Skip to main content

Most of us have heard that college has become more expensive, or that college loan debt now exceeds $1.2T dollars, but still see college as the ticket to middle-class security.

To some extent we have forgotten how much easier it used to be.

Less than a generation ago, I entered a non-selective state university from a childhood of poverty and graduated debt-free 3.5 years later into a strong job market where my entry level salary was immediately more than 3X the poverty level for a family of 4.  A recent diary about college debt made me wonder about just how much this opportunity has changed.  I wondered, how many hours working at the minimum wage would it take to pay for a 4 yr degree from a public university?

Look below the fold for more:

Back in 1978, when I was born, the College Board shows that the average in-state tuition and fees at a 4 yr public university were just $2446 in today's (well in 2013) dollars.  At the time, the minimum wage was $2.30, which in 2013 dollars is $8.22.  Thus tuition and fees, on average, would run you a little less than 300 hours.  You could pay for school by working summers and concentrate on academics during the year, with no loan or scholarship.  Going away to live in the dorms?  Room and Board raised the ante to about 930 hours.  Add a 15 hour a week job to your schoolwork and your summer job.

Now let's look at today: Average in-state tuition and fees at a public 4-year school is $8893.  With room and board the College Board estimates $18,391/yr cost.  Minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour.  It takes more hours of work (~1227) just to pay tuition than it did to pay room, board and tuition in the Carter years.  It takes ~2537hrs, more than a year-round, full time job, to pay room, board, and tuition in the average state.  

It required fewer hours of labor to pay the costs of attending the average private university in 1978 than it does to go to a state school today.  

Think we can't afford to do better?  Why?

Penny-wise, pound-foolish government isn't actually saving us money in the long-run, but it's certainly making our students poorer, and probably making them poorer students as well.  

If we want educated workers, citizens, and taxpayers, why are we charging for a public education at all?  If we want students to contribute financially via work-study, why is minimum wage at the level of 1950?  

12:48 PM PT: The article explains some of the history of changes in funding for public post-secondary education.

http://chronicle.com/...

1:32 PM PT: A bit more info:
Total spending per student at 4 year public colleges has actually been static for the past 25 years after inflation adjustment.  The big change for that part of the time period has been in state support.  Here is an interactive presentation which has data for over 600 4-year public schools with state, federal, and net tuition percentage of revenues for each year for each institution or state from 1987 to 2012.

Check out your state or alma mater:
http://chronicle.com/...

Originally posted to benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (179+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Odysseus, decisivemoment, Geenius at Wrok, johnmorris, Shockwave, hubcap, opinionated, cskendrick, shanikka, Terre, wader, jdmorg, tomephil, tidalwave1, coconutjones, JimWilson, papercut, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, mosesfreeman, Josiah Bartlett, Sybil Liberty, bahaba, fijiancat, radarlady, Skaje, jrooth, run around, one of 8, dewtx, owlbear1, bleeding blue, Tool, Ozzie, Pluto, buddabelly, Orinoco, edwardssl, blueoasis, Unitary Moonbat, kurt, shaharazade, crystal eyes, sea note, Dartagnan, karmsy, GeorgeXVIII, MKinTN, bkamr, Youffraita, mattc129, shann, lilsky, maryabein, mkor7, Words In Action, gramofsam1, Front Toward Enemy, annominous, slowbutsure, Bluerall, Hatrax, kevin k, Hohen, DrCoyle65, nyceve, Jorge Harris, spacecadet1, FiredUpInCA, ehstronghold, bnasley, psyched, bryduck, Lily O Lady, Shotput8, Sunspots, Sun Tzu, camlbacker, CF of Aus, Brian82, nomandates, Egalitare, caliberal2001, boran2, bluezen, Teiresias70, tofumagoo, thanatokephaloides, Issek, wxorknot, Demi Moaned, yoduuuh do or do not, Leap Year, Kidspeak, limulus curmudgeon, AoT, linkage, KBS666, chuck utzman, cpresley, La Gitane, Matilda, janis b, fixxit, emal, Nulwee, sngmama, Cassandra Waites, escapee, eru, mconvente, Robynhood too, TracieLynn, rodentrancher, kerflooey, Shaylors Provence, BusyinCA, Mage11an, smrichmond, Alumbrados, JDWolverton, Oh Mary Oh, dewey of the desert, Mickquinas, mksutherland, tiggers thotful spot, chrisculpepper, smileycreek, pcl07, Greyhound, vahana, where4art, albrt, Chaddiwicker, Trotskyrepublican, northsylvania, ChicDemago, cassandraX, Jollie Ollie Orange, eeff, gulfgal98, NBBooks, purplepenlady, kpbuick, HeyMikey, splashy, Dodgerdog1, IamNotaKochsucker, bogieshadow, dotdash2u, cyncynical, BobTheHappyDinosaur, meg, Mathazar, RUNDOWN

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:38:38 AM PDT

  •  I also had a huge debt free opportunity to become (65+ / 0-)

    educated and learn to care for people doing social service.  I was given a stipend from the a federal corrections agency with only this moral expectation:  work one year in the field of corrections.  I have been able to contribute to men and women who are coming out of prison and learning to work in food service.  What a joy it has been to be a member of a vital human service agency that serves community.  Wages were lower back then, expenses less, I entered the job market with no debt at all.  Wow, who would have ever thought college debt would submerge young people for many years of their working life the way it is now.

  •  I've done this calculation in the past. (55+ / 0-)

    Take it back even further -- in 1956 the minimum wage went up to $1/hour.

    At the time, tuition and fees at UIUC were just over $100/year. You could earn enough to pay all of your expenses just by working full-time during breaks.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:16:54 AM PDT

  •  State U is now so expensive in all states that I (38+ / 0-)

    reject sending my children back to the USA for an American Education (tm). We will take the inferior local brand at 10% the cost and owe no debt and have start up funds for their first job/contract/business. American Education (tm) is pricing itself out of the range of the middle class, except for students willing to take a losing wager on massive debt. How much longer before this bubble bursts?

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:43:37 AM PDT

    •  Once we exported our ideas (24+ / 0-)

      as well as our products. In the post-WWII world, a lot of countries caught on to the U.S. idea of educating everyone who qualified, not just the elite who had always gone to university.

      And then we decided to go back to the 19th century, because an actor became President. He said his lines with such conviction, such a sunny smile...

    •  Two of my siblings are now expats (5+ / 0-)

      One is an economic migrant to Taiwan.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:12:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are four major reasons for cost increases (17+ / 0-)

      One, legislators and voters decided to stop appropriating sufficient funds for state colleges and universities to keep up with population growth, so more and more had to come from tuition and fees.  In part this was a reaction to student protests, but was also part of the general increase in selfishness in the Reagan Era.  It ruined education in California.

      Two, professors decided they wanted to be paid more and wanted fancy facilities that required money.  Star profs were recruited like athletes in some cases.  This required money.

      Three, and this is the really tricky one, the advent of so much federal aid, designed to cut down on the cost of college, just seems to have encouraged institutions to raise prices, to say nothing of the proliferation of for-profit colleges.  There needs to be a way to get money to the people who need it while discouraging this trend.  Like poverty programs in general, middle and upper middle class people ended up with most of the money.  You can see this happening with education generally as the "consultants" skim off all the ed reform money.

      And of course four, the financial services vultures saw a way to make big bucks from the student loan program, and even got such loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

      Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

      by Mimikatz on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:30:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't blame the pay of profs so much (15+ / 0-)

        I have a Masters and work in industry. I've thought about getting a PhD and teaching at university, but I'd have to take a significant pay cut. Not really viable.

        I think the bigger problem is that the dollars you talk about in your third point not only get siphoned off by middle managers, but also it's much easier to approve spending for capital projects (new buildings, stadiums, dorms) than it is to either hire new profs or, god forbid, give them a raise.

        Small varmints, if you will.

        by aztecraingod on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:49:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite. (16+ / 0-)

        Two, professors decided they wanted to be paid more and wanted fancy facilities that required money.

        It's less about the 'greedy academics' and more about the administration when it comes to facilities and other financial decisions. Case in point:

        According to Cooper Union’s president, Jamshed Bharucha, it currently operates at a $12 million annual deficit. The number reflects several factors: expenses that have risen faster than revenues, a growing administrative staff, disappointing fund-raising drives and, most significantly, $10 million a year in payments on a $175 million loan the school took out a few years ago, in part so that it could invest money in the stock market. In 2018, an increase in rent from the college’s biggest asset, the land under the Chrysler Building, will overtake expenses, but only for a short while, he has said.
        And:
        After it failed to meet its fundraising goals for the construction of the New Academic Building in 2006, Cooper Union submitted a petition to the New York State Supreme Court seeking permission “to use the Chrysler Building as security for the loan of up to $175 million,” releasing it from the restrictions of the 1902 deed. The school argued to the Supreme Court, as it had to the City Planning Commission, that the development plan was essential to maintain the school’s standing and financial well-being as a tuition-free institution.

        The plans for the new building divided the Cooper community. Faculty members questioned the need for building and pleaded that the school make do with existing spaces. One letter from an engineering professor to President Campbell in 2006 noted the “great deal of discontent amongst the engineering faculty. At a faculty meeting on 5/18 the engineering faculty roundly rejected the new building by a vote of 16–6 in a closed ballot.”

        And this type of administrative egotism has repeated itself in colleges large and small all across the country for a couple of decades at least. Happened to my alma mater, who decided that they wanted to attract higher-quality athletes with a shiny new fitness facility by charging students a mandatory fee to pay for it...whether they used it or not.

        "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

        by grape crush on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:48:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Second that. I work at a world-class "public" (15+ / 0-)

          university, which has world-class graduate and professional schools, which really cost a lot to run because quality is expensive;

          but it has 3rd world public funding because of Prop 13 (and Saint Ronnie). So the funding difference is made up by having an increasing number of out-of-state and overseas students who are charged more, and by increasing levels of corporate funding. The professors are paid a lot but they could be billionaires, no kidding, in private industry (remember, world class?) and they are not paid billions. In fact I doubt most of them get paid what the Vice Chancellor types are paid. I personally am not paid a lot.

          And don't get me started about football.

          •  Yeppers, RR turned California into Colorado. (4+ / 0-)
            Second that. I work at a world-class "public" university, which has world-class graduate and professional schools, which really cost a lot to run because quality is expensive;

            but it has 3rd world public funding because of Prop 13 (and Saint Ronnie).

            Ronnie Raygun managed to turn California into Colorado educationally.

            When I was in university in the 1970's -- an attempt I abandoned because I was unwilling to sign myself up for all the required debt -- we had a bumper sticker:

            Welcome to Colorado -- 49th in Education Spending!
            Since we funded our K-12 relatively well, guess what that ends up meaning for higher ed!

            (It means that in constant dollars, the prices and debts incurred for a degree from the major Colorado universities are the same today as they were back then.)

