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

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Posts

  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    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.

    As someone who is actually Australian also I agree with this.



    Crimson King on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin 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.

    I think that if you factor in the amount of debt incurred to attend the colleges then those claims become a lot more valid again. Many students are so far in debt they esimply continue schooling to avoid paying for that much longer (incurring more debt) and staying as endless academics.

    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Bagginses wrote:
    There's a fair number of countries out there with free post-secondary education systems. Maybe we should do that.

    Alternately, we could have public schools break off their physics and chemistry departments, as most of the cost inflation is due to those departments needing ever more expensive machinery.


    So, accounting for biology, CS and engineering too since those are also quite equipment intensive, you're basically saying that we should cut out the only non-professional degree departments that actually have a measurable external benefit to society?

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    Bagginses wrote:
    There's a fair number of countries out there with free post-secondary education systems. Maybe we should do that.

    Alternately, we could have public schools break off their physics and chemistry departments, as most of the cost inflation is due to those departments needing ever more expensive machinery.


    So, accounting for biology, CS and engineering too since those are also quite equipment intensive, you're basically saying that we should cut out the only non-professional degree departments that actually have a measurable external benefit to society?

    How would one measure their benefit to society? And the lack of benefit that it seems nearly every other academic discipline has?

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • PopeTiberiiPopeTiberii Registered User
    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.

    I think that if you factor in the amount of debt incurred to attend the colleges then those claims become a lot more valid again. Many students are so far in debt they esimply continue schooling to avoid paying for that much longer (incurring more debt) and staying as endless academics.

    Having worked in higher ed for a bit more than a decade now, I have found it interesting watching the shift of students' reactions to debt. When I started, many students would balk at the very idea of using loan and grant money to pay for their entire tuition and fee bill and would instead often work or use savings to pay a portion of their bills. Nowadays, it seems as though most of the students I talk to are taking out the maximum amount they're allowed by the government in both grants and subsidized and unsubsidized loans, regardless of how much or how little their bill is going to be.

    I spoke with a student the other day who took out almost $10,000 in loans that semester to pay their barely $3,000 tuition bill. The rest of that money? She went to Vegas...

    If these students would simply borrow only what they need instead of what they can, I think we'd see the overall student debt amounts start dropping drastically. It would be nice for a bit of reform in the area of student lending. I don't think it's wise to cut off the ability to take out extra money for living expenses entirely, but do students really need to borrow $7,000 they don't need and will have trouble paying back later?

    steam_sig.png
  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    Bagginses wrote:
    There's a fair number of countries out there with free post-secondary education systems. Maybe we should do that.

    Alternately, we could have public schools break off their physics and chemistry departments, as most of the cost inflation is due to those departments needing ever more expensive machinery.


    So, accounting for biology, CS and engineering too since those are also quite equipment intensive, you're basically saying that we should cut out the only non-professional degree departments that actually have a measurable external benefit to society?

    How would one measure their benefit to society? And the lack of benefit that it seems nearly every other academic discipline has?

    If you don't see the benefit that academic disciplines provide to society, you're not paying attention. Hard sciences, engineering, CS, etc. all have obvious benefits but just think about how, say, some knowledge of rhetoric, political science, and performance studies might help a voter make meaningful distinctions when watching a presidential debate.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular

    2) I'm going to University now for a Middle Eastern/Central Asian History Degree and have plans to go to grad school as well. My goal is to become a Historian/Professor. While its for the long haul and I'm paying my own way in this though my savings and help from family, I feel more confident that I'm getting a degree rather than just a diploma. I found that the skills I learn in College helped me a bit, but it was something which I wouldn't advise again.
    Nothing wrong with that plan of course. But if the only job that you can get with a degree in some fields is professor, than we need to admit that there's a ponzy scheme going on. The more academic fields only survive with lots of students studying them trying to become professors, but only a small fraction of them can actually become professors.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 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'.
    Sort of. In casual conversation everyone just says "college", and no one ever says "I go to university". But technically a university is divided into separate colleges for different fields, like the Liberal Arts college, the college of law, nursing, etc. And when you apply for the university you choose a college, and you usually can't take classes in the other colleges without special permission.

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:

    2) I'm going to University now for a Middle Eastern/Central Asian History Degree and have plans to go to grad school as well. My goal is to become a Historian/Professor. While its for the long haul and I'm paying my own way in this though my savings and help from family, I feel more confident that I'm getting a degree rather than just a diploma. I found that the skills I learn in College helped me a bit, but it was something which I wouldn't advise again.
    Nothing wrong with that plan of course. But if the only job that you can get with a degree in some fields is professor, than we need to admit that there's a ponzy scheme going on. The more academic fields only survive with lots of students studying them trying to become professors, but only a small fraction of them can actually become professors.

    How is that the only possible job (s)he could get? Intelligence communities, think tanks, etc. could use someone with those skills. I studied Anthropology with an emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa and could have chosen to work in formal academia, for the CIA, hell even as an expert for businesses looking to expand in those regions had I chosen to focus on business anthropology there.

    I can't think of a single field of study (excepting something truly bizarre that a decent school would not provide) in which one can only become a professor with a degree in that field.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    sanstodo wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:

    2) I'm going to University now for a Middle Eastern/Central Asian History Degree and have plans to go to grad school as well. My goal is to become a Historian/Professor. While its for the long haul and I'm paying my own way in this though my savings and help from family, I feel more confident that I'm getting a degree rather than just a diploma. I found that the skills I learn in College helped me a bit, but it was something which I wouldn't advise again.
    Nothing wrong with that plan of course. But if the only job that you can get with a degree in some fields is professor, than we need to admit that there's a ponzy scheme going on. The more academic fields only survive with lots of students studying them trying to become professors, but only a small fraction of them can actually become professors.

