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How Colleges Are Pushing Out the Poor To Court the Rich

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the paying-the-price dept.

Education 668

An anonymous reader writes "A change from 'need' based financial aid to a 'merit' based system coupled with a 'high tuition, high aid,' model is making it harder for poor students to afford college. According to The Atlantic: 'Sometimes, colleges (and states) really are just competing to outbid each other on star students. But there are also economic incentives at play, particularly for small, endowment-poor institutions. "After all," Burd writes, "it's more profitable for schools to provide four scholarships of $5,000 each to induce affluent students who will be able to pay the balance than it is to provide a single $20,000 grant to one low-income student." The study notes that, according to the Department of Education's most recent study, 19 percent of undergrads at four-year colleges received merit aid despite scoring under 700 on the SAT. Their only merit, in some cases, might well have been mom and dad's bank account.'"

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668 comments

living in america :( (-1, Redundant)

acidfast7 (551610) | about a year ago | (#43704869)

nm

Re:living in america :( (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43705089)

I read somewhere...

We spend more per capita on prisons than we do on school. Something it really messed up with our priorities.

Re:living in america :( (3, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year ago | (#43705199)

I read somewhere...

We spend more per capita on prisons than we do on school. Something it really messed up with our priorities.

I hear this statistic a lot as some kind of indictment of our education system, but if you think about it, it makes sense. People are expected to pay for or at least contribute to their (post-secondary) education because the purpose of that education is to benefit them, at least in the sense of given them a better chance at a higher paying job. If money is spent to help increase someone's earning potential, it makes sense for that person to pay at least some of it back.

Prisons, however, decrease people's earning potential. You can't work or get job experience while in prison. (You might be able to take college courses in some prisons, but a criminal record may still make it difficult to be employed in a high income job.) Since people aren't employed while behind bars, it would be unreasonable to expect them to pay rent. This means the government has to foot the bill. So it actually makes sense that the government spends more on prisons than education. It would, in fact, be quite strange if it were the other way around.

Re:living in america :( (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705285)

I'm a total bottom -- and I love rough sex! That's why I'm went to prison instead of college. Just imagine -- a bunch of cute (and straight!) guys fucking my asshole and making me suck their cocks. And I don't even have to pay for it!

The only downside: the food is not very good. And the prison uniforms are sooo not fashionable.

APK

Re:living in america :( (-1, Offtopic)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year ago | (#43705345)

The only downside: the food is not very good. And the prison uniforms are sooo not fashionable.

Yeah, but the food is a REAL downside. A deal breaker for me, in fact.

Re:living in america :( (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705287)

People are expected to pay for or at least contribute to their (post-secondary) education because the purpose of that education is to benefit them, at least in the sense of given them a better chance at a higher paying job.

Keep telling yourself that.

Re:living in america :( (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#43705409)

I hear this statistic a lot as some kind of indictment of our education system, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

Wow, that train of thought has completely blown me away. I am not even sure on where to start replying to you.

If you spend more on education, not just tertiary, but primary and secondary, it will nurture youth to have higher aspirations, it will teach them more. If you have someone leaving secondary school with a good understanding of basic subjects (math, English, at least one science and computers) as well as a rounded splash of some elective subjects such as history, economics, art, music, religion they are much more likely to either look for further education on their own (even if they have to pay as much for it as in the US) and move on to being a productive member of society rather than ending up in prison.

That's not to say that everyone with a good education will never do anything illegal or end up in jail, but the number of people in prison with a poor education should stand out above anything else that to keep people out of prison, give them an education. Give them the ability to actually join society as a peer rather than as the bottom of the ladder cleaning the bathrooms or working as a parking attendant.

This concept of paying more earlier also has the advantage saving more money in the long run. If you don't need to pay for putting someone in prison AND have the benefit of that person contributing to the society they live in, it clearly is a win-win scenario.

Re:living in america :( (3, Informative)

MasterHundinco (2012818) | about a year ago | (#43705301)

2007, around $74 billion was spent on corrections. The total number of inmates in 2007 in federal, state, and local lockups was 2,419,241. That comes to around $30,600 per inmate. In 2005, it cost an average of $23,876 dollars per state prisoner. State prison spending varied widely, from $45,000 a year in Rhode Island to $13,000 in Louisiana. $4,020 is the basic cost of raising each child per year as estimated by the Department of Health and Human Services for 2013, whether there is one child or many children. The total basic cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is by their estimates $389,670, based on the 30 year average inflation rate of 3% increasing the $4,020 annual cost every year. According to Globalissues.org, "Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day." This statistic includes children. Using $2.50 a day, the cost is roughly US$900 for raising a child for a year, and US$16,500 for raising a child from birth to age 17 As per the cost of public education spending Colorado, for instance ranks ninth nationally in "quality" of education but spent an average of $9,155 per student in 2009, putting it among the 10 states spending the least per pupil. Wyoming though ranked 29th in quality spending the most averaging $18,068 per student. Alaska, ranked 41st for its education quality, spent an average of $16,174 per student. Overall, the U.S. spent an average of $11,665 per student. Prison stats Sources: http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p08.pdf [bjs.gov] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/28cnd-prison.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com] http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2008/one%20in%20100.pdf [pewstates.org] Education stats sources: http://www.nationaljournal.com/thenextamerica/education/analysis-how-much-states-spend-on-their-kids-really-does-matter-20121016 [nationaljournal.com]

Re:living in america :( (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43705359)

IIRC, California passed the mark for spending more on prison then post-secondary education about 2 years ago – so I don’t think it’s true for America as a whole – but it is still a sad fact.