            :-(

            "I have to remember that while Jesus dined with publicans, there is no record of his consorting with Republicans." -- entlord

            by thanatokephaloides on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:21:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Long term, I think the solution is online (3+ / 0-)

        education.  It has lots of problems and scams are everywhere, but if we really want education as broadly distributed as possible, the model where you have one professor in a room of 30-300 people in brick & mortar seems to be unsustainable.  This is especially true if you have to cram the education into 3-5 years where you aren't able to work at the same time.   Just not working makes education unaffordable to many, even if it is offered free.

        Canning high quality lectures and course series into online education which could be taken on demand, at the students own pace where college credit is granted in the end is a scalable answer.   There is a problem with assignments and feedback (unless you go to the kind of horrible pure multiple choice tests system,  which doesn't work for most college-level courses to show mastery at all, you need skilled instructors grading the homework and that's going to still be a bottleneck).  But what we're doing now just isn't scaling to "everyone needs an education", and the public education we do have is geographically-limited in what it offers (wealthy districts have many options for learning, poor have limited offerings, damaged by disruptive students or dangerous environments and poor materials - basics like books, notepaper, etc)

        Actually if class size is much over 50, there isn't much benefit to the in-person experience.  You can't interact with the instructor in a meaningful way.

        •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
          But what we're doing now just isn't scaling to "everyone needs an education",
          But why on Earth would we have to scale to such a thing?

          College is, by design, geared toward a fraction of the population, that are substantially above average in scholastic ability.  Most universities have admissions requirements that exclude more than half the population, and about half of people who go to college eventually drop out.

          Our current system can't scale to "everyone," but where do we get the idea that everyone should be getting a college education?  

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:29:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is exactly the problem.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mconvente, jbcruz, Caj

            not everyone can or deserves to go to college. It just isn't possible. We have way to many now that are academically ready or motivated to do the work. They need to wait awhile or try something such as a community college to get a feel for what is really required. There is so much grant money that is wasted by too many that have no hope or desire to finish. Probably up to 40% of current entering freshmen shouldn't be there. They need way to much remedial work to be successful.

            California and other states should realign their expenditures. They should dramatically increase the funding and number s of their elite schools such as the UC system and their community colleges and dramatically curtail their efforts in their vanilla state colleges. Way to many of them have abysmal graduation and retention rates. A tragic waste of money.

            This idea that everyone needs or deserves to go to college is a very bad idea.

          •  People used to say that about literacy. (0+ / 0-)

            Look, education is for everybody.  Not everyone needs the kind of specialized education a scientist or a lawyer needs, but that's a recent thing...used to be an "educated" person knew something about art, history, literature, philosophy and how to do written and oral communication.

            Turns out, in the workplace, a bit of a grounding in a traditional liberal arts degree that results in communication skills and empathy for your fellow workers is more valuable than most technical stuff you learn.   There's no reason why most of a liberal arts degree couldn't be done entirely online, and same goes for the majority of degrees that don't require a large amount of lab work or field work.  

            (certainly there's nothing in a MBA degree that can't be learned online and in dribs and drabs, as any number of folks who got one while working a full time job can attest...why can't all degrees be like that?)

            Even the lab and field work could be made more accessible.  Schedule events, have interested people show up.  Modern social media makes that pretty easy (tech meet-ups where students get to work on real-world projects are a common thing where I live...if there was a way to get lab credit for related work, why not?)

            The reason all professional positions require a college degree or a hell of a lot of years on the job in compensation is mostly communication skills.  This should be something you can prove you have without taking 4 years out of your life not earning, and accumulating debt.

            As for STEM jobs, or other jobs with high degrees of technical training, well, I think the way police officers are trained (college degrees with specific coursework or police academy) show the way.   We already have law schools, med schools...why should prelaw or premed not be available online?  It's very similar to liberal arts, actually.   Ditto graduate work in scientific fields - really most research assistant->PHD tracks require written and oral communication+research skills to be successful - the primary difference between how a Physicist trains as an undergraduate and an Arts major is the person who wants a PhD in Physics takes a lot of math classes and a smattering of science classes.

            The curriculum for the rest is 75-80% the same.  The reason we don't just graduate a 19 year old with 1 year of college by cramming all of the math and science they need for a specific degree into one year is the other stuff is also important to being a researcher in an academic environment.

            So...if we can provide a core college curriculum online, 2-3 years of the typical 4 year education could be done at time/place/convenience around real work.   Maybe if you want a degree that takes you on to postgraduate work (medical, law, scientist) or to specialized technical areas (most engineering degrees, art, library science, teaching, whatever) you have to also get 1-2 years of course credits for that certification.

            But still...online.   College level education and training is only a luxury because we've organized it in a way that requires you to not work (incurring massive room+board debt) and pay huge fees (incurring more debt).   There's no reason to do it that way with modern technology.

            •  What, what? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sngmama, mconvente, cassandraX
              The reason we don't just graduate a 19 year old with 1 year of college by cramming all of the math and science they need for a specific degree into one year is the other stuff is also important to being a researcher in an academic environment.
              No.  That isn't even remotely close to true.

              We don't squeeze all the mathematics and science into one year because we can't.  Because it's hard and it's time consuming and it's too much material to put into a single year.

              You're arguing that we could cram it into a single year but we don't because "the other stuff is also important?"  If that were true, why wouldn't we simply cram the math and science into a single year and do "the other stuff" in a second year?  

              Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

              by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:08:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's about one solid year of work (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chrisculpepper

                related to engineering in most engineering degrees.

                It's true it is spread out over 4 years, because you can't learn differential equations until you've mastered calculus, and most engineering courses won't make sense without solid Classical Mechanics type physics.

                Looking at my Caltech transcript, where I completed coursework that at most colleges would get me a math minor, and where I studied two types of engineering (mechanical engineering and materials science), the relevant coursework to be, say, a mechanical engineer was 15-16 quarters of work (5 of math, 3 of physics, about 6 each in materials or mech E...they overlap enough that calling it 7-8 is about right)

                I averaged 5 classes a quarter, so yeah, for me that's about 1 year of work (15 quarters of classes).

                Had I taken one course a quarter, I could have learned enough to hold down an entry level Mech E or Materials job in the same 4 years.  

                The other four classes I took broadened my experience (Caltech required all students to take 6 quarters of math, 9 for engineers, 6 quarters of physics, 3 quarters of chemistry, 12 of humanities, the equivalent of a year of physical education and I forget how many electives you need to fill things out.   Liberal arts degrees do it differently but again, the premed or prelaw core is usually only about a year of solid work related to the field, the rest is other stuff)

                There is no reason why you have to give up 4 years of your life to do a professional job.   Nearly any significant specialty can be mastered in 1 class taken over 4 years, something that can be worked into a real life full time work environment, although granted it's easier if you don't have caregiver activities (kids, or other).   The reason most people can't do this is it isn't offered in a way convenient enough to fit into their lives, and inexpensive enough to do on a low paying service job's salary.

                •  Uh. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Caj

                  huh.

                  well, i guess if you're going to argue that it's okay for the average engineer to be scientifically semi-literate, your argument holds up.

                  if, on the other hand, you think that the average engineer ought to have some sort of general background in physical science, then you're looking at a minimum of:

                  10 semester credits of physics
                  5 semester credits of chemistry
                  19 semester credits of math (calc, probability, and either DiffEQ or Linear Algebra -- preferably both, but that bumps the requirement to 22 credits).

                  ... which is slightly more than one year of work before you're ready to even start learning how to do anything real. to be an EE, you're going to need to at least 22 credits -- 8 credits of analog circuits, 3 credits of digital logic, 4 credits of digital circuits, 3 credits of electromagnetics, 4 credits of signal and network analysis ... hmm, yeah, so we're at 56 credits and counting, so I'd say there's definitely a minimum of 2 full years worth of engineering courses, especially given that 3 or 4 of those credits are lab courses that are incredibly time-consuming.

                  now, again, you may argue that an EE starting out doesn't need to know all that stuff -- for example, just teach her digital logic and circuits, and let her get to work with that. i think that's lunatic -- a plan for having half-educated people make half-educated errors because they don't even have a clue about all the stuff they didn't study.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:17:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I used time and not semester credits (0+ / 0-)

                    Because those are different at every school, so I'm not sure how to translate it.

                    2 years of math at Caltech included calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, statistics.  The basic curriculum included matrix algebra too, and the quarter that included that also had some other stuff which really isn't needed for engineers, but the third year had a quarter for fourier and laplace transforms, which are needed for EE and some kinds of fluid flow and dynamics, (the other two quarters were more about the theory of how you derive the transforms, which quite frankly, I barely passed and never needed professionally)

                    So your view of how long it takes to get the math may be different from mine.  A course that wasn't based on the idea that "everybody needs to see math they aren't going to use and understand all the theory of how some 17th-early 20th century person without computers or theory to build on derived it" can get engineering math down to two years.

                    Frankly, I get more errors from new graduates in the real world because...they're young without real world experience.  Classes get you a lot of basic theory but without practice the lessons don't stick, and real world is much messier than the classroom.   You need the theory to communicate and learn on the job, but no new graduate is really ready to do anything of significance until they've built on that theory with whatever their job actually needs.

                    In my own case I got a job at a traffic engineering startup  - I'd had fluid flow classes, statistics, enough physics to understand how human reaction time plays into what can happen with a car, psychology and some skills on how to research prior work, and understand the theories and assumptions behind them as well as a summer spent studying and modeling traffic jams (that paper got me the job, it's why they wanted me on the team)

                    What I needed to actually DO the job was a bunch of skills I didn't get from college and either self-taught under fire or got some mentoring help from the rest of the team.   Product research for competitors, opening communication with Caltrans, cracking proprietary data formats because a contractor had screwed Caltrans and they couldn't read their historical data without shutting down their data collection, capturing data in a user-friendly fashion, focus group questions, setting up sensors that could survive weather and track speeds in varying weather conditions for gaps in magnetic sensor coverage that Caltrans had in LA, etc etc.

                    All a degree gives you is a foundation of skills.  The problem solving approaches and teamwork (Caltech encouraged collaboration on homework) from endless homework sets in various unrelated technical fields was far more important than any specific technique or fact I learned.  You can always re-learn or look up facts and techniques.  (Indeed, I've re-learned statistics 3 times in my career...usually you only need the easy stuff from the first few weeks, but the advanced techniques come up every few years and for me aren't so intuitive I don't need to brush up)

                    •  Ah, and for sciences (0+ / 0-)

                      One year of physics got you all of classical mechanics and special relativity, which pretty much does you for most engineering.

                      If you're doing materials, you'll need a little chemistry but I got everything I learned there from the actual materials class - the year of chemistry & lab time there was fun, but didn't cover anything the materials classes did not.

                      Likewise the quantum physics and general relativity we got in the second year had a few handy concepts but again, we got it again in engineering classes where it mattered for specific concepts.

                      As an example a materials class that covers semiconductors covers the concepts from chemistry and physics which discuss how electrons fit into atomic structures and why semiconductors behave differently from conductors such as most metals, or substances with stronger bonds...you don't need very deep understanding to get the point.  