    How is that the only possible job (s)he could get? Intelligence communities, think tanks, etc. could use someone with those skills. I studied Anthropology with an emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa and could have chosen to work in formal academia, for the CIA, hell even as an expert for businesses looking to expand in those regions had I chosen to focus on business anthropology there.

    I can't think of a single field of study (excepting something truly bizarre that a decent school would not provide) in which one can only become a professor with a degree in that field.

    Well sure, these days there's a lot of demand for middle eastern studies. But general history degrees? sociology, poetry, philosophy? "philosopher" isn't really a job you can get paid for. And my anecdotal experience with PhD students is that the majority of them just want to become professors.

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    sanstodo wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:

    2) I'm going to University now for a Middle Eastern/Central Asian History Degree and have plans to go to grad school as well. My goal is to become a Historian/Professor. While its for the long haul and I'm paying my own way in this though my savings and help from family, I feel more confident that I'm getting a degree rather than just a diploma. I found that the skills I learn in College helped me a bit, but it was something which I wouldn't advise again.
    Nothing wrong with that plan of course. But if the only job that you can get with a degree in some fields is professor, than we need to admit that there's a ponzy scheme going on. The more academic fields only survive with lots of students studying them trying to become professors, but only a small fraction of them can actually become professors.

    How is that the only possible job (s)he could get? Intelligence communities, think tanks, etc. could use someone with those skills. I studied Anthropology with an emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa and could have chosen to work in formal academia, for the CIA, hell even as an expert for businesses looking to expand in those regions had I chosen to focus on business anthropology there.

    I can't think of a single field of study (excepting something truly bizarre that a decent school would not provide) in which one can only become a professor with a degree in that field.

    Well sure, these days there's a lot of demand for middle eastern studies. But general history degrees? sociology, poetry, philosophy? "philosopher" isn't really a job you can get paid for. And my anecdotal experience with PhD students is that the majority of them just want to become professors.

    History degrees are extraordinarily flexible; lots of my pre-law students are history majors. You can use that for just about anything that requires the capacity to research and analyze the past (meaning, a ton of jobs). Sociology is as flexible as an anthro degree. Almost no one majors in poetry; they get an English degree. English degrees are similarly flexible. It's useful for anything from advertising to law. Philosophy is incredibly useful as well. If you can't see how a philosophy degree might help, say, a business person, you're not thinking deeply.

    You're also thinking about a liberal arts degree as a technical degree. It's not and should not be treated as such. They're not for everyone but to those who take their studies seriously, any field can yield insights and expertise applicable to every aspect of life, including but not limited to work.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    sanstodo wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    sanstodo wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:

    2) I'm going to University now for a Middle Eastern/Central Asian History Degree and have plans to go to grad school as well. My goal is to become a Historian/Professor. While its for the long haul and I'm paying my own way in this though my savings and help from family, I feel more confident that I'm getting a degree rather than just a diploma. I found that the skills I learn in College helped me a bit, but it was something which I wouldn't advise again.
    Nothing wrong with that plan of course. But if the only job that you can get with a degree in some fields is professor, than we need to admit that there's a ponzy scheme going on. The more academic fields only survive with lots of students studying them trying to become professors, but only a small fraction of them can actually become professors.

    How is that the only possible job (s)he could get? Intelligence communities, think tanks, etc. could use someone with those skills. I studied Anthropology with an emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa and could have chosen to work in formal academia, for the CIA, hell even as an expert for businesses looking to expand in those regions had I chosen to focus on business anthropology there.

    I can't think of a single field of study (excepting something truly bizarre that a decent school would not provide) in which one can only become a professor with a degree in that field.

    Well sure, these days there's a lot of demand for middle eastern studies. But general history degrees? sociology, poetry, philosophy? "philosopher" isn't really a job you can get paid for. And my anecdotal experience with PhD students is that the majority of them just want to become professors.

    History degrees are extraordinarily flexible; lots of my pre-law students are history majors. You can use that for just about anything that requires the capacity to research and analyze the past (meaning, a ton of jobs). Sociology is as flexible as an anthro degree. Almost no one majors in poetry; they get an English degree. English degrees are similarly flexible. It's useful for anything from advertising to law. Philosophy is incredibly useful as well. If you can't see how a philosophy degree might help, say, a business person, you're not thinking deeply.

    You're also thinking about a liberal arts degree as a technical degree. It's not and should not be treated as such. They're not for everyone but to those who take their studies seriously, any field can yield insights and expertise applicable to every aspect of life, including but not limited to work.

    Look, I mostly agree with you! I think liberal arts degrees are great. I wish everyone had one, because they're of enormous benefit to society. I just don't think that they're the solution to getting more and better jobs. I thought it was common knowledge that a liberal arts degree is not the way to go if you're worried about making money.

  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    I'm glad you have all those numbers, but what accounts for the increase in tuition?

    Throwing numbers around is great for sensationalism, but to play devil's advocate maybe those price increases are warranted. Maybe America's university system can't give the education it gives to the people it gives without those increases.