Prisons are highly profitable (4, Informative)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43705431)

because it doesn't cost near what we pay to operate them. Stuff like this is what made me a socialist. The rich are going to find a way to use the government to their benefit and our detriment. I don't see any reason to pretend they'll not. So if we're going to have a powerful government that hands out socialism to the rich why not just get some of it for the rest of us? Start by making education in all forms free, and keep going from there.

Goodbye (5, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43704875)

Social mobility. Welcome Feudalism 2.0

Re:Goodbye (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704945)

This is what happens when you the Federal Government into the Education Industry--crony capitalism (i.e., progressiveism).

Re:Goodbye (5, Insightful)

pwizard2 (920421) | about a year ago | (#43705033)

What you're describing is fascism, not progressivism. Ever since Reagan, the USA has been going balls-out towards fascism. Lots of people would say that we're already there. Us progressives want to create a society that cares about its people instead of just the very rich and where it's possible for everyone to achieve a decent standard of living regardless of where they start at on the socioeconomic ladder.

Re:Goodbye (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705183)

U.S. Progressives just want to tax any one that can pay and loot treasures for themselves and their cronies. Solandra anyone?

Re:Goodbye (5, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#43705259)

No, Progressives want to create a society which is actively managed by the top, instead of passively managed by the top.

The hallmarks of progressivism have always been regulating the working man "for his own good", in addition to aid and funding.

Fascism(real facism) is similar in concept, except more stringent, more violent, and more racist and factionalist.(progressivism is far friendlier).

What we've been heading towards since Reagan is Corporate Feudalism.

A good example of "fascism", would be the old Prussian style education system, where education was free, but it was harsh, strict, designed to teach group think and obediance and manditory.

Facists don't let people starve on the streets, but they aren't above shooting them there either.

Re:Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705437)

You are aware that the very fact that you are using the un-word "progressives", and act like progress was a bad thing, makes you a mentally ill Glenn Beck drone?

Seriously: Get a therapy!

Also, I'm actually from Germany, and you have no fucking idea whatsoever what fascism is!
Well let me tell you something: The *exact* type of person that you are, with the exact mindset (raging anger and blind following of bullshit comforting beliefs) that you have, is the foundation of fascism and tyranny. Glenn Beck and all neocunts are *factually* fascists of the worst kind. The Goebbels kind! To use Germans, YOU are a fascist. All that's missing is the rallies, idolizing of soldiers and glorious songs praising the own nation... oh wait!

And all because you can't handle reality and have fled into comforting delusions, just like people back then. Because you are *such* a frightened little *pussy*, crying at every change.

You are a *coward*! That's what you are.
If you can't handle changes, go kill yourself, because sooner or later, natural selection will do it to you automatically.

And because it can't be said enough:
THIS IS AN INTERVENTION!
GET. A. THERAPY!

Re:Goodbye (0)

akeeneye (1788292) | about a year ago | (#43704951)

Oh there's plenty of social mobility. For most people, it just happens to be downwards. I was surprised to discover recently that a friend of mine, a staunch Republican, had his Cadillac-plan health insurance cut by his defense-contractor employer and replaced with a bare-bones high-deductible plan. The shit is really starting to trickle uphill if it's reached his level. He's got a couple of girls who'll be going to college in a few years so it'll be interesting to see how that plays out, to see how many hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt he'll let them take on.

Re:Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705007)

Lots of people vote republican because they think that sort of thing couldn't possibly happen to them...until it does.

Re:Goodbye (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43705103)

I was surprised to discover recently that a friend of mine, a staunch Republican, had his Cadillac-plan health insurance cut by his defense-contractor employer and replaced with a bare-bones high-deductible plan.

...and the massive financial cost upheavals induced by Obamacare had nothing to do with that happening [yahoo.com], right?

Incidentally, I find it curious that we're in year 5 of Obama's administration (mind you, two of those years gave him full run of Congress), yet there are still progressives blaming presidents who are long gone.

Re:Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705215)

Obama has higher priorities which will help the country on a longer term basis, such as removing assault weapons from the hands of all but the military and police and following the path of Venezuela in firearm regulation (which IMO is the fairest of any country out there), so another Sandy Hook doesn't happen on our soil again. However, we have a Congress who believes that China has to get paid first before our military does.

Obama's gifts to the US during his administration won't be realized until 2016, just like Clinton wasn't lauded as a hero until after Bush was in office for a few years.

Re:Goodbye (5, Insightful)

akeeneye (1788292) | about a year ago | (#43705257)

His health plan was changed so that his defense-contractor MegaCorp employer, that feeds almost exclusively at the trough of the Socialist military, could make more money. There's absolutely no question that this fantastically huge and wealthy company couldn't have maintained funding for the current plan. They simply chose not to, because In These Tough Economic Times, they can get away with it.

Four months is not two years. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705311)

The Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate from Sept. 24, 2009 to Feb. 4th, 2010. This includes such reliable Democratic votes as the Blue-Dog caucus and Joe "I want to be John McCain's Vice President" Lieberman. Also note that because Republicans filibuster everything it takes 60 votes for the Senate to do it's job.

Re:Goodbye (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705419)

and the massive financial cost upheavals induced by Obamacare

Funny, my company's plan actually got cheaper after a decade of increasing prices and increasing deductibles.

The only companies that were actually affected, really, were the ones that had more than 50 full time employees and didn't offer health insurance. Everyone under 50 is exempt, everyone over 50 who already offered insurance didn't need to do a damn thing except for the whole contraceptive flap.

Also, keep in mind that Obamacare doesn't even make the company pay for the health insurance as long as they contract a "cheap" (relative to the employee's salary) policy. Maybe the defense-contractor employee was making $15k/year? Or maybe his boss decided to cut expenses and pad his bonus while blaming Obamacare.

