't until then I was "independent" (wasting all the years from highschool till then working meaningless retail jobs), but I still get to go

    Unless Obama sells out college students at the alter of austerity (which is possible) I get plenty of money for most public universities... until Scott Walker's budget goes into effect and then...

    god damnit why does every level of government hate me

    override367 on
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Well, not impossible I guess. But it's a lot harder for them.

    Pi-r8 on
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    The Bachelors degree lifetime earning edge look a lot less rosy when you factor out engineers and other hard science degrees.


    cracked(I know): actually did a decent coverage of that "Million dollars more thing".

    tinwhiskers on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Adding to what Feral said, I'd like to see a regression study of how much of that extra income comes from college graduates coming from wealthier families. Because a highschool student who's family will put him through college, and a highschool student who's an orphan and can't possibly go to college, are definitely not on an even footing.
    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. For purposes of comparing lifetime income, it's not relevant why someone did/didn't go to college.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Adding to what Feral said, I'd like to see a regression study of how much of that extra income comes from college graduates coming from wealthier families. Because a highschool student who's family will put him through college, and a highschool student who's an orphan and can't possibly go to college, are definitely not on an even footing.
    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. For purposes of comparing lifetime income, it's not relevant why someone did/didn't go to college.

    Basically I want to separate correlation from causation etc. I'm saying that, because of their demographics (wealthier families, more white and asian, did much better in highschool), the people who go to college would probably earn more than the people who don't go to college, even without the college.

    Pi-r8 on
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    MM, some people are born on third base, bro. An overwhelming majority of those kids will both

    A. Go To College
    B. Have a high lifetime earning regardless of whether they go to college

    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    The Bachelors degree lifetime earning edge look a lot less rosy when you factor out engineers and other hard science degrees.


    cracked(I know): actually did a decent coverage of that "Million dollars more thing".

    Is he really contending that a highschool graduate has just as easy a time finding a writing job as a college graduate, in this economy?

    If I'm an employer why would I even look at the resume of non graduates?

    Goddamn this is depressing, I got $11,000 in debt and 2 years to go and these articles are omnipresent. I feel like i have to keep inventing scenarios as to why I should go to school, since really in IT do you even need a degree? My rationale above is what keeps me from just saying fuck it, since I haven't found a way around that: why would anyone hire a non graduate if there's plenty of unemployed graduates?

    override367 on
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    The Bachelors degree lifetime earning edge look a lot less rosy when you factor out engineers and other hard science degrees.


    cracked(I know): actually did a decent coverage of that "Million dollars more thing".

    Is he really contending that a highschool graduate has just as easy a time finding a writing job as a college graduate, in this economy?

    If I'm an employer why would I even look at the resume of non graduates?

    Goddamn this is depressing, I got $11,000 in debt and 2 years to go and these articles are omnipresent. I feel like i have to keep inventing scenarios as to why I should go to school, since really in IT do you even need a degree? My rationale above is what keeps me from just saying fuck it, since I haven't found a way around that: why would anyone hire a non graduate if there's plenty of unemployed graduates?

    11,000 isn't anything as far a debt goes. even if you double it $22k over a 10 year repayment window will be easily manageable.

    Also a MIS degree(4 year IT I'm assuming that's what you're going for) falls under "professional degrees", which generally means its worth getting.

    edit: also I really linked it for the details on the whole "million dollars" thing.

    tinwhiskers on
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    I really think the purpose of gettign some degrees needs to be given more importance when talking to kids about going to college:

    Here's a survey of my roommates from college'/'=double major

    Biology(embryology focus)
    Communications
    History/Art History
    Computer Engineering
    Economics
    Nutrition(dietetics or w/e)
    Philosophy/Psychology
    Graphic Design

    Take some guesses on who is in careers and who is in jobs.

    tinwhiskers on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    Another set of statistics to add to the OP: about a third of all college students don't gain any writing, reasoning, or critical-thinking skills during their four years.
    • 45 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" during the first two years of college.
    • 36 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" over four years of college.