    This is definitely part of the cost inflation universities have seen. There's been a substantial increase in the services college is expected to provide, which means there's been a substantial increase in support staff needed to provide those services.

    For example, 30 years ago a college might have had a computer lab or something for students. Today that same college would be expected to provide a full-blown campus network, requiring an entire IT support staff.

    The school would also be expected to provide a full-blown tutoring service to help struggling students. There's much less of a sink-or-swim approach these days. You need additional staff for that too.

    And then there's a seemingly never-ending stream of accountability/compliance demands, which needs even more staff to cut through. You need entire administrative sections tracking outcomes, assessment, sustainability, diversity, and disability if you want to keep your accreditation.

    The Financial Aid Office, in particular, is caught in a nice little vicious cycle. The use of financial aid has increased significantly, which means the FAO needs more staff to ensure compliance with financial aid regulations. That increased staff increases the school's costs, which forces them to raise tuition, which forces more students to apply for financial aid.


    And because colleges are a labor-intensive personal-service industry, they fall prey to Baumol's Cost Disease. There's a better explanation of BCD at
    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/07/07/030707ta_talk_surowiecki
    but basically education is an industry where it's difficult to increase productivity without lowering quality. For example, you could increase a professor's productivity by simply increasing class sizes, but then you lower the quality of instruction provided to the student/consumer.

    Many of the functions provided by the school either can't be automated, or their automation is not desired by the consumer. How many students, when calling the FAO, would rather hear "For English, Press 1 now" than be connected to an actual person? I'm betting not many. A student taking French 301-A is going to want an actual human teacher, rather than just being sat in front of a computer running Rosetta Stone for a semester.

  • mcdermottmcdermott 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.

    I think that if you factor in the amount of debt incurred to attend the colleges then those claims become a lot more valid again. Many students are so far in debt they esimply continue schooling to avoid paying for that much longer (incurring more debt) and staying as endless academics.

    Having worked in higher ed for a bit more than a decade now, I have found it interesting watching the shift of students' reactions to debt. When I started, many students would balk at the very idea of using loan and grant money to pay for their entire tuition and fee bill and would instead often work or use savings to pay a portion of their bills. Nowadays, it seems as though most of the students I talk to are taking out the maximum amount they're allowed by the government in both grants and subsidized and unsubsidized loans, regardless of how much or how little their bill is going to be.

    I spoke with a student the other day who took out almost $10,000 in loans that semester to pay their barely $3,000 tuition bill. The rest of that money? She went to Vegas...

    If these students would simply borrow only what they need instead of what they can, I think we'd see the overall student debt amounts start dropping drastically. It would be nice for a bit of reform in the area of student lending. I don't think it's wise to cut off the ability to take out extra money for living expenses entirely, but do students really need to borrow $7,000 they don't need and will have trouble paying back later?

    Well, in theory that money is offered because it's needed. The amount offered, in general, is based on cost of attendance and expected family (or financial?) contribution. It may not be a strict X-Y calculation, but they don't just drop money bombs on people for fun. I can't be the only person who actually had their financial aid reduced, money taken back, or had to go begging to the financial aid office because my income was higher last year (and my aid was based on that W-2) but what I got this semester ain't gonna cover ramen.

    But yes, I took the max every year. Because, particularly in the case of subsidized loans, you're never going to get a loan offer that good again (unless you don't need a loan...the ol' credit paradox). As long as you're not wasting in in Vegas (I'd be curious to know the full story there), and hopefully you're setting yourself up with some actual possessions for the future (things like furniture, a car, etc.), then of course you should take the max.

    Oh, and that $3K tuition bill for your Vegas-bound student? That absolutely cannot be including room and board, so maybe you might want to consider that all $7K didn't go towards the Rain Man suite.

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    Look, I mostly agree with you! I think liberal arts degrees are great. I wish everyone had one, because they're of enormous benefit to society. I just don't think that they're the solution to getting more and better jobs. I thought it was common knowledge that a liberal arts degree is not the way to go if you're worried about making money.

    If you're worried about making money and don't see how a liberal arts degree can help, then you're not thinking creatively. My degree in anthropology has been invaluable despite the fact that I don't do anthropology at all. Sure, I might make more right now at the beginning of my career if I had chosen to go into engineering, but I'll probably end up making more in the end if I work hard on my current career arc. Careers aren't straight lines anymore.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    sanstodo wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    Look, I mostly agree with you! I think liberal arts degrees are great. I wish everyone had one, because they're of enormous benefit to society. I just don't think that they're the solution to getting more and better jobs. I thought it was common knowledge that a liberal arts degree is not the way to go if you're worried about making money.

    If you're worried about making money and don't see how a liberal arts degree can help, then you're not thinking creatively. My degree in anthropology has been invaluable despite the fact that I don't do anthropology at all. Sure, I might make more right now at the beginning of my career if I had chosen to go into engineering, but I'll probably end up making more in the end if I work hard on my current career arc. Careers aren't straight lines anymore.
    Well, maybe you'll be able to get another job later at a much higher salary. Most people don't though, so the odds are against you.

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    sanstodo wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    Look, I mostly agree with you! I think liberal arts degrees are great. I wish everyone had one, because they're of enormous benefit to society. I just don't think that they're the solution to getting more and better jobs. I thought it was common knowledge that a liberal arts degree is not the way to go if you're worried about making money.

