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Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

samzenpus posted 1 year,9 days | from the good-bad-and-party dept.

United States 302

PolygamousRanchKid writes "Targeting the soaring cost of higher education, President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled a broad new government rating system for colleges that would judge schools on their affordability and perhaps be used to allocate federal financial aid. But the proposed overhaul faced immediate skepticism from college leaders who worry the rankings could cost their institutions millions of dollars, as well as from congressional Republicans wary of deepening the government's role in higher education. The new rating system does not require congressional approval, and the White House is aiming to have it set up before the 2015 school year. But Obama does need support from Congress in order to use the ratings as a basis for parceling out federal financial aid. In addition to tuition, schools will also be rated on average student loan debt, graduation rates and the average earnings of graduates. Under Obama's proposal, students attending highly rated schools could receive larger grants and more affordable loans."

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Forget ratings, measure ROI. (5, Insightful)

robbo (4388) | 1 year,9 days | (#44648927)

What is the median salary, divided by total cost of education, one year and five years after graduation? That is really the main thing a prospective student needs to know. Everything else is window dressing.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (5, Insightful)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649005)

The value of an education does not reside solely in earnings potential.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (4, Insightful)

robbo (4388) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649069)

You are correct but at some point you must wonder whether it's worth it to go into debt, and by how much, to free your mind via Art History.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (5, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649167)

What I simply don't understand is why US universities are so expensive. It's gotten to the point where it seems that any sort of education can only be gotten my pretty much taking on so much debt that you will be lucky to pay it back - which then forces the government to start putting in copious amounts of scholarships/funding to keep students there.

Degree Costs in Australia [studyinaustralia.gov.au]

Over here, a degree (not counting the really expensive ones like medicine) costs $15-30k and a masters $20-37k.

The average cost [topuniversities.com] (excluding the notoriously expensive universities) in the US is $28k per year.

Seriously, why?

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649289)

professor salaries, technology ( most of it not used to its potential), land scaping / upscale renovations, althletics ( very few schools make money on any of them), activities, research.

Many young kids are going to community colleges at a much cheaper rate for the first two years, before transfering into a four year school. The cost at those schools is typically around $2000 a year ( not including room and board which aren't offered by the school).

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649799)

Professor salaries are terrible when you take into account the years of work it takes to get hired to a tenure track position, the ridiculously long hours they work, or that they could make much more in industry. Also research is paid for by federal grants and industrial partnerships, not tuition.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649295)

It's the free market, son. That's what makes America great.

Seriously, it's the insane near religious stance that everything has to be a) profit making b) run like a widget company and c) expand financially forever. Coupled with fair degree of rent seeking, a terrible method of allocating money to people who cannot afford it on their own (Pell grants, the student loan system), massive expansion of physical plants for sports and near complete collapse of the vocational / technical college.

The Perfect Storm, if you will.

Same problem in medicine to some degree. Add a for profit stance to something that should not be run for a profit, stir in a generous heaping of incompetent government bungling, sprinkle with freebies to insulate the end user from economic consequences of their decision and bake slowly in a hellish furnace composed of hot air from insurance companies and Wall Street (the old profit thing) and you have a sticky, toxic mess that's impossible to clean up.

I think I'll go cook dinner now.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649505)

It's the free market, son. That's what makes America great.

You should take a world history class son and you would realize your bit of sarcasism is absolute truth. Competition and free markets are what have elevated human standard of living to the point it is today.

Re: Forget ratings, measure ROI. (2)

alen (225700) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649341)

The schools are pretty cheap if you go to your state school and live with mom and dad

If you go to another state's school the tuition is twice the in state and you have to pay lots of living expenses that people borrow

Why do kids do this? They are dumb. They want to get away from parents. They want to go to a party school and one with a good sports program.

There are some awesome and expensive schools like Stanford , Harvard and others where it's worth it paying all that money. Just not if you go to an average state school as an out of state student

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (4, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649371)

There was an article about this a few years back. Basically, the costs of college are so high that families are disassociated from the costs of repaying them if they're taking out government-subsidized loans. So, there's no difference between a $5K/semester school or a $7.5K/semester school when you have to borrow and won't pay off for 4 years anyway. People think, "damn this is expensive" which includes a wide range of prices. Schools have figured this out and know that whatever they charge for tuition they'll get from the government to some extent. It's not like profit-motivated banks are going to stop giving out loans. It's in the interest of the government to educate the workforce in a technical age. Add to that a crappy market where even secretary positions ask for college educations. Schools know how valuable their diplomas are, so they dangle them over our heads on a platinum barb.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649449)

What I simply don't understand is why US universities are so expensive.

