Comments on: America’s broken colleges http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: uprof http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9917 Fri, 11 Dec 2009 16:19:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9917 Kevin Carey’s article is highly misleading. The poor results he refers to simply reflect, among other factors, the strong demand from various levels of government, parents of students, and the students themselves, not to have students held to serious standards. Ask a random sample of university/college professors if they feel they have the degrees of freedom to truly challenge their students and hold them accountable, and my guess is that the fraction that says “yes” would be considerably less than 10%, and they most likely would be lying. In many ways, this is just a continuation of the poor state of US secondary, middle school, and primary education systems. At the university/college level, because costs are born far more directly by individual students and families, a higher number of students get “filtered out.”

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By: strawman http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9856 Fri, 11 Dec 2009 00:24:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9856 Drewbie – I’d go back and read the post. “Already the Pell grant program has ballooned from $2 billion to $20 billion since 1980, yet the proportion of the typical college’s tuition costs that it covers has dropped from 70% to 33%.”

Funding may have increased, but costs have increased more. Proportionally the government covers fewer costs than ever.

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By: drewbie http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9833 Thu, 10 Dec 2009 19:38:03 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9833 Tuition also continues to increase because the amount of aid for students continues to increase. Schools raise tuition, and the government increases the amount given out in scholarships. Until government assistance stops increaseing and enrollment drops because families can’t afford it, tuition will not come down.

That won’t happen, however, because no one wants to tell a generation “sorry, you’re the one that has to suffer to fix this.” So it’ll keep going up.

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By: Curmudgeon http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9809 Thu, 10 Dec 2009 13:49:41 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9809 I am a recovering college professor. My last year teaching, my administration announced a 10 percent increase in tuition. The stated reason (have to applaud their honestly at least) was to give the college more cachet among applicants and parents because it cost more.

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By: eddieblack http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9807 Thu, 10 Dec 2009 13:29:24 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9807 I think you have missed the point Dan. Felix’s observations are correct. If overall literacy has declined significantly amongst college grads, then it is possible job performance by graduates is declining as well. Perhaps the cost of labor, taxes and health care are not the only things a board of directors considers when the contemplate moving operations out of the U.S.?

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By: DanHess http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9795 Thu, 10 Dec 2009 04:18:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9795 OnTheTimes —

I would note that 1980 was a time when the baby boomers were going to college. Their parents, a frugal lot to begin with, had several children to send through college. They were doubtless cost-conscious.

What has happened since? Family sizes have decreased, meaning there is more income per child. Also every mediocre student applies to college and the supply and demand dynamic shifted hard in colleges’ favor. Second tier schools that most have not even heard of are competitive these days.

Is this a bubble? I don’t think it is. The US manufacturing sector has been gutted by both automation and outsourcing. Those with only a high school education earn perhaps a million dollars less on average, over their careers.

I believe college costs would have to go far higher still before returns on investment go negative. The average person may probably work 40 years or more after college, after all. Forty years of increased earnings.

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By: OnTheTimes http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9791 Thu, 10 Dec 2009 03:03:00 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9791 Can any college explain why tuition is 6x what it was in 1980? Salaries haven’t risen 500%, and you would think that’s the biggest expense.

I can appreciate that a lot of basic research has shifted from publicly owned corporations to colleges, but that would affect only the more research-intensive schools. And if those schools are inventing things, they tend to receive patents that they earn royalties on, which should offset some of the cost of the extra research.

So what is all that money being spent on?

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By: Mega http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9787 Thu, 10 Dec 2009 01:36:15 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9787 The fact that many would have been better off not having gone to college is not going to change. And that’s not a bad thing. Unless one intends to enter a professional field requiring rigorous training, one should examine other avenues, such as technical or trade schools. Once a license is obtained, one has a portable, exchangeable skill, with the option of off-the-books work (not that I’m advocating tax evasion).

As for the allegedly mind-expanding value of liberal arts curricula, try a good community college program, or simply teach yourself.

Should college attendance be indicated, due diligence should include visiting the schools themselves and talking to students, as well as availing oneself of all online resources. There’s a lot one can do without getting the government involved.

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By: flevy http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/comment-page-1/#comment-9785 Thu, 10 Dec 2009 01:18:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/12/09/americas-broken-colleges/#comment-9785 In the language of Mancur Olson, the country today suffers from three big distributional coalitions: the financial sector, the healthcare industry and much of higher education. There is at least some pressure on the first two and pressure on the third is bound to come.

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