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Thread: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

  1. #71
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    I used the GI bill, after 12 years of active duty. Those friends from HS that went directly to college went on parentships, or scholarships.
    The wife and I invested in our kids education, to minimize the odds that they would continue to live with us in their adulthood.
    But, if things happen beyond their control, we have room for them.
    Long time from now, we may have to live with them, when we get really old....
    Oh - I was thinking further back in time, before scholarships, etc . . . there was a significant amount of time in which even high-school seemed excessive and adequate pay / adequate living could be achieved without it.
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    $120,000 for a Marketing degree is no wiser an investment than $500,000 for a shoddy condominium. Marketing and other general business degrees are a dime a dozen, from most employers' perspectives. It amounts to a very bad investment decision on this girl's part and she will feel it for decades. To some degree she should have known better, but many 18-year olds don't know better and don't understand finance. So it's also too bad that these parents didn't know better or advise her better.
    Several points:

    1. On the general point that the costs for a marketing degree at Ohio Northern make it a low value-added proposition in this case, we agree.

    2. There is insufficient credible information on costs/benefits of specific degrees from specific schools, though more information is becoming available. I don't think Ms. Griffith had access to that kind of information.

    3. The recent recession has led to structural changes that have altered the value proposition of degrees. Even MBAs from top schools have depreciated rather significantly in value on account of structural changes that have led, among other things, to the financial sector comprising a much smaller share of the economy than it did in the run-up of the housing bubble. Lower demand relative to supply have put firms into a price maker role that they did not enjoy during the credit boom, runup in the housing bubble.

    4. The ongoing evolution of the U.S. economy and structural driving forces (trade and the technology and information revolutions) are leading to some significant mismatches between areas of study and employment prospects. The changes are occurring more rapidly than they had in the past.

    5. Specialization is continuing to grow relative to generalization. From mid-level management and down, that trend is particularly significant, as it allows companies to become more efficient and differentiated. More jobs are being created with a degree of specialization. However, from an upper management standpoint, there are tradeoffs. The increased specialization is leading to greater difficulty in finding candidates for senior positions who have the capability of understanding the big picture, aligning the organization as a whole, etc. In a dynamic global environment, lack of ability to understand the environment in which a company operates can be lethal when it comes to preserving or advancing a company's competitive advantages.

    In sum, one should be concerned with the plight many students are facing, especially if that trend leads to the current relative decline in educational attainment giving way to an absolute decline. College degrees are increasingly the minimal starting point for productive workers and holders of such degrees, once they gain positions, enjoy greater job stability and higher incomes than those who lack such degrees. The broad shift toward knowledge-intensive work is making such degrees necessary except for a small range of fields. With the gradual retirement of the Baby Boom generation underway, firms will be confronted with the challenge of filling essential positions. A lack of sufficientldomestic talent will compel firms to look abroad where eductional attainment is rising. One might argue that firms should focus on training, but in many cases, firms lack the luxury of time to develop such employees and teaching the kind of skills provided by a college education is not possible in a one-to-two week training session. In the end, a society that cannot educate its youth is also a society that cedes opportunity and progress to those that succeed in educating their youth.

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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Invisible View Post
    I think that overall, one pays mainly for a piece of paper. While college can be beneficial in many ways (for example, I wouldn't be doing the writing and research I am now had it not been for a series of events that took place during my freshman year in college), in reality there are few things one could learn without either reading extensively on the topic or investing in a textbook. While this is true, a college education is also needed by many employers, thus that is also another reason to go to college: to become employable. However, I think that employers should offer on the job training as that would give people more experience than ever sitting in a classroom would.
    In many cases, firms don't have the luxury of rigorously testing their job applicants. In part, such testing can be cost-prohibitive. In part, testing has been outlawed, because "tests" had been used as an instrument to discriminate against members of minority groups, some of whom were eminently qualified for the actual requirements of the positions in question. Hence, a college degree serves as an instrument that attests to a person's possessing a given level of skills and knowledge, albeit an imperfect one.

    On the point of self-teaching, I agree with you. Any reasonably intelligent and highly-motivated person can advance his/her knowledge in the fashion you describe. Unfortunately, an inadequate number of people are motivated to the extent that such an approach is viable to the point where firms would look less to a college degree.

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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungConserv View Post
    look at Andres Serrano one of the more famous experimental artists never went to college.
    Creative genius (a level of creativity that runs far above the norm) is not something that can necessarily be taught. It can be cultivated in many ways, including but not limited to education. Few people truly possess creative genius to the extent that they can surmount a college education. Andres Serrano is an exception, not the norm.

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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Due to how my last semester has gone at college - how the professors seem less interested in challenging the sutdents and more interested in dumbing things down so more students manage to graduate (etc) - I hold a higher education in a slightly lesser light.
    It's unfortunate that you have had professors who are not interested in challenging students. How does your college evaluate its professors? For those who are on tenure track, is student success an important consideration? Just try to do the best you can in your studies. Don't get discouraged.

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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by Gimmesometruth View Post
    The amount of time students spend working has been of increasing concern for the
    educators that serve them and, in some instances, the students themselves. Recent
    data would indicate that 80% of American undergraduates worked while attending
    college in 1999-2000 (King, 2003).This represents an 8% increase over the class less
    than a decade previously, among whom 72% worked (Cuccaro-Alamin & Choy,
    1998)

    http://www.indiana.edu/~ipas1/workingstudentbrief.pdf
    This is potentially serious problem. Some surveys have indicated that students today are spending a larger share of their time working than had been the case for the prior generation. Such work is cutting the amount of time they have for study and other activities e.g., participation in student activities, that are positively correlated with retention, progression, and graduation outcomes. In the past, time spent on homework/study exceeded time spent in class. In some cases, that ratio has reversed, even as hours spent in classroom instruction have remained relatively stable.

  7. #77
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Hmm lets see.. a huge portion of the student population would fall by the road, causing college bankruptcies.. leaving higher education only to the wealthy 1%.. yea, that would cut the price for sure...
    no, first those colleges would stop wasting money just because they can get it....
    Nearby college has a surplus outlet, and the amount of computer stuff going out the door is incredible.
    MOST of those computers are newer than the one I am using now. They replaced all their CRT monitors with flat screens because they could. Most of us waited til our CRT monitors failed, or at least until the flat screen prices went down.
    Their purchasing agents will buy hundreds of small items to get a price break, even tho they don't NEED hundreds of the items. Those new, unopened boxes of various items end up in surplus.
    At the same time, they store old crap in warehouses because they have so much of it, and don't know what has value and what is scrap metal, ending up with silly prices too high on some stuff, and rediculously low prices on other items. The good stuff moves, the scrap sits there for months and months.
    I mean, really, a dozen or more transparency overhead projectors? the old clunkers, from the 60's....
    At the same time, high quality video projectors for a few hundred dollars that not so long ago cost many thousands...
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  8. #78
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    I do not believe that tuition would go down if government-subsidized student loans were to disappear. The horse has already left the barn, so to speak. I do believe, however, that tuition has risen as high and as fast as it has in large part because student loans became too easy to get.
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    I for one can attest that College has ruined my life...

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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Perhaps another part of the problem is supply and demand in a global society. When talking about our best universities there is worldwide competition for spots regardless of cost it seems. So a school that charges nearly 60K for tuition room and board still gets to reject 90+% of applicants.

    On the other end of the spectrum, what happened to free or very inexpensive state and city universities. NYC once had a great university system that I think was a key reason for the city's greatness.

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