We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...perhaps the most troubling aspect of this new federal intrusion in the higher education marketplace is its underlying assumptions about the best way to control college costs. Whether it has been efforts to increase Pell Grants, or now this student loan fix, President Obama and his allies in Congress, driven I believe by the best of intentions, have assumed that increasing federal aid will help students better afford college. And there is no doubt that college costs have skyrocketed recently, more than doubling the rate of inflation over the past twenty years. However, every time the federal government has increased aid to students, colleges have turned around and raised tuition and fees accordingly.
I would really appreciate some comments on this inflation in the cost of higher education as it escapes me. When I was in school, the rooms were the size of closets with no, no, no frills. Now, applicants won't attend a college without all the junk. Pardon me? What are your priorities?
So I keep seeing students loaded up with debt they can't possibly pay off IF they want to get married, have a family, plan for their future...and somehow, we keep encouraging this nonsense. Who's getting rich off this?
"President Obama and his allies in Congress, driven I believe by the best of intentions, have assumed that increasing federal aid will help students better afford college."
If I hear many more mentions of how well-intentioned some government act or policy is, without an immediately-following comment noting a certain well-known road, I cannot be held legally responsible for the consequences.
Is there really anyone out there, anyone at all, that buys into this idiotic "but our intentions were good!" excuse? It could only be an excuse the first time. After that it's incompetence.
the federal government would be wise to focus on the quality side of higher education. A good place to start is a close examination of the curricula offered at many of our schools
While sort of seeing the problem, this is just another academic that wants to measure the inputs. He's a gatekeeper in the world of credentials. What is needed, and there is an opportunity for great wealth here, is an effective and legal (Griggs v. Duke Power) way to measure the output.
jma asks who's getting rich? While not many are getting rich, the colleges and universities are run for the benefit of the faculty and select administrators. Once you see students as purely a production input, and not as customers, the whole thing makes complete sense.
"Who's getting rich off this?", you ask, jma. The schools and their endowments, and the academics who supposedly teach these courses the eager students sign up for, but in actuality teach only one or two times a semester, leaving their graduate students to teach the rest of the semester.
For a long time I was a campus recruiter for a major (at the time) extremely high tech company recruiting at an Ivy League University (from which I am a graduate). For internal quality we used a process called PQMI. PQMI's first step was to determine exactly who the customer was and who the supplier('s) was/were. I determined that none of the student, the student's parents, nor the university were the customer in this relationship. Actually we, the hiring companies, were the customers. This is a difficult concept to accept for most people, but I still believe it.