They are fiercely competitive, so they spend gobs of money trying to outdo one another. And they get away with it because there are government-backed loans for domestic students and they draw from rich foreign student populations. When I visit my alma mater, or my wife's, the tuition has doubled over 20 years and so has the campus - there are literally twice as many buildings for roughly the same student population. I don't think the instruction has improved much - particularly at my wife's institution which has always been very prestigious - but the perks are amazing... the cafeteria looks like a fancy mall food court now. The gym is like a YMCA from heaven. There are cafés in the library. Ubiquitous WiFi. The newer dorms are not the bare painted cinderblock walls that we had. Landscaping and student areas are all immaculate. And of course, every bullet point in the US News and World Report rankings checklist has been addressed.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (2, Insightful)

bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649523)

Why? I'll tell you why. Because they CAN.

It used to be that they simply could not charge that much, because the average person simply could not afford to pay. Folks got though college on the "pay as you go" plan or arranged for *personal* loans to pay for it. Colleges customers didn't have the money so they could not charge it. So what changed?

The same thing happened for Cars... It used to be that you could by a Model-T for pretty cheap money but you paid all up front. Manufacturers found out that folks would spend LOADS more money if they paid over time on credit. Low monthly payments could fleece the customer over long times and make you a lot more in the long run. The cost of cars went up accordingly and we all (mostly) now pay over time for them. College is no different. We stupidly agree to pay for College over time and the Fed will back the loans so I can borrow all kinds of money with no collateral except on my future earnings. The College is happy to take whatever I can borrow and have raised their prices accordingly. It's business, and all about taking all the money you can borrow they can.

The problem is that getting out of school with a huge amount of debt is a serious problem. In today's world as a college graduate you are lucky to get a job dropping fries at Wendy's for minimum wage. If you are looking at $20K in debt, minimum wage isn't going to allow you to make much more than interest payments while you live near poverty. Unfortunately this is common in today's economy.

So in the end, it's the Federal program to make borrowing money for college as easy as possible that has made college so expensive. Well that and the desire to get as much money as they can get their students to borrow.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649723)

It's pretty simple: your public universities in Australia are supported by the public. Ours used to be. 30 years ago a public university received about 70% of its income through funding by the state government. Today it's closer to 25%. With every cut from the state budget, tuition increases to make up for the shortfall: 25 years ago tuition accounted for 25% of a public university's income while it now accounts for 47%.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649725)

The problem is that you're taking an average where an average is useless. There are too many variables. Many popular schools charge outrageous tuition not because it costs a lot of money, but rather to limit the number of applicants. You can recognize these schools because their sports teams are regularly mentioned on ESPN.

Also, not all students pay the same amount. If you choose to attend a school in another state, you get to pay a much higher out-of-state tuition rate because you have to pay the portion of your tuition that would otherwise be paid by the state. This artificially inflates averages, particularly with highly popular schools.

Exclude the largest schools, exclude private schools (that cost more because the state isn't footing part of the bill), and exclude out-of-state tuition, and the numbers become a lot more reasonable. My undergrad alma mater, for example, is one of the smaller schools in the University of Tennessee system. Assuming you are either from the same state or from a nearby county in Kentucky (and thus are eligible for in-state tuition), going there costs only $3,528 per semester, for a grand total of a little over 28 grand for a four-year degree, without any scholarships, grants, etc.

Now admittedly, this is not the full picture. If you have to pay for room and board, depending on whether you live in a dorm, an on-campus apartment, or an off-campus apartment, you could pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 a semester in housing. Depending on your major, you could pay anywhere from $250 to $1,000 a semester in books. And so on. The correct question to ask is how many people asked for the $1,400 per semester dorms and were forced to choose the $3,000 per month on-campus apartments (or vice-versa)—a piece of information that cannot really be reflected by any sort of average.

And this is why averages are pretty much useless as a metric. Either way, you really have to question the wisdom of anyone paying anywhere close to $28,000 per year unless they're in a state where the cost of living is equally obscene, such as California or much of the eastern seaboard... and really, even then. I mean, that's 2.5 times the tuition for even some of the smaller UC schools.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649829)

At my university in the southwestern U.S. the administrative costs and the advertising costs are driving tuition increases: the drive for newer, bigger, and better facilities to attract greater numbers of students to pay the high tuitions and be sheep to prey on (costs of dorms, food, gedunk, books etc all managed and tendered by the university) by the administration. The ratio of academics to much higher paid administrators is approaching 1:1.

In the California UC system from a few years ago:

http://californiareview.net/2011/08/24/graph-of-uc-administrative-growth/

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (2)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649081)

Re: the value of an education does not reside solely in earnings potential

Maybe for the independently wealthy, that's true. For most people, we borrow money to go to that fancy university and then we've got to pay it back plus interest. Spending years in hock to attend a school that has limited potential to aid me in getting a job to pay off that nut is not particularly useful regardless of how much I might enjoy that semester studying the works of Euripides.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (2)

NoKaOi (1415755) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649155)

The value of an education does not reside solely in earnings potential.

It does if you're the student loan lender.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649239)

Which is why I think that student loans are kind of crazy. No bank (well, not many) would lend you money to start a business without first reviewing your business plan. Make sure they have a reasonable chance of getting their money back, and adjust interest rates and the amount borrowed as necessary. Same goes for buying a house. The bank wants to know which property you're (they're?) buying before they give you the money for the house. Banks should really be doing some investigation into what degree you're taking, what school you're going to, what kind of student you were previously to asses your likelihood of being able to repay the loans. They shouldn't be handing out $100,000 in student loans for somebody to get some degree in a field which will give them no job prospects. That's just irresponsible. Also those students who are doing well at good schools with good future job prospects should be able to get better interest rates, and should be able to make the banks compete to see who can give them better terms for their loans.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (2)

k_187 (61692) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649315)

They shouldn't but student loans are with you forever. The hurdle to get them discharged in bankruptcy is incredibly high and most people will never reach it. So you will pay them back. It might take forever, but it will get paid back.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649521)

"It might take forever, but it will get paid back."

No. If you don't ever have any money, they will not get paid back.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649191)

Except that's really the only reason to go to college anymore, for a piece of paper that says you graduated.

All the knowledge you'd gain from college can be found for free online. And there are a hell of a lot better and more rewarding experiences you can have with 4(+) years of time and $60K.

The only reason to go to college and spend their absurd fees is so that you can get a higher paying job (or more rewarding) out of college that is worth more than the $60K and 4+ years you spent at college.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649431)

I went to college for the for years of drinking and pussy. I'd gladly do it again.

Every goes to college to get ahead of everyone (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649243)

That depends on what you are teaching. College has changed from 'The halls of higher learning' to the thing that every American HS school does because that is what you do to get ahead in life. For the majority of college students (who are kinda just idiots, and don't really need 4 years of college), the GP post is really the number that matters.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649335)

The value of an education does not reside solely in earnings potential.

No, but given that the cost of it is vastly outpacing inflation and paying for it may very well eclipse the sub-prime mortgage crisis in terms of sheer economic damage, earnings potential by necessity tops the list of considerations. As well, the overwhelming majority of college applicants and programs are geared towards getting you into a new job... and one hopes, one that can at least pay the interest on all those loans you took out to land it. Worse, employers want more and more college degrees for everything from janitorial work to being the President of the Universe.

At the rate things are going, the only jobs that don't require a college education will be crime, and (my personal favorite) evil overlord.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649641)

I blame this mostly on the fact that the least intelligent college graduates end up working in HR. So the dumbest people in any organization are hiring everyone else. Because they have absolutely no ability to judge the relative value of various attributes, it has become a credentialing race to get any kind of job.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

idontusenumbers (1367883) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649421)

The OP was speaking of college specifically, not education categorically. If the matter is personal pride or knowledge, it would be a lot cheaper to do it outside of college using books from the library or purchased from a book store. What value does a college bring? The diploma (for earning potential) is one, maybe a 'learning environment' (which would be pretty easy to argue against, depending on the college), or a sense of discipline... I feel the diploma/earnings-potential is really the only one without a good counter argument.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649437)

Then why does it cost money? If you poll the people paying these schools, they are doing so as an investment. If we just want to discuss philosophies we can do that anywhere. If we just want information, we can get it from books or the internet. Universities are where we go to get experience needed to dive into a career path that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

Livius (318358) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649519)

Earnings potential is a crude and incomplete measure.

But until a better measure is found it makes sense to use it.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

poity (465672) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649639)

The practical value does.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649787)

Yea, but it's the only thing that you can readily measure.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (2)

blue9steel (2758287) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649827)

It does if you're taking out debt to pay for it.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

Ksevio (865461) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649023)

They are measuring how much students make after they graduate, so that will likely be a large factor. In the past they've cut for-profit school loans because the students would not be making enough to pay off those loans after graduating.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649061)

Do you count dropouts?

Do you count dropouts who end up making a lot of money?

Do you value their options pre-IPO?

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649097)

The cost of college will expand to consume the available student loans, grants and financial aid. This has been true since the invention of student loans.

I suspect your ROI calculation would serve only to raise the price of an economical college quickly up to the price of the most expensive schools, because the ROI would prove them to be a much better deal, and as they draw all the students they can handle the price will rise.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (5, Insightful)

tipo159 (1151047) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649497)

The cost of college will expand to consume the available student loans, grants and financial aid. This has been true since the invention of student loans.

The cost of college (at a state colleges) here has expanded because "we will cut your taxes" politicians kept getting elected, so the state cut their support of the colleges (20-odd% here from 2006-20011), so the colleges are now getting the money from the students.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649689)

So it never went up prior to that?

I call bullshit. I've never known a time when college costs remained the same for more than two years in a row. Not 40 years ago, not 20 years ago, not even 10.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (1)

thed8 (1739450) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649307)

We are missing the point arguing about how the government should rate colleges, the point is WHY should they be doing this? Imho it is more government cost for no gain or a lead in to controlling which colleges get money and therefore stay in business. I don't want more government, I've got too much already.

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649347)

They already tried that. And it showed they had better cutting education and funding defense more in order to invade other countries for maximum ROI.

captcha: robbery (indeed)

Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649815)

"What is the median salary, divided by total cost of education, one year and five years after graduation?"

Grad school pays you barely enough to survive, med and law school cost money. I guess you don't want scientists, doctors, or lawyers (ok, 2 out of 3 is still pretty bad).

I went to a Category 6 college.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44648933)

afterwards I couldn't afford a car or a home and it took me 10 years to recover from the damage!

captcha:thriving

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44648951)

Another system that our leaders can use to punish their enemies and reward their friends!

Re:Great! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649553)

All of the ranking criteria are quantitative. Your school's dropout rate is your dropout rate, regardless of how many political friends or enemies you have.

All he does is suggest "broad" change (4, Interesting)

JackieBrown (987087) | 1 year,9 days | (#44648953)

Where is the actually written bill?

He loves going place to place and telling that audience what they want to hear and then passing the actual work to Congress who he knows won't/can't do it.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (0)

kenj0418 (230916) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649013)

Where is the actually written bill?

He loves going place to place and telling that audience what they want to hear and then passing the actual work to Congress who he knows won't/can't do it.

What did you expect with a campaign slogan of "Hope for Change".

What? that wasn't the slogan - well, it probably should have been.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1)

Ksevio (865461) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649035)

Bills are written by the legislature, the President signs them. He can push an agenda, but he's not the one writing the actual bill.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649059)

Bills are written by the legislature, the President signs them. He can push an agenda, but he's not the one writing the actual bill.

Nothing's stopping him from writing a bill and giving it to a Rep. or Senator to introduce.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649297)

Bills are written by the legislature, the President signs them. He can push an agenda, but he's not the one writing the actual bill.

Nothing's stopping him from writing a bill and giving it to a Rep. or Senator to introduce.

Nothing is stopping you from writing one either, except time and desire.

Good luck getting anything worthwhile to even be noticed, much less brought to committee or the floor. If it is a somewhat hot button, it can be argued about incessantly, then tabled to a committee for review/revision over and over until it is gutted and has riders you would have never dreamed of that are completely unrelated.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (2)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649501)

Nothing is stopping you from writing one either, except time and desire.

On the other hand, XxtraLarGe isn't the one that keeps promising to do stuff that is beyond his power and authority to do.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1)

kenj0418 (230916) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649171)

Bills are written by the legislature, the President signs them. He can push an agenda, but he's not the one writing the actual bill.

I know - I learned that in college. Oh wait, no I didn't. I learned it from Saturday morning cartoons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0 [youtube.com]

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1, Troll)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649117)

Well, to date I haven't seen any actual work, either by him or congress.

While the population turns more resentful by the day from intrusive government meddling and spying, he fiddles with programs that really don't need more government intervention.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1)

dataspel (2436808) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649257)

While the population turns more resentful by the day from intrusive government meddling and spying, he fiddles with programs that really don't need more government intervention.

The population is doing nothing of the kind. Republicans resent him because they are the party out of power. Fringe leftists and libertarians resent him for their own reasons, but they are a vanishingly small fraction of the people. Most of the population either likes what he is doing, or don't care.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649323)

Check the approval ratings before making such a stupid statement.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1)

dugancent (2616577) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649459)

Check congress's approval rating. See who comes out on top.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649585)

As of last week, 46% of respondents approve of the President's job performance, 45% disapprove, and 8% have no opinion.

The statement "Most of the population either likes what he is doing, or don't care" is absolutely true.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1)

dataspel (2436808) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649619)

Should have said 'likes him', for which a citation is provided. Granted it is a few months old, but I expect it is still over 50%. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/polling/postabc-poll-impressions-barack-obama-hillary/2013/06/26/4d6c1f0c-de4e-11e2-bc84-8049224b33e1_page.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649327)

Ah, no. Look, when even the mainstream press keeps nagging on this NSA spying issue, its because People DO Care.
That you don't is pretty disheartening.

Re:All he does is suggest "broad" change (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649683)

Donkey Party sycophant mods out in full force.

Neither Congressional nor Republican (0)

kenj0418 (230916) | 1 year,9 days | (#44648967)

I'm neither a Congressman nor a Republican, but you can put me in the 'wary of deepening the government's role in higher education' column. So far their meddling in the marketplace has led to an inflation rate for higher education not only several times higher than the general inflation rate - but even higher than the 'skyrocketing healthcare cost' inflation rate we are alway hearing about.

Re:Neither Congressional nor Republican (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649051)

I'm neither a Congressman nor a Republican, but you can put me in the 'wary of deepening the government's role in higher education' column. So far their meddling in the marketplace has led to an inflation rate for higher education not only several times higher than the general inflation rate - but even higher than the 'skyrocketing healthcare cost' inflation rate we are alway hearing about.

Wary?!? Ha!

Cost of tuition has often been linked to a reduction in State Funding, you don't need to be a Republicrat or Democan, but a mathematician to figure it out. Also, helps to read the news.

Ha ha. So rich, I'm going to remember this one.

Every time I saw tuition go up when I was in school it followed cuts in public education funding. Out here in California, the tuition at UC and CSU has gone up quickly because the state is trying to get its own budget under control after running deep into the red while that stupid actor was elected and re-elected by people who thought a tough talking actor with no experience at all in any government office should reside in Sacramento for 8 years.

Ha hum damn. Going to take us a long time to pay off that mountain of debt, sorry UC and CSU.

Re:Neither Congressional nor Republican (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649093)

Every time I saw tuition go up when I was in school it followed cuts in public education funding.

Did you ever link it to the availability of easy student loans?

Re:Neither Congressional nor Republican (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649203)

Every time I saw tuition go up when I was in school it followed cuts in public education funding.

Did you ever link it to the availability of easy student loans?

No, it was stated right in the announcements, published in the news. We would hear $500 M to $5 B being cut in announcements from the Governor's Office or California Department of Education - usually with a breakdown of what % would affect State of California colleges and universities as well as K-12 education, including Special Education, Early Childhood, Class Size Reduction and so on. There was quite a bit of paring of staff, but it couldn't cover it all, so tuition went up and students grumbled, protested and those unfortunate to be on the bubble had to drop out.

we need get away from the 4 year for all idea (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649103)

for most job an 2 year Community College and or tech / trade school is all that is needed. To much push for the old 4 year system.

Re:we need get away from the 4 year for all idea (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649255)

for most job an 2 year Community College and or tech / trade school is all that is needed. To much push for the old 4 year system.

We are on a track where only the children of the very well off will be able to afford higher education.

Sounds like the 19th century and earlier, doesn't it?

an apprentice nano-tech engineer? No, we do not take on apprentices .. though we might, because that Reginald Twit IV is proving to be quite incompetent and wants to take off afternoons to play Polo too often.

Not again... (0)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,9 days | (#44648975)

The abandoned color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale will now become the 'colleges you want advisory scale'.

green: $
blue: $$
yellow: $$$
orange: $$$$
red: $$$$$

Re:Not again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649065)

green: $ = Dartmouth
  blue: $$ = Columbia
  yellow: $$$ = Yale
  orange: $$$$ = Princeton
  red: $$$$$ = Harvard

Ratings cost colleges?!? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,9 days | (#44648977)

Try losing students to skyrocketing tuition and fees. Dur.

Re:Ratings cost colleges?!? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649245)

...Except they don't.

See, there are some little things called Pell Grants, Scholarships and Student Loans, these make it so college is much less price sensitive. Mix this with 6 years of guidance councilors stressing the importance of college, a depressed job market where a college degree is a requirement for even the most basic of entry-level positions and you have a market that isn't very price sensitive.

Its not like a student applies for college and is hit by a $15K bill for their first year, loans and grants cover it and so they might only pay $1-2 thousand per year up front.

Re:Ratings cost colleges?!? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649425)

...Except they don't.

See, there are some little things called Pell Grants, Scholarships and Student Loans, these make it so college is much less price sensitive. Mix this with 6 years of guidance councilors stressing the importance of college, a depressed job market where a college degree is a requirement for even the most basic of entry-level positions and you have a market that isn't very price sensitive.

Its not like a student applies for college and is hit by a $15K bill for their first year, loans and grants cover it and so they might only pay $1-2 thousand per year up front.

