|By Alan5 (Alan5) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 07:48 am: Edit|
|By Lefthandofdog (Lefthandofdog) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 08:03 am: Edit|
It amazes me when a journalist can take a simple comparison and run with it - without even hinting at the real complexities involved. Maybe 60% (according to a recent poster on this board) of the students are actually paying the advertised price. For a Cornell prof. to talk about ways of keeping expenditures down (tele-classes) - is it a fact that most of a schools operating budget is in professors' salaries, or is it in maintaining a campus/community with all the facilities they need to provide for residential students? (I don't know the answer, just wondering). Forget for a moment that some of us think a low teacher student ratio is critical. As for his comparison to Jet Blue, someone told me the reason they are able to offer lower fares is that they've leased a new fleet of aircraft (whereas older airlines actually own their ageing craft) - the implication is that there will be a price to pay in the future for airlines operating on that model (I don't have first hand knowledge of this, but my point is - catchy headline, marshmallow-y content, deadline met, paycheck deposited.)
|By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 08:36 am: Edit|
I thought the comparison was poor, too.Airlines added more seats and reduced food and other amenities in order to trim costs. In higher education, all the incentives and all the demands combine to increase rather than decrease costs.
How many of us are for larger classes and lower faculty to student ratios? How many are happy to have their children taught by TAs (How many times have we read "I'm not paying $40k to have my child taught by a graduate student"?). How many inquiries have there been on these boards about the quality of food (not a concern when I went to college)? of housing (ditto)? health facilities, academic support for struggling students (not much in my days)? research opportunities? I could go on.
|By Alan5 (Alan5) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:22 am: Edit|
Excellent points. However, you have to admit that U.S. News is partially responsible for the rising cost of tuition. Schools are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to attract better students and top notch faculty so that they can move up in the rankings (or to maintain a high rank).
|By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:50 am: Edit|
Well, yes, but what do the rankings reflect? And what do these better students and their families expect (see my post above)?
There is no pressure on top universities to reduce their costs by admitting more students (they already receive a tuition subsidy anyway, as per Mini's calculations), reducing the amenities they provide these students,etc... If a family cannot affort to pay for an education at one institution, it can look for alternatives, including state universities, and the more expensive school will still be able to fill its ranks several times over. Instead, as I argued above, all the pressure is in the direction of spending more.
|By Fresca (Fresca) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 11:39 am: Edit|
Colleges are just another business. Marketing has always been an expense, just stepped up due to the baby boomlet. It will be interesting to see what hapens when the competition becomes less intense in about 10 years when the numbers fall off.
|By Demingy (Demingy) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 11:58 am: Edit|
I have to agree with Lefthandofdog, this really seemed like a "non-article" to me. The writer didn't even really make a point..... So tuition has risen faster than airfare--this is comparing apples to kumquats. Let's see, the price of cars has also risen faster than a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk.
As far as the "issue", I agree with Marite for the most part. As some people have mentioned on this forum before, I don't think the problem is so much the costs (and rising costs) of the elite colleges. Of course this causes them to have little economic diversity, but that is really a separate issue (and one I don't want to get into here). I think the real problem has to do with the rising costs of tuition for even Podunk State University (due to drops in funds).
It is increases in THIS tuition (of state U's) that is cause for alarm because it starts to close the doors to education for the lower income population (and even the "lower-middle" class to use a popular term).
|By Irishbird (Irishbird) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 12:10 pm: Edit|
One big factor for rising costs is the info. technology needed in ALL colleges today. When I went to school in the early 80's, we had practically no computers.
Info tech. dept & administration? didn't even exist. Now that's a big part of a uni. budget.
We learned off of overhead projectors(remember them?) & produced our presentations that way. TYPED papers on a TYPEWRITER!! No computers or word processors (another old term!) in every student dorm back then.
And just think of all the never-ending maintenance & upgrades required for it. That just wasn't part of the expense column 20 yrs ago.
|By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 12:15 pm: Edit|
Irishbird, you are so right. Harvard recently announced its intention to make all dorm rooms wireless. My S is in a class that uses a personal response system, has powerpoint, slide projector, overhead projector, video, microphone. Only the last was available to teachers when I was in college.
|By Fendergirl (Fendergirl) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 12:26 pm: Edit|
tuition at my school (a LAC of about 4300 students) is about 8,000 a year. am i getting a good education? i would like to think so. i'm learning lots, taking as many courses as i can, studying very hard, making tons of friends. what would i be doing differently at a college that costs 30,000 a year in tuition? Nothing - i'd be taking the same courses,but paying four times as much.
|By Voronwe (Voronwe) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 01:27 pm: Edit|
what would i be doing differently at a college that costs 30,000 a year in tuition? Nothing - i'd be taking the same courses,but paying four times as much.