    As a new college educator myself, these numbers terrify me. If my profession can't figure out how to reverse these trends, higher education will be increasingly viewed as a scam.
    I'd argue that a big part of that failure is the fault of the students involved. By the time you enter college, you are an adult and are responsible for your own education and future. If you want to spend your 4 years in college getting drunk and chasing tail, that's your choice. But if you find that you wasted your opportunity to get a meaningful education as a result, it's not the school's fault.

    I see college like any other purchase of goods or services. It is the responsibility of the customer to figure out whether the purchase is a good decision on their part, or whether they would be better served spending the money on something else.

    I haven't read the book in question, but those numbers are pretty tough to evaluate without data from other countries/education systems to compare to. Anyway.

    I do think we've sort of elevated the bachelor's degree as the be-all-end-all of postsecondary education that's necessary for life success, and I don't think that's really a positive thing. Part of the reason so many students "don't care" about their learning is because they see a degree as a required step to a more financially secure life and not much more, and they aren't really wrong.

    If college is meant to function (for a lot of people, anyway) as a sort of surrogate jobs training/life prep program, the first couple years at least ought to be much more invested in getting students to figure out what they actually want to do. The current model encourages traditional students to get their gen ed stuff done early so that they can move on to their major, and in hindsight that seems kind of backwards to me.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    accept your death, and become dangerous
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2011
    Every time I read one of these threads I seriously consider dropping out

    By the time I graduate we'll have 13% unemployment and have to sell Texas to China to pay our debts, who's going to need IT people then?

    Need to just go get a welding technical diploma or something

    Don't we have Mexican robots for that?

    Bagginses on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    The Bachelors degree lifetime earning edge look a lot less rosy when you factor out engineers and other hard science degrees.


    cracked(I know): actually did a decent coverage of that "Million dollars more thing".

    Is he really contending that a highschool graduate has just as easy a time finding a writing job as a college graduate, in this economy?

    If I'm an employer why would I even look at the resume of non graduates?

    Goddamn this is depressing, I got $11,000 in debt and 2 years to go and these articles are omnipresent. I feel like i have to keep inventing scenarios as to why I should go to school, since really in IT do you even need a degree? My rationale above is what keeps me from just saying fuck it, since I haven't found a way around that: why would anyone hire a non graduate if there's plenty of unemployed graduates?

    11,000 isn't anything as far a debt goes. even if you double it $22k over a 10 year repayment window will be easily manageable.

    Also a MIS degree(4 year IT I'm assuming that's what you're going for) falls under "professional degrees", which generally means its worth getting.

    edit: also I really linked it for the details on the whole "million dollars" thing.


    Yea pretty much, although I'm heavily waffling. Taking plenty of electives at community college atm (foreign languages, economics, all the core classes) plus the 2 year IT support associates (which is good for some help desk job somewhere if I can find one and I got 2 great internships out of it), the vast bulk of which is transferable to anything in the UW system
    Bagginses wrote: »
    Every time I read one of these threads I seriously consider dropping out

    By the time I graduate we'll have 13% unemployment and have to sell Texas to China to pay our debts, who's going to need IT people then?

    Need to just go get a welding technical diploma or something

    Don't we have Mexican robots for that?

    Nonsense, China will want to use cheap American labor by that point to both seperate texas from North America, ship it to China, and then attach it to the chinese mainland. Mexico also only produces bending robots

    override367 on
  • big lbig l Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    Another set of statistics to add to the OP: about a third of all college students don't gain any writing, reasoning, or critical-thinking skills during their four years.
    • 45 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" during the first two years of college.
    • 36 percent of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" over four years of college.

    As a new college educator myself, these numbers terrify me. If my profession can't figure out how to reverse these trends, higher education will be increasingly viewed as a scam.
    I'd argue that a big part of that failure is the fault of the students involved. By the time you enter college, you are an adult and are responsible for your own education and future. If you want to spend your 4 years in college getting drunk and chasing tail, that's your choice. But if you find that you wasted your opportunity to get a meaningful education as a result, it's not the school's fault.

    I see college like any other purchase of goods or services. It is the responsibility of the customer to figure out whether the purchase is a good decision on their part, or whether they would be better served spending the money on something else.

