FAQ
It is currently Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:21 pm


Author Message
Rory
Post  Post subject: University fees  |  Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:32 pm
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 1895

Offline
Found this article interesting, Is an American degree worth the cost?

http://bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31384217 - I will post a quote (when I have access to
something other than my smartphone) for those outside of the UK who are unable to access the BBC website.

I suspect that, as with higher education generally, higher fees in the US facilitate a better quality of education, upto a certain saturation point - after which, the student is paying merely for status and the privilege of associating their own brand with that of one of the most prestigious universities/colleges, rather than actually securing access to brighter teachers or better ideas.

_________________
If you are doomed to be boring - make it short. Andre Geim


Top
Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:36 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:30 pm
Posts: 962
Location: Somewhere in the Great State of Washington

Offline
I myself went to a community college to receive my Associates Degree (two year degree), not only was it way cheaper, the classwork and quality of professors were on par with what my friends at Universities had. Except they were paying around $25,000 per year for classes, while I paid around $8,000 for classes. I also was able to do some online classes to facilitate my work schedule better, while they were not. In fact at the University of Washington, the online classes cost nearly double the price that physical classes cost (at least in 2012 when I looked into it).

I know someone that holds two Master's Degrees (psychology and I forget what else) from a private University and then spent the following four years after graduating working for Americorps because he couldn't find a job in his field and his degrees scared away any other possible non-degree requiring jobs. He is now working as the supervisor for that Americorps team and making about $28,000 a year. He is up to his neck in student loans as well.

Just for comparision, one of my best friends spent three months at a trade school to be a lineman and now makes around $84,000 a year working on cell phone towers.

I would argue that most of the time they are just paying for the status and to be able to associate their own brand with a prestigious university.

_________________
"For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson
"It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down" - Yagyu Munenori


Top
Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:03 am
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 1895

Offline
Yeah, although personally I wouldn't equate subsequent salary with the value of the degree. Higher education obviously broadens the mind and endows the student with skills and knowledge that may radically change the way they see the world - I can vouch for this, having come from a small town in which nothing much exciting happens, in fact if you were to visit my hometown after a gap of decades, it would still be depressingly the same. For some people, the subsequent ability to pursue something worthwhile, to which they attach personal value rather than a hope of financial gain, justifies the cost of education.

_________________
If you are doomed to be boring - make it short. Andre Geim


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:49 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5496
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
A college degree has become the minimum barrier for entry to most decent jobs. I believe where you go to acquire said degree is basically moot, so long as you at least learn critical thinking skills and explore new viewpoints which are needed to succeed in our modern knowledge-based economy.

IMO, it's bEtter to make a wise decision and go for the more cost effective option / cheaper school than to pay several times more than you must solely for some ethereal sense of prestige (with the possible exception of schools like Harvard or MIT, for example, where the name truly does matter and open additional doors and opportunities).

I find the idea that a degree is not worth the cost to be myopic and too heavily constrained in applicability to the recession we've just faced. In any normal time and in any non-recession environment, it's absolutely worth the front-end investment/cost if you're willing to work hard and actually do something with it.

Just one example demonstrating an idea quite well supported by the evidence:

Image

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:21 am
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 1895

Offline
When is that data from, iNow? For students graduating this year and probably at least for the next 5 years or so they are probably going to struggle employment-wise so it depends on the economic context and on student numbers.

Well probably the most revolutionary scientist of all time, Einstein, attended a polytechnic. If private high-cost education had a proportional impact upon the subsequent quality of the graduate minds, Eton-educated and Oxbridge-educated graduates would be over-represented in professions that require higher thinking abilities including Science, but that is not the case. Medicine may have more people from toff backgrounds but that is because the profession is closed rather than strictly meritocratic. Let the snobs be the snobs, and let the rest of us follow the best ideas!

_________________
If you are doomed to be boring - make it short. Andre Geim


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:34 am
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
the trouble (at least in the UK) is that there's no longer any polytechnics, they've all become universities
so if, say, 20 or 30 years ago you would have gone for a higher non-university diploma, you have no option but to go to university and pay the fees (which, if your parents both earn anything higher than the living wage, you won't get any assistance with)

that's the 2 time bombs Gordon Brown put in place after New Labour came in power : (1) tax the pension schemes so most of them are now struggling to avoid a massive financial black hole, and (2) start student loans, first £1000 at nominal interest, now increased to £9000 at market interest rates + only now has someone woken up to the fact that half of those getting a student loan won't ever be able to pay it off in their lifetime

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:02 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5496
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Rory wrote:
When is that data from, iNow?