The smart money is to spend your first two years at Junior or Community College, where all the credits will transfer, leaving only years 3 & 4 at the U.

Re:Ratings cost colleges?!? (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649611)

" a depressed job market where a college degree is a requirement for even the most basic of entry-level positions"

That's just not true. There are tons of skilled trade jobs available that do not require college.

watermelons (0)

maliqua (1316471) | 1 year,9 days | (#44648981)

Measure it in watermelons

How about a rating for contitutional violators (0)

JoeyRox (2711699) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649003)

That measures how well politicians uphold the amendments of the constitution, where low-rated politicians are automatically recalled from office.

How about get rid of student loans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649011)

Forget a "best value" rating. How about getting rid of student loans? They're a self-perpetuating cycle of debt on the young; the loans make college more accessible, which increases the demand for colleges, which increases the tuition cost, which increases the amount of loans people have to take out to go to college.

Besides, not everyone who goes to college should. I went to college right out of high school; if I had to do it again I would have gotten a job first, learned a few things, then gone to college when I was more mature enough to handle it and gotten something out of 4 years instead of next to nothing out of 5+. Or instead of pushing everyone to college, why not encourage more trade schools? Not everyone is an academic or has the aptitude, but while I'm a college graduate I may as well be a child when it comes to fixing a car or welding two plates together. Besides, here in California I know a few companies that would take a kid right out of high school with a C average, train him in a trade like electrician or welding or pipe fitting, and get him to a journeyman status in 2 years. By 20 he'd be making $20/hour with full benefits with a high school diploma and no student loans; I know tons of college graduates who would kill for a job like that.

Re:How about get rid of student loans? (0)

istartedi (132515) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649147)

Never. It's an arms race. Your neighbor levers up, so you gotta lever up. Like all arms races, the only winners are the arms dealers. Wait for it... Educational-Industrial complex. You knew that was coming.

Also, they're part of Obama's core constituency. He has to pay lip service to the idea of reducing costs; but his political incentive is to do otherwise. This speech will be forgotten as soon as the news cycle rotates. The colleges will continue to get the money and vote Democrat.

Re:How about get rid of student loans? (5, Interesting)

subanark (937286) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649339)

Want the potential of college without the risk of massive debt due to picking the wrong major or flunking out?

Try Oregon's new College tuition bill "Pay Forward" (bill passed, but not yet implemented). The government pays for the full cost of tuition over 4 years. You pay them 3% of your salary for 24 years. Is it more expensive for the student? For good jobs, sure. But it gives a peace of mind that you aren't going to be hurt too badly financially, and reduces the penalty if college just didn't work out for you.

Colleges Will LOVE This... (1)

DesertJazz (656328) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649041)

The way it's written will negatively impact a lot of the higher ranked colleges from the past with the financial incentives that are mentioned. For the large private schools they're not going to care so much, but I have to imagine this will be dead in the water from the get go. Too much alumni power in the legislature for this to be something that will ever make its way through!

Can't hurt... (1)

rhodium_mir (2876919) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649071)

Pretty much anything is an improvement on our current system where we hand naive eighteen year olds six digits worth of grants and loans and say, "Here, spend this as you please."

If a degree is the new high school diploma.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649113)

Then governments have no choice but to make it free and widely available to anyone on demand.

Then comes the arms race... (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649319)

Since a degree is primarily a qualification, its importance lies in its scarcity. It used to be since many people didn't finish high school, a high school diploma had meaning, it was a qualification. Well, then it was decided that -everyone- should have a high school diploma and curriculum gets dumbed down to the point that any person not in a vegetative state can easily obtain a high school diploma, it stops being a qualification. So naturally people looked for the next higher qualification, a college degree, when this idea that everyone should have a college degree (which, believe me is certainly taking hold) the classes start to get dumber and dumber and suddenly a college degree stops being a qualification. Soon employers are looking for your master's degree...

Re:Then comes the arms race... (1)

mkiwi (585287) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649539)

Well, then it was decided that -everyone- should have a high school diploma and curriculum gets dumbed down to the point that any person not in a vegetative state can easily obtain a high school diploma...

If you are in a vegetative state during high school, you can still get a diploma, you'll just be in the bottom half of your class. Hell, the pot heads on the debate team will have a higher class rank, assuming you are actually a vegetable.

Source: (Personal experience, and no, that's not just a pun on my user name)
Pedants: I know a "kiwi" is not a vegetable, but try to have some fun with language once in awhile.

Re:Then comes the arms race... (1)

DaHat (247651) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649841)

If you are in a vegetative state during high school, you can still get a diploma, you'll just be in the bottom half of your class.