    If you're worried about making money and don't see how a liberal arts degree can help, then you're not thinking creatively. My degree in anthropology has been invaluable despite the fact that I don't do anthropology at all. Sure, I might make more right now at the beginning of my career if I had chosen to go into engineering, but I'll probably end up making more in the end if I work hard on my current career arc. Careers aren't straight lines anymore.
    Well, maybe you'll be able to get another job later at a much higher salary. Most people don't though, so the odds are against you.

    It's not about "getting" a job, it's about making a job. Knowing how to learn, how to navigate institutions and structures, is far more valuable in the long-run than any specific skill for those in non-technical fields. Sure, it's not guaranteed for anyone (and I've found from teaching that most students feel entitled to great jobs, rather than understanding that they have to earn those jobs) but there are ways if you're resourceful and creative.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    sanstodo wrote:
    It's not about "getting" a job, it's about making a job. Knowing how to learn, how to navigate institutions and structures, is far more valuable in the long-run than any specific skill for those in non-technical fields. Sure, it's not guaranteed for anyone (and I've found from teaching that most students feel entitled to great jobs, rather than understanding that they have to earn those jobs) but there are ways if you're resourceful and creative.
    So, not everyone can get a good job, but a select few can fight their way to the top? Yeah, OK. I know. That sucks.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Since people quoted me, I'm not looking to educate my self for a "job". I'm looking to do it because I enjoy being educated and educating others. My education does not end in a "job" but with what I make of it. Thus if I get a "job" teaching history, then yes its good but it isn't my goal. My goal it to be a historian and do research which I enjoy.

    IT Diplomas I did was because of a job. I'm doing History because I want to make something of myself and leave a name for myself.

    For what it's worth, I believe the government should give everyone a small income so that people like you can do what you enjoy, and generally improve society, without having to worry about finding a way to survive while doing it.

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    sanstodo wrote:
    It's not about "getting" a job, it's about making a job. Knowing how to learn, how to navigate institutions and structures, is far more valuable in the long-run than any specific skill for those in non-technical fields. Sure, it's not guaranteed for anyone (and I've found from teaching that most students feel entitled to great jobs, rather than understanding that they have to earn those jobs) but there are ways if you're resourceful and creative.
    So, not everyone can get a good job, but a select few can fight their way to the top? Yeah, OK. I know. That sucks.

    That's not what I said at all. It's not about climbing ladders or fighting to the top. It's about using your education and intelligence to create the life you want. If that involves earning as much money as possible, so be it. If non-monetary rewards matter more to you, so be it. Having a liberal arts degree helps you understand not only how to achieve your goals, but to discover what your goals actually are.

    sanstodo on
  • SavdecSavdec Registered User
    sanstodo wrote:

    You're also thinking about a liberal arts degree as a technical degree. It's not and should not be treated as such. They're not for everyone but to those who take their studies seriously, any field can yield insights and expertise applicable to every aspect of life, including but not limited to work.

    Maybe I misread him, but I think he meant that going to grad schools in these fields winds up being useless for anyone not into academia, which is a fair enough thing to say. I mean, you could swing it if you're good at selling yourself, but to the average job-seeker it's just 6 years of delayed life. Which is a flaw, especially considering the whole continuing school because the economy sucks trend we're seeing.

    NOTE TO INVADING ALIENS: Avoid this town. (Like this town avoided us.)
  • override367override367 ALL minions 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.

    This is what we need

    The biggest problems with loans and higher ed is that there's no real safety net if your degree doesn't pay off - you'll be paying 30% of your salary as a full time wal-mart security guard to the government forever, and how easy it is for poor academics to keep getting money rather than being told by the school that it isn't the place for them.

    As a professional (i've been paid to do it for 2 years I can say that right?) tutor I've seen so many students that aren't cut out for college, and I can't tell them that.

  • PopeTiberiiPopeTiberii Registered User
    edited July 2011
    mcdermott wrote:
    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.

    I think that if you factor in the amount of debt incurred to attend the colleges then those claims become a lot more valid again. Many students are so far in debt they esimply continue schooling to avoid paying for that much longer (incurring more debt) and staying as endless academics.

    Having worked in higher ed for a bit more than a decade now, I have found it interesting watching the shift of students' reactions to debt. When I started, many students would balk at the very idea of using loan and grant money to pay for their entire tuition and fee bill and would instead often work or use savings to pay a portion of their bills. Nowadays, it seems as though most of the students I talk to are taking out the maximum amount they're allowed by the government in both grants and subsidized and unsubsidized loans, regardless of how much or how little their bill is going to be.

    I spoke with a student the other day who took out almost $10,000 in loans that semester to pay their barely $3,000 tuition bill. The rest of that money? She went to Vegas...

    If these students would simply borrow only what they need instead of what they can, I think we'd see the overall student debt amounts start dropping drastically. It would be nice for a bit of reform in the area of student lending. I don't think it's wise to cut off the ability to take out extra money for living expenses entirely, but do students really need to borrow $7,000 they don't need and will have trouble paying back later?

    Well, in theory that money is offered because it's needed. The amount offered, in general, is based on cost of attendance and expected family (or financial?) contribution. It may not be a strict X-Y calculation, but they don't just drop money bombs on people for fun. I can't be the only person who actually had their financial aid reduced, money taken back, or had to go begging to the financial aid office because my income was higher last year (and my aid was based on that W-2) but what I got this semester ain't gonna cover ramen.

