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30 Issues: Educating for Tomorrow, America U.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

30 Issues in 30 Days is our election year series on the important issues facing the country this election year. Today: The future of American education at the postsecondary level. Visit the 30 Issue home page for all the conversations.

Open Prep: Questions, Articles, and Links to Get You Started

Key Questions

  • Is it the government's responsibility to keep college tuition low?
  • Is higher education the next bubble? Should it be regulated as such?
  • With so few college graduates finding jobs, what is the real value of a degree?
  • What kinds of degrees actually lead to jobs, and should government be promoting those areas?

What are your key questions on this topic? Post them below and get the conversation going!

Guests:

30 Issues from the WNYC Data News Team

Got a Follow Up?

Each Friday we'll be following up on one of that week's issues. Got a particular follow-up question from this conversation? Comment below or tweet us. 

Comments [75]

Tasha from Queens

The widget unfortunately doesn't calculate The New School and many major Art colleges...

The New School undergraduate: 1991:approx $11,000; it doubled before 2000 before major renovations were made and the colleges in NYC began to create slick spaces and, IMO, unneeded gyms, spaces, etc... One can get all that already in NYC. Presently the New School approaches 30,000.

No one can know where money goes at private schools('star faculty', and who knows where else. The New School looks slick on the outside but facilities throughout the school are so poor- proper ventilation for the Print department, lockers that lack or no longer function, departments whose spaces have been cut in half, use work-study students instead of secretaries, and do not function internally, so much more).

In addition, FIT hired Pentagram advertising to create a 'sports' interest for the art students to 'compete' with other NYC schools, I can come up with many reasons why a school would do this- but it is strange and who knows where all the money goes... and FIT is a public school.

Sep. 20 2012 09:17 AM
JJMurray

Hmm, went to a State school in NY (not the city) and tuition was about $600, now it's about $5,000. Had a job before I started college making a little over $1.00 an hour and worked through multiple jobs throughout and over summers, no scholarship, no financial aid. Graduated with zero debt. McDonalds in the same area now pays a little over $8 an hour to serve fries. Sounds like you can still pay for college by working to me.

Sep. 19 2012 10:41 AM
Pete from NJ

Ed is a lunatic - School costs are high because of abortion, you have got to be kidding me.

Sep. 19 2012 10:03 AM
Joe

I just used the widget to calculate the future worth.....yea, not even close......it was close on the graduating value....but on the graduating value said my degree would be worth $38K......2012 tuition is $56K !!!!!!

Sep. 19 2012 09:40 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The problem seems to be the lack of young people, not enough young people. Colleges have lots of fixed costs, and they don't have enough students to spread them over. And we don't have enough young people because of abortion.

What if we had 1/3 more young people each year? The colleges and education would be OK, and much less expensive.

And the president still supports 100% this destructive policy. For the same reason we don't have enough people paying into health care insurance, social security, etc.

But many would rather watch our society collapse, than change this policy.

Sep. 19 2012 08:02 AM
Louey from Maryland

Robin from California, you are a fool. The Democrats constantly calling for more student loans is what's causing massive tuition increases. It's simple supply and demand. When the Federal govt provides unlimited funds for students to borrow, the universities jack up their tuition because they know the students can borrow to pay for it.

Sep. 19 2012 01:34 AM
Jay from California

I graduated from UCLA when tuition was around $1100 per year - seemed high back then but now I realize what a bargain that was. Ended up getting a great job in the technology sector, moved to NoCal and rode the dot com boom throughout it's growth and peak - and unlike many, ended up saving/investing my earnings (along with a couple of lucky IPOs). I do thank the Reagan years and republicans for this success and growth (I grew up in an all democratic family/friends environment - and was the first in the family to graduate from a university).

Note that our current governor (democrat) is now wanting to raise taxes to fund education - while the concept sounds good and I'm all for funding education, are you guys crazy??? Why don't you politicians stop spending useless dollars and take a 50% pay cut, stop govt. waste on pensions (especially since a many sit on their butts throughout their 40s - 50s just waiting for retirement). Instead of increasing taxes, take the 50% cut in useless govt. spending and move it to education - period! I know that's now how politics work and easier said than done...but maybe that's why the system isn't working????