Well, not necessarily, Fendergirl.In your case, maybe, but not everyone's. I am NOT talking about your school, but I volunteer at a school that costs about $8,000 a year, and in the case of THIS school, the work I see (in ALL subject areas) is equivalent to what my kids were doing in 10th grade - the tests are far, far easier than anything they ever had in high school; the papers are extremely simplistic; the research is on a very elementary level.
The comparison with my own kids' colleges is like night and day.
Note to everyone: I am not remarking about the price apart from everything else - a top state school at a low instate rate can be awesome. But it is very, very often said that the differences in schools in merely the price/prestige/etc. and if one works very hard, one can get "as good" an education anywhere. This is emphatically not true at the school where I volunteer. The quality of class discussion etc. is very low due to the quality of the students. So it professors have to start giving A's for what might be D work elsewhere (yes, I actually photocopied a number of papers and showed them to profs at other schools, and in most cases I was told the papers would not even be graded - they would be returned to the student to do over)
|By Leanid (Leanid) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 01:55 pm: Edit|
Fresca - Maybe the numbers of applicants will drop in the U.S., but will they drop world-wide? I can easily foresee that in ten years (or whenvever that drop occurs) U.S. colleges will simply up their international enrollment. They are, as someone pointed out, in the BUSINESS of education, after all. Closely resembles outsourcing of American companies' jobs to foreign lands except that we will be bringing the "workers" IN...nothing wrong with that in view of the global economy/global village direction we are all heading in.
|By Songman (Songman) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 02:13 pm: Edit|
I believe Leanid is correct. You will all ignore me but at least I get my rant for the day in!
College is a business except no one mentions that it is supported by taxpayer funds and pays no federal or state taxes. Many research projects as well as donations are funded with taxpayers funds. Yes ,they are considered non-profit and supposedly a college education costs the college more than they charge. However, they make up the difference in the fact that they get a reliable source of funding and are able to NET 100% of the proceeds they make on their endowments.(they pay no income tax) Funny we are quick to break up ATT a profit company that paid taxes as being a monopoly yet we have nothing to say about the way the top colleges go about their business. Hmmmmmmm my rant for the day.
|By Fendergirl (Fendergirl) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 03:39 pm: Edit|
Songman - I agree. My college fully owns everything, they manage our funds VERY well and this helps to keep our tuition down. If the school manages it right, they can lower tuition.. and still "NET" money. I think my tuition has gone up maybe 700 dollars during my four years here, and in that time we've gotten the following: two new apartment complexes, completely renovated library, renovated cafeteria and eating areas (cafe's and whatnot), are building a brand new sports/gym building, more fields for sports, and are rennovating the old gym building into a humanities center... Also, on campus computers have been replaced about three times.. All of this and our tuition only went up 700 dollars.. Why is that? Because they know how to manage their money... and don't rip off the kids in the process.
Also, to Voronwe, I agree that at some colleges their levels of coursework are amazingly different. A friend of mine got below a C in Calc 1 here and had to retake the course. (Need a C to move on to Calc 2.. I believe.) He took it again at a college near him during the summer; and recieved an A. He took it here again in the fall and recieved a C. Obviously, the level of the difficulty in the course between the two schools is different. Here, you actually have to earn your grades. I've been in so many classes where I work so hard.. just trying to earn my A or B, while theres kids sitting at other schools being awarded with the same grade - and not being on nearly the same level. (I.E. friends college at home).
But let me say, on a personal note, I take 18 credits per semester, right now I'm working about 30-35 hours per week beween my two jobs, I'm an active member in two (soon to be three) student organizations at my school, one unofficial group at my school, as well as a member of an organization at another college. I still have time to do all of my homework, study for every test, write every paper, and maintain a social life with friends.
Maybe people at the 30k universities are laughing at what I consider a "hard" work load - the same way I feel about the schools such as the one my friend took his class at. I laugh when someone from a community college complains about having to write two five page papers in one semester. (I kindly explain to them that I have done a 20 page single spaced as well as a 60 page double spaced paper in the same semester, and that two 5 page papers is cake.)
But I work very hard and am very proud of everything I have accomplished while here, and I honestly don't feel I would of done any better, or even done anything differently, at a "bigger, better university".
|By Texdad (Texdad) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:35 am: Edit|
You go Fendergirl. With an atttitude like that you will beat out most of the kids who go to the $30k schools if that is what you want to do.
If you go to grad school with them you might have to work harder than them for a semester or two before you surpass them.
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