                      If you are actually growing microchips, you'll learn the factory or laboratory processes and controls on the job, and the low level theory is not especially helpful unless you are the guy tasked with the R&D side of things, rather than actually making it work and scaling it to a useful product.  (those R&D guys have PHDs, there are very few of them compared to the numbers of EEs and Materials engineers out there and yeah, they need more than the basic undergraduate education to get there, they're the top 5% or so of anyone in that field.  The vast majority of jobs are on the other end.  Taking something proven in a small lab and scaling it to work in the real world, in an economic and efficient fashion.  You don't need low level theory to do that.  You need basic theory, and some experience with the kind of manufacturing your company uses)

                    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                      A course that wasn't based on the idea that "everybody needs to see math they aren't going to use and understand all the theory of how some 17th-early 20th century person without computers or theory to build on derived it" can get engineering math down to two years.
                      That's a far cry from saying that all the math and science can be crammed into one year.  Two years worth of math and science is actually quite typical for a 4-year engineering program.  

                      I should add that this guesstimating seems to be based on your own personal memories of college.  Let me counter this with an economic argument:  if we really could cram an engineering degree down to 2 years without sacrificing quality, wouldn't we already have that?  Wouldn't 2-year colleges offer this as an alternative?

                      In reality, departments often struggle to find a way to squeeze everything into 4 years as it is.  If it was possible to teach the content in less time, we would, just to make some room.

                      But it seems that, in the end, you're not really arguing that college could be made shorter and more efficient.  It appears instead that you are arguing that people only need parts of college and can get on-the-job training for other parts.  You're essentially arguing for something we already have:  2-year technical institutes and junior colleges, where people learn just what they need for placement in certain jobs.  If that already exists, there is no need for, and little sense in, dismantling college to fill the same role.

                      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                      by Caj on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:21:02 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't think community colleges get it done (0+ / 0-)

                        either.  They require you to not work, for the most part, show up to a central brick & mortar place and pay an instructor to teach the same class over and over.  

                        There also has to be one in easy commute for where you live, which has classes on a schedule that can combine with work.   That's far from a given.

                        The problem is that education is for people who, when they're about 18, have time and money to not enter the workforce, and, if they can't live with wage-earning family, also have to deal with room and board expenses.

                        The primary reason people fail at college isn't actually the workload, it is financial - either running out of money or getting no sleep trying to earn enough in a side job to not run out of money.   The primary reason people don't go to college is also financial.

                        Before it was required to have everybody have high school education, nobody thought everybody would need the stuff they taught in high school.   Turns out, actually, if you can't do algebra any kind of job with even minimal spreadsheet work or programming is pretty much off limits to you, if you still read and write at grade school levels, most other office jobs are also off limits.  Childhood ended at 18 instead of 15-16.

                        Now we're at an era when high school isn't enough to get anything but the lowest level service jobs, but extending childhood to 22 isn't on the table either (well not in USA.  In some European countries higher education is subsidized to the point where it's fairly close to the cost of sending a kid to a public high school in the USA).  The answer has to be some way to continue education past high school without sacrificing the ability to work...for EVERYBODY, not just those born into rich families.

                        Currently you have the "choice" of being born wealthy, having an education and a massive debt load or being locked into dead end jobs for life.

                        That's not sustainable.   Online ongoing adult education brings the costs down, takes geography & ability to commute out of the equation and lets you time-shift to whenever a class fits into your schedule.  The problem is that aside from a few areas (language studies, MBA programs, a few others) there isn't any real way of doing this today, at least not with any kind of quality control so you don't get scammed.   What programs exist are also much more expensive than they need to be, as they're priced in comparison to brick & mortar college.

            •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mimikatz, mconvente, BriarRose, Cedwyn
              Look, education is for everybody.
              Education in general is for everyone.  But we're talking about a 4-year college.  That is not for everybody.  

              We're talking about the kind of education whose admissions criteria require you to be above 50th percentile in scholastic aptitude at the very least.  And then almost half the people who get in, drop out.  So we're talking about a program that, by design, is at a level of scholastic difficulty that excludes most of the population.

              If college really were easy enough that everyone could do it, colleges could simply become more technical and more difficult, growing to a level of difficulty suitable to the cohort of students who are admitted.  

              Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

              by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:23:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That makes no sense (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ozsea1

                Colleges aren't magically more difficult because they're elitist.

                In 1900, learning how to read, do basic math and write was the goal of public education.   Most people were still in agricultural jobs, most of the rest were in basic industrial jobs.

                By 1960, this included civics, basic science exposure, math through algebra, history and much higher expected levels of reading and writing.   Most people were now in either industrial jobs or clerical jobs that required more.

                In 2020, the 1960 curriculum isn't enough.  Most jobs are either office jobs or service jobs, the industrial and agricultural jobs have been mostly automated away.  These jobs need the sort of skill set that used to be very unusual if you want to ever advance past the "take orders, do as you are told" levels of service.

                At my company, a college degree is the difference between being considered for "professional" jobs where you have some control over how you spend your day and can impact the goals of the company and "support" jobs where you do nothing but follow procedure.

                Even the "service" jobs often require very significant skills that aren't taught by high school.  Those in those jobs who don't have degrees do have a decade or more of work experience learning on the job.   Also the "service" jobs where it can be done by following directions will be increasingly automated.  Those jobs won't exist in 2080 in large numbers.

                The demographics say that if we're going to have our economy organized this way, with more and more of the jobs being jobs where you have to think to do the job, you have to have college-style "teach you to think" ongoing education.  

                The economic way to do this is not to try to make enough colleges for everybody who needs them and somehow pay for them to not work between 18-22 while paying huge fees for the colleges.

                The way to do it is to deliver the required coursework in a way that anyone who needs it can get it, ala-cart, as they need it, with economies of scale similar to those that drive audio-books (some up front cost to prepare the course, then relatively little in ongoing costs, mostly advertising, although education needs to factor in grading and similar instructor feedback)

                That way you can still be educated by the time you're 18-20 if you're in a job that doesn't need more than whatever the increasingly distressed public school system can provide, but you can use the money you earn on that job and evening/weekends/whatever to learn what you need to get a professional job eventually.   Given that you'll also be learning something about how to get things done on nearly any job, you may not need as much coursework as a typical college student.

                Now none of this addresses the networking benefits of going to an Ivy League school...but the vast majority of folks going to college don't get much of that anyway, and it's the bottom of the pyramid that online education would address, not the ones who can qualify for an elite school.  (although really...elite schools are so polluted with legacy admissions that most are elite only because the 1% send their kids there...it's kind of sad)

                •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cedwyn
                  Colleges aren't magically more difficult because they're elitist.
                  I don't see how you read that in my post at all.  I'm not saying college is difficult because it's elitist; I'm saying that college is difficult because it is difficult.  

                  The course material required for a math major, for example, is at a level of difficulty that does not allow for universal education a la K-12.  A lot of the population is simply not going to get through category theory or point-set topology.  Even among the kids who go to college, a lot of them can't get through less technical courses like differential equations.

                  It's a mistake to conflate this with elitism---or to conflate highly technical coursework with something like literacy.  There is a vast difference between learning how to read and learning quantum mechanics.

                  Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                  by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:59:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not as different as you think (0+ / 0-)

                    There is a level where you need talent.  It's different for every person.  Not everyone can be a star athlete or a musician or salesperson.

                    But actually most professional work doesn't take that level of talent.  What it takes is exposure to the basics and practice.

                    I got good at algebra by doing calculus, I got good at calculus by doing engineering problems.  Hell, I got good at fractions because I role playing game I was interested paid for abilities and reduced their costs with multiples and fractions.

                    You get good at writing by writing, good at reading by reading, good at shooting hoops by shooting hoops.

                    I test in the top percentiles, was a national merit scholar, etc.  That means mostly I have a steeper learning curve on mental tasks than most people and I grasp patterns faster.  That's been deeply helpful in my career probably less than 20 times, and people with average talent would have still found an answer.  

                    I have no natural talent for project management or people management, but my career's demanded that of me more often than any of my technical skills.  I became capable of doing them by getting training, and then needing to do it to keep earning my paycheck.  

                    The key to most jobs is making use of whatever talents your team has, while having a common set of skills, tools, approaches to problems so the team can work on the same problem.  A team might have a fast learner/pattern matcher like me, or a social glue person, or somebody very patient.   Most people I work with are actually average in "brilliance", got educated in schools with no particular reputation but they've all got personal strengths....and they do the same job I do, get paid the same pay grade.

                    Unless you are actually in a job where only a handful of people get paid to to it (see professional sports, some esoteric branches of science, some types of music, etc) you don't have to be a rock star.  You only have to be a garage band.

                    College doesn't teach you to be Jimmy Page.  It teaches you how to hold the guitar, learn how to read music, play the chords, get the basic skills.   Maybe you only reach garage band level based on your talent...that's good enough for 99% of the jobs out there.  If you never picked up the instrument though, you'll never get to play a gig with a band, not even for free.

                    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                      But actually most professional work doesn't take that level of talent.  What it takes is exposure to the basics and practice.
                      Then let's send people to technical institutes and junior colleges, and give them on-the-job training for those jobs.

                      But if most professional work only requires "exposure to the basics and practice," that doesn't imply the same for college.  College does not only require "exposure to the basics and practice."  College is harder than that.
                       

                      College doesn't teach you to be Jimmy Page.  It teaches you how to hold the guitar, learn how to read music, play the chords, get the basic skills.
                      The irony of this analogy is that many colleges have music majors, where of course the curriculum is far more advanced, technical and difficult than "how to hold the guitar" and "get the basic skills."  You should go back to your alma mater and attend some senior recitals before you blurt out such things.

                      You are of course making an analogy, but if we reasonably assume that a History or Engineering major demands as much from students as a music major expects from students, then clearly college is not analogous to "how to hold the guitar."  The level of expertise expected from your major is more in line with what you hear at that senior recital.

                      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                      by Caj on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:40:52 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Any kind of government aid that attempts to be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LittleSilver, benamery21

        market-based -- such as, giving money (or lending it at ultra-low interest rates -- 0.0% while you're in school) to students -- is going to drive up prices.

        The solution, of course, is to chuck "the market" out on its ear, and manage the situation -- which is what was done for 40 or 50 years. It's simple really:

        A. Tax the wealthy.
        B. Spend the money on public universities
        C. Control the universities' budgets and tuition rates.

        It isn't rocket science, but unfortunately, it's anathema to the boneheads who honestly believe that markets are magical problem-solvers.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:46:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not much longer... (3+ / 0-)

      This may be the last generation that countenance such negative returns.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

      by RichM on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:32:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My husband wants our son to (3+ / 0-)

      attend the university he went to: Birla, in northern India.  Other than "Could he really get by with just English?  Really?" and "I don't want him 10000 miles away!" it's hard to argue with him.

    •  I think the bubble has burst. There are now (12+ / 0-)

      millions of Americans who will never be consumers of houses because of their student debt.  Let alone consumers of all the other stuff - essential and not - that drives an economy.