Sep. 19 2012 01:10 AM
Bobbie from Towne of McCandless - Pittsburgh, PA

Are you even kidding me?? After entering "The University of Pittsburgh" in the question box asking "Where did you go to college"....a pop-up box appeared, noting these people have never heard of "Pitt"....Again, are you even kidding me? I am seriously blown away!

Sep. 19 2012 12:52 AM
Robin from California

I went to UC Davis from 1969 to 1974. When I started "fees" were $50.50 per quarter, $150 per academic year. By the time I graduated it was about $200/quarter. It was the best deal ever. The state paid many of the costs in order to make higher education affordable for many of us. I got a great education and have a great career. I want to thank all of the forward looking people of the State of California who believed in investing in the future, even though it cost them more in taxes. That investment created Silicon Valley and all of its wealth.

Unfortunately the selfish Republicans took over the state and smashed higher education all to pieces. They spend a fortune on prisons rather than education. Prop 13 then gutted local education.

California once had a great education system but then everyone got selfish and did not want to pay for it. Now we have a pathetic system. Thank you Republicans.

Sep. 19 2012 12:23 AM
John

I went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo from 1976 to 1980. Annual tuition was $75 per quarter, or $225 per year if you took the summer off.

Sep. 18 2012 11:50 PM
Natalina Temple

Since the 80's, universities have "bulked up" on student loan money. Its time for them to go on a diet and trim the fat (administrator salaries and useless administrative driven programs that drive up costs, etc.). Universities also need to work with the cities and towns they are located in and try to share resources and outsource (privatize) student amenities like health centers to the town around them. And they need to stop taking a cut of every penny a student spends on campus with "deals" with soda and junk food companies - give the students a big price break instead of charging more - they are just making them spend more student loan money on food.

Sep. 18 2012 11:39 PM
Natalina Temple

Since the 80's, universities have "bulked up" on student loan money. Its time for them to go on a diet and trim the fat (administrator salaries and useless administrative driven programs that drive up costs, etc.). Universities also need to work with the cities and towns they are located in and try to share resources and outsource (privatize) student amenities like health centers to the town around them. And they need to stop taking a cut of every penny a student spends on campus with "deals" with soda and junk food companies - give the students a big price break instead of charging more - they are just making them spend more student loan money on food.

Sep. 18 2012 11:38 PM
Lauren Harris

I come from working class parents and am the first person in my extended family to obtain a college degree. I spent 2 years at a local community and finished a B.A at a state university and later obtained an MA at a different state university. I feel I obtained a superior education and was taught by professors who loved to teach, and were not overly caught up in research and publishing. I was able to work, save and scrimp, and with some help from my family, finished all my degrees with absolutely no student loans. I am a big supporter of public education and believe it is the backbone of this country.

Sep. 18 2012 11:31 PM
dj from Virginia

Family member goes to college end up with public and private loans ...graduated and guess what ? Can't found a job , even those she's been looking and sending resumes months before graduation . In a few months she will be moving in Northern Illinois , sad part she doesn't know anyone who could help to get her foot in door. These days it's not what you know ....it's who you know . She will have those loans to start paying but no job makes no sense to me. I pray everything works out for her. The rumor ...Get an education in Medical and you can get a job ,
that's not always true .

Sep. 18 2012 10:54 PM
Marcia from New Mexico

I went to Indiana University. Tuition then: approx $400. Now about $9500

Sep. 18 2012 10:53 PM
Jenny from KY

I got my BS way back in 1970. I think part of the problem with student loans is that many students use the money to live a more affluent lifestyle than students did in my time. We lived in dormatories, sharing a bathroom with three others, ate in the cafeteria, and didn't have cars on campus except maybe as juniors and seniors. Not every student even had a typewriter. However, I agree that students need a computer and other technology tools.

Sep. 18 2012 10:50 PM
Joan Dean from Austin

Neither is Sweet Briar listed, one of the "seven sisters".
Nor is the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Sep. 18 2012 10:39 PM
Steve Cook

University of Calif is not included - nobody has heard of it I guess

Sep. 18 2012 10:20 PM
Elser from USA

Oklahoma State and University of Oklahoma are not included...........

Sep. 18 2012 09:35 PM
Dubby from Virginia

College professors here haven't had a raise in six years at the school where my husband teaches. But fortunately, they do have a HUGE new stadium and the kids are getting a new exercise facility. Administration is getting its raises. They are insisting professors get new computers, even if they don't want them. And they replaced the carpet in my husband's office because it was "use it or lose it," even though the old carpet was fine.