Re: Goodbye (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43705255)

You can go to your state school with in state tuition and not spend a lot of money

No reason to send your kids to another state unless its one of the top schools in the country

Re: Goodbye (0)

akeeneye (1788292) | about a year ago | (#43705313)

I strongly suspect that that's what my wealthy Republican friend will be doing: sending his kids to Socialist in-state public schools (oh the irony). As you say they cost a small fraction of what private unis cost and if I understand correctly the two top schools in Washington state are quite good.

Re:Goodbye (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43705029)

Yep, got a nephew that is gonna end up having to drop out of college halfway through because he can't get the aid to finish even though he has high marks while the same school trips over themselves to court these third and fourth generation money kids that can just fuck off for four years for all they care, they'll have a diploma and a cushy job waiting at daddy's firm when they get out. He is gonna end up buried in 37k of debt without even a piece of paper, damned shame is what it is, poor kid worked his ass off and got screwed..

George Carlin said it best "Its called the American Dream...because you have to be asleep to believe in it"

Re:Goodbye (5, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43705135)

Fun question here... how is your nephew going to school, and where?

I've known folks who paid their own way through school, who got their Bachelors' 8 years after they started, but they paid their own way along, CLEP'd out of the drudge-work classes, used the GI Bill, used employer-sponsored tuition reimbursements, got their undergrad at the local (read: cheaper) community college but their BS at the state uni, etc.

There's the traditional (and IMHO stupid) way of doing college, and then there's the smart way to do it. Do it traditional, and (sadly) prepare for the consequences.

Average public univ = $13,600 a year (2)

drnb (2434720) | about a year ago | (#43705423)

He is gonna end up buried in 37k of debt without even a piece of paper, damned shame is what it is, poor kid worked his ass off and got screwed..

How did that happen? The average for 4 year public schools is $13,600 a year. A part time job and a summer job could put a pretty huge dent in $13,600 a year. Note this figure includes room and board.

http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76 [ed.gov]

Re:Goodbye (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43705045)

But you wanted it, your entire ideology is based on destroying equality under law.

Your entire ideology requires to discriminate against some to provide subsidy to others, this is just a tide going the other way, you have pushed and pushed and you have gotten now what you inevitably pushed towards - inflation, lack of productivity, lack of personal responsibility and lack of individual initiative.

The government creates the moral hazard of fake loans that nobody in their sound mind would EVER give you out of their savings to go 'study' sociology, philosophy, literature. There was a story earlier in the day on this site about an employer not interested in these graduates, they are not worth the time, they have huge debts and they have proven themselves to be incapable of not following the crowd, they have proven to be lemmings.

Obama's new 'Pay as you Earn' idea is going to change the way people pay back loans, no more the loan payment will be tied to the actual loan amount, now it will be tied to your yearly earnings, so it will make sense to rack up the biggest debt you can and stay in college as long as you possibly can stretch, and then find a low enough paying job so that you won't be repaying too much. In 10 years the remainder of your loan is forgiven, and so colleges will raise tuition faster than ever before in history, I even fully expect to see doubling of tuition in a single year. Why not, you are not paying for it, you are not price sensitive.

It's a bail out, it's inflation. Elizabeth Warren wants to push interest rates for student loans to be the same as the rate the affiliate banks get at the Fed's discount window.

Good politics, I am sure 99% of you will agree and 99% of you want that to happen. Of-course it's terrible economics, the banks should not be getting that free money, that's inflation.

Of-course the banks are getting it from the Fed so that they can turn around and buy US Treasuries, to maintain the artificially low interest rates, to maintain the ability of the gov't to spend on your bankrupt social and military programs. The Fed also wants the banks not to fail for as long as they can stretch it, so the banks make the spread between the Fed's discount rate and the Treasury yield, a couple of percent, nothing fancy.

Except that it's over 2Trillion a year not counting the new 85Billion a month in just mortgages and refinancing. The Fed wants to reinflate the housing market, they are somewhat successful. The banks use these 'record profits' to inflate the bond and the stock market, stock market is record high.

Guess what, Warren's plan will make college tuition record high for the same reason that the stock and bond markets are high: inflation. Enormous inflation.

But her bill won't pass, however Obama's plan will and so don't worry, you'll be able to rack up all the debt you want and never have to repay it, just pay a little bit over 10 years. Of-course what are you going to pay it from? Who is going to hire these sociology and ethnic studies majors?

PhDs are going to wash floors in McDonalds.

Yes, it's the new feudalism, the politicians, your gov't, the bankers that are part of it are the feudals and you are the useful idiots.

-

Now go ahead, this comment only has one way to go.

Re:Goodbye (4, Interesting)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43705105)

I do not live in the US. I live in a "socialist" country, and we are doing very well, thank you. Economic crisis. which economic crisis?

Re:Goodbye (1, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43705173)

Greece wasn't considered to be in trouble until it could no longer borrow. The socialists 'borrow' from the productive people. Once the interest rates for them go up they can no longer pay for their socialism. So they circle the wagons around their ethnic majority, that is the natural progression for docialists to nazism. So Greece has this growing a rather smooth transition.

Re:Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705201)

Now go ahead, this comment only has one way to go.

Ah yes, the old passive-aggressive "I know this comment will be downmodded" nonsense.

So if you're downmodded, you still win because you get to appear that you were the victim of downmod abuse from those who disagree with you but can't accept you're right.

Or you make it less likely that you'll be downmodded in case it appears the downmodder is doing so for the above reasons. Or you're more likely to attract upmods from those that agree mildly or are gullibly sticking up for you on principle to counter all that abuse you're sure to receive.

You'll probably be downmodded anyway for transparently pulling the same old manipulative trick, but that's probably your plan- you can't lose, right?

Re:Goodbye (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705125)

In 1970, Roger Freeman, an educational advisor to Nixon, and then working for the election of Ronald Reagan, said, "We are in danger of producing an educated proletariat. That's dynamite! We have to be selective on who we allow to go through higher education."

Later that year, Reagan ended free education at the U.C. system, starting us down this path, in California.

It is class war, waged by the rich parasitic class upon the poor, and you are correct, the subjugation of the majority of the population to the tiniest minority of rich parasites is the goal.

Under 700 on the SAT? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704887)

Are they calculating that by dividing the score based on 2400 by 3?

Universities are a cult (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704889)

They run like one, and their main goal is to create the two tier society that the power elite dreams about.

Re:Universities are a cult (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year ago | (#43705031)

Maybe it's the community college I'm at, but I've only had one teacher I thought was trying to indoctrinate me: Nutrition

Re:Universities are a cult (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43705143)

Community colleges are too busy trying to get kids educated to bother with indoctrination. Sniff around at a big-name or state uni, and things are a bit different.

Re:Universities are a cult (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about a year ago | (#43705289)

Not all universities are like this. My state engineering school was more of a diploma mill than a reeducation center.

Q&A (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43704899)

How Colleges Are Pushing Out the Poor To Court the Rich

It might have something to do with making it too expensive for the poor. Just a thought...

Re:Q&A (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704959)

The answer is to provide college up to PHD level for free like decent countries do. The USA is only exceptional in how we fuck over our own people (and the rest of the world for good measure).

Re:Q&A (0, Flamebait)

quickcup (2896097) | about a year ago | (#43705039)

Okay, you pay for it.

Re:Q&A (5, Insightful)

pwizard2 (920421) | about a year ago | (#43705093)

You'd rather live in a society where there is no escape from poverty if you weren't talented^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hlucky enough to be born a millionaire? That's where we're headed if what TFA is about becomes commonplace. The idea is that everyone pays for it through taxes. This inherent selfishness of "I've got mine so fuck everybody else" is what is destroying my country and I'm sick of it! All the conservatives who bitch about taking care of other people have benefited far more from society than they can fathom and yet they can't see it. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization and part of civilization is making sure that everyone has a decent standard of living. Yes, you're paying for other people, but guess what? Other people are paying for you at the same time so it all works out. If you don't want to pay taxes you clearly don't want to live in a civilized country either.

Re:Q&A (1, Insightful)

quickcup (2896097) | about a year ago | (#43705181)

No what you want is for a third party to collect the money by force (violence) and then redistribute it as they see fit. And the way they see fit is to keep most of it for themselves, destroy some, and give a tiny bit that's left back to you. THIS IS WHAT IS DISTROYING YOUR COUNTRY and mine. Liberals like you never ask yourself how much more efficient it would be if people would not be taxed and instead donate even 10% of what they would have been taxed to the causes they believe in. You can't see this because you are so selfish and greedy that you cannot comprehend that anyone would donate money.

Re:Q&A (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705211)

Go look at the 1800s. People didn't donate enough.

Re: Q&A (1)

LordofWinterfell (90845) | about a year ago | (#43705233)

So how does that pay for police, safe food and pavement? Oh, you want to have a street bill, a police bill and a private food inspection service...works if you have enough money to pay for it, but the majority, well they should just stop being lazy, right?
Living in a bubble...it won't work.

Re:Q&A (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705221)

All the conservatives who bitch about taking care of other people have benefited far more from society than they can fathom and yet they can't see it.

That is one of the keys to why they are the way they are: they believe that somehow they've done all the work and the money they have is entirely thanks to their own two hands and their singular work ethic. Poor people simply are lazy or stupid.
 
Another key is that most of the people thinking that way are poor and will always be poor, but have that attitude because they believe they will be rich and they don't want to have to pay lots of taxes in that never-going-to-happen future.

Re:Q&A (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705273)

Poor people simply are lazy or stupid.

no, poor people are enslaved by the massive welfare state. government intervention has created a system that has eliminated upward mobility.

Re:Q&A (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705267)

Oh god, this simple-minded bullshit again...

Taxes are the price we pay for civilization and part of civilization is making sure that everyone has a decent standard of living.

You've glossed over the fact that how much, and what we spend them on are the always the topic of conersation. There's an entire fucking galaxy of difference in how people feel about both, and that includes those "conservatives" you hate so much.

Yes, you're paying for other people, but guess what? Other people are paying for you at the same time so it all works out.

"It all works out"? Holy. fucking. citation. needed.

How my tax dollars are spent matters to me, and tax dollars are not magic. They don't necessarily make societey better. What matters is what you spend, where, and at what cost to the people you took it from. Some programs are worthwhile trade-offs. Some are not. And what people think about each, varies.

In other words, lay off the Daily Show. It's funny, but it's making you lazy.

 

Re:Q&A (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43705315)

I escaped from poverty on my own, without someone else paying my way. I really can't stand when some prick like you acts like its impossible for someone to pull themselves out of the slums in America. This isn't fucking Kenya. In America, contrary to what all you Occupy Wallstreet douchebags with your North Face backpacks and tents think, you make your own way in this place.

You can too. It just takes actual work rather than begging for and spending some elses money. This bullshit you spew is just an excuse to expect someone else to support what you believe you are entitled to.

I don't want to pay taxes to carry someone who thinks they are entitled to anything in life. You are not, and I'm sure as hell not going to support your ass with my hard work. Even worse, I don't particularly want any more American's tainted into thinking that college isn't about money for lazy professors and administrators who also think they are entitled to this fantasy world that acts like a big hippie commune.

Re:Q&A (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#43704967)

Their only merit, in some cases, might well have been mom and dad's bank account.