    The field of behavioral economics demonstrates pretty clearly that people often make non-rational choices, and that it isn't socialistic government social engineering to guide incentives to encourage better choices.

    big l on
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Bagginses wrote: »
    Every time I read one of these threads I seriously consider dropping out

    By the time I graduate we'll have 13% unemployment and have to sell Texas to China to pay our debts, who's going to need IT people then?

    Need to just go get a welding technical diploma or something

    Don't we have Mexican robots for that?

    Actually skilled trades people are getting harder and harder to find. It's hard, hot and dirty work, but a good welder can pull 40-50k a year in my region, more with OT.

    tinwhiskers on
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The argument ultimately being that individuals shoulder an unfair amount of the cost compared to the value gained by society of having well educated individuals.

    Unfair? Really?

    Education Level vs Average Lifetime Earnings

    No HS diploma: $1 million
    HS diploma, no college: $1.2 million
    Some college: $1.5 million
    Associate's degree: $1.6 million
    Bachelor's degree: $2.1 million
    Master's degree: $2.5 million
    Doctoral degree: $3.4 million
    Professional degree: $4.4 million

    So about $1.1 million more for having a 4-year bachelor's degree than for having a diploma and skipping college. 4 years of public college at the OP's tuition prices comes out to ~$31k for in-state students, and ~$48k for out-of-state students.

    $30-50k in tuition vs $1.1 million in additional career earnings.

    That looks like a pretty good return on investment at an individual level to me.
    Old data. This is coming from people that graduated decades ago. Just because your parents made more with a college degree doesn't mean you will.

    deadonthestreet on
  • DarkDragoonDarkDragoon Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    The department I'm presently working for is about to roll out a new e-text book that would largely cover all of the general book material that the intro level courses would all be based around. The material is also all written by the faculty and grad students, so we are giving it to the students for free. While I understand the flaws in this system, it'd be kind of awesome to do this on a massive scale in the collegiate system at least in terms of lessening the financial burden on the student.

    Also, it'd be awesome to see the GRE told to fuck off. As it presently exists, there's little justification for its existence as long as the general tests are the desired exam while subject specific tests are only accepted in a limited capacity to some schools and not even offered for a large number of specializations.

    DarkDragoon on
    Who was arguing for the sea, and talking about the beach?
    The beach kills sea creatures. It's why we go there. To get naked and watch our enemies die.
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Every time I read one of these threads I seriously consider dropping out

    By the time I graduate we'll have 13% unemployment and have to sell Texas to China to pay our debts, who's going to need IT people then?

    Need to just go get a welding technical diploma or something

    This ought to cheer you up. June unemployment rate, age 25+ by educational attainment:

    Less than a high school diploma: 14.3
    High school graduates, no college: 10.0
    Some college or associate degree: 8.4
    Bachelor's degree and higher: 4.4 (<- not a typo!)

    enc0re on
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2011
    The department I'm presently working for is about to roll out a new e-text book that would largely cover all of the general book material that the intro level courses would all be based around. The material is also all written by the faculty and grad students, so we are giving it to the students for free. While I understand the flaws in this system, it'd be kind of awesome to do this on a massive scale in the collegiate system at least in terms of lessening the financial burden on the student.

    Also, it'd be awesome to see the GRE told to fuck off. As it presently exists, there's little justification for its existence as long as the general tests are the desired exam while subject specific tests are only accepted in a limited capacity to some schools and not even offered for a large number of specializations.

    School tend to vary in rigor, so the GRE is a good way to see whether getting an A at your school actually means anything.

    Bagginses on
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Bagginses wrote: »
    The department I'm presently working for is about to roll out a new e-text book that would largely cover all of the general book material that the intro level courses would all be based around. The material is also all written by the faculty and grad students, so we are giving it to the students for free. While I understand the flaws in this system, it'd be kind of awesome to do this on a massive scale in the collegiate system at least in terms of lessening the financial burden on the student.

    Also, it'd be awesome to see the GRE told to fuck off. As it presently exists, there's little justification for its existence as long as the general tests are the desired exam while subject specific tests are only accepted in a limited capacity to some schools and not even offered for a large number of specializations.