Perhaps the people making those lousy decisions should take some courses in economics!

Sep. 18 2012 08:48 PM
Robert Sterling from New Jersey

persons of college age want to be independent, but do not want to be responsible for their decisions. Who should pay for their education? I worked hard, earned a wage and saved my money. Now I am expected to pay for someone who does not want to do any of these, but expects me to pay for their decision to go to school.

Sep. 18 2012 02:22 PM
Leslie from Manhattan

On the subject of higher education, please Brian, do a segment on adjunct college teaching. Of course we care about student debt, but what about the debt of adjunct college professors who can barely get by, often run from one school to the next, one borough to the next, no job security, no benefits and extremely low wages.

Sep. 18 2012 12:12 PM
eleniNYC from Jackson Heights

As a veteran teacher of 16.6 years w/ NYC DOE, I agree with a number of posters and callers about de-stygmatizing vocational high schools & colleges on private, state and on the city levels. If the government wants to re-grow or stimulate middle-class growth, then what is needed are MORE, not less, vocational high schools & colleges. It seems states like NY,NJ, PA, Va, Tenn, and others that are are correct in re-investing and structuring college by creating MORE vocational programs and trying to fix the economy this way. I work with Students, who have PT/FT jobs who have skills in areas that with the right vocational college match could make them productive and successful. NYC has a number of vocational schools that have met with success.
Sallie Mae has a program through the CUNY system where you pay the tuition on the installment plan per semester. THere are 2-3 yr programs and certification programs even through NYU that are affordable -- well at least NYU is making attempt to attract older students like myself who will be changing careers in a few years.
So yes, it might take you longer, you might even need to sacrifice your summer. The up-shot: the Sallie-Mae program eliminates college debt because the tuition is paid-off on or before the semester is over.

WHat is even more interesting is that, Students in Education dept.s for any level is really a type of vocational training. Teach For America is legitimizing that reality.

Sep. 18 2012 12:04 PM
johnny from NJ

I am truly applalled by the Rick Santorum quote about letting liberal professors indocrinate you. Its callled facts, but then the Tea Party relies on rewriting history and ignoring facts and spewing misinformation. I do not see any difference between them and the Religious Fundamentalists we are 'fighting' all over the world. Taking away rights, changing history, oppressing women and freedom of choice.

Sep. 18 2012 11:52 AM
David from New Jersey

Brian, your college calculator, comparing tuition from years past and present, did not work for me. I am a graduate from Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, and graduated in 1984. There was no data available for my year of graduation. Can this calculator be updated? Am I doing something wrong?

Sep. 18 2012 11:51 AM
Tom from UWS

We could also look to a "big carrot" kind of program. ALL students who graduate high school with a c+ average get $X for the first year of college, to be used at a lower-priced school or at the elite college, either way. (Limit this to families with income under $500K if you like, but don't make it exclusive to need.) Or at a trade school. If a certain average is maintained, continue the level of support for up to 4 years.

Impress upon students from elementary through middle school and high school that this money is waiting if they do their work. Not their standardized test work, their GRADE work. Include attendance in the mix. Impress upon parents that this money is there IF they will only take advantage of the money being spent on their kids' public education.

In some areas where attendance and graduation rates are low, offer enticing summer learning and job programs that are only available to those with a good attendance record, grades aside.

Keep kids in school, get their parents to focus on the goal, and more will arrive at college prepared to learn.

Sep. 18 2012 11:48 AM
Nick from UWS

So much of this nonsense could be avoided if parents and advisers forced students to answer ONE SIMPLE QUESTION during college enrollment: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE A LIVING WITH THIS MAJOR?

Sep. 18 2012 11:48 AM
Kate from Williamsburg

By the way (pursuant to my last comment), this goes for WNYC as well: companies requiring a bachelor's degree to just be allowed to walk through the door for a job interview are missing out on a huge pool of talent...

Sep. 18 2012 11:46 AM

I wish these conservative/libertarian groups would stop giving themselves such Orwellian names. How about a little truth in advertising?

