Higher Education

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Re: Higher Education

Postby jamiebk » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:30 am

Haggis@wk wrote:Good news: Study confirms that college is pretty much a total waste of time

You don’t even need to read the article; just follow the link and check out the graph in the left-hand sidebar.

What’s tuition up to these days at private universities, parents? About $30-35,000?

Nearly half of the nation’s undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, in large part because colleges don’t make academics a priority, a new report shows.

Instructors tend to be more focused on their own faculty research than teaching younger students, who in turn are more tuned in to their social lives, according to the report, based on a book titled Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Findings are based on transcripts and surveys of more than 3,000 full-time traditional-age students on 29 campuses nationwide, along with their results on the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test that gauges students’ critical thinking, analytic reasoning and writing skills.

After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.

Students also spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago, the research shows.



But GPA is 3.2; grade creep much?


With these huge and crippling tuition costs, its getting harder and harder to justify spending the money in hope of earning more in the future. Some of these kids come out with debt of $200,000 or more. That's a lot to overcome when you are starting out. That money might be better spent on a home.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:06 pm

jamiebk wrote: Some of these kids come out with debt of $200,000 or more. That's a lot to overcome when you are starting out. That money might be better spent on a home.



And that debt and interest will never go away. Its money owed to the government and can't be discharged via bankruptcy. It's a monkey on your back for life.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Schmeelkie » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:26 pm

First, I'd really like to know how representative this sample is - are they just looking at state universities? If just those, I wouldn't be surprised. I'd guess you'd have students doing more work and being higher achieving at private colleges, and in focused job-prep majors at community colleges.

OK, it was 20 years ago, but I remember at least 40 pages of reading per class per week on average (at small private college). In a history class, for example that could be more like 1-200 pages a week, and a biology class might be more like 25-30. Study time varied by class, but I'd guess my average was higher than quoted... Interestingly, after a rigorous undergrad, my first couple of years of classes in grad school were cake, but classes did get more challenging. So, for me, totally worth the $13,000 in debt I walked out of undergrad with.

I think way too many people are going to college because that's what's expected. If you have no idea why you're there, of course you're going to spend as little time studying as possible. And if your university accepts a bunch of these type students (typical, I think of the state colleges and universities - profit motive), professors become complacent because they don't want to deal with the whining students who figure that if they were accepted to the university, they are guaranteed a B or better. So, many professors just give up, put their efforts into research and grad students, and let the undergrads slide.

In summary - if you're in college for a purpose, are motivated and focused, and get into a quality institution, your education is worth it. Otherwise, you're just wasting time and money. Interestingly, the morning DJ I listen to sent his son to a small state university with the caveat that he had to maintain a 3.0 or the money would stop. He didn't get that his first semester and is now working. The Dad says he's hoping the time will allow son to figure out what he really wants to do and what college program (if any) will get him there - thus, not wasting time and money. Pretty smart, I think.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby jamiebk » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:47 pm

I have my son in a local Junior College (Santa Rosa JC). It is incredibly well accepted and students who get through the two year Associate degree can go right in to the UC system. They have a tremendous vocational program including contractor certification (what my son is doing) Associate degrees, nursing program, dental asst, program, restaurant management and a raft of adult education...all for a fraction of the tuition cost. And get this....(up until the recession hit the scholarship fund)...if the student maintained a "B" average, he/she received a scholarship from the "Doyle Fund" sufficient to pay almost all the cost. I hope they are able to bring that back. However, the point is that there are many educational opportunites that can lead to good paying jobs without leaving students or parents strapped. We also sent our daughter there and when she graduated with her associate degree she transfered to Northern AZ University. Every single credit was accepted because of the quality of the JC program.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:02 pm

I have my son in a local Junior College


It's my understanding that the state constitution in California prohibits them from charging tuition; they fees students pay are student body fees which cannot be used to pay for salaries or buildings. A semester at a Cal State University might run a few hundred dollars vs. maybe tens of thousands somewhere else.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby jamiebk » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:21 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:
I have my son in a local Junior College


It's my understanding that the state constitution in California prohibits them from charging tuition; they fees students pay are student body fees which cannot be used to pay for salaries or buildings. A semester at a Cal State University might run a few hundred dollars vs. maybe tens of thousands somewhere else.