..and it might well have been because Obama personally called and told them to give them a scholarship...

Isn't guessing fun?

guessing it's more complex than that (5, Informative)

buddyglass (925859) | about a year ago | (#43704905)

For instance, if your parents make less than $65k/year (approx. 150% median U.S. household income, or 300% the cutoff for "poverty level") you can attend Harvard for free. Assuming you can get in. Which, in the grand scheme of things, sort of makes it a "merit based" scholarship after all.

Re:guessing it's more complex than that (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704957)

Assuming you can get in, you say?

Not exactly as easy as it sounds when the portion of your application involving your grades is a very small part of whether or not you get accepted. Most top colleges these days are obsessed with students that show profound personal initiative and social engagement, which are both activities that cost money. They do not currently "compensate" for the extra advantages a wealthy student has in the application process. Added to the emphasis on alumni connections (oh hi MIT) you might as well flush the application fee down the toilet.

Re:guessing it's more complex than that (3, Informative)

buddyglass (925859) | about a year ago | (#43705067)

They (elite schools) seem to be locating and successfully recruiting the lion's share of low-income high-ability students. At least if this article [npr.org] is to be believed:

Low-income high-achieving students at these schools have close to 100 percent odds of attending an Ivy League school or other highly selective college...

"These schools" are "from 15 large metropolitan areas. These areas often have highly regarded public high schools, such as in New York City or in the Washington, D.C., area." It's the 30% of low-income high-ability students outside those metro areas that aren't heading to elite universities. Harvard also claims [harvard.edu] that 20% of its class falls under the $65k/year threshold and therefore pays nothing.

Re:guessing it's more complex than that (5, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43705027)

The problem here is that most families with $65k have no idea how to turn their 90th percentile kid into the kind of kid who gets into Harvard. They don't know about "SAT Coaches," don't know which extracurricular activities to push, don't have friends who can donate massive amounts to the orphanage little darling just founded in Kenya, etc. If one parent makes $150k, the other makes $60k, and their friends all work at Hedge Funds, it's really easy to look great on a college application.

More importantly they generally don't know that Harvard will be free for their kid. They see the Harvard name, they see the price tag in USNews is astronomical, maybe they google the actual tuition charges of roughly $37k, and instead of pushing their kid to apply to Harvard and spend $0 they push him to apply to [cheap state school] and spend $10,000 or so a year.

There was recently on article on three Latina friends from a small city in Texas. The one who went to Emory had loans, but that was because as a teenager she didn't understand all the paperwork requirements needed to get aid. Her family had nobody who had ever gone to a school like Emory, so they couldn't help very well.

Re:guessing it's more complex than that (2)

buddyglass (925859) | about a year ago | (#43705121)

I'm not saying more wealthy families don't have advantages. They do. But Harvard is somehow managing to fill 20% of its class w/ kids whose families fall under the $65k/year threshold. So some of these families, at least, are doing "what it takes" to get into Harvard.

Re:guessing it's more complex than that (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about a year ago | (#43705367)

$10,000 a year for a state school? Like hell, both major state universities in my state are $20,000 a year, supplies, housing, and additional fees not included.

I got scholarships for hard work, not for poverty. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704925)

God forbid these schools actually attempt to make a profit (gasp)! I thought they were all supposed to run on rainbows and oxygen, or on borrowed government deficit money. Give me a break.

Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (1)

Musc (10581) | about a year ago | (#43704931)

Why is it that schools are grouped into either the comparatively prestigious category of 4 year academic B.S. degrees, or the lowly 2 year trade school degree?

If you want to learn theory and go on to do basic research or become a professor, then the B.S. degree is ideal. But if you want to get a really good education of the type that would prepare you to work a skilled job, where is there to turn to? A trade school is geared towards career training, but these are not prestigious and are considered lowly and are typically just 2 year programs. Why can't there be a four year program from a high quality school that has the emphasis on teaching the skills you need for a career in industry? People complain that college is useless, and maybe it is in practice, but couldn't college be very useful if it taught the right things? Why not teach what students need to know to succeed?

Re:Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year ago | (#43704991)

If there were a good vocational school in my area for finance I'd drop out today.

But that isn't going to happen, so I'll just continue taking bullshit classes to get a piece of paper that says I can start my real education(hopefully) in my last 2 years of college.

Re:Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (1)

Musc (10581) | about a year ago | (#43705047)

I went to an awful lot of school to learn computer science. My shiny fancy degree got me an interview for a job. But guess what? None of the questions in the interview were answerable based on what I learned in school. I knew the answers because I wrote code for fun as a hobby, starting at the age of 15. But I knew the answers and got the job. And guess what? I have not used anything from school in the job. My job is all about the useful programming skills that I had to pick up to write fun little toy programs as a hobby.

Re:Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (2)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year ago | (#43705197)

In my experience, all the people who studied on their own and knew what they wanted to do and before they entered college became distracted and depressed. The filler classes just suck up time, motivation, and money. Then they'd just feel worse and worse for not focusing on their real studies

Re:Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#43705219)

I went to an awful lot of school to learn computer science. My shiny fancy degree got me an interview for a job. But guess what? None of the questions in the interview were answerable based on what I learned in school. I knew the answers because I wrote code for fun as a hobby, starting at the age of 15. But I knew the answers and got the job. And guess what? I have not used anything from school in the job. My job is all about the useful programming skills that I had to pick up to write fun little toy programs as a hobby.

There was an accreditation change in the mid 1980's that forced colleges to stop teaching programming languages directly, so instead of teaching C, they teach things like "database programming using C", and you're expected to pick the language up on your own, rather than as part of the curriculum. And yes, after that time, colleges started turning out people who practically could not program.