      They are highly educated, and after they pay their loans, they are pretty near poverty.

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:16:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Running on free education (41+ / 0-)

    …imagine the nation investing in its people and in human capital -- like other developed nations do!

    This is how the Dems could sweep the 2014 mind terms.

    Imagine if we actually campaigned on something seriously enlightened and freedom-giving.

    But, there is a very good reason that Our Overlords want Americans to be stupid and broke.



    For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
    - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

    by Pluto on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:10:50 AM PDT

  •  "Student loan programs" (19+ / 0-)

    have several constituencies.  Students and their parents, to the extent they are even considered, are very low on the pecking order, coming in behind (at minimum) bank bottom lines and maintaining cash flow to the education biz.

    “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” —Aldous Huxley

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:45:55 AM PDT

  •  our universities are helping make it worse (6+ / 0-)

    many of our major universities give community cred and bring in ad dollars for rw radio. rw radio is a  major factor in keeping ed funding down (no taxes!!), attacking/defunding/privatizing public ed, demeaning and attacking teachers and professors, electing regents and appointing uni admin who are republicans/corporatists, etc.

    they rent their sports logos to those community dominating bullhorns for amts that may be quite small compared to TV licensing revenues but are usually lumped in and kept confidential (even from university admin) by licensing companies like learfield sports.

    but rw radio would not survive if those unis started taking their mission statements seriously and went looking for apolitical alternatives for broadcasting their sports.

    universities for limbaugh 300kb photo limbaughpyramidhoax2-300kbcopy_zpsf7555ce7.png

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:23:19 AM PDT

    •  This is a reach (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattc129, OrganicChemist, Nulwee

      I was preparing to fire off an angry letter to my beloved alma mater, which appears above.  Bu then I clicked the link.

      This is an extreme reach.   It would be like holding my school responsible for the fact that licensed material is sold in Walmart, a company I find reprehensible.

      This is decidedly not the same as telling advertisers not to advertise on the Rush show.  This is the equivalent of telling advertisers not to advertise on any show that is broadcast on a station that also carries Limbaugh.  And that position is an overreach.
       

      •  really? what overreach? it's KKK-lite radio (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides, Nulwee

        what if the republican radio station pays $5000 or $10000 a year to put your old football logo on limbaugh's bullhorn?

        what's the overreach? have you listened to those/that radio station lately?

        so there aren't other apolitical radio stations (and internet) that can do the same that aren't doing what these stations are doing? would it take too much effort?

        and those radio stations don't sell merchandise directly- they pay for the community credibility and the ad dollars the endorsement brings in.

        have you read your school's mission statement lately?

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:36:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Funding of public universities declined in (7+ / 0-)

    response to the rapidly growing cost to states for Medicaid and other low income assistance program funded partially or entirely by states.

    In addition, low interest federal student loans allowed state legislatures to rationalize very rapidly increasing tuition, instead of state funding with the higher costs or controlling costs, as students were "able" to fund higher tuition and fees.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:25:15 AM PDT

  •  your title, ... (19+ / 0-)

    the end of opportunity: how college became a source of debt rather than a source of wealth, is a beautiful encapsulation of this shameful situation.

    The enormous class-mobility bounty of the original G.I. Bill has been replaced by liens on the productivity of the nation's most promising citizens.

  •  Where is the money going? (14+ / 0-)

    Just wondering. I know some college teachers and I don't think they make as much accounting for inflation as teachers did back then.

    I know school service personell are also paid proportionally less most places than in the 80's.

    •  Pay to top administrators has skyrocketed (20+ / 0-)

      (just like CEO pay in the business world.)

      Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

      by Happy Days on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:09:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nah, not really. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides, Nulwee, mconvente

        Maybe a half-dozen people at a campus make outlandish amounts of money, and together they probably account for $100 of tuition.  

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:54:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The number of administrators, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Happy Days, Greyhound

          as a percentage of employees, has also increased significantly.

          •  Partly in response to regulations / lawsuits (0+ / 0-)

            re increase in administrators, absolutely!!

            Some of it is simply the usual bureacuratic empire building.

            Some it is is also a natural consequence of the facilities arms race.  If you have twice as many dorms because you've gone to all single rooms, you need more RAs and more supervisors to train and manage them.  I have a relative who earns as much as an Associate Prof on her campus basically as a full time middle manager in the dormitory system.  You also need people to run the gyms and spas and rock climbing walls.

            And, some of it is due to regulations, lawsuits, etc.  A cycle I saw a couple of times at my graduate alma mater was:  1) undergrad commits suicide or dies from alcohol/drugs; 2) parents sue for a bazillion dollars; 3) settlement includes the university creating a new Special Assistant to the Dean of Students for [fill in the blank] to show "seriousness" in dealing with the issue.   Ditto, if Congress demands that universities provide annual reports on X to the Dept of Ed, some administrator has to write those reports.

    •  That is a very good question (4+ / 0-)

      I'm no expert on the subject, but I think there are three basic issues:

      1)Reduced state/federal support of pubic school costs
      2)Reduced income of the majority of the population, including reduced minimum and median wages as a fraction of GDP/capita
      3)Increased college costs for 'reasons.'  Typically Baumol's cost disease is cited as part of the explanation, but given your observation about the remuneration of instructors, I find that somewhat unsatisfying.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:55:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Campuses "improved" with great cost (14+ / 0-)

      At some point students became consumers. Some private colleges in particular decided that students were making the call based on great facilities and dorms so they built more an more expensive ones.  There's a real estate bubble element in this too. So now some of them have debt they need to service just as students are more selective and rightly less willing to take on debt.

      I had a prof who told me that the amount of debt you take on for college should be aboue the same as you would take to buy a midlevel new car.  That was the case for me (less than $20k) and I was able to pay it off.  I don't see how that will be the case for my kids. I was sure something would change before they were old enough for college, but now I'm not sure change will happen soon enough.

      •  Bingo... (9+ / 0-)

        Ultra modern dorm facilities.  State of the art work-out facilities.  And athletic facilities.

        “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

        by RichM on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:38:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some of that is covered by room and board, though (2+ / 0-)

          I just attended a briefing on our current campus construction and renovation projects.  There are a lot of projects to renovate dorms, while we have fewer and slower projects to actually address our classroom space problem.

          That certainly seems like misplaced priorities, but in fact it's a simple matter of finance:  improvement of academic buildings is a state matter and requires state money and state approval, whereas the dormitories can cover their own renovation with room and board money.  There is no need to find the money, and no bureaucracy to shepherd it through.

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:09:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think the money is "going." (7+ / 0-)

      When public school tuition rises from 4K to 8K to 16K, that's not an actual extra amount of money that "goes" somewhere.  

      That number is just the portion of the tuition cost paid by the student instead of the state.  The difference is just an amount the state doesn't have to pay anymore; if anything it is a savings for the state government that goes to other state operations.

      In the case of private schools, a tuition hike means more revenue for the school, and that usually goes to building infrastructure and prestige.  For example, with extra money you can build and equip more labs, you can have more PhD student lines and pay higher stipends, you can hire rock star professors and build a new "center for the humanities" because Yale built one the previous year and you have to keep up.  Many private schools also give that money back to students in the form of need-based tuition discounts.

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:37:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The UVA football coach gets $2M a year (7+ / 0-)

      That's a million bucks for every game he won last year.

      “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

      by spacecadet1 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:25:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good grief what a pathetic waste of money (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caj, Nulwee, spacecadet1

        that on top of the attempted prosecution of climatology research at UVA and the attempted firing of the university president by board of visitors lead by the petty, incompetent and Machiavellian political hack Dragas.

        This is what Conservative GOP policies buys people.

      •  The highest paid employee at virtaully all the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Trotskyrepublican, spacecadet1

        big universities is a coach, usually football. When I was at USC, the President took over a mil while all the teaching was done by adjuncts making about $40 an hour with no benefits.

        "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

        by Greyhound on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:01:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the case of state universities... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Greyhound

          ...the football coach is usually the highest paid public employee in the state, governor included.

          “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

          by spacecadet1 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:08:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have NEVER understood this fetish - collegiate (0+ / 0-)

          football, basketball and whatnot.  What a ridiculous waste of money and energy.  It's grotesque.

          "Revolution begins when the complacent are denied their dinner." -- D. Mizner

          by livjack on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:05:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The wealth (27+ / 0-)

    from college should be making one an educated person NOT to get a job.

    When we made a degree into a commodity its was all over.  Education became a business.   I see ads for a receptionist at $10 per hour and degree required?  Why? Because they can and college encourage this crap.

    •  thank you! (23+ / 0-)

      it's an incredibly vicious cycle.  

      everybody and their brother is told to go to college.  lazy HR people use a bachelor's as a weeding device for jobs where a degree couldn't matter less. more pressure to go to college.  colleges have to expand facilities.  tuition goes up.  etc. etc.

      i'm sorry, but requiring a bachelor's degree for a receptionist job is pure and utter bullshit.  there aren't but five college programs that apply directly to the working world:  CS, engineering, architecture, pre-med, and education.  

      college is about getting educated, not a job.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:44:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  THANK you (16+ / 0-)
        i'm sorry, but requiring a bachelor's degree for a receptionist job is pure and utter bullshit.
        This is the kind of thing that is rampant in today's hiring market, too. As in "right now" and "currently". Un-fucking-believable, it is.

        "Counting on people having nowhere else to go is the logic of a slumlord."--Wolf10

        by lunachickie on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:22:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Re (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        barleystraw
        'm sorry, but requiring a bachelor's degree for a receptionist job is pure and utter bullshit.
        The problem is that companies are faced with applicants with and without college degrees. Why would you take less qualified people when more qualified people are available?

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:51:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Um...no. (0+ / 0-)
        i'm sorry, but requiring a bachelor's degree for a receptionist job is pure and utter bullshit. there aren't but five college programs that apply directly to the working world:  CS, engineering, architecture, pre-med, and education.  
        Two strikes: you're almost out.

        First swing and a miss:

        i'm sorry, but requiring a bachelor's degree for a receptionist job is pure and utter bullshit.
        That depends on the business. A business that has a fluid work environment, where project demands come and go and the ability to task a receptionist, as needed, to do research, composition, proofing/editing, and other tasks requiring skills one learns in college, certainly would benefit from having a receptionist with a bachelor's degree. It increases flexibility, helps the business be more responsive to demands, and provides an opportunity for the receptionist to grow into a more challenging and well-compensated position.  For such a business, I don't see anything wrong with it at all.

        And the second:

        there aren't but five college programs that apply directly to the working world:  CS, engineering, architecture, pre-med, and education.
        I'm quite confident this is wrong on a number of fronts, but I'll limit this to my field: hydrogeology.  It's not engineering. It's not pre-med. It's not "CS" (which I would guess is, what?, computer science?). Hell, geology generally, also applies directly to the working world.  I'm not sure what you are trying to say here, but it comes across as just plain wrong.
        •  yes, CS is computer science (0+ / 0-)

          and only that handful of jobs takes you from college to directly working in your field.

          even if one majors in "geology," there are a variety of ways to use that degree; one could go on to teach.  one could otherwise use it indirectly in their employment.  i majored in biology.  it's  a fancy piece of paper.

          and i'm sorry, but yes:  requiring a bachelor's for a receptionist job is pure and utter bullshit.  as if college is the only place one learns such skills.  puhleeze!