Sep. 18 2012 11:46 AM
Annmarie from Bellmore, NY

I believe the government has to keep the tuition costs at state institutions low and offer interest-free loans and subsidies for students who require them. We must strengthen public education on all levels in this country. We as a country benefit from an educated populace. We are a democracy and democracy requires a literate and critically thinking public. We need to make education stronger on the K-12 level so when students graduate from high school they can think, analyze and execute a sound argument to express and defend their beliefs.
Every time politicians, generally Republicans, like Santorum and others criticize higher education and becoming educated at all, they are reinforcing biases and ignorances that they themselves have not bowed to. They are fomenting class warfare within the poor and working classes, not between the poor and working classes and the rich. They are trying to turn us on each other and encouraging us to police each other and hold each other back by making aspiring to be educated seem like a show of Pride, i.e., snobbery, one of the, "7 Deadly." Invariably, they have all earned advanced degrees from private institutions. They want the poor and working class to stay dull and subservient so they have no competition and they have someone to build it for them so they can say they built it.

Sep. 18 2012 11:46 AM
The Truth from Becky

If you choose higher education you should expect to pay for it - now who should regulate the costs? The State(s).

Sep. 18 2012 11:44 AM

No subsidy? Now only 10% of our country gets an education. That should show China.

Sep. 18 2012 11:42 AM
R. Tunskers

Will you please address the incredibly bloated salaries of higher education administration and how this impacts student costs?!

Sep. 18 2012 11:42 AM
Ed from New Jersey

President Obama is right that more attention should be paid to community colleges. It seems that too much attention is paid to 4 year institutions and ignore other choices. There are some people that are not college material. A person that goes into a special trade (Chef, Electrician, Plumber, Etc.) can make a very good living.

Sep. 18 2012 11:41 AM
Kate from Williamsburg

When I graduated from high school (in 1978) it was still absolutely possible to get a good living wage job with that degree alone. What ever happened to “working one’s way up” as a part of the “American Dream?” I feel a real elitism has developed around many of those who went through the college system, who now shut out those who have not as less capable or worthy (not every high school graduate these days needs remedial education!). We would do better in this country to recognize that knowledge and abilities come in many forms besides just academic.

Sep. 18 2012 11:40 AM
Tom from UWS

Government's interest in providing education should be commensurate with government's interest in the return from the investment. Provide grants for certain areas of study where the country is in need, etc.

Wouldn't it be reasonable to link more grants to future service? A kind of reverse-GI Bill, in which the grant requires the recipient to use their education for 5-6 years in social work, teaching, science, medicine ... if a young doctor can have their debt erased or halved in 5 years by working in underserved areas for a modest wage, would they not do that? Similar programs exist on various levels, usually negotiated, occasionally as state programs.

Sep. 18 2012 11:40 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

The other thing has has seemed to cause an escalation of the cost of colleges and universities is the "luxurification" of campuses and housing, as well as activities that get offered.

It's like real estate development tactics have been employed by colleges in order to entice students; new buildings, state of the art equipment, top-shelf sports programs, new cafeterias, etc. When I was going to college in the 90's, we met for classes in rooms of run-down old townhouses, churches, and an old, black box theater, there was no sports program at my school, and we had used equipment to learn filmmaking techniques. It wasn't fancy AT ALL, but it didn't effect the learning one bit, and I look back in fondness at that bare-bones approach to learning.

Our larger culture's reliance on credit, and the notion that everyone should be able to live in and afford "luxury" also effects the cost of higher education.

Sep. 18 2012 11:39 AM
JAMES cosgrove from Woodhaven, NYC

I attended U.C. Berkeley class of 1982 but there was no info presented.

Sep. 18 2012 11:39 AM
Laraine

No information is included for my school, Syracuse University. I graduated in 1966. I notice several other comments have been made re lack of info. I am really curious as to what I paid. Why are so much info missing?

Sep. 18 2012 11:39 AM
Carolyn Blackburn from Washington Heights

Love the discussion about trade schools and give-back responsibility for those who receive school aid (dovetails nicely with the Ayn Rand discussion!). People should give back to a society that gives them a hand -and- society shouldn't set academics as the brass ring. A dear friend has a non-academically-inclined 17yr old who's floundering; tells me that her son can't get into most trade schools because he hasn't got the grades???! Any chance we can bring back the CCC? Thanks, Brian & Team!

Sep. 18 2012 11:38 AM
John from NYC

Possibly for another discussion but what about the escalating salaries of the College Presidents and various sport coaches? Isn't there some control over this component of the nonprofit sector? These roles don't need to be paid at such a high compensation.

http://chronicle.com/article/What-Private-College/129979/

Sep. 18 2012 11:38 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Jg - you make absolute sense. If Government spent as much effort making K-12 education more robust and relevant by completely RE-TOOLING its curricula with internships and apprenticeships etc - the last two years, we would be all be better off.