    But yes, I took the max every year. Because, particularly in the case of subsidized loans, you're never going to get a loan offer that good again (unless you don't need a loan...the ol' credit paradox). As long as you're not wasting in in Vegas (I'd be curious to know the full story there), and hopefully you're setting yourself up with some actual possessions for the future (things like furniture, a car, etc.), then of course you should take the max.

    Oh, and that $3K tuition bill for your Vegas-bound student? That absolutely cannot be including room and board, so maybe you might want to consider that all $7K didn't go towards the Rain Man suite.

    Absolutely; I understand that loans should be offered to assist with room and board and whatnot. I also understand that not all the overage on the loans go to frivolous nonsense. I too remember having my EFC shoot through the roof and suddenly the maximum I could take couldn't even cover the tuition bill one year... It's not a good feeling. I did not mean to imply all payment over the tuition bill was frivolous or should be abandoned, and I apologize if that is how I came across. When I said to borrow what they need rather than what they can, I meant that to include housing and other necessary costs.

    Perhaps my issue is more with attitudes than amounts. I see more students looking at loans as free money rather than a debt burden that will have to be paid back. The Vegas-bound student, for example. I have other students who continue to stay registered for dissertation credits (and make minimal progress) to take out additional loans and defer their undergrad loans as long as possible. Soon enough, they'll end up being dismissed for lack of satisfactory academic progress.

    I don't know what the best answer is to these loan woes, but it seems to me some sort of change is needed both at the university level and at the government loan level.

    EDIT:
    The biggest problems with loans and higher ed is that there's no real safety net if your degree doesn't pay off - you'll be paying 30% of your salary as a full time wal-mart security guard to the government forever, and how easy it is for poor academics to keep getting money rather than being told by the school that it isn't the place for them.

    As a professional (i've been paid to do it for 2 years I can say that right?) tutor I've seen so many students that aren't cut out for college, and I can't tell them that.

    I think this may be a part of my problem with the loans. Universities need to follow the satisfactory academic progress rules, but students who really don't belong in the university can take out these loans and then fail out of three full-time semesters before being dismissed. It ends up being a ton of money taken out for absolutely zero return on the investment.

    PopeTiberii on
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  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    saggio wrote:
    Grade inflation, outside of places like Reed College or Deep Springs, is rampant and totally diminishes the value of Bachelor's degrees.

    False. Here's an article that explains why: http://www.slate.com/id/2071759/

    Although I do agree that the overwhelming focus on grades these days is silly and counterproductive.
    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.

    I don't find this too surprising. I know of whole programs that don't teach students anything more than how to memorize a list of material off of powerpoint slides and fill out scantrons. Some of them are even fully online, so you don't even have to read it beforehand! You can just look it up when you need it on the test (or get your buddy to take the test for you)!

    Edit: Also, I wonder how many of those 36% actually graduated.

    Marty81 on
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    Bagginses wrote:
    There's a fair number of countries out there with free post-secondary education systems. Maybe we should do that.

    Alternately, we could have public schools break off their physics and chemistry departments, as most of the cost inflation is due to those departments needing ever more expensive machinery.


    So, accounting for biology, CS and engineering too since those are also quite equipment intensive, you're basically saying that we should cut out the only non-professional degree departments that actually have a measurable external benefit to society?

    Actually, I just meant that those sections could simply break off so that the most expensive majors have to pay their weight instead of being subsidized by the general school tuition.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    Marty81 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.
    I don't find this too surprising. I know of whole programs that don't teach students anything more than how to memorize a list of material off of powerpoint slides and fill out scantrons.
    In fairness, scantrons may lead to better critical reasoning skills than short answer questions. Its really not that easy to work out the right answers to the test when all you have is the test questions and multiple choice answers and whatever you happened to pick up while you weren't sleeping on the few days that you attended class. Turns out that's not as easy as it sounds.

    As far as department budgets go: there is usually a clearly traceable relationship between the hard sciences and things that can make money (ie: patents). I doubt the same is true of the liberal arts. To put that another way: as a school you want alumni who will give you money. Last I checked the hard sciences were leading the pack by a big margin in average income (and it stays that way too). In fairness, I should admit that this is driven higher than it should be by engineers and computer science majors, but it seems to hold even after you remove those. That would seem to imply (at least without having giving rates by major) that hard science alumni are more valuable to a university. You don't get those folks without spending some money on reasonably up to date equipment.

    That said, I'm fine with the hard science majors paying directly for their major. So long as the budget for the hard sciences is entirely separate. If the hard sciences get a grant, it stays in the sciences. If they get a donation, the school gets 0%. If they get revenue from patents, the liberal arts get nothing. The hard sciences purchase some computers for research then decide they're done with them, they keep all proceeds from selling them. Willing to do that and I'm all for it. But I don't think that's a road that anyone actually wants to go down, because no one wants to find out which side subsides the other. Note: there's an argument to be made for shared resources that I'm not addressing. Mostly because the solutions seem straight forward.

  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Marty81 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.

    I don't find this too surprising. I know of whole programs that don't teach students anything more than how to memorize a list of material off of powerpoint slides and fill out scantrons. Some of them are even fully online, so you don't even have to read it beforehand! You can just look it up when you need it on the test (or get your buddy to take the test for you)!

    The researchers studied all sorts of institutions, from Ivy League schools to public flagship universities to small liberal arts colleges to community colleges.

    While there was some variation depending on the institution, the numbers were pretty close to that 45% and 36% across all kinds of institutions. It doesn't matter where you go: nearly a third of all students at any college or university develop no additional skills in four years.