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 06:45:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's OK to be wrong. (0+ / 0-)

            No harm in that.

            And I'm sorry you found your biology degree to be "a fancy piece of paper."

            When I was a junior in high school, I wanted to be a biologist because of a very cool, very intelligent, and very involved advanced biology teacher.

            But even then, w-a-y before the Internet, I learned how difficult biology positions were to find. I accepted a scholarship in an industry-funded chemical engineering field but decided it didn't interest me.  So I went into geology; more specifically, hydrogeology.

            It's not indirectly used in my employment, despite your sneering suggestion to the contrary. It's what I do and have done for several decades. It is directly applicable.  I do it every work day. Moreover, I know how desperate we are for new graduates in this field yet how few smart, quantitative and analytical students bother. And it bugs me to see bullshit articles such as this diary pooh-poohing college and graduate studies.

            Your suggestion about receptionists?  You're wrong.  Your opinion is bullshit.  It reveals a near-total lack of understanding of how business operates.

            I'm curious.  You're pretty old aren't you?  How did you get that old without somehow developing a better understanding of the world around you? It's surprising to find someone with so many years under their belt remaining so clueless about how business operates.  Sad, really.

            •  This diary does not pooh-pooh collegiate studies (0+ / 0-)

              It calls for them to be state-funded.

              P.S. DBAD

              Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

              by benamery21 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:11:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If I were responding to you (0+ / 0-)

                You would have standing.

                I wasn't.

                And you don't.

                P.S. DBAD

                •  It's my diary (0+ / 0-)

                  I have standing with respect to any comment made in or on my diary.  You've been repeatedly dickish in the comments here.  Perhaps you are simply having a bad day or two.  In any event, please don't participate further in the comment thread to my diary.  I appreciate your courtesy in complying.

                  Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                  by benamery21 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 06:22:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree vehemently (5+ / 0-)

      I think that's an extremely privileged idea of what education is good for.  For working class and lower middle class kids it has always been a ticket to better economic opportunity (if they could get in and pay for it at all).  My father back in the 60s was told that he would go to college and he would get a degree, because he was supposed to be something better than what his own father was.  Now the only possible professions he could envision from his then standing in life were teacher or minister, but he went and he did it.  My grandfather on my mother's side, a generation before my father, was gutted that he and his family could not afford for him to go to college -- in their view it was his ticket out of the near-poverty they suffered.  He did get out, thanks to his brilliance and the war, but all his life he regretted never getting to go.  And that was as much for what he might have done economically (and in avoiding lengthy military service) for his family, as it was for the education he had missed.

      Only rich people get the luxury of going to college with no thought of what it might do for them economically.  That has always been so.  

      And I haven't even touched on the technical fields and the professions, where the job and the education are all but synonymous.

      •  Not true. (6+ / 0-)

        My family certainly was far from rich, and I went to school for the education, not to get a job.  I majored in English because I loved literature.  We had a joke about it:  "Oh, English major?  Can you type?"

        It's not only the rich who appreciate learning for its own sake.

        Then I got a masters, and became an adjunct.  Yeah, poverty.  Then I went to law school.  Now THAT was for a job.

        I loved my college experience and wouldn't trade anything for it.  

        "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

        by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:25:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I went to school for the education too. (5+ / 0-)

          However, it was also understood that the education I pursued for its own sake would also give me an increased earnings potential.

          If I didn't get that, then I would have been cheated.

          There are many ways we can receive an education for its own sake, without going to an accredited institution and without paying tens of thousands of dollars.  For that money, I expect not only the educational opportunities but also the economic benefits that come from the credential.

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:59:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, I believe those days are over (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kentucky DeanDemocrat, mattc129

          While I fully understand that there are structural changes that need to happen in higher education, I really don't think someone should go in $100,000 worth of debt to get a degree in Classics.  Sorry, I just don't.  It's just not worth it anymore.  Honestly, I can't justify $100,000 for any major, but at least some (like engineering, or computer science, etc.) should allow students to get high paying jobs after graduating.

          The college experience for today's era is one where attendees learn some core curriculum, concentrate in a field of study, network with students/alumni/job recruiters, tailor their social engineering skills, and party.  Sure, you have students whose only priority is school, but most of the experience comes from the outside-the-class moments.

          "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

          by mconvente on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:37:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hear both you and Caj (0+ / 0-)

            And I know things have changed.  My parents literally could give me nothing, but in the 70s it was possible to go to school with National Defense Student Loans (3%) and I got scholarships and student aid and a work-study.  I attended one of the best small, private liberal arts colleges in the country.  Ten to twenty kids per class, and all my teachers had doctorates in their respective subjects.  I repeat:  I wouldn't take ANYTHING for my experience there.

            However, I know things have changed, and given the godawful debt a college student must incur today, my experience is probably too great a luxury for many.  It breaks my heart.

            My comment was in response to a person who said that college was ALWAYS an economic consideration to working class kids, and that only the rich have gone to school for the education alone.  That is not true.  There was a brief window of opportunity in our country when the poor could dream too, and education was not just a matter of money.  I was lucky enough to be born at the right time.

            "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

            by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:00:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "born at the right time." That's a truism. There (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kentucky DeanDemocrat

              have always been right times and wrong times.  Kind of like blue eyes or green eyes.  Completely out of our control.  Except that if I were a young person considering having a child today, I would think very long and hard about it. For their sake.

              "Revolution begins when the complacent are denied their dinner." -- D. Mizner

              by livjack on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:12:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree with the first sentence. (5+ / 0-)
      The wealth from college should be making one an educated person NOT to get a job.
      Higher education is the goal, but college has always been an vehicle for professional preparation.  You're supposed to leave college with an increased earnings potential, to offset the cost of paying for more school---whether it is you or the state that pays the bill.

      Pretty much everything about the way college is organized would not make sense if college was not supposed to be for professional preparation.  It's the reason we have accreditation, transcripts (and grades,) major and graduation requirements, and 4-year programs.  None of that would be necessary if there was no external need for the college degree to count as a credential.

      Indeed, community colleges often have a continuing education program that offers non-matriculating courses without grades or graduation, simply for personal enrichment.  Those courses are inexpensive, you can take them a la carte for however many semesters you want, and become an educated person without the expensive infrastructure of a 4-year college.  So if college should be like that, we already have that.

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:56:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Supposed to? (0+ / 0-)

        Where is exactly is that law written down?

        •  Don't you people realize that (0+ / 0-)

          you drank you Kool-Aid/sales strategy?

        •  asdf? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mconvente
          Where is exactly is that law written down?
          The "law" that a college degree is supposed to confer an increased earnings potential?

          Hey, good point:  there's no law saying that colleges have to give us any economic benefit in exchange for our degree and our high tuition.  I guess they can charge us eleventy bazillion dollars and give us a Taco Bell job application along with some BS about making us a global citizen.

          I guess it was wrong of me to expect that the educational system meet some kind of reasonable obligation in exchange for all that money.

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:44:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Correct (0+ / 0-)

            You foolishly drank the Kool-Aid

            •  Thank God you're here, then... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mconvente, mattc129

              ...to defend the right of colleges to take my money and give me nothing in return---because there's no law saying they can't.

              But back in reality, yes:  there is an expectation that a college education not only educate people but confer an increased earnings potential that offsets the cost of tuition.

              No, there is no law saying they have to do that---but if a school or department fails to provide a suitably rigorous education, it can lose its accreditation.  One-liners aside, there really are policies in place mandating what kind of education a college "should" provide.

              Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

              by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:36:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Listen, if you want a 4-year pow-wow (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Caj, chrisculpepper, mattc129

              on the campus commons while shelling out $25,000 per year, be my guest.

              But I wanted my education to be a return on investment, and for me, it was.

              That's the way it always has been.  What's changed is the cost of that investment, not the overall mission of college.

              "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

              by mconvente on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:40:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  The social contract is deteriorating (19+ / 0-)

    Social disease takes on a new meaning when we are burdening our youth with debt so those in power can get richer.

    We are an end stage civilization when the education of our youth becomes a racket.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:49:15 AM PDT

    •  and parents of college-aged children now face the (0+ / 0-)

      dilemma of continuing to buy into this warped paradigm, or opting our children OUT of it. A very difficult decision to make--unfortunately.  What do we replace it with, exactly?  

      "Revolution begins when the complacent are denied their dinner." -- D. Mizner

      by livjack on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:16:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's what Republicans do, make everything (16+ / 0-)

    steal-able. Then steal it.

    Your house, your job, your retirement savings, your children's public education, your roads and even your college education opportunities .... commoditize it, steal it, sell it back to you at 3x the price.

    •  It's what too many Democrats (8+ / 0-)

      do as well.

      "When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two." - Nisargadatta Maharaj.

      by mkor7 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:14:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  America has always been (7+ / 0-)

      a kleptocracy.  It's economy was built on slave labor, but that would involve too much expense today, because there was a incentive to actually keep slaves alive and healthy enough to work.  Today's workers are just easily-replaced spare parts.  

      "For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, clean, and wrong." --H. L. Mencken

      by mcstowy on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:27:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The race to the bottom continues (4+ / 0-)

        People don't realize that collective action is the only thing that will keep wages from continuing to fall to starvation levels.

        The scarcity of labor is not a sufficient mechanism for its valuation.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:16:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  medieval serfs knew it too (6+ / 0-)
        It's economy was built on slave labor, but that would involve too much expense today, because there was a incentive to actually keep slaves alive and healthy enough to work.
        "A slave must be fed, but a free man is free to starve."  That was the attitude that those at the bottom of the feudal hierarchy had towards the dubious prospect of "freedom" in a world they knew to be unjust.  Even medieval lords found it cheaper and/or more profitable to reduce the population of serfs and other bonded labor (who were reciprocally entitled to protection and provision that free peasants were not), as well as to phase out labor duties (which were legally restricted so as not to interfere with planting and harvest) and "payment in kind" in favor of increasing cash rents, fees, etc.  Then they found out that raising cattle and sheep was more profitable than farming (lower labor costs, you see), and enclosure - possible because all the land belonged to the lords anyway - began in earnest.

        Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

        by Visceral on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:33:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh it's a source of wealth alright... (11+ / 0-)

    ...just not to the students who take out the loans.

    Of the almost 1,900 dead Palestinians, the IDF said it killed "900 terrorists" in Gaza. Add that to its long list of lies.

    by pajoly on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:12:43 AM PDT

  •  Like all things in the U.S., "education" is just (9+ / 0-)

    now another thing from which to profit, or more specifically, to extract taxpayer monies that fund the student tuition at the thousands of "for profit" "universities" (scroll mills).