Call them what you want...it still costs a fair amount of money to attend CSU. Here is a schedule of fees. They run from $13,000 to $23,500 depending on living at home or dorm and which campus you attend etc. http://www.calstate.edu/SAS/documents/2010-11COA.pdf
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:42 pm

They run from $13,000 to $23,500


These figures always include living expenses. I see the fees are actually about ~5,000. I'm an alumnus myself, but when I was a student they were only about $100.


Call them what you want.



from the CSU web site:


The CSU charges "fees" rather than "tuition" to California residents; only nonresident students are charged nonresident "tuition"


The difference is significant--by law student body fees must be spent on student body activities and stuff, tuition is a source is revenue to run the school. Property taxes in California pay for the schools, not the students.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:33 pm

There is tuition charged for California classes. I happily pay it for my son, who has gone back to school and is on the list for the RN program as soon as he finishes the prerequisites. It's a drop in the bucket compared to a private college, but it's called "tuition" on the bill and it is separate from the line called "student fees".

Dtr #2 went to AI, in Mission Valley. Private. More expensive, 3 semesters per year, smaller classes, knew her instructors, degree in 3 yrs. Dtr #1 went to SDSU, much cheaper, trouble getting classes, huge enormous gigantic lower division lecture classes, 2 semesters per year, degree in 5 years.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:20 pm

There is tuition charged for California classes. I happily pay it for my son, who has gone back to school and is on the list for the RN program


No there isn't. See my above link. You are right about tuition for nursing programs, though, and medical school too. Law school. These are separate.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:33 pm

ABA now warning students not to go to law school, or at least to be careful about debt issues.

“The ABA is also warning of endowment losses, declining state support, and difficulties in fundraising that have hit law schools hard. It expects most public schools to raise tuition this year by 10 to 25 percent. Tens of thousands of dollars in debt — and a shiny degree: But, at the end of the day, getting a job in law could be a cold case in 2011.”
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Higher Education

Postby BigJon » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:53 pm

Those students must not be taking engineering degrees. My schooling got progressively harder each year. By my senior year I had dropped out of all extra-ciricular activities except for flag football, just so I had time to study to pass.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Shapley » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:34 am

Many schools and Universities want to grow, adhering to the idea that 'if you're not growing, you're dying'. Growth requires more students, but there aren't that many 'top' students, so they lower their standards and set up curriculae designed to suit these less-than-brilliant students.

Some curriculae are little better than a trade-school education, excepting that they still require the 'basic' courses such as English and History to complete.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:48 am

Giant Communist Robot wrote:
There is tuition charged for California classes.


No there isn't. See my above link...


Hmm. It has feathers and webbed feet. It waddles and quacks. Paddles across the top of the water. Eats snails and caterpillars. You can call it a hummingbird if you want to but I think I'll call it a duck.

Dictionary sez that tuition is money you pay a school to educate a student. The California state college and university systems charge all students X dollars per unit per semester, and call this an educational fee. There is an additional amount of N dollars per unit per semester which students who are not residents of California are charged, and this charge is called tuition. I'm fairly sure that this is just a case of bean-counters, Professional Educators, and other unsavory types Getting Away With Something by Calling It Something Else.

If the cost of educating the student is not covered by the taxes I already pay, and I have to cough up more cash, I'm paying tuition. It's a duck.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:50 am

“The big surprise is that this is news to anybody.”

“The next financial bubble is out there. It is comprised of people like your son who are carrying enormous debt without any prospect of paying it off. They are going to default. It’s our fault, you say. Well, you say that now. But if we gave your son the grades he deserved you both would have screamed foul and due processed us to death. If your son is a member of some protected class, we would have had to defend against the accusation that we discriminated against him. Anyhow, he got more than he deserved, and the rest of us subsidized his education directly or indirectly with our tax dollars. Of course, you do know that we are going to have to pick up the defaults, just as we picked up the sub-prime mortgages. . . . When the defaults come, we will print more money and maybe foreclose on a few for-profit institutions. There will be congressional hearings, a few scapegoats from the for-profit world, and a few horror stories about exploitative student loans. There will be an academic Enron and an academic Countrywide. When the smoke clears, the academic AIG will have bailed out the academic Goldman Sachs for one hundred cents on the dollar. And it will be business as usual.”
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Shapley » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:30 am

That's sort of like the interstate import duties, prohibited by the Constitution, which the courts have said are legal as long as they call them something else.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:50 pm

Dictionary sez that tuition is money you pay a school to educate a student. The California state college and university systems charge all students X dollars per unit per semester, and call this an educational fee. There is an additional amount of N dollars per unit per semester which students who are not residents of California are charged, and this charge is called tuition. I'm fairly sure that this is just a case of bean-counters, Professional Educators, and other unsavory types Getting Away With Something by Calling It Something Else.