    School tend to vary in rigor, so the GRE is a good way to see whether getting an A at your school actually means anything.

    ...it means that a person happens to be good (or not) at taking the GRE. It's not much more informative than that.

    saggio on
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  • DarkDragoonDarkDragoon Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Bagginses wrote: »
    The department I'm presently working for is about to roll out a new e-text book that would largely cover all of the general book material that the intro level courses would all be based around. The material is also all written by the faculty and grad students, so we are giving it to the students for free. While I understand the flaws in this system, it'd be kind of awesome to do this on a massive scale in the collegiate system at least in terms of lessening the financial burden on the student.

    Also, it'd be awesome to see the GRE told to fuck off. As it presently exists, there's little justification for its existence as long as the general tests are the desired exam while subject specific tests are only accepted in a limited capacity to some schools and not even offered for a large number of specializations.

    School tend to vary in rigor, so the GRE is a good way to see whether getting an A at your school actually means anything.
    The subject tests would work well in this goal, but there's no guarentee that the programs you are interested in will even take it or whether they'll even offer it for your area, and they are also kind of goosey about even WHEN they offer the test.

    Meanwhile, the general test is accepted at virtually any program and is offered multiple times a week, and really doesn't test anything for students who aren't math and lit majors. The only thing you can probably really get a feel on is a students writing ability, and most programs are going to be taking a writing sample to figure that out themselves.

    Sure, you can figure out if the student really EARNED that A in Math 1011 during Freshmen year, but does that really matter for somebody, say, going to get a doctorate in Criminal Justice or something?

    DarkDragoon on
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  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    The argument ultimately being that individuals shoulder an unfair amount of the cost compared to the value gained by society of having well educated individuals.

    Unfair? Really?

    Education Level vs Average Lifetime Earnings

    No HS diploma: $1 million
    HS diploma, no college: $1.2 million
    Some college: $1.5 million
    Associate's degree: $1.6 million
    Bachelor's degree: $2.1 million
    Master's degree: $2.5 million
    Doctoral degree: $3.4 million
    Professional degree: $4.4 million

    So about $1.1 million more for having a 4-year bachelor's degree than for having a diploma and skipping college. 4 years of public college at the OP's tuition prices comes out to ~$31k for in-state students, and ~$48k for out-of-state students.

    $30-50k in tuition vs $1.1 million in additional career earnings.

    That looks like a pretty good return on investment at an individual level to me.

    Ecological fallacy here: just because the average ROI across all bachelor's degrees is $31k:$2.1m doesn't mean that the ROI is the same for all students, institutions, and fields.

    It is unfair to tell kids "If you get a bachelor's degree, you will likely make twice as much over the course of your career" without being honest that many people who get bachelor's degrees don't. To a certain degree, asking kids to pay up front (even on a loan) for a degree in the hopes of hitting it big in the job market is a little like asking children to buy into a lottery.

    We need to mitigate that risk as much as possible (without causing moral hazards, of course), which means we need to subsidize more and distribute the burden on those who did make it.

    That brings us right back to taxing the rich and using the money to pay for education nationally, which is why I want to punch Eric Cantor in the face.

    Getting a degree doesn't mean they will make that extra $1M (or $300k, according to Cracked). But it means they're more likely to.

    Even the art history majors. There might not be many openings for Art Museum Curator, but I bet the openings that do exist require something beyond a HS diploma. The art history major might not get the job, but at least they have a non-zero chance of getting it, as opposed to the diploma-only applicant.


    BTW - I'm not an advocate of "everybody should go to college right after high school". I'm a bigger advocate of increased tech/vocational training, and increased social acceptance of it as an alternative to university. It seems like the only vocational training that's not stigmatized today is training received in the military.

    I just don't think going to college is a bad deal for the college-going population as a whole, financially. Granted, it used to be a better deal than it is now, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad deal now.

    Nor do I think the cost of tuition is an unfair burden on the individual in comparison to the societal benefit of having all college-educated people, given the increased financial opportunities a degree provides an individual as well as the significant amount by which the state already subsidizes college.