Tell that to my GED.

I showed up most days to HS, quit caring mid-way through, kept attending, kept getting failing grades in classes I didn't care about. Week after my class graduated (without me clearly) I went and did the GED test, passed and moved on (BS, MS, lucrative job).

For years I've heard about kids being passed through the system as you describe... and I'm forced to laugh as there was none of that at my HS.

Congress might delay? Good. (1)

TheGavster (774657) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649151)

I think that a delay in congress approving this scheme as a factor in funding would be a good thing. I doubt that US News and World Report had their ranking system perfected in just a year; even if the executive branch hired the most brilliant minds (for which they have neither the budget nor the appeal) it would be impossible to come up with a system reliable enough to guide billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidy. By all means, come up with a system, publish the results each year, and see how it works. Refine it over time, and maybe 10 or 15 years in the future, if it is respected by students and employers as a metric of educational quality, start to apply it to funding decisions.

Any amount of development time might not be enough though: like any channel for federal funding, this thing is going to get turned into a political tool. What starts as a system to determine if an education will give you a good start in your chosen field will rapidly devolve into a contest for which colleges have the most puritanical health centers or are located in the home state of a ranking member of the controlling committee.

His solution isn't one (4, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649197)

College costs are due to the easy borrowing as a perverse consequence of trying to make college easier for people to afford. As with a car loan, nobody wants to pay $2000 for a fancy radio, but an extra $35/month, sign me up!

8% a year? No problem...on my loan! Sign me up!

The way to reign this in is to deny government backing for cheap loans to any college that increases costs more than 2% this year. And keep that up for 10 years to drag relative costs back down vs. inflation.

All these loudmouths in charge of colleges who throw up their hands and say hey don't know why, the liars will sort things out quickly.

Perverse incentives are perverse.

Re:His solution isn't one (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649589)

I think everyone gets this wrong. Any college can charge $1,000,000 in tuition and just give financial aid and loans to all students. There is no difference for 99% of students. Correlation does not imply causality-- if the feds stopped guaranteeing loans altogether, what is the incentive to reduce tuition when you just give financial aid anyway?

the only way to make college more affordable (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649205)

is to do away with grants and to make loans more difficult to obtain.

Re:the only way to make college more affordable (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649721)

There is absolutely no shortage of wealthy foreign students who will happily pay full rate for a US education so they can take it back to their own country and make it more competitive than the United States in the global economy.

Yeah, dont' go. (0)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649213)

Yeah just don't go.Financially, it makes absolutely no sense. You're in wage competition with people who have zero debt from other nations. Guess who wins? Your ,student loans are 100% unbankruptable and the price for college is set by the amount of money lenders will lend, which is basically everything you'll earn over your lifetime, since, as I said, the debt is unbankruptable.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/ripping-off-young-america-the-college-loan-scandal-20130815 [rollingstone.com]

Universities take that money and hire another level of administrators, give them all raises, build golden palaces for them to work in, build 5 star shopping malls / food courts, erect modernist pieces of architecture to house privately run research facilities and of course spend lavishly on their athletic programs , including more state of the art construction , high six digit salaries for everyone etc. etc.

This is what your student loans pay for. This is what the lifetime of debt you pay for goes to fund. This is the system the US has lying in wait for people who are, as Matthew Tabbi put it, people who are barely not children. An amount of debt that will push you into a life of literal indentured servitude before you even start of f in life.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130822/BLOG25/308220135/student-loans-debt-rolling-stone [freep.com]

This is purely predatory and the fact that the predation is by seasoned adults who understand the system and upon naive children who have been told since birth by the people they trust the most, most recently by Obama himself , that "college is the best investment you can make." , the fact that that is the predator -prey relationship says everything you need to know about higher education in America and America itself. From the housing crisis to the student loan bubble to the credit default swap to the savings and loans bailouts, it's a series of traps into which the naive are lured and pushed for the benefit of the sophisticated, the rule writers, the rich.

Don't go. You'll have incredible freedom. There is nothing at university you'll learn that you can't learn for free online. You and your friends can make your own way in the world if you don't have crushing debt waiting to seize everything every time you get ahead even a little. If you're not forcibly chained to an slave oar of a job that takes everything you have to give and leaves you with nothing to put into your own life at the end of the day.

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/8/20/matt_taibbi_us_student_loan_bubble [democracynow.org]

There are a million ways for young people to arrange themselves in this world , a million ways waiting to be invented discovered, tried and iterated upon in order to gain knowledge, have access to resources, advance themselves and establish their market value that don't involve college and the unbankruptable crushing debt. Just do it. Everyone. Just invent it. Just try it. No opportunity is passing you by by trying until you get it right. You have nothing to lose. Nothing at all.

