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Questions Raised By Education Dept's Road Show On College Value

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the it's-the-ineffables-stupid dept.

Stats 95

lpress writes "Department of Education officials, led by Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, were on our campus last week, soliciting input on The President's College Value and Affordability plan. The discussion focused primarily on the design of a system for rating colleges and to a lesser extent on innovation and improvement. While the feedback was constructive, many attendees pointed out difficulties and limitations of any college rating system. One solution is to open the process by having the Department of Education gather and post data and provide a platform and tools for all interested parties to analyze, visualize and discuss it. Similarly, open innovation should be encouraged, for example, by providing a hosted version of the open source education platform MOOC.ORG."

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Innovation and improvement (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about 9 months ago | (#45444647)

I'm skeptical.

Re: Innovation and improvement (2)

JWW (79176) | about 9 months ago | (#45446079)

Perhaps they could finish fixing health care before they go into overdrive fixing colleges.

a college rating system that already works (2)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 9 months ago | (#45444669)

it's call the BCS. yeah, right.

Re:a college rating system that already works (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 9 months ago | (#45445067)

it's call the BCS. yeah, right.

The BCS works? Since WHEN?

Government is the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45444725)

Government funding controls/warps the education system priorities and creates inflation.

Anything other than government getting out of the system and allowing the schools spending money unwisely to fail, and not subsidizing the useless degrees which mean nothing other than people taught to think like the government wants and wanting to support anything to pay back their student debt is idiocy,

On the realistic side though we are 3/4 of the way to the Idiocracy world, and the people who think they are the smartest are the biggest idiots or they people teaching people to be idiots to control them, so nothing will change.

Re:Government is the problem. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 9 months ago | (#45444797)

Government funding controls/warps the education system priorities and creates inflation.

Anything other than government getting out of the system and allowing the schools spending money unwisely to fail, and not subsidizing the useless degrees which mean nothing other than people taught to think like the government wants and wanting to support anything to pay back their student debt is idiocy,

On the realistic side though we are 3/4 of the way to the Idiocracy world, and the people who think they are the smartest are the biggest idiots or they people teaching people to be idiots to control them, so nothing will change.

Everything controls/warps the education system -- are you going to deny both government funding and corporate funding? Where is the university going to get its funding from then?

The reason I ask this is that universities are not technical institutes where you train for a job; they are designed as education and research centers, where the eventual gain is at some point decades off, NOT after someone completes a 4-year BA in basketweaving (unless they're partnered with an MBA and are going into artisan product manufacturing).

Possibly what is needed is for the government to have a more hands off approach regarding how education funds are spent -- the schools that misuse their funds will still fail (they can't survive solely on handouts) and other schools will become R&D centers for many new and amazing ideas. This is how most of the rest of the western world does it.

Re:Government is the problem. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45444875)

are not technical institutes where you train for a job

Yes, they are. Maybe once ago, in a land far, far, away, where only the old money went, that was true, but not any longer. At this point the people with the wealth are not spending it to create new work for people to live off of. College is only increasingly enrolled in because with a shiny piece of shitpaper in hand, you might be slightly more able to support a family. College degrees are not needed for thier merit, but as a way of attempting to leverage yourself into an ever growing labour pool. Trust me, this economic system is going to collapse sooner or later, if the wealthy don't start paying people doing unskilled labour enough to live comfortably on. Either all the poor will starve, and the labour pool will shrink, or the old money will be sodomized with salad forks and sub machine guns, forcibly redistributing their ill gotten wealth to the poorer.

Re:Government is the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445001)

You forgot the most likely scenario: the rich will declare poverty a crime and the poor will be imprisoned in sufficiently large numbers to eliminate the unemployment problem. Ask the great oracle at Google about "debtors' prison" for a lesson on how this historically common practice has worked for societies since time immemorial.

Re:Government is the problem. (1)

Livius (318358) | about 9 months ago | (#45445381)

Some jobs require more education than analogous jobs a few decades back, but that's not the only reason an education is important in finding employment. In many (though not all) cases, the education is not really about *training* for the job. It's merely a gimmick for getting hired. The education gets you a job because it gives you an edge over your competition that doesn't have the diploma.

But there's no edge if *everyone* has an education. And it doesn't matter if it's because everyone really learned more or if the education standards have been watered down. If the education is not needed for the job, it's a vast expense that adds no value to the economy, and if it doesn't distinguish one job candidate from another, then it's a vast expense that's serving no purpose at all.

Re:Government is the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45447025)

The education gets you a job because it gives you an edge over your competition that doesn't have the diploma.

That would be true if the information existed only in colleges and universities, but that is simply not true. There are intelligent college graduates, and there are also intelligent autodidacts; intelligence people in both groups are in the vast minority. What should give you an edge is your intelligence, skills, and experience, not a piece of paper.

Re:Government is the problem. (1)

Livius (318358) | about 9 months ago | (#45448453)

Sometimes it's about whether you know something, but often it's merely a device for choosing one job candidate over another, where both candidates are already overqualified for the work in question.

Re:Government is the problem. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45447319)

This problem is two folded. What you say isn't necessarily not true but education has been used to replace competency testing of the past.

In the past when higher education wasn't always accredited or common, companies would administer competency tests to application candidates and only the ones who could pass it were considered. In some cases, the higher the passing score was, the more consideration you received. This is where you find the ancient stories of people starting off in the mail room and making their way to a senior executive position years down the road. But the idea was that if you didn't have a high school diploma or other documentation describing your abilities, you could still possess the skills for doing the jobs.

The testing was eventually challenged as a method to discriminate against minorities. It became somewhat impossible from a liability standpoint to design a test that would not open legal problems down the road with this regard. Testing is still used to some degree but not with the emphasis it used to have. So businesses started using a high school diploma and in some cases a G.E.D as the basis of determining qualifications of a candidate. Then the high school systems broke down and started passing and graduating people who couldn't even read or distinguish the difference between 2+2 and 4-2 and businesses started resorting to college educations as markers indicating abilities. Some companies require any college degree, even if it is in Physical education or underwater basket weaving just to be employed there as it is a sign that the people are competent enough to read, write, do simple math and follow directions. It doesn't matter if the degree has anything to do with the actual job requirements or not, just that a degree is there indicating expected abilities.

Now obviously this has limitations in application as you are not going to hire a liberal arts major as an engineer or an engineer as a mental health coordinator without the field specific qualifications. But jobs like management of restaurants and clerical entry, accounts receivables and so on often require some sort of degree even if it has no bearing with the fields in which they are applying to. I worked with a trucking company for a while and they required a college degree to become one of the dispatchers (who made a salary plus a percentage of the loads they handled so it paid very well). You would find people who's degree was in music, art history, political science, phys ed and so on. It has nothing to do about distinguish one job candidate from another, just establishing the competency of the job candidates.

Re:Government is the problem. (1)

Livius (318358) | about 9 months ago | (#45448475)

Interesting... So, the college diploma is being substitute for the high school diploma, because the high school diploma has lost any meaning.

gather and post data and provide a platform (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 9 months ago | (#45444735)

Oh, so like, create a Website, like college.gov.

What a splendid idea! Another government Website!

"If you bite your current education plan, you can eat it."

Education con game (5, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#45444769)

These people got their education at schools like Harvard, where they spent full-time in an environment designed to educate them, challenge their ideas, let them relax and think, and experiment -- and make the social contacts that helped their careers more than the course content they were ostensibly learning.

Now they're trying to tell us that it's just as good (and cheaper) to get a college class online. If we can only be wise consumers in the free market, we'll find a deal online that we can afford. Nobody walks.

This is a con job. It's like saying Internet porn is just as good as sex. It's like saying that you can find affordable health insurance online.

40 years ago the U.S. had a system of free college education (like most of Europe has today). It worked.

City College has a wall of pictures with the Nobel laureates who graduated CCNY, most of whom said in their Nobel biographies that they couldn't have afforded to go to college if they had to pay for it.

The University of California turned out graduates who gave us the revolutions in digital electronics and medicine. Then Ronald Reagan decided to cut the budget by attacking the liberals he didn't like anyway. If you charge people for college, only the rich can go to college. For the rest of us, the other choice is to go into debt that you may never repay.

The job of government is to pay for education.

We've got the money. We pay for wars, the military, police departments outfitted into SWAT teams, prisons filled with drug offenders spending long terms. We have the wealthiest billionaires in the world, who don't pay taxes. We pay college presidents salaries on parity with Fortune 500 executives.

Let's do what works. Bring back free university education. Pay for it out of taxes.

Re:Education con game (0, Offtopic)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 9 months ago | (#45444801)

There's one other route, and many take it: If you join the Army, they pay your tuition.

In some of those European countries, Army service is mandatory.

Take that how you may.

Re:Education con game (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about 9 months ago | (#45445107)

That great, until you lose both legs and an arm invading some tiny country that you have never even heard of before.

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45448939)

a) Don't invade unless you really _really_ have to.
b) Make sure that you have good doctors to help you cope.
c) It really helps to have many well educated doctors to achive b.
d) It really helps to have many well educated people find alterantives to invading other countries.

Re:Education con game (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 9 months ago | (#45457783)

e) it really helps to have everyone in your country related to someone in the military, as far as a) goes.

Re:Education con game (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | about 9 months ago | (#45445951)

You forget that over 75% of age eligible people are not eligible due to other factors http://www.missionreadiness.org/2009/ready_willing/ [missionreadiness.org]

The biggest factor is physical, there are also major issues with education (not meeting standards), and criminality. The physical factor isn't even just the weight. As the report states, even if the overweight candidates were to loose the weight, there are still underlying physical factors that would leave them ineligible for enlistment.

The report I linked to is worth the read. Even if you are not interested in enlistment, it provides a view of America as seen by the bottom 50%.

I am one of the many people in America who planned to do just what you suggest, I planned to join the military to pay for college; however, it turned out that I have one leg 1.5cm shorter than to other. This left me ineligible for enlistment.

I still worked hard and eventually finished my MBA; however, I finished it in my 40s’. As such, I didn’t have it in my youth and I didn’t make the contacts that are needed along the way. As a result, it really is, essentially, worthless.

On a national basis, not only has the nation lost my productive ability (chosen to operate inside of the production possibilities curve); but, working as a security guard and dishwasher, I am paying on the deferred payment program. This means that the nation is not even getting paid back. This story is repeated by people all over America.

If not for a very minor medical issue my life, and my level of productiveness to society, would have been much different. But, no, enlistment is not the ‘simple’ solution to college woes for Americas poor; not until the enlistment standards are matched to the actual MOS.

Re:Education con game (1)

Gryle (933382) | about 9 months ago | (#45448037)

The difficulty with matching physical enlistment standards to an MOS (the ASVAB is the intellectual filter) is that in today's battlefield, one is never quite certain when one will have to stop being a cook and start being an infantryman. There are lots of examples of non-combat MOS soldiers being caught up in fire-fights or having to do things outside the scope of their duty. While it's completely unreasonable to expect everyone in the military to be an elite athlete, there are certain baseline physical standards the military enforces because you just don't know when the shit is gonna hit the fan. Now, if the military had garaunteed garrison positions (you will never deploy in your entire career) it would be a different story, but right now no such program exists for an entire military career.

Re:Education con game (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 9 months ago | (#45446169)

France does not have an army service anymore (whether it was a desirable move is another debate), it is still a major military power, and the country spends one third of its state budget for education.

But your point is still valid, though. The problem is that USA spends 50% of world military expenses. And since NATO countires account for 80%, one can wonder where is the enemy that justify such a big military expense.

Re:Education con game (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 9 months ago | (#45446255)

Correcting myself: US accounts for 38%, NATO for 53% [wikipedia.org] . The point is still valid: cold war is over, there is no big enemy.

Re:Education con game (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 9 months ago | (#45446933)

Why on earth did people choose to moderate this off topic and troll???!?

Would it have been better if I'd direct quoted the bits about only rich people being able to afford higher education?

If you charge people for college, only the rich can go to college. For the rest of us, the other choice is to go into debt that you may never repay. .... We've got the money. We pay for wars, the military, police departments outfitted into SWAT teams, prisons filled with drug offenders spending long terms.

My point is that the third choice is to serve the country -- not necessarily on the front lines. You can join the army as support personnel and still get the college tuition package. I'd personally never take that option, but it's there.

Re:Education con game (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#45444803)

Sorry.. With income and sales tax, