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.
Listen to this illuminating interview Peter Schiff did with a student who is $200,000 in debt for a sociology degree from Northeastern University. He gets right at the root of the problem: government-guaranteed student loans.
$200k in the hold for a degree with job prospects, like engineering or medicine, would be risky enough. $200k for a sociology degree? That's taking out a ticket for the dole queue, to quote James Herriot.
But "Liberal Arts" has been watered down to the point of being meaningless. I don't know she choose to take, but I'm sure she did not have to take a single class on:
Calculus - or any kind of math
Greek and Roman history, language, or philosophy (or any History for that matter)
Business / accounting / economics / finance, or any nasty corporate stuff (too bad for her)
Astronomy or Physics
In other words, she didn’t receive the classic Liberal Arts education. She paid $200k for a liberal indoctrination program.
The Northeastern "core" curriculum is outlined online. It requires two mathematics courses, and the 2nd level is polulated by lots of statistics and calculus courses, but also by "MATH 2230 - Mathematical Encounters
Covers interesting and significant developments in pure and applied mathematics, from ancient times to the present. Fundamental mathematical ideas have a power and utility that are undeniable and a beauty and clarity that can be inspirational. Selected topics may include: prime and irrational numbers, different infinities and different geometries, map coloring, and famous unsolved and recently solved problems. Provides students with an opportunity for hands-on experience actually doing some of the mathematics discussed and to research topics in the library and on the Web."
The point about government guranteed loans is spot on, but Schiff misses the rest of the story.
There is a limit to what an individual student can borrow from federal loan programs, and it's magnitudes less than what this student borrowed.
The rest of the story is the outside, private loans, most likely requiring a parent co-borrower (although the student in the interview claims to have received at least some of the loans without her parents having to co-sign.)
If the student defaults, the lenders will come after the parents.
The culprit in this part of the story is not the federal government, but the university financial aid office. They should be discouraging such loans in the strongest of terms, but they don't, because they want the money.
I graduated from Northeastern in 1966 with a BSCE. Then it was a five-year coop school on a modified quarter system. It served almost enitirely commuter students from Boston and its immediate suburbs. The greater majority of its students pursued engineering and technology. Its enrollment was about 41,000, counting day and night students. Its campus was minimal, industrial white brick and mud parking lots. Robert Parker parodied it mercilessly in "The Godwullf Manuscript."
For my last year, total tuition was less than about $3500. I lived at home and took the bus back and forth. I graduated with $300 in a National Student Loan, which I repaid over ten years. Went to graduate school and enjoyed a productive and comfortable academic career.
Several years ago, Northeastern's Trustees and Administrators got fed up with their reputation as a commuter school. They felt they deserved a higher status among fellow Boston academics who scorned them. So, they went to more selective admissions, got rid of 30,000 commuter students, built an upscale campus with residencies and got really real PC. Current tuition $36,360 plus $12,310 room and board, $762 fees plus books health insurance etc.
I no longer give to NU because it shamefully turned its back on me and people like me just so its administrators and trustees could do some social climbing. Where once it was a way out of the working class, now it is a poverty trap for working class students like this girl. NU is basically a corrupt institution, and it would be better for its students if the school were forcibly shut down by the Commonwealth.
Pffhht...$200K? I wish I had spent $200K. Two kids through Tufts pre-med, Tufts Med, George Washington Med and one through Brown.
You don't want to know what that cost - believe me.
As far as the degree goes, it's versatile enough that she can get a job doing something - it's not worthless. I have a very good friend who has a sociology degree and is now working and making some major dollars as a pharmaceutical study analyst using the math and stats courses he studied as part of his curriculum.
If you are looking to the social services, I agree - you are probably dead in the water, but looking beyond to other professional areas that require stats and analysis skills, you are just as likely to be hired as anybody else.
It's not the name of the degree, its what you learn and how you apply it.
Spending that kind of cash for what? Do they teach a different sort of science at Tufts than they do at UMASS or Fitchburg State?
My sister-in-law is a Tufts Med grad. Now she suffers dealing with the same Medicaid or Health care insurance crap as all physicians and that Tufts Med degree doesn't mean "squat" to the fat, HS graduate, affirmative action hire handling her claims.
Guys like you kill me! All you did was support a bunch of bow-tied snobs and Birkenstock-wearing clowns for 8 years so you could brag at "the Club" how well little Muffy and Lance were doing in their oh-so-selective liberal arts colleges!