    Of the almost 1,900 dead Palestinians, the IDF said it killed "900 terrorists" in Gaza. Add that to its long list of lies.

    by pajoly on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:17:42 AM PDT

  •  look at rise in administrative costs (10+ / 0-)

    college presidents are overpaid like corporate ceos. Most administrators is more make work jobs for untallented scions of the upper class and their friends. Common practice in an aristocracy.

    support Thomas Lofgren, progressive candidate for Minnesota house of reps district 20A http://thomaslofgren.us/

    by mollyd on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:22:05 AM PDT

    •  Everytime I see someone blame administration (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caj, Joe Bob, mconvente

      in public higher ed for increased tuition cost, I know they don't know what they are talking about, especially when they compare public school admin salaries with corporate CEO salaries. Not even CLOSE. CEO of a corp can make millions and the President of a college will be lucky to get $400,000. Sure, its a VERY NICE salary, but it is not breaking the bank in a $100,000 budget. There is NO comparison.

      Secondly, a lot of administrative cost is administration for services to get the students graduated, including services implemented because high schools aren't preparing the students well enough for college. Academic advisement, career advisement, tutoring, testing, high school to college programs, personal counseling, immigration help, etc. Someone has to direct these things, someone has to do the paperwork, it's not going to run itself. A lot of these things just didn't exist in years past and as the need for them became apparent and grew, more money goes towards them.

      Another area of increased cost for higher education is technology. Computers, projectors, simulators, lab equipment, software don't buy themselves. All costs that didn't exist before because we didn't have this level of technology. You want your kid to go to the private university Nursing Program with the nice mock hospital containing the latest $80,000 SimMan simulator where educators teach the EMR software used at the major hospital in the area? Or you want them to go to the public Nursing Program that has chalkboard lectures circa 1980?

      •  Sorry, correction: meant $100,000,000 budget n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Another point to consider: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AkaEnragedGoddess

        A lot of universities are in the process of expanding, often over the course of decades; and this unavoidably results in new administrative positions and an increase in administrative costs---whether or not there is genuine administrative bloat.

        People who blame college costs on increasing administrative costs should ask themselves:  how are administrative costs supposed to rise as a university grows?  When there comes a point that you create a separate graduate school as an administrative division with its own dean, was that not supposed to happen?  When you have enough alumni with money to donate that you hire a director of alumni relations and charitable giving, was that bad?  Were you not supposed to do that?  Is that bloat, or is that simply the necessary personnel for a university that gets really big?

        Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

        by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:12:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  hear, hear. Everyone is always quick to blame (0+ / 0-)

        administrators as overpaid dead weight.  It's a knee-jerk, inaccurate talking point, along the lines of "union teachers can't be fired."  It DOES show a lack of knowledge about the scope of responsibility administrators have and how reasonably they are paid in comparison to their private-industry counterparts.  

        And, of course, that's just how the 1% wants it:  they take 11 cookies and make the rest of us argue about how to split up the 12th.  Wake up!!

        "Revolution begins when the complacent are denied their dinner." -- D. Mizner

        by livjack on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:23:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just the coaches make that much. (0+ / 0-)

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

        by RUNDOWN on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:21:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is (0+ / 0-)

    only ONE action that will change this.  STOP enrolling. A few colleges close up and others will change their ways.

  •  If you're making minimum wage after college... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, NancyK, mattc129

    ...you kind of wasted your time.

    where my entry level salary was immediately more than 3X the poverty level for a family of 4.
    Presumably you were making considerably more than minimum wage.

    Going to college to "enrich yourself" without any plans for a career is the past-time of people who come from enough money not to worry about making a living, or those who can't be bothered to think realistically about the future.

    Your student loans implicitly assume you're gaining earning power from college.  If you don't think that's going to be the case, you shouldn't take them.

  •  Private schools (12+ / 0-)

    are popping up like mushrooms. This new breed of private "universities" offer sub-standard or even unnecessary education for super-premium prices, and they thrive on student loans.

    My area has at least a dozen of them.

    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

    by mosesfreeman on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:48:11 AM PDT

  •  Just this morning (10+ / 0-)

    I heard a report on NPR about how colleges are looking at changing the athletic funding to allow compensation to the players.  The fact that schools are more renown for their ball teams than they are for their academics says plenty about America and it's inverted priorities.  Entertainment value is the clear priority.

    I have long advocated for separating sports and school and making schooling, all the way through the highest degrees, free and available to those who can and will succeed at it as other countries are doing.  Funny how those same countries have become leaders in industries and technology that was started in the US but can no longer be found here, at least in terms of any R&D.

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:55:04 AM PDT

  •  "More education" is the auto-answer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    benamery21, Caj, FiredUpInCA, Nulwee

    There was a really useful report that came out from the S&P this week that acknowledged that income inequality is dampening economic growth.  Yet the best solution they could come up with was "we need more education."

    Worth a read though.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    •  Yes, even with free public post-secondary ed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Nulwee

      we would continue to be faced with the underlying problems of an economy rigged for the rich.  Relying on 'getting a leg up' to 'get ahead' is moot when everyone is given a leg up.  We will only get paid, if we make them pay.  The association of labor against the collusion of capital is essential to taking our slice of the pie.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:32:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  replace 'education' with 'skills' (5+ / 0-)

      In the old days, few people got any formal education and most of those who did never got beyond elementary school by today's standards.  But those who had skills above or beyond the standard peasant farmer skill set always commanded higher wages and higher standards of living, especially if they were good enough to get into a royal workshop or in later centuries, cater to the tastes of wealthy commoners.  It took industrialization and mechanization to start shifting the advantage from skills to knowledge - since machines were doing more and more of the actual work - and to create the demand for modern "education".

      Vocational training and apprenticeship is the way forward for anyone who doesn't want to be a lawyer, doctor, or engineer.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:45:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  'More education' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, Nulwee

      But DON'T raise taxes - because reasons....

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

      by RichM on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:47:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We do it for the tsunami (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        linkage, Nulwee, Cassandra Waites

        It has been an axiom of the universe since the 80s, that when you reduce taxes on the wealthy it incentives them to hire workers. Cutting taxes is supposed always unleash a tsunami of job growth.

        Nevermind that under Clinton, the wealthy were taxed at a higher rate and we had lower unemployment, while under nearly 10 years of Bush tax cuts, hiring was down. Now it's back up again, with some of the taxes on the wealthy restored.

        S&P and many others are stuck in a belief system that is unmoored from actual reality.

        In reality, for most people watching themselves and their friends out of work for weeks and months, getting more education translates into taking on more debt, not higher wages.

        For most people, that are not analysts at S&P, more education means more debt and taking any job available in order to get out of college debt that was supposed to help you raise your income.

        "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

        by FiredUpInCA on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:44:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or we need to abandon the extant model entirely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barleystraw, Nulwee

      I am speaking of tertiary education, which actually COULD use a charter system.

      Secondary and primary ed, not so much, but then again the whole mantra of 'innovation' is a dog whistle for public school-busting.

  •  Not all degrees are a ticket to a job. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kickemout, FiredUpInCA

    Used to be any degree was good proof one was hard-working and smart.  But the fact is many degrees are only a first step to getting an advanced degree.  A BS in Physics is good for teaching in high school (maybe if you get teaching credentials.)  I think student loans ought to be for programs for which there is a definite employment need.  

    •  My brother-in-law has a BS in Physics (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattc129, Nulwee, edbb

      He and his brother (BS Mech Eng), both from a state school in the Cal State system, created a green tech startup that became a niche sector leader, sold out and retired to Latin America (Peru and Belize, respectively) in their 20's.  

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:42:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My buddy (same high school class) (4+ / 0-)

      started a degree in Physics with the goal of becoming a HS educator, at the same time I started my BSEE.  He was working his way thru school as a carlot attendant at a local dealership.  When he realized that his starting pay as a public school teacher was going to be less than he was making as a car lot attendant, he abandoned his degree, and went into IT work using skills gained without benefit of a degree.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:46:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what we call shortsightedness. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        linkage

        Public school teachers, after a few years, everywhere and always make much, much more than car lot attendants.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:52:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He makes a lot more than a school teacher (4+ / 0-)

          he switched to IT, and has been well remunerated.  He enjoys IT, but his dream was to be a math and physics teacher in high school, and that dream was dashed by low pay scales for teachers.  His interest in a better starting paycheck was related to previous poor planning, he got married right out of high school due to an unplanned pregnancy.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:01:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  um hmm... (0+ / 0-)

        So, you're suggesting a presumably intelligent young person wanted to be a teacher, went to school in a challenging field to be a teacher, and then when he graduated he was shocked, shocked! that starting salaries in his dream field were low.  He then went on and impulsively changed to another field, not fully thinking through the combination of long-term pay growth, job security, retirement compensation, and the joy of doing what he always wanted to do?

        Right.  Sounds like a good story.  Does it go down well when you're holding forth at the corner tavern?

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          You are misreading me.  I did not say he graduated.  I said he switched fields after starting a degree in Physics, our HS physics teacher had been Teacher of the Year multiple times and was quite inspiring.  It's been about 20 years, but I think we were about a year into university when he switched.  He had understood that there would be sacrifices and difficulty involved when he decided to start.  He did not then have the life experience of trying to get by independently, with a young family on a car lot attendant wage while attending school.  He did switch (to immediately higher pay, a regular work schedule, and no school in IT) after discovering that in addition to struggling thru school he would be taking a pay cut when he got out.  The back of my mind says that there was a pay ladder change for teachers involved in his decision.  I wouldn't swear to that.  I do know he was quite intelligent, he was a National Merit Commended Scholar (there were 6 finalists in our peer group).  As to the initial naivete, and lack of detailed cost benefit analysis, of intelligent 18 y.o.'s about how the world works, I'm confident you are just as aware as I am.  

          Incidentally, hello, you may remember me from the old Krugman forum, that's got to be pushing a decade ago?

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 01:21:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I just checked NCES data (0+ / 0-)

            and minimum and average salaries for teachers went down -7.7% and -6.8% respectively in real dollars over the 4 year period ending at the end of our freshman year of college in AZ.

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:42:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  So no more loans for physics majors anymore? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      benamery21, cskendrick, Nulwee, BradyB

      Only rich kids and foreigners need consider working in a scientific field?  Is that what you're saying?

    •  And many Republicans would agree entirely (0+ / 0-)

      except for the part where the state is dictating your range of majors through manipulating of credit policy.

    •  This would be shortsighted (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      UntimelyRippd

      People here often rail against the "uselss" degrees people get, most often in the humanities. But they are called the "humanities" for a reason, and we, as a society, are sorely lacking humanitarian impulses, not to mention the logic, reasoning, and communication skills taught. (That's not to say that other disciplines do not teach these things. Some do. Some don't.)

      "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way" Juan Ramon Jimnez

      by Teiresias70 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:59:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The larger problem is that there are fewer (0+ / 0-)

      and fewer jobs (proportional to the population) that pay decent salaries. Nobody cares whether you are hard-working and smart, because they've done everything they can to make the jobs serviceable by someone who is neither.