From the CaliforniaColleges.edu site :
Registration/Enrollment Fees:
The cost for classes and services at public colleges and universities. Public colleges and universities do not charge tuition for California residents.



Here's something I pointed out before that you missed--the fees cannot be used to pay salaries, for buildings, etc, but tuition can and is. Tuition reflects the cost of the education which is normally covered by property taxes. California residents either support the colleges by taxes or they benefit from them--this issue was decided in the 19th century. Because tuition and fees have different purposes they need different names. The terms are not interchangeable because the funds cannot be co-mingled. The only thing these two have in common is that they are both money collected from the student or their parents.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:58 pm

Riiiiight. I looked at that there web site a little harder. It is not a State of California web site. It has a dot-edu rather than a dot-gov extension and it is a self-proclaimed "official" site. It is "representing" the three public and some sort of association of independent higher education facilities: seems also to be peddling some kind of financial aid.

What it says is a regulatory distinction, and what actually happens to the money when the Professional Educators and the Bean-Counting Bandits get hold of it, may not be a perfect match. I'm just suspicious, I suppose. Writing checks will do that for you...

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Re: Higher Education

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:36 am

Riiiiight. I looked at that there web site a little harder. It is not a State of California web site. It has a dot-edu rather than a dot-gov extension and it is a self-proclaimed "official" site. It is "representing" the three public and some sort of association of independent higher education facilities: seems also to be peddling some kind of financial aid.


OK. As for the dot edu:
The domain name edu is a sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. Its name is derived from education, indicating its intended use as a name space for educational institutions, primarily those in the United States.[1] Although not officially mandated for much of the domain's existence, in practice it has been used primarily for U.S.-based four-year universities. Starting in 2001, it was officially restricted to accredited post-secondary institutions and organizations that are accredited by nationally recognized accrediting agencies.


These are the people on that site:

Stuart Dorsey
President
University of the Redlands
1200 East Cotton Avenue Redlands, CA 92373
Redlands, CA 92373


Karen Humphrey
Executive Director
California Postsecondary Education Commission
700 L Street, Suite 1160
Sacramento, CA 95814


Jack O'Connell
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814


Charles Reed
Chancellor
California State University
401 Golden Shore, 6th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802


Jack Scott
Chancellor
California Community Colleges
1102 Q Street, 4th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814


Mark G. Yudof
President
University of California
1111 Franklin Street, 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607-5200


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Re: Higher Education

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:46 pm

Our Superficial Scholars:

For most of the past 20 years I have served on selection committees for the Rhodes Scholarship. In general, the experience is an annual reminder of the tremendous promise of America’s next generation. We interview the best graduates of U.S. universities for one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed on young scholars.

I have, however, become increasingly concerned in recent years – not about the talent of the applicants but about the education American universities are providing. Even from America’s great liberal arts colleges, transcripts reflect an undergraduate specialization that would have been unthinkably narrow just a generation ago.

As a result, high-achieving students seem less able to grapple with issues that require them to think across disciplines or reflect on difficult questions about what matters and why. . . . I detect no lack of seriousness or ambition in these students. They believe they are exceptionally well-educated. They have jumped expertly through every hoop put in front of them to be the top of their classes in our country’s best universities, and they have been lavishly praised for doing so. They seem so surprised when asked simple direct questions that they have never considered.


My neighbor’s son complained that our Congressman, Sam Johnson, (a former POW) wouldn’t recommend him for a military scholarship “Just because I didn’t know where Pearl Harbor was!”
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:57 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:...My neighbor’s son complained that our Congressman, Sam Johnson, (a former POW) wouldn’t recommend him for a military scholarship “Just because I didn’t know where Pearl Harbor was!”

It was no surprise that he was going to a great liberal arts college - an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

He probably would've recognized a braid of quacking water-chickens, though.
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