These days they teach "game programming in flash" for all those people who don't realize that Flash doesn't actually run on iPhones and think they will come up with the next great computer game. The Academy of Arts College in San Francisco is basically turning out a bunch of unemployable Flash programmers who couldn't program C to save their lives.

If you want a good education, you have to go to some place like Brown University, which provides self directed programs. You'll find these at the Ivy League schools, but a lot of universities or state colleges these days are basically diploma mills which arrange for you to spend 5 years there instead of 4 by choosing not to offer classes you would need to graduate when you are at that point in the program. The California State Universities are practically famous for that little trick.

2-4 years mixed school / on the job is fine (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43705079)

emphasis on teaching the skills you need for a career in industry does not need a full 4 years in the class room the 2 year programs are fine and can use some kind apprenticeship systems.

The older collgle system does not fit to well into teaching the skills you need for a career in industry and the tech schools are held down by being forced to be part of the collgle system.

Re:Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43705109)

A lot of the reason people complain college is useless is that it doesn't teach you things that can only be taught with actual experience in industry. You can't teach a kid how to maintain a company-wide computer system that's filled with random cruft nobody understands (and you can't delete/fix any of it without breaking things you didn't know were there) if a) all your programmers are PhDs who consider it their life-work to avoid poorly-documented cruft in their computer systems, and b) the Dean pays for major upgrades every few years (students won't go to a school where they have to use outdated software). You can't teach a kid to use every software package he might come across because really old shit shows up in surprising places and you've only got four years to do it. You can't teach kid how to deal with a distracted Pointy-Haired-Boss-type if the kid's paying you $20k in tuition. The kid's just gonna transfer someplace that doesn't charge $20k to deal with a jerk.

Re:Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705127)

AMEN

I am a CS Student at a Texas State College and the "education" that we are paying for is a fucking joke hell I know more than most of my professors who themselves are masters students or P.h.d. candidates. The few actual professors could not care less about actually teaching. The only reason I am still here is because it is hell to get past HR department screening without a BS these days.

Re:Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (3, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43705177)

Easy. HR drone sees trade school? Then your resume goes in the trash etc.

If you want that awesome $29,000 a year job working 60 hours a week at the gringoDepot as a manager you need a full 4 year degree! To do anything aboe $17,000 a year you need a 4 year degree.

Perhaps someone in Silicon Valley or New York will rebuke my comment, but in the real world (Florida) that is what the jobs are and the lines for them are out the door and people are at the mercy of H.R.

Until their attitude changes on what is really required to perform a job they will just get an Indian instead with no experience but has the magical piece of paper. By the way I do have that magical piece of paper in case someone wants to tell me I am bitter. It just blows for those who did not get their careers started in 1999. For those who are reading this comment you are in a bubble.

If you are under 30 and have a 3.8 GPA but dropped out after your second year due to the lack of cash, well I am waiting for my coffee and fries. No H.R. will dump you for working at Starbucks or McDonalds instead of having an awesome job immediately which they also hypocritically turned down because you didn't have the magical piece of paper, so it cycles to a self fulfilling prophesy where there are no qualified applicants and we have a crises OMG.

Re:Academic degrees vs. trade school degrees (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43705207)

Why can't there be a four year program from a high quality school that has the emphasis on teaching the skills you need for a career in industry?

Actually, Utah has something exactly like that. You spend the first two years hands-on in the trade at a campus of the Utah College of Applied Technology [ucat.edu] (there are 10 campuses spread across the state). Each campus is partnered with a state-level university, so if you want that 2-year degree to become a 4-year one, you take 3-4 "bridge" classes, then the 2nd two years of the 4-year degree.

The coolest part about the system? a top-grade high school student can go to UCAT as early as they can start 11th grade (assuming they clear their state HS required classes). They can complete the 2-year degree at around 6 months after graduating high school, and the state pays for all of it. This leaves paying only for the last two years plus one full-time semester's worth of bridge classes.

College used to be a place for the rich to put the (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43704943)

College used to be a place for the rich to put there kids whiles others went to the trades / tech schools or just had on the job training (the rich part dates back to middle ages).

Also some people went to college mainly for sports and not so much to learn.

We need to stop this idea of college for all and give trades / tech schools more respect and / or cut them out of the collgle time frames / credits systems.

Some colleges over the years have dumbed down and stated to let anyone as long as they can pay or get a high cost loan that is very hard to get rid of. I say if they made it easier to get rid of collgle loans prices will come down and some of the junk / fully majors will go a way.

Too many merit scholarships? Troll harder. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43704961)

You have to be seriously deluded to believe the problem with American Universities is too many merit scholarships. I normally like the Atlantic but this is easily the dumbest thing I've read in print this year.

My high school graduation had 2 national merit scholarships awarded to "Home Economics"-grade Valedictorians. The remainder of the graduating class was divided in to two groups of people: the kids with poor or divorced parents that could manipulate their FAFSA to look shit poor, and everyone with an EFC higher than the families take home pay after groceries and gasoline.

The kids lucky enough to be born to crack head parents got free rides. The kids from the middle class got yoked with private student loans or didn't get to go to school at all. Grades had NOTHING to do with it.

-If you had a pulse and your mom was a pack of cigarettes from turning tricks: Harvard.
-If you could program an FPGA to run the Attitude Control System on a pico-satellite, you may get a $1000 check if you wrote a 20 page essay on why GWB was the best president in history.

I delayed my Freshman year until I was 22 just so I could get my parents off my FAFSA only to have those pig fuckers raise the age to 24 on my 21st birthday.

Fuck FAFSA, fuck The Atlantic for publishing this drivel, and fuck Slashdot for legitimizing it.

Re:Too many merit scholarships? Troll harder. (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year ago | (#43705013)

I delayed my Freshman year until I was 22 just so I could get my parents off my FAFSA only to have those pig fuckers raise the age to 24 on my 21st birthday.

This shit right here is one of the big ways financial aid sucks. Are you a 22 year old who has been living on your own for years? Lulz, your parents are totally going to give you tens of thousands of dollars suddenly to go to school. No need to give you any money.

In capitalism... (5, Insightful)

elloGov (1217998) | about a year ago | (#43705011)

Wealth and Power are compounding, always siphoning to the top. Unless you place restrictions, i.e. socialist policy, it's only a matter of time before serfdom ensues, It's no coincidence that 80% of the wealth created over the past two decades have gone to the top 1% of the population. Remember the dream of being millionaires in the 90s? Nowadays, billion is the dream. Yes, inflation over time is real, however it doesn't warrant an increase of 10^3 magnitude.

Re:In capitalism... (0)

quickcup (2896097) | about a year ago | (#43705117)

So let me get this straight. You want to have a third party threaten everyone with violence in order to get everyone to turn over a percentage of their property so that the third party can keep most of it for themselves and then redistribute a small portion of it with the net result being that almost everyone is poorer than they would have been. This is what you want? And where did you get that this is the only way that serfdom can be prevented? In the early part of the past century the trajectory of the American working class was moving up - and fast. Then the third party decided to fix it.

Re:In capitalism... (1)

elloGov (1217998) | about a year ago | (#43705225)

Relax, I never expressed my desire to give your money to a third-party, simply stating an observation.

Re:In capitalism... (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | about a year ago | (#43705385)

Nope, I want you to keep going like you are until the poor eat the rich. It's going to be fun to watch.

Re:In capitalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705243)

It's no coincidence that 80% of the wealth created over the past two decades have gone to the top 1% of the population.

it's no coincidence that massive government intervention facilitated that.

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION ISNT WORKING, LETS INTERVENE MORE. said every socialist ever.

Re:In capitalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705291)

Right. Because there are never classes of power and privilege in socialism.
 
Get your head out of your ass.
 
Maybe we can start to reform the education system by changing people's attitudes towards junior college, having creative commons text books and not insisting that every broom pusher and stoop dweller be given more education than they ever plan on using. We have at least one generation who takes pride in the fact that they don't use what they're taught in public high schools... fuck em, let them be ignorant if they have no plans on doing anything more than partying and shitting out welfare brats for the rest of their lives. If they come around at some point in the future they got to own up and put in to complete their first 12 years before they can move on.

Re:In capitalism... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43705357)

One problem here is that for some reason we as a society have said *everyone* should attend a four year school and aim for a BA and then perhaps a Masters.

But many people - many who do attend a four year school - simply are not cut out for it. For some reason, we have decided that a skilled "vocation" is down-scale and to be avoided.

Fewer and fewer people study Machine Tool, complex welding, mechanical trades - but these areas can be as well or better paid than many "white collar" jobs, they are needed skills, and fit for many people.

Indeed, I know a number of people with advanced degrees that over time decide that it just isn't worth in, and go back to vocational school to learn a trade.

Re:In capitalism... (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#43705383)

however it doesn't warrant an increase of 10^3 magnitude

The real trick in a capitalist democracy is to figure out what would warrant that sort of an increase then start a marketing company to seel people on the idea.

Someday colleges and universities will be obsolete (2)

DeathGrippe (2906227) | about a year ago | (#43705057)

Colleges and universities, as places of higher learning, are gradually being replaced as information becomes ever more widely available through the internet.  Certainly these institutions are valuable as places of hands-on research in physics, biology, and other fields.  However, the dissemination of information, and the learning of it, do not ultimately require classrooms and libraries if that information is available through online resources.
<br><br>
Perhaps these trends toward elitism are related.

Re:Someday colleges and universities will be obsol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705157)

Perhaps, but not in my lifetime. Universities play a LOT of important roles which can't be replaced by online materials.

No credit for calling something correctly 80 years in advance.

Calm down (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year ago | (#43705059)

It's always been thus, only bit more so recently.

UC (California) schools are recruiting more out-of-state and international students who pay higher tuition. Other state schools are probably doing similar.

Ivy League schools have always done so giving preference to legacy and wealthy applicants (on the hush). Other private schools are the same.

fact check? (5, Informative)

Artifex (18308) | about a year ago | (#43705077)

The study notes that, according to the Department of Education's most recent study, 19 percent of undergrads at four-year colleges received merit aid despite scoring under 700 on the SAT. Their only merit, in some cases, might well have been mom and dad's bank account.

The study doesn't actually say that, at least not according to the chart on page 4 [ed.gov]. It says that 18.8% of the students in college who had scores of 0-699 got merit aid. Not that 18.8% of all the students in college received aid with such low scores.

It is Reagan's fault (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705151)

No, really.. Started the slide for UC from egalitarian master plan for California: top eighth of HS seniors can attend essentially for free to today's 30k/yr and up. (even as recently as the late 70s, the annual fees to attend UCLA were less than $1000, something that you could earn in 10 weeks of full time work at minimum wage)

Reagan, as California Governor, didn't like those radical students supported by public funds and started cutting budgets, a trend that continues to this day. Lots of other things that RR did to hurt California, but that's the one that probably has the most lasting effect.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-rosenfeld-uc-reagan-kerr-20130510,0,7344574.story

And liberal Jerry Browns fault ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705395)

No, really.. Started the slide for UC from egalitarian master plan for California: top eighth of HS seniors can attend essentially for free to today's 30k/yr and up. (even as recently as the late 70s, the annual fees to attend UCLA were less than $1000, something that you could earn in 10 weeks of full time work at minimum wage)

Late 1970s is the middle of liberal Jerry Brown's two terms as governor. It seems to be a quite bipartisan effort to make students pay something.