    What does make a significant difference is your choice of major. Business and education majors are among those who severely bring down the average, while liberal arts majors are much more likely than average to show significant improvement across four years.

    Edit: And I could be wrong, but IIRC they only included graduating seniors in the "after four years" crowd.

    Hedgethorn on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA 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.

    I think that if you factor in the amount of debt incurred to attend the colleges then those claims become a lot more valid again. Many students are so far in debt they esimply continue schooling to avoid paying for that much longer (incurring more debt) and staying as endless academics.
    If these students would simply borrow only what they need instead of what they can, I think we'd see the overall student debt amounts start dropping drastically. It would be nice for a bit of reform in the area of student lending. I don't think it's wise to cut off the ability to take out extra money for living expenses entirely, but do students really need to borrow $7,000 they don't need and will have trouble paying back later?

    The problem here is the loaners have no issue with overloaning because the government guarantees their loan. They don't really care if the student can pay it back because it's guaranteed 100% profit on student loans, and you can't clear student loans with bankruptcy either. So the loan is guaranteed as soon as they hand it out, no risk at all. Which is stupid.

  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
    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.

    I think that if you factor in the amount of debt incurred to attend the colleges then those claims become a lot more valid again. Many students are so far in debt they esimply continue schooling to avoid paying for that much longer (incurring more debt) and staying as endless academics.

    Having worked in higher ed for a bit more than a decade now, I have found it interesting watching the shift of students' reactions to debt. When I started, many students would balk at the very idea of using loan and grant money to pay for their entire tuition and fee bill and would instead often work or use savings to pay a portion of their bills. Nowadays, it seems as though most of the students I talk to are taking out the maximum amount they're allowed by the government in both grants and subsidized and unsubsidized loans, regardless of how much or how little their bill is going to be.

    I spoke with a student the other day who took out almost $10,000 in loans that semester to pay their barely $3,000 tuition bill. The rest of that money? She went to Vegas...

    If these students would simply borrow only what they need instead of what they can, I think we'd see the overall student debt amounts start dropping drastically. It would be nice for a bit of reform in the area of student lending. I don't think it's wise to cut off the ability to take out extra money for living expenses entirely, but do students really need to borrow $7,000 they don't need and will have trouble paying back later?

    The way I understand how some of the loans work is that you have to take the full amount offered, at least that is what is happening this next semester with my girlfriend. She either accepts the given financial aid or refutes all of it. So she is essentially getting back like four thousand dollars in cash, even though she absolutely does not want it.

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  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    Savdec wrote:
    sanstodo wrote:

    You're also thinking about a liberal arts degree as a technical degree. It's not and should not be treated as such. They're not for everyone but to those who take their studies seriously, any field can yield insights and expertise applicable to every aspect of life, including but not limited to work.

    Maybe I misread him, but I think he meant that going to grad schools in these fields winds up being useless for anyone not into academia, which is a fair enough thing to say. I mean, you could swing it if you're good at selling yourself, but to the average job-seeker it's just 6 years of delayed life. Which is a flaw, especially considering the whole continuing school because the economy sucks trend we're seeing.

    That's because most graduate programs are not job training programs (law, medical, business, engineering, CS, etc. being obvious exceptions). They are meant to train people who are going to contribute to the academy. That usually consists of academic work, although there are other options as well (i.e. using an advanced degree in political science as an analyst for the CIA).

    Also, if you want to get a graduate degree, you are automatically not the average job-seeker. If you are an average job-seeker, why on earth are you getting a graduate degree? That's a failure on the student's part.

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    it is pretty weird that the US has (or at least seems to, I don't know general numbers to compare it to) one of the highest rates of tertiary education attendance in the world with little financial assistance

    what are the specifics of your student loans? Here in NZ if you qualify for uni you get enough loans to cover your tuition, up to $1000/year for course related costs, and ~$160/week (determined by CPI) living allowance. That stays interest free as long as you stay within NZ for at least 6 months out of every year (to try and keep graduates in the country), and if your parents make under a certain amount or you're older than 23 some of the living allowance just gets straight up paid to you, not added to the loan.
    Or you're a farmer's son with a decent accountant and even though they made $100k last year it gets made to look like half of that and you get the allowance anyway.

  • PopeTiberiiPopeTiberii Registered User
    edited July 2011
    CasedOut wrote:
    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.

    I think that if you factor in the amount of debt incurred to attend the colleges then those claims become a lot more valid again. Many students are so far in debt they esimply continue schooling to avoid paying for that much longer (incurring more debt) and staying as endless academics.

    Having worked in higher ed for a bit more than a decade now, I have found it interesting watching the shift of students' reactions to debt. When I started, many students would balk at the very idea of using loan and grant money to pay for their entire tuition and fee bill and would instead often work or use savings to pay a portion of their bills. Nowadays, it seems as though most of the students I talk to are taking out the maximum amount they're allowed by the government in both grants and subsidized and unsubsidized loans, regardless of how much or how little their bill is going to be.

    I spoke with a student the other day who took out almost $10,000 in loans that semester to pay their barely $3,000 tuition bill. The rest of that money? She went to Vegas...

    If these students would simply borrow only what they need instead of what they can, I think we'd see the overall student debt amounts start dropping drastically. It would be nice for a bit of reform in the area of student lending. I don't think it's wise to cut off the ability to take out extra money for living expenses entirely, but do students really need to borrow $7,000 they don't need and will have trouble paying back later?