Not sure about that one, but here's one from 9 months ago that essentially says the same thing (and there are countless others): http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/ ... ion-wages/

My core point is that we are facing a short-term problem with jobs and their wages, not a long-term problem with higher education being a poor investment (especially once you factor in the innovation and productivity gains that come from schooling).

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:10 pm
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 1895

Offline
Here's the article:

Quote:
Nowhere in the world does it cost as much to go to university as it does in the US. Some private universities here cost more than $50,000 (£38,000) per year just for tuition, and that doesn't cover accommodation, food, or even books (remember those?).

I wanted to find whether an American degree is worth it. What do those exorbitant fees actually buy you?

Right near the BBC bureau in Washington, DC, is one of the more expensive universities in the country - George Washington University. Under its former President Stephen Trachtenberg, prices at GW, as it's known here, have more than doubled over the course of the past few decades.

The world is getting wealthier - but with the gap between rich and poor feeling bigger than ever, who are the winners and losers of this richer world in 2015?

Trachtenberg invested in fancy dormitories, upmarket sports facilities and state-of-the-art classrooms in a deliberate strategy to make the school more appealing. It worked: the more he spent, the more fees rose and the more students wanted to go there.

He has no regrets about the massive inflation in tuition costs because it all leads to better jobs. If a student can find work after graduation, "then presumably the university," he says, "has served the purpose they wanted, society wanted, and if they can pay the debt back, it's not a problem."

But if you don't come from a wealthy family, those debts can be enormous. The high cost of fees creates a clear division between haves and have-nots among the student body - indeed in the country as a whole.

I sat down for coffee at a local spot with three GW students. Each is working at least one part-time job to pay their college bills, and each is taking on some level of debt.

Cindy Zhang is studying international affairs, and she works two part-time jobs to make ends meet. Her parents help out a bit, but she also has about $10,000 in loans per year.

Shanil Jiwani currently has $60,000 in loans and he expects that number to double by the time he graduates - he'll be $120,000 in debt before he steps out into the world.

Silvia Zenteno's university days are almost over. But even with the maximum amount of financial aid from the university, she still works 30 hours a week, and plans to graduate with $40,000 in loans.

So why do it? Why put all that time, money and effort in? Maybe students here don't have much choice.

"When you're talking about your career and how much money you're going to make, your college investment is basically your down payment," Anthony Carnevale told me. He's the director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. And because Americans don't have a social safety net to fall back on, like many European countries, Carnevale says, US degrees are "more valuable than degrees in other countries."

So you pay a lot of money to get a degree from a good school, to get a good job, to pay back the loans of going to a good school. It's a vicious cycle of inflation that shows no signs of stopping. GW has just published its tuition fees for the upcoming school year: $50,367, up 3.4% from last year.

What might just put a cap on the rising costs is that wonderfully egalitarian institution - the internet. More US universities are offering online courses virtually for free.

You don't get the swanky campus facilities and face-to-face interaction, but you do get a good education. And if costs keep rising at the speed they have been, at some point more American students will say that looks like a pretty good deal.

_________________
If you are doomed to be boring - make it short. Andre Geim


Top
Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:15 pm
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 1895

Offline
Quote:
iNow wrote:
My core point is that we are facing a short-term problem with jobs and their wages, not a long-term problem with higher education being a poor investment (especially once you factor in the innovation and productivity gains that come from schooling).


It may not be a long-term problem, in the sense that future graduates (say, from 2020 onwards if the economic context is fully recovered by then) may reap the rewards of their University education - but it is a long term problem for the graduates of 2008-present, who are looking at having 'missed' a decade of the reward that pre-2008 could have been reasonably expected. There isn't really a way of correcting a decade of lost income, or of unemployment, any more than there is a way of reviving a lost generation.

_________________
If you are doomed to be boring - make it short. Andre Geim


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: University fees  |  Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:23 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5496
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Do you think they'd be losing any less income or somehow working in greater numbers had they made the choice not to go to university? I'm not sure I'm really following the logic at play here...

Go to school, have some debt, but earn significantly more in the long-run. Core challenge: The job they get in a depressed economy immediately out of school pays too little. This means paying student loan may slow purchases of a home or starting a family. However, while if you don't go to school you avoid the education debt in the immediate term and can potentially buy a home or start a family, you will struggle significantly more doing so and have a rigid cap on how nice of a home or neighborhood you can choose since you will earn significantly less across your entire life, and by quite a large amount.

What's the argument for not going to school, again? Shouldn't the argument here actually be that we need more and better jobs with higher wages and potentially better subsidies for education to offset the high cost? I just don't understand the logic of suggesting going to school is somehow the problem we need to address... It does not compute.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Print view

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
Jump to:   
cron

Delete all board cookies | The team | All times are UTC


This free forum is proudly hosted by ProphpBB | phpBB software | Report Abuse | Privacy