      People in this thread emphasizing the whole, "Well, if you're not rich, you shouldn't be majoring in English" bit are not getting it. We are being sold a bogus bill of goods with respect to the essential difficulty, which is that there simply are not enough high-paying middle-class professional jobs to be had.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:47:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is important to note... (6+ / 0-)

    That this is happening on a state level.  The federal government has very little to do with higher education other than grants and loan guarantees (it could be argued that the federal loan program has paved the way for states to shift costs to the students).  This has happened even in blue states, with tax-payer reforms like Prop 13.

    When I went to college in 1983, it was $435 per semester for tuition at a Cal State college.  My kids are paying $7500 a semester at a state college in Colorado.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:29:05 AM PDT

  •  College tuition is a crime (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    benamery21, Nulwee

    Especially public colleges and universities, but all of them really.  I don't have the foggiest idea how it got this bad, but if what it took to fix it was to raze most of the fancy buildings, give up all the sports teams, and fire 90% of the overpaid administration and faculty, I'd probably go for it.  In almost any other situation I wouldn't be discussing any of that.  It's just insane.

    •  But that would just assist in the theft (3+ / 0-)

      I have occasionally heard that we should cut college tuition by cutting salaries, hiring more adjuncts, teaching larger classes and moving courses online, and generally finding ways to dramatically cut our operating costs.

      The problem is, the price hike for public colleges isn't caused by an inflation of operating costs; it's caused by state governments reducing their subsidies.   States are not paying their part of the bill, or at least not paying as much as they used to.

      So if the state cuts their subsidies by $8K/year, and we respond by cutting our operating costs by $8K/year, then we're essentially allowing the state to walk away with the money.  The end result is a college that costs the same for far worse and far less, and a state government that got away with using the educational system as an ATM.

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:39:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If this is true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee

        Then why are costs at private institutions increasing as fast, or faster, that public.

        If state funding has decreased by 75%, why are college costs increasing by 300 to 400%?  The numbers just don't add up.

        •  Private tuition increases by a different mechanism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee, DrPlacebo

          You are correct that subsidy cuts are not the reason for the skyrocketing cost of college.  They are the reason for price hikes in public schools.

          Private schools are able to hike their prices in response to demand, and then use that money for various purposes---need based tuition discounts, new infrastructure, labs and equipment, hiring more famous faculty, adding more student lines and paying higher PhD stipends, etc.

          There is also a connection between the two:  when private tuition skyrockets, it's easier for a state to cut public tuition subsidies, because then public tuition can rise to a comparable fraction of the private tuition.

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:15:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again why has public costs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nulwee

            gone up 300 to 400 percent?  those numbers just don't add up.

            •  Here's a couple examples (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nulwee, mconvente, chrisculpepper, Caj

              Cal Poly SLO -- a good state polytechnic school I am familiar with from recruiting power engineers

              In 1987 net tuition made up 10.7% of the school's revenue.  In 2012 that had risen to 44.5%.

              Arizona State University, my alma mater:

              In 2002 net tuition was 19.5% of school revenue.  In 2012 that had risen to 38.7%.  State support had declined from 47% to 23.7% over the same period.  As ASU is a research institution, federal support was also significant.

              http://chronicle.com/...

              The link lets you check details for 600+ 4 year public schools or by state.

              Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

              by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:15:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Primarily because of cuts in state subsidies. (0+ / 0-)

              Which brings us back to the original point:  if tuition triples because of a cut in subsidies, and then we bring tuition back down by razing half the university and doubling the class size, then overall it's a giant swindle.  You end up with a college that is far worse, and the state government walks away with the money.  

              The solution to this problem is not to help the swindlers by correcting for the money they're taking out of the system.  If an identity thief is charging $5K/year to my credit card, I don't respond to this by finding a way to cut $5K/year from my household budget.  

              The solution to this problem is to reinstate tuition subsidies through the power of the ballot box.  That might seem idealistic, but it's actually far more plausible and practically achievable than dismantling college programs.  

              Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

              by Caj on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:59:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Let's take your analagy one step further (0+ / 0-)

                If an Identity thief is stealing 5k a year from your account, the solution isn't to find another 5k to take it's place, you close the account.

                In the end, I don't think you understand the point I am trying to make.

                you believe giving more state subsidies to public universities will lower tuition...I don't.  State Universities will charge whatever they can charge because parents and students are willing to pay the price.  No matter how much money they get from state or federal agencies.

                Hospitals and insurance companies were doing the same, until guidelines were put in place to hold their feet to the fire.

                •  then it's time to start regulating the costs. (0+ / 0-)

                  Imagine that.   Regulations.  Remember those?

                  "Revolution begins when the complacent are denied their dinner." -- D. Mizner

                  by livjack on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:32:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  sadf (0+ / 0-)
                  If an Identity thief is stealing 5k a year from your account, the solution isn't to find another 5k to take it's place, you close the account.
                  Yes.  That is analogous to stopping the state from taking money away from subsidies.  If they cut their support by 5K per year, then you're on the hook for an extra 5K per year.  The solution is to put a stop to that.
                  State Universities will charge whatever they can charge because parents and students are willing to pay the price.
                  I'm sure this depends greatly on the state, but a lot of state universities do not have the legal power to hike their tuition to whatever value.  I agree we must have regulations that prevent state universities from hiking tuition, but in many places we already have that.

                  Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                  by Caj on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 01:31:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I will put it like this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nulwee, mconvente

            In my opinion, if the state of Colorado, fully funded the public university system, tuition would still be out of control.

            Public schools are raising tuition costs because they can, and because parents like me will do anything to make sure their kids get an education.  Believing that tuition is directly related to state subsidies as the sole reason for outrageous tuition is wishful thinking.

            •  Nobody said anything was the sole reason. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nulwee

              There are many factors mentioned in this thread for the rise in tuition.  I don't think anyone claimed that any single reason was the sole factor.

              Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

              by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:02:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  How much is our labor worth? (22+ / 0-)

    The diarist hits the nail on the head. The issue isn't just the cost of college, or anything else for that matter, the measure is how much work is needed to afford it. By putting costs in the context of a minimum wage equivalent you have an apples to apples comparison that can span generations, demographics, etc.

    The amount of our labor needed for education, health care, food, energy, retirement, etc., is at the highest it has ever been. The bottom line is that the decline in the value of our labor directly mirrors the decline in opportunity in this country as well as the decline of the middle class and increase in poverty.

    Corporate profits and salaries are record levels and going up. Real wages, measured in purchasing power, have been going down for over half the country for 30 years, and continue to do so. The policies of this country no longer reflect what works best for the most of us, only what helps the richest few.

    Education is this nation's seed corn, and it is being squandered on the greedy few rather than being planted, invested, to keep the masses fed for the future.

    •  Excellent comment. n/t (5+ / 0-)

      "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

      by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:30:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree wholeheartedly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      benamery21, FiredUpInCA, Nulwee

      Not only is this a good way to measure the cost of education, but it also emphasizes the eroding accessibility of school to the non-rich.

      This way of discussing college costs may also help to get through to policy makers from earlier generations.  Some of them paid their way through college and don't see the problem.

      I was also pleased by the way this diary separated tuition from room and board, but still considered both in the cost.  Many people conflate these things when arguing over the cost of college.

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:51:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As some comments have noted, partly... (5+ / 0-)

    ...or wholly, the issue isn't what college costs, it's what people earn.  That's what has declined.  I don't think colleges have any obligation to provide threadbare educations, and to pay their workers poorly, to fall into line with wider trends in society to do everything as poorly and cheaply as possible.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:51:17 AM PDT

  •  This is what happens when states... (5+ / 0-)

    ...lose the will to support colleges, and when colleges start seeing themselves as profit centers.  Both happened in the last generation.  I still remember an incoming Chancellor at Michigan State talking about "serving his customers" - students.  I thought: WTF?  Someone has his priorities wrong.

    "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party. The license plate I want? OMG GOP WTF

    by TheOrchid on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:58:50 AM PDT

  •  THINK SLAVERY!!!!! No one wants to talk about i... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barleystraw, chrisculpepper

    THINK SLAVERY!!!!!

    No one wants to talk about it, but what happens when you load people with debt, cut wages and worker protections, and gut regulation? You create slaves who may have some illusion of freedom, but just try leaving that job...Debtors prisons too. Colleges are in on the scam.

  •  It's criminally expensive, but can still be a door (3+ / 0-)

    to a whole new world, career, and financial stability if not affluence.

    I'm a huge proponent of college.  My kid entered college tolerating math and disliking history. She graduated with a degree in math, all of her pre-med reqs done, and a minor in history!! That then opened the door to teaching high school math for 3 years, which she hated, and lead to nursing and getting her RN, which she LOVES. She's now got 30,000.00 in student loans, which is awful, but a career that she is excited about every day! After a year in the PICU, she is now doing the ER, and next year going back to school to get her Masters (Nurse practitioner) with a specialty in Anesthesiology. I'm the proud mama, and so happy that my love is digging her lilfe!

    So it's a mixed bag.  

    Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

    by Lucy2009 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:38:06 PM PDT

  •  this is what the debt-farming industry does: (4+ / 0-)

    creates debt -- student loans, home mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, etc.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

    by bluezen on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:43:17 PM PDT

  •  Gift to our 2 kids more valuable than inheritance- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrisculpepper

    ...is that we were fortunate enough to be able to pick up 100% of the cost of sending them both through college, and both now have professional degrees, jobs, and NO student loans to pay off (and neither do we).  We're also fortunate that both of them proved to be wisely mature enough to take advantage of their opportunity rather than majoring in getting high, drinking, and playing video games - it also helped that both were 4-year varsity athletes at college on their respective cross-country teams; both invited walk-ons (one of them did win a small $1k/year athletic scholarship from her sophomore year onward for her performance, but the real value wasn't the small extra money, but the extra structure, tutoring, and healthy social support from being on the team).

    THAT SAID - well, great for our two daughters that they had this tremendous financial advantage given by luck of being born to relatively affluent parents willing and able to generously help them out BUT this lucky paradigm isn't available to at least 75%+ of those wanting to get college degrees, unlike some countries (I think Denmark does this) where university or the equivalent of community college education is mostly free (just like the equivalent of high school is in the US), paid for out of general tax revenues - and this expense is seen as an enlightened investment in the country's youth.  But then again, the Danish and Scandanavians in general have a far more enlightened view of society and taxes than we do, and yet are somehow able to maintain a capitalist-based economy.  Lego, a Danish company, seems to be thriving just fine, as are many Swedish companies.

  •  The Debt Is a Source of Wealth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente

    Yes, college costs more than ever, and the career earnings for college graduates are lower than ever.

    However, people with college degrees still make about $830K more in their careers than people with only high school diplomas.

    The average college tuition is about $92K for in-state public college students, and almost $180K for moderate private colleges, for 4 years for all costs, including tuition, fees, books, room and board.