    The way I understand how some of the loans work is that you have to take the full amount offered, at least that is what is happening this next semester with my girlfriend. She either accepts the given financial aid or refutes all of it. So she is essentially getting back like four thousand dollars in cash, even though she absolutely does not want it.

    Maybe it's a university policy thing, then. I know I've been able to request less than the full amount each semester of my education. The FA office usually asks whether you want just enough to cover the bill, the full amount, or some other amount. You have to write up and sign a letter if you want less than the full amount, but they have no problem getting that set up.

    PopeTiberii on
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  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Dear techy people,

    The Final Solution to the humanities problem will never be achieved. That girl/guy who finds math boring, reads a lot and just isn't into business or science is not going to go into engineering, no matter how many charts you give her. Unless you cull that personality type from humanity, there will always be a market for humanities degree.

    And you know what? Those people are still fucking smart for going to college. They don't make as much money as some in other fields and have a higher unemployment rate compared to business and computer science majors, but they are still doing a fuckton better than their non-college educated cohorts. And since there are a ton of folks with humanities degrees working in practically every field, it's not like it's a particularly limiting degree.

    It is still a rational decision to go to college, no matter what degree you come out with. Some have more value added than others, but this isn't just about economics. There are certain personality types, even among very intelligent people, that will gravitate toward the types of things humanities study - literature, history, government, art, philosophy, music, drama, religion, etc. That's been true pretty much since we built the first city.

    And since the culture among majors like art, English, medieval history, etc. are upfront about the fact that they're not the keys to the yacht and mansion or even guaranteed employment in the chosen field, it's not like people are going in blind.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    [

    I spoke with a student the other day who took out almost $10,000 in loans that semester to pay their barely $3,000 tuition bill. The rest of that money? She went to Vegas...

    If these students would simply borrow only what they need instead of what they can, I think we'd see the overall student debt amounts start dropping drastically. It would be nice for a bit of reform in the area of student lending. I don't think it's wise to cut off the ability to take out extra money for living expenses entirely, but do students really need to borrow $7,000 they don't need and will have trouble paying back later?

    Financial aid is a problem, because you are effectively giving a multi-thousand dollar check of "free money" to a teenager. That's undeniable. There's just not enough awareness among students about what that means at that age.

    There's a reason schools don't filter it through parents, though. Students are adults, and there is a long history behind the decisions to make this the student's decision - parents are not necessarily any more trustworthy than students.

    You also can't ration it too strictly, as there are a ton of variations in student situation, and there will always be a need to help students balance the cost of classes, living expenses and housing against the low-paid part-time jobs students usually take. Doesn't help that even having a college can drive up the cost of living in a community.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Syrdon wrote:
    As far as department budgets go: there is usually a clearly traceable relationship between the hard sciences and things that can make money (ie: patents). I doubt the same is true of the liberal arts. To put that another way: as a school you want alumni who will give you money. Last I checked the hard sciences were leading the pack by a big margin in average income (and it stays that way too). In fairness, I should admit that this is driven higher than it should be by engineers and computer science majors, but it seems to hold even after you remove those. That would seem to imply (at least without having giving rates by major) that hard science alumni are more valuable to a university. You don't get those folks without spending some money on reasonably up to date equipment.

    That said, I'm fine with the hard science majors paying directly for their major. So long as the budget for the hard sciences is entirely separate. If the hard sciences get a grant, it stays in the sciences. If they get a donation, the school gets 0%. If they get revenue from patents, the liberal arts get nothing. The hard sciences purchase some computers for research then decide they're done with them, they keep all proceeds from selling them. Willing to do that and I'm all for it. But I don't think that's a road that anyone actually wants to go down, because no one wants to find out which side subsides the other. Note: there's an argument to be made for shared resources that I'm not addressing. Mostly because the solutions seem straight forward.

    I'll point out again that at least at my university, students in the hard science and engineering programs did pay a premium on their tuition. Hundreds of dollars a semester. And I'll agree that it's not nearly as clear which direction that subsidy runs as some want to make it sound.
    And you know what? Those people are still fucking smart for going to college. They don't make as much money as some in other fields and have a higher unemployment rate compared to business and computer science majors, but they are still doing a fuckton better than their non-college educated cohorts. And since there are a ton of folks with humanities degrees working in practically every field, it's not like it's a particularly limiting degree.

    It is still a rational decision to go to college, no matter what degree you come out with. Some have more value added than others, but this isn't just about economics. There are certain personality types, even among very intelligent people, that will gravitate toward the types of things humanities study - literature, history, government, art, philosophy, music, drama, religion, etc. That's been true pretty much since we built the first city.

    And since the culture among majors like art, English, medieval history, etc. are upfront about the fact that they're not the keys to the yacht and mansion or even guaranteed employment in the chosen field, it's not like people are going in blind.

    This is all true. And honestly, despite my engineering degree I am one of those types. I wish I'd had more time in school to study outside my major, and it's part of why I really hated my gen-ed requirements...not because I had to venture outside my program but because they severely limited how I was allowed to do so. I'd have greatly enjoyed more freedom to take a couple follow-on humanities courses, rather then yet another intro to blah blah blah to check the right box.