The students are just being tapped to pay for the extravagant spending. Cut back on the extravagance and we can lower tuition with raising taxes.

As a graduate of the UC system I can certainly attest to the fact the UC system "gold plates" everything. They overspend on nearly every project. Every building seems to have to be an art project, not simply attractive. The equipment inside the labs often excessive, latest greatest and most expensive oscilloscopes in a freshman electronics lab where most of the students are non majors taking an intro EE class to satisfy their degree requirements (not because they have any interest). This sort of stuff repeats itself over and over at UC.

The problem is spending not funding. I've also attended classes at Cal State universities, same content at a fraction of the cost. Freshman labs with more modest equipment but far beyond what the students will need.

SAT score must have changed alot over the years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705171)

In the 70's I was fairly happy with a 720. I was in the 99.9 percentile. Now it is not enough to be considered for a merit scholarship? (720 was math, I don't recall the verbal score, well below 700, but it was still in the 92 percentile).

At least I redeemed myself on the GRE where I got an 800 (logical reasoning, don't recall the other 2 scores).

Re:SAT score must have changed alot over the years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705405)

I think they are referring to 700 combined, math + verbal.

It should be a combination of need and merit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705185)

Using one metric by itself is stupid. It should be a combination of their GPA, accomplishments and need. I think this is a reaction to all of the people highlighted in the media who got a free ride while VASTLY different GPA's and almost no accomplishments yet a another person with a higher GPA, and a long list of accomplishments couldn't get anything.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking teddy with a trust fund. I'm talking normal joe (or jill) from a medium income family who can't afford college for joe (jill), yet their combined income exceeds blind limits.

Samzenpus on the left, Timothy on the right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705191)

Just an observation.

Something suddenly makes sense: (3, Interesting)

RaccoonBandit (2597025) | about a year ago | (#43705227)

The article mentioned South Carolina as one of the states where public universities are affected. I have taught physics courses at a large SC school and at the end of the semester there is the usual rush of emails from your students telling you that they deserve a higher grade than they got, contrary to all the evidence of their lack of ability and effort. Well, maybe they should have thought about that earlier and actually cared about doing work for the class.

Among them there are also always some who say "If I don't get a B in this class, then I lose my scholarship" (sorry guys, grades are not given out according to personal need). Several such students every semester. And I wonder, how did these students ever get a scholarship in the first place given their highly mediocre academic ability?

Now it all makes sense.

I dont know how this is a surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43705251)

Schools are a business that are in business to make money. That is their entire purpose and nothing more.

For anyone who believes the majority of colleges/universities in America are open to educate, give people a future, help us become a smarter country and so on then you are truly a complete and utter moron who has no idea how the real world works.

So yeah of course most schools want rich students instead of poor students. That's like saying "This just in! Most stores want rich shoppers instead of poor shopper! Stay tuned for our next story you wont believe, the sun will rise in the morning!"

This is a new twist ... (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43705279)

Wait ... no, its not. Never in my life has college been anything other than a money grab. If you don't already know this, you're just living in the dark. The idea that its about education is perpetuated by the schools to stay in business, typical marketing.

Look at salaries versus time spent teaching and tell me how its about education.

Look at costs spent on administrative staff and compare those same salaries to other industries.

Nothing about college even indicates VIABLE businesses, they only continue to exist because people think its a good idea to indoctrinate their children into thinking college is about making a better life for yourself.

School is now about getting you to incur as much debt as possible in the time you are there.

This is just a symptom of a larger problem (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43705305)

Our country is devolving into an oligarchy. If you're not upper crust, your opinion is irrelevant. Our politicians cater to the fat cats who write their campaign checks. Businesses are running on that statistical razor's edge where customers are maximally pissed off yet not quite enough to pack up and move to a new vendor. Petitions mean nothing. When I was in support, I talked with 2 financial institutions that admitted to me that unless some heavy roller asked for a new feature or a change to business practices, it never happened. One guy with $10M in accounts could come in and ask for change and make it happen.

Hell, even certain segments of the working class devalue themselves and the worth of their labor. They regularly vote to marginalize themselves and empower their bosses.

No Child Left Behind? (0)

nickmh (2496180) | about a year ago | (#43705399)

Hang on a second. Wasn't one of the matras "No Child Left Behind"? It'll be alright. Just have to print and borrow more money. It's a shame the freedom to compete, which makes it easier for those already well resourced, multinationals for instance, and therefore redistribute resources is being strangled. HHHHmmm to big to fail anyone? Can't have the innefficient going broke now can we? Think of the children? We really are screwd aren't we? What a load of crap modern "Leadership" is. Bunch of collectivist cronies!

Good (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43705403)

Lost in all this is the fraud that a $50k/semester college is better than a $5k/semester college. Yes, if you're at the top of your class it will garner you more prestige and maybe a better shot at a higher paying job. But will you actually know any more or have any better skills than if you'd gone somewhere else? Not at all. If your goal is learning, then this is no barrier what-so-ever. If your goal is getting into this countries upper cast, then there's a lot easier ways than attending one of these schools.

When I graduated high school, I went strait to state college. No one in my family had ever attended college before so I didn't have anyone to ask about it ahead of time. At the time I looked down on technical college thinking it wasn't up to par. But the fact is, 66% of the people that attended by state college dropped out. At the local technical college the graduation rate was more than double. The classes were smaller, the teachers more hands on. Now that I have my own son, he'll get taught that technical schools are great and that's exactly where he should start his college years. If he gets to the point where he needs to go to a bigger school to learn the skills he wants to learn then fine. But technical schools are where everyone should start.

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