    That's almost a 460% return on investment over say 43 years (22-65), or almost 11% annual - the highest an investor expects in a boom stock market that lasts maybe a year out of 10-20.

    There are other incentives to get a college education. But even in purely financial terms, it's well worth it.

    Note that I strongly favor public college tuition to be free for all state residents for 3 years (like high school), with a minimum base amount of that paid by the Federal Department of Education (and each state adds to that as its voters/government decide). Perhaps even with a requirement to work in the state, perhaps even incented to work in certain jobs that need more educated people there. America's foreign competitors nearly all offer free higher education to anyone qualified to learn there, and I know we'd be much better off joining their ranks.

    But even until we do, the education is worth the cost. That is one reason why most Americans continue to pay it, and colleges continue to charge it. The market bears it. Even if there are better ways not slaves to the market.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:03:53 PM PDT

    •  Not attempting to discourage pursuit of education (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Technomancer

      but in the interests of a full analysis:

      1)Is forgone early income included in the cost?
      2)Is interest on loans included in the returns?
      3)Is the risk of not finishing and still owing loans included?
      4)Is increased tax on increased income included in the analysis?

      I certainly wouldn't advise a good student to skip college.
      I would advise good politicians to work to shift the cost and risk of investment in human capital back to society, and to increase the availability of work, and wages.

      One indirect effect of low wages: Among the consequences of our low wage economy, is greater demand for Medicaid, squeezing other state expenditures, like post-secondary education.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:31:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's Mostly Included (0+ / 0-)

        1. Foregone early income doesn't need to be included in the cost. Because it's not a cost. The total college graduate career income already omits whatever early income is foregone, just as the total non-college career already includes it. The difference is $830K.

        2. Interest on loans is not included. Loans are not mandatory, though 60% of students take something - but a minority finances everything. $192K at 4.66% for 10 years (the current main Federal loan programme) costs $240,564 including principal. That's still a 345% total ROI, or 7.7% ROI per year. A matchless investment at its low risk - and usually a prerequisite for any other investment.

        3. The risk of not finishing but still owing loans is not included. The decision to go to college, and take on its various responsibilities, including any loans, is highly consequential. While I favor public paid public education for everyone, I do not favor people failing to meet commitments without consequences to them - which are replaced by consequences to the rest of us who paid for it.

        4. Increased tax on increased income is not included. Nor is the lower tax on lower income, like in #1.

        As I've said, I think public education should be free. However, I don't think that just everyone should take the burden of paying for college if they're not ready, even if the public is paying. I think that commitment should have consequences other than just missing the opportunity to increase one's career income by the neighborhood of a $million. America needs an educated workforce, and even more importantly a population that can think for itself about choices it exploits - or they'll exploit us.

        One simple but major reform would be simply deferring start of repayment not the current six months, but much longer. Maybe something like as long as one spent in school, perhaps with a graduation bonus deferral extension. Maybe extend the repayment period to 20, 30 or more years, perhaps until retirement, adjusting the interest rate to match the new risks. Perhaps even increase the loan to another year or two, plus deferral. Those terms could be indexed to the employment rate for new grads, with the society taking its share of the results of the conditions that cause difficulty in repayment. The interest rates should be administered by the government to merely break even or lose just little annually in the programme itself, made up much more in taxes and lowered costs from a better educated and higher earning populace.

        But however you look at it, investing in college with a loan is well worth it even now, with relatively high interest rates and relatively prompt repayment. Most people don't look at it that way. Nearly no one thinks that their $200K loan is buying them $800K in income, though they'll have to work to get it and pay taxes on it. So it just looks like a burden, not an opportunity.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:10:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Interest is compounded... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrisculpepper

      ...so the straight division doesn't work.

      Given both the cost of a college education (avg. is 5 years for a bachelors now anyway, especially if you're working) and the opportunity cost of not working as much and being able to invest that money elsewhere, if you're paying for college on your own, you're more than likely better off not doing it -- $60,000 invested for 42 years and getting a 6.5% ROI, and only compounding yearly means you've got $844,957.33.

      Now, if you're getting paid to go (grants, scholarship, tuition reimbursement, etc.), qualifying for special programs that bring down the costs, or want a career in a field that absolutely requires a bachelors or better?  That changes the math.

      If you're going to be paying it out of pocket or having your parents/other family that could invest that money on your behalf pay for it, and the field doesn't require a degree?  You're better off investing that money or seeding a business with it than getting a college degree for it.  After all, the scientist that discovers a breakthrough will be very comfortable.  The person who funded or employed said scientist will get generational wealth.

      Sad, but true.  In a capitalist world, everything you invest has to be considered on the ROI.  College isn't worth it for a lot of people anymore, especially middle to upper-middle class families that don't have to borrow all of it.

      Everyday Magic
      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
      -- Clarke's Third Law

      by The Technomancer on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:42:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And then along came ESPN (0+ / 0-)
  •  Student loan debt is the start of it all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, mattc129

    Student loan debt is the first major debt that individuals take on.  It has become so crippling that it is having major ripple affects on all financial decisions that come after (partnership/marriage, having a family, purchasing a home, saving, etc.)

    Two middle class incomes ($50,000 per year) are often not enough to purchase a home in the suburbs, let alone have a child.  This reduces demand for homes, and thus home prices fall.  Which affects financial stability of older generations trying to sell their homes.

    Student loan debt is crippling the Millennial generation, and drastic changes need to happen to address this.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:15:39 PM PDT

  •  More figures (0+ / 0-)

    The small, private, liberal arts college I entered in 1968 charged an even $3000—tuition, room, and board. That was considered expensive. Public university average was $1,245. Median family income then was $8630. 6.9 times college costs.

    So now, the figure here is $18,391, with median family income (2013) at $51,017, that's way up to 2.77 times college costs (and they generally provide fewer meals today than in my day). Basically, that's the ratio for the expensive private college  of 45 years ago.

    My solution: first we get rid of ⅔ of the deans and administrative staff. It would be a start.

  •  honesty (0+ / 0-)

    Law schools often affirmatively mislead applicants about their employment opportunities upon graduation:  www.lawschooltransparency.com

  •  Reagan Changed the Student Aid Structure (0+ / 0-)

    Prior to Reagan, student aid to the middle class and poor was mostly in the form of grants. Ronald Reagan changed the system to primarily a student loan program. The idea was that it was too costly for the government to give students free handouts, thus, most students were now required to pay back the aid they received.

    The transformation from a mostly grant system to a loan system has continued since Reagan. In addition, because the value of a high school diploma has dropped, the demand for a college education has increased, raising tuition rates.

  •  I'm starting... (0+ / 0-)

    a two year AAS Electronics Engineering Technologies program at the local community college in a couple weeks. As a thirty one year old adult, I have accumulated debts and responsibilities that I can't simply ignore for twenty months while I'm in school. I'm going to have to continue working full time as long as possible, but will still come out the otherside with 10k-20k student loan debt, depending on how long I can balance school and work.

    There is an unbelievable amount of educational resources online, so it is possible to give yourself a college level education without paying tuition. However, as I'v found, knowledge is irrelevant without a magical piece of paper that says you graduated from an institute of higher learning.

    I'v used both Courseraand Kahn Academy extensively, and I recently saw a brilliant TED Talk about the University of the People which I am planning to check out as soon as I finish my AAS

    "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -Henry Ford

    by sixeight120bpm on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:32:18 AM PDT

    •  Some universities are now issuing diplomas that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sixeight120bpm

      don't differentiate (on transcripts or that thing you frame) between the online and brick-and-mortar experience.  See University of Wisconsin, Flex U:   http://flex.wisconsin.edu/

      This development might be the difference that removes any "stigma" from an online degree, allowing lower costs and more access to future students.

      "Revolution begins when the complacent are denied their dinner." -- D. Mizner

      by livjack on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:43:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Since that time there has been a surge (0+ / 0-)

    In women attending college. Before, it was mostly white males, so they were supported more. Once women and people of color started entering in higher numbers, the funding was cut more and more. The wealthy white men didn't want to fund the lifting up of anyone that wasn't a white male.

    At least, that's how I see it.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:40:00 AM PDT

bink, Thumb, Alumbrados, Joe Bob, Mimikatz, chuck utzman, Chi, Odysseus, decisivemoment, melo, Geenius at Wrok, tiggers thotful spot, emal, johnmorris, Shockwave, ChicDemago, meg, Caj, eeff, hubcap, opinionated, TracieLynn, cskendrick, nyceve, CatFelyne, farmerhunt, ivote2004, sngmama, Nate Roberts, Terre, splashy, wader, jdmorg, tomephil, businessdem, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, JimWilson, HeyMikey, Brian82, mosesfreeman, Paul Hogarth, Josiah Bartlett, Sybil Liberty, bahaba, la motocycliste, fijiancat, radarlady, escapee, NoMoreLies, Skaje, jrooth, caul, run around, one of 8, caliberal2001, dewtx, ChemBob, fixxit, eru, owlbear1, bleeding blue, Sun Tzu, Tool, Ozzie, Shotput8, Rusty in PA, Pluto, edwardssl, Kimball Cross, cookseytalbott, AoT, dewey of the desert, kck, blueoasis, NBBooks, DarkestHour, philipmerrill, JVolvo, Unitary Moonbat, kurt, shaharazade, crystal eyes, sea note, Nulwee, cpresley, ammasdarling, camlbacker, Dartagnan, karmsy, certainot, bnasley, Demi Moaned, cyncynical, GeorgeXVIII, JDWolverton, bkamr, mconvente, Youffraita, smrichmond, Greyhound, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, exdiplopat, mattc129, Parthenia, Issek, shann, rodentrancher, kpbuick, mkor7, mksutherland, Keith Pickering, purplepenlady, Words In Action, cassandraX, smileycreek, gramofsam1, catwho, janis b, shyewoods, gulfgal98, albrt, Oh Mary Oh, soaglow, pajoly, kerflooey, Front Toward Enemy, annominous, coquiero, ban nock, slowbutsure, vahana, La Gitane, Bluerall, Hatrax, kevin k, Teiresias70, Santa Susanna Kid, MPociask, organicus, Hayate Yagami, blackjackal, Sunspots, Lucy2009, DEMonrat ankle biter, Laurel in CA, Mathazar, mrbond, bluezen, FloridaSNMOM, Trotskyrepublican, FreeSpeaker, LittleSilver, jan4insight, DrCoyle65, geojumper, BusyinCA, lunachickie, wxorknot, bryduck, rat racer, dotdash2u, history first, George3, mumtaznepal, this just in, Robynhood too, BradyB, ehstronghold, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, Chaddiwicker, nomandates, akadjian, Thornrose, bogieshadow, CF of Aus, IamNotaKochsucker, Medman, Jollie Ollie Orange, Mickquinas, CyberLady1, duhban, starduster, RUNDOWN, Dodgerdog1, jbsoul, WorkerInUSA, Will Stark, thanatokephaloides, Jorge Harris, Shaylors Provence, CorpFlunky, kenneth houck, Older and Wiser Now, nicestjerk

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site