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    Books! Why does a textbook cost $Texas?
    Welcome to the world of textbook pricing, where, it would seem, the usual market forces don't apply. The textbook market in no way resembles the trade book market, in which the same person - the consumer - desires the book (the new War and Peace, the latest diet guide or whatever), acquires it, and pays for it, so that price points and competition are crucial. What the textbook market resembles most is the market for health care, in which one entity (the physician/the professor) desires - that is, assigns or prescribes - the product, a second entity (the patient/the student) consumes it, and a third set of entities (insurance companies/parents) foot the bill. Spiraling prices for textbooks, like spiraling medical costs, seem to be the inevitable result. A General Accounting Office report in 2005 noted that textbook prices rose 186 percent in the U.S. from 1986 to 2004, compared to only a 3 percent rise in other prices over the same period and a 7 percent rise in average college tuition and fees. The seemingly out-of-control price increases have prompted laws in six states and pending bills in at least four others - plus a measure passed by the House of Representatives on Feb. 7 - that aim to regulate the way in which textbooks are marketed so as to lower costs to students.

    In other words, the invisible hand of the Free Market is busy sticking its fingers in the urethras of people who need to spend money (for school) to make money (to get a degree for a job).

    I felt I should talk about this. While university textbook prices are climbing, textbook editors are not rolling in dough. Quite the opposite, in fact, their profits have been going down. Why? Two reasons: photocopying and used bookstores.

    One key difference between reading a textbook and reading a regular book is that in the textbook case, you're surrounded by people reading the same textbook as you. It's easy for someone to borrow the textbook and make a bad but readable photocopy. And it's impossible for textbook companies to compete with the price of 5¢ per two-page and free labour. It's not legal, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

    The second difference is used bookstores. And I don't mean students selling their books to other students, I mean campus stores. A growing number of them are genuine businesses. Ever wondered how they seem to have shelves full of copies of the same textbook in new condition? Well, they figured out that when a new edition of a textbook comes out, they can buy up all the copies of the old edition for cheap and sell them as new-quality used books at nearly full price. They have books for years to come while sales of the new edition slump.

    As a result, textbook editors find that their sales are much below what they should be. Their textbook can be required for a class of 150 students and they'll be lucky to sell three copies. This is not the oil industry, that's making record profits quarter after quarter while still raising their prices to gouge on customers and demanding tax breaks and bailout money from the government. This is an industry that is genuinely struggling right now.

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  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    I'll point out again that at least at my university, students in the hard science and engineering programs did pay a premium on their tuition. Hundreds of dollars a semester. And I'll agree that it's not nearly as clear which direction that subsidy runs as some want to make it sound.

    Kind of interesting how it works at some other institutions. I don't really follow it that much anymore, but it seems like the lion's share of the funding at the undergraduate institution I attended is going to the business school nowadays. The science department is the same size it was when I matriculated, but the business school has been rebuilt twice in the same period of time and occupies twice as much space on campus. Apparently business schoolers donate money back to the university at a higher rate than humanities or physical science students, so the university keeps dumping funding into growing that department so they have a larger pool of reliable donors. So the physical sciences are neither the biggest line item in the budget, nor are those students required to pay any additional premium.

    I sort of wish they did it the way they did at your school, though. I would donate money to that sort of institution, but since they've decided to turn my university into a trade school for corporate America and a factory for MBAs, I've come to trash their monthly solicitation letters.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    sanstodo wrote:
    Bagginses wrote:
    There's a fair number of countries out there with free post-secondary education systems. Maybe we should do that.

    Alternately, we could have public schools break off their physics and chemistry departments, as most of the cost inflation is due to those departments needing ever more expensive machinery.


    So, accounting for biology, CS and engineering too since those are also quite equipment intensive, you're basically saying that we should cut out the only non-professional degree departments that actually have a measurable external benefit to society?

    How would one measure their benefit to society? And the lack of benefit that it seems nearly every other academic discipline has?

    If you don't see the benefit that academic disciplines provide to society, you're not paying attention. Hard sciences, engineering, CS, etc. all have obvious benefits but just think about how, say, some knowledge of rhetoric, political science, and performance studies might help a voter make meaningful distinctions when watching a presidential debate.

    Hmmm...check the bolded part. I'm not the one claiming that only certain academic disciplines have a "measurable external benefit to society."

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • CptKemzikCptKemzik Registered User regular
    The most immediate solution I think? Putting a muzzle on blood-sucking executive administrators who develop these byzantine layers of presidents, vice presidents, vice-vice presidents, assistant vice-vice presidents etc. who don't seem to have any tangible purpose to universities other than the fact that they are somehow there and find ways to make their paychecks bigger while cutting out faculty, staff, and other resources. Of course given the power that these people hold that is probably easier said than done.

    Also re-evaluating the US grading system, and the way the US handles funding higher education are also necessary procedures that will probably take decades to start making substantial change. Finally on a cultural level while having more and more college educated people is in the big picture a good thing, it is being pushed in ways that create a surplus of people who hold degrees but never really did anything (and no this isn't an lolberal arts jab) thus devaluing the diplomas held by people who are trying to get out there and do things but are being screwed over by picky employers in the present economy.

    While encouraging trade schools is one step to this process, over-emphasizing that college is simply a matter of "get in, get out, get a job to make more monies" and anything else is being a worthless hippy is seriously hurting how higher education is perceived, and treated, by benefactors and the general populace (as has been mentioned earlier) alike. Yes there is a great importance for professional degrees, but things like that cracked article cited earlier are once again perpetuating stereotypes that are helping keep US higher ed in the crippled position that it is at now.

    I'm glad to see this thread didnt become an echo chamber of "heh get rid of that humanities nonsense heh."

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