Sep. 18 2012 11:35 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Anyone can get a "college education" for free. Via the internet and my Roku device, I can get to see scores of free lecture series from MIT, Berkeley, Yale, et al, on my TV set. If I were smart enough to make use of the knowledge I can get for the price of an internet connection, it would be worth my time to even watch them. But if I am intelligent enough to use the physics and electroncs and other lectures I can see for free on Internet TV,what good is it to me?

Anyone can get all the education they could possibly want for free today. But what people want is that pretentious Ivy League school name on their CV to get a foot into some corporate or government bureaucracy.

Sep. 18 2012 11:34 AM
Lauren from Brooklyn

Great widget-thanks for discussing this topic brian!
Thanks to grants (pell and others)I was able to leave college with only $16k in debt, $k/year on a $28k/year education. I can't believe it, my school now costs $42k a year!

Sep. 18 2012 11:32 AM
Sydney from New York City

Our Government should be ensuring that every student in the USA is guaranteed a primary education that ensures that they graduate high school as a smart and motivated person. Higher education is not a substitute for learning what you should have learned in high school. It is also absurd that one should need a college degree to be competitive in the job market. Is that fair? Let's get more jobs!

Sep. 18 2012 11:32 AM
carol cooper from NJ

the widget doesn't work as promised. while it doesn't have data for my year, it promises average data but then provides nothing.

Sep. 18 2012 11:31 AM
Robert from NYC

Well Brian, Columbia and NYU are not included in your wonderful chart of tuition comparisons. I graduated in 1967 from Columbia and it's not in your database. That scks!!!

Sep. 18 2012 11:30 AM

Mario from Washington Heights ~

At the risk of exacerbating your rage...

Are you aware that Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University takes home a salary of close to $2 MILLION from Columbia University??

Your working that second job so that Lee can enjoy his $2M lifestyle.

Mr. Bollinger also happens to sit on the Board of the NY FED - overseeing the banks that hold your student debt.

Tup. You can's make this shit up!!

Sep. 18 2012 11:30 AM
Timothy Cahill

How come there is only limited data for this project? I went to college in 1982 and your calculator doesn't have the data.

Sep. 18 2012 11:30 AM
Dr Duh

Putting aside the moral question of equality, on a practical level I think we need to change the way we think about education. An educated populace is a public good, the same way a good interstate highway system is.

If I were king, I would put government funding behind non-profit online education like Coursera and EdX and make it free to any American. I would place the focus on technical education and then fund 2 years of 'finishing' at a community college where they could do lab work.

I wouldn't eliminate humanities, but technical subjects should be the focus. While we need a broadly educated populace, at this point our biggest focus needs to be on developing the skills that will allow us to compete in the new world economy.

Sep. 18 2012 11:29 AM

How about this? We give up building ONE nuclear aircraft carrier and give EVERY continuing college student their junior year tuition-free. The cost about the same.

Sep. 18 2012 11:28 AM
Alexis from Brooklyn

One thing the Federal government could do would be to bring back something like the Perkins Loan program. I taught at a low-income school (in Albany, NY) my first two years after graduation. Because of that career choice, I was able to have a portion of my Perkins loan cancelled.

Unfortunately, my Perkins loans were slim compared to my Stafford Loans (which I am still paying back - 15 years later!) If more of my loans could have been like Perkins, I would have continued teaching at that school for many years, which would have helped the school, added stability to the neighborhood, and would have enabled me to continue a career serving a needy community without myself becoming subsequently burdened with unmanagable debt.

Sep. 18 2012 11:28 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

College tuition is off the scales because of every kid being brainwashed in K-12 that he or she has to to college to be a human being worthy of life. It's either college or concentration camp. On top of that, wealthy people all over the globe want to send their kids to US Ivy League schools to get elite jobs in their own countries. The whole system is absurd, as are most liberal-designed dystopias.

We must make high school the place where kids get the skills to go out to WORK.Those who are capable and willing to take so-called AP courses, to get into higher education, fine for them. But no watering down. If you are brilliant, go on to higher education.If not, go to work.