    BubbaT on
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    The Bachelors degree lifetime earning edge look a lot less rosy when you factor out engineers and other hard science degrees.


    cracked(I know): actually did a decent coverage of that "Million dollars more thing".

    Is he really contending that a highschool graduate has just as easy a time finding a writing job as a college graduate, in this economy?

    If I'm an employer why would I even look at the resume of non graduates?

    Goddamn this is depressing, I got $11,000 in debt and 2 years to go and these articles are omnipresent. I feel like i have to keep inventing scenarios as to why I should go to school, since really in IT do you even need a degree? My rationale above is what keeps me from just saying fuck it, since I haven't found a way around that: why would anyone hire a non graduate if there's plenty of unemployed graduates?
    If you're really worried, what about switching to a professional degree like accounting? at least pick up a minor or something in it. A professional degree is definitely worth the money. If that's impossible than I would just focus really hard on jobhunting, networking, and doing internships in whatever you want to do, and take the bare minimum course load so you have more time to do that and can maintain a perfect 4.0 gpa.

    Pi-r8 on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    If a company is really concerned that their new hires need to know a particular subject forwards and backwards, they'll just give you their own test.

    Friends don't lie.
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    The U.S. has, I think, the highest college attendance rate in the world. And most of the best schools in the world. These facts alone don't mean hooray-thread-over, but I do often wonder when I hear people throw around claims that the U.S. system separates people into rich and poor or whatever.

  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    Meanwhile, the general test is accepted at virtually any program and is offered multiple times a week, and really doesn't test anything for students who aren't math and lit majors.

    General GRE scores don't mean anything for math people because the curve is off. Most of the computer science grad programs I applied to had their median score for accepted students as an 800 in math, and even the average score was usually 790 or 800. However, the lit and writing scores were useful to the admissions committee, because they can help weed out people who are practically illiterate and make they a decent sanity-check for TOEFL scores.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Yar wrote:
    The U.S. has, I think, the highest college attendance rate in the world. And most of the best schools in the world. These facts alone don't mean hooray-thread-over, but I do often wonder when I hear people throw around claims that the U.S. system separates people into rich and poor or whatever.

    This seems possible without necessarily meaning anything. I've always been confused by the distinction you make between college and university. Over in Australia here it's all just university but I don't know if that actually means anything.

  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    Yar wrote:
    The U.S. has, I think, the highest college attendance rate in the world. And most of the best schools in the world. These facts alone don't mean hooray-thread-over, but I do often wonder when I hear people throw around claims that the U.S. system separates people into rich and poor or whatever.

    This seems possible without necessarily meaning anything. I've always been confused by the distinction you make between college and university. Over in Australia here it's all just university but I don't know if that actually means anything.

    My understanding is that 'college' is just American for 'university'.

    Also, the problem with having the highest college attendance rate is that it devalues higher education. If everyone has a bachelor's degree, than it's meaningless, and everyone has to spend three years of their life getting one whether or not they're actually interested, just to keep up.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Yar wrote:
    The U.S. has, I think, the highest college attendance rate in the world. And most of the best schools in the world. These facts alone don't mean hooray-thread-over, but I do often wonder when I hear people throw around claims that the U.S. system separates people into rich and poor or whatever.

    This seems possible without necessarily meaning anything. I've always been confused by the distinction you make between college and university. Over in Australia here it's all just university but I don't know if that actually means anything.

    My understanding is that 'college' is just American for 'university'.

    Also, the problem with having the highest college attendance rate is that it devalues higher education. If everyone has a bachelor's degree, than it's meaningless, and everyone has to spend three years of their life getting one whether or not they're actually interested, just to keep up.

    Your lack of subsidy in these matters is the real problem here though. There's almost nothing but upside to having a high level of tertiary education amongst the populace for a government and it's citizens, but the issue here is you saddle people with upfront debt that doesn't scale with their income properly.

    In Australia we have the HECS scheme which makes way more sense - you don't make repayments until your income rises above a threshold (36K+ I think) and the level of repayment is again scaled with income.

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