Re:Yeah, dont' go. (1)

gander666 (723553) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649381)

There is a good article on this in the latest edition of The Baffler (sorry, that article is not available online). It is a pretty edgy takedown of the higher education system, and the needed fall

Re: Yeah, dont' go. (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649423)

And whiny students want new dorms with no roommates, private bathrooms, all kinds of counselors to talk to and make sure they are ok

The people I know who went to college in the 70's and 80's lived in the worst slums and worked almost full time to pay for school. Or they went to their state school or community college for the first two years, lived with mommy to save money and for the last two years transferred to a good school after getting that 3.9 GPa that first two years. Or got a degree from an average school with a top notch GPa and spent a lot of money on an Ivy League graduate degree

Hmmm, let me think about it... (0)

lasermike026 (528051) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649221)

Who the fuck cares?!?

He's at it again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649269)

When you can't change the conditions, just change the definitions.

Lowest score wins! (1)

maciarc (1094767) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649273)

Have the NSA count the number of misspelled words in their e-mails.

Translation: Polls sagging, rev-up the dumb kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44649277)

Obama has proof (in the form of his election and subsequent reelection) that young voters are stupid enough to support his policies because they lack the maturity to consider the second- and third-order effects of said policies. His poll numbers are low, he has borrowed and spent FAR more money in his time in office than any previous president, his signature policy (Obamacare) is such a mess he is having to delay implementation of major parts until after next year's congressional elections (so voters don't feel the full pain in time to inform their votes) and his party is worried about the looming congressional elections. His answer? Get back on the campaign trail! Get the college kids all worked-up about college costs and debts! (they're too dumb to notice that federal interference in college loans is what CAUSES the tuition inflation AND that his failed economic policies have created an economy where those degrees are less likely to result in a job)

Federal student loans have made it so huge numbers of kids (who, being young, lack the life experience to fully understand the impact of loan payments) think they can "afford" to pay high prices to pursue ANY degree and expensive school which, in-turn, allows colleges to raise their prices to whatever the market will bear. College tuition inflation has become completely disconnected from the rest of the economy. Unfortunately for these young students, student loans are some of the only debts that CANNOT be discharged through bankruptcy (probably NOT emphasized in all the glossy brochures). The sad truth is that the actual costs of college have not risen significantly at most schools (most have owned the same land and buildings for decades and have essentially the same staff costs) and many are sitting on such enormous piles of cash (like Harvard and Yale) that they do not even need to charge tuition to stay profitable... but there's free federal student aid money to be harvested! Time to recruit more students and raise tuition!

I hope it accounts for Winston-Salem (1)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649303)

Stories [thecollegefix.com] like [nationalreview.com] these [popecenter.org] sicken me when it comes to how they are effectively ignored and swept under the rug. This case was criminally prosecuted [blackcollegewire.org] only because there was a lot of money involved and it was students and not the staff.

If people are going to spend ridiculously high costs for schooling, they need to know that it's not going to support criminals like those at Winston-Salem.

About time the gov. pushed back (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649383)

Schools have been milking students via government loans for decades now.

From a European perspective (2)

Werrismys (764601) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649527)

The proposotion sounds like a mask for lowering the standards. Sweden is already in this path. Results droop and they cannot admit the real reason because of politics. So the culprit must be the system. Everyone suffers and the esteem of educational institutions drop when they MUST take and pass students of ... let's say, lesser capabilities, in name of multiculturalism. USA is fast becoming a social democratic european style hellhole.

MFA's in Lesbian puppet theater: Furious! (2)

gelfling (6534) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649565)

And a whole generation of unpaid bloggers for Huffington Post and Salon rise up........and take the bus to the Temp Agency.

Well... (1)

FixedDice (2840691) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649677)

I go to a local community college. Every semester the cost per semester hour has risen for the past two years. The only thing I see improved for the school is just the eye candy. The eye candy being upgrades to campus buildings and grounds. The same teachers are there and the curriculum continues to be watered down spoon-fed academics. The quality of education needs to be fixed. Not some kind of rating system.

Throwing money at affordable schools seems... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649699)

...as silly as subsidizing successful businesses. How is a start-up supposed to displace the incumbents if the incumbents have access to government funds that can make them more affordable for students? In this case, maybe it's not a start-up, so much as a school that has simply turned things around. They'd face the same issue.

Private Email (1)

Ed The Meek (3026569) | 1 year,9 days | (#44649839)

I wonder if Obama will team up with the NSA on this? Maybe use the private emails of college professors to help develop the rankings...
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