Sep. 18 2012 11:26 AM
Kathleen E Lo PINTO VIGNOLINI from Long Branch, NJ

Without Government help, via the Pell Grant, none of our 3 kids could have gone to college! The Pell helped ease the amount we needed to make from Loans (ours & our daughter's), her summer & "in school" jobs. Then too we occasionally gave them food, supplies, & money. Two went to Private schools, the other to a State College, but that didn't matter, the costs were too much for us to handle during the late 80s to mid 90s. All 3 are and have been gainfully employed in "service" fields, and that make us proud of them.

Every child in the US - deserves to be helped toward some form of higher education, be it a College or Trade school. To leave it up to "scholarships" by business would leave thousands of kids at the bottom of the earning cycle, as we have had since before we became the US!

Sep. 18 2012 11:25 AM

Go For-Profit Education®!!

Education is NOT expensive enough!!

Sep. 18 2012 11:25 AM
Steve from NYC

My school isn't on your list, Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA. It's a private liberal arts college that I put myself through, graduating in 1982. I don't think I'd be able to do that today. I don't understand -- education is one of the most important things we, as a country, should invest in and we keep making it harder & harder.

Sep. 18 2012 11:23 AM
JT from LI

I'm sure Rand would be against those scholarships Romney gave out.

Sep. 18 2012 11:22 AM
TufPak from Crown Heights

There is the argument that higher private school "sticker" price vs. price paid is actually a progressive policy. Student aid/tuition remission can vastly reduce the price of private schools. Granted the students we're losing are those for whom the sticker price/indebtedness frightens them off.

I think the deepest shame, however, isn't the costs of private education, I feel its the disappearance of free or vastly reduced tuition to state universities. There is a real value in the tax revenue from a college graduate vs. one without a degree over the course of a lifetime. This is real value invested in our national human infrastructure. That should make the decision for us in terms of providing at least 4years free post-secondary education to those who have the motivation and ability.

Sep. 18 2012 11:22 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

Wow, that Santorum quote was beyond ridiculous - it's "snobbish" to get an education. Way to go, Rick! Way to ignore how many social problems are the result of a population who is under-educated.

All that said, I think it is dangerous to take the tack that "everyone should get a college education" because so many factors figure into whether or not a student will do well, whether that education is affordable, and most importantly - whether getting a college degree is really, really necessary to succeed in certain fields.

Our country needs to start offering far more vocational programs and training, and to look at that as a serious and viable means of "educating" the work force. So much of liberal arts education doesn't actually prepare students for the work force, so much as it offers an intellectually-rigorous study and practice in a particular area. I say this as a recipient of a BFA in creative writing!

Sep. 18 2012 11:21 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The primary purpose of High School used to be to train young people to go to work. Today all of of high school education is mostly college prep. This is wrong. A high school student should be preparing for a job after graduation, not necessarily for college.

Sep. 18 2012 11:21 AM

1975, Rutgers University. Tuition and fees was $1,170 per year. 600 hours of minimum wage labor @ $2.20/hr. Working your way through college was realistic.

2012 - Rutgers University is $13,073. (my son is enrolled) 1800+ hours at the fed. minimum of $7.25. You CAN'T work your way through anymore...at least not as a full time student.

The fewer college graduates we produce, the lower the average income will fall.

Sep. 18 2012 11:20 AM
Stephan from Long Island NY

Since your calculator was unable to calculate my tuition back in the early 70s. I was a CompSci major at Pratt Institute. Yes back in the day Pratt offered all the engineering, hard sciences and that new topic Computer Science. I looked at a one of computer science text book from back then the cost was $17.50. That same book today is about $90+. I can remember taking a summer computer programming class in 1972. 3 cr. class cost me $30 at Lowell Tech in Mass. Am I better off now than 40 years ago. That is the question?

Sep. 18 2012 11:20 AM
jon from nyc

Two things.
1. Of course the app does not work. We are a nation of apps that don't work but it seems to be OK. What a massive waste of time and effort.

2. Colleges have prospered by getting students feeling they have to go the the "best" school possible and applying to crazy numbers of colleges and paying outragous rates/tuitions that have no basis in reality to future employment. Most of the wealth of the colleges has come on the back of the government loan system.

Sep. 18 2012 11:19 AM
anna from new york

Well, this woman is clearly a product of American education - only an American produced zombie can babble about American education ever being the best. It most certainly can't be when most colleges are remedial schools and graduating from one doesn't mean being educated.
When at least 50% of Americans know the difference between the 1st century and the 19th century and are familiar with such concepts, as "history", I might re-evaluate.
No, being able to say and write correctly "team working," "strategic planning" and "the rich are rich because they deserve to be rich" isn't education.

Sep. 18 2012 11:19 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

The discussion of college vs. vocational training reminds me of the classic "Hidden Injuries of Class" by Sennett and Cobb - an oldie but a goodie.

Sep. 18 2012 11:18 AM
gARY tROUT from NYC

The site does not work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sep. 18 2012 11:17 AM
Janis McEvoy

As a Regents Scholarship recipient, I went to a community college, and then on to a public university, with tuition (not books!) paid for. I also qualified for an Economic Opportunity Employment grant, which paid for my expenses. I lived at home and drove to school...if I had lived on campus, my loans would have been significant...my great thanks to NY State for making my degrees and my employment possible. My husband, a Vietnam Vet, went to a three-year nursing program at a psychiatric institute on Long Island and finished his bachelor's degree later in life at a public university. Our family has benefited greatly from taxpayer-funded public education ....

Sep. 18 2012 11:16 AM
Ed from Larchmont

College tuition is so high because there aren't enough young people.

Sep. 18 2012 11:14 AM
Janet from Westchester

I have a coffee pot that I don't use. I'm not sure that I can sue the manufacturer. Mario, I don't think you have much of a case.

Sep. 18 2012 11:14 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Brian...Please specify. Are you talking about four-year colleges or higher education overall?

Sep. 18 2012 11:10 AM
James Veatch from Hollis, Queens

One of the things that has contributed to U.S. exceptionalism is our commitment to free universal education through grsde 12. Now we have fallen behind other nations. The person who get post-secondary education is not only benefitting herself but the whole society. We ought to support that.

Sep. 18 2012 11:03 AM
Tom from Scotch Plains, NJ

I bummed that your college widget doesn't have data going back to my graduation year. I graduated from Princeton in 1985 and the widget could only give me the average private college tuition at that time. From my own recollection, tuition in the year I graduated was about 12,500 (more than twice as much as the nearly 5500 the widget shows) vs. the past year's tuition of nearly 38,000. The widget does NOT include room and board, which can be significant. In 1985 that added another 3500 to the total, and this past year, more than 12,000 on top of the tuition - an increase of over 30%!

And that picture of Blair Arch from Princeton makes a nice issue thumbnail :)

Sep. 18 2012 10:59 AM
Drew from Brooklyn

The government should cut off aid for students who attend private universities. For now on, financial aid should only be given to those who attend public universities and colleges. If you want to attend a private institution, you should have to take out private loans from a bank or hope that private colleges or universities will cover your tuition. See how fast applications drop to places like Harvard and NYU or Georgetown. Harvard might have to suck it up and dig into their $35,000,000,000.00 endowment and cover their students.

Sep. 18 2012 10:58 AM
NYU adjunct horror

as an ethically-minded university student, I find it repugnant that NYU (and undoubtedly other institutions) rely on so many wonderful professionals in photography and the arts and publishing who are willing to share their skills as adjuncts for wages that are far less than a waiters'.

Business school teachers, perhaps, don't need the $$ -- but most arts pros do! They love the kids, love the arts and love teaching -- but are making a financial sacrifice to teach for so little -- and so much less than they made doing the same thing 20 years ago.

Most adjuncts I know do the work because they are trying to keep their lives and careers in the city, to the benefit of the brand of NYC and the coffers of NYU's reputation. They work semester to semester. So why exploit this vulnerable positions?

Sep. 18 2012 10:20 AM
Mario from Washington Heights

I am a poster child for student loan regret. I have two jobs to be able to afford my debt load, and 50% of my gross income goes to debt, and I have two decades more to go. That means literally one of my jobs goes to debt, the other is what I live on. I pay twice as much for student loan debt than for rent. It frustrates me that much of the focus on this issue revolves on interest rates rather than on the outrageous cost of college.

I went to Columbia University for a masters degree that I don't use, and which was not intellectually rigorous.

In the near future I am planning to attempt to return my degree to Columbia and ask for my money back. And if they don't give me the money, I'll bring a lawsuit against them. Predatory business practice. Defective product. Still looking for other grounds.

Sep. 18 2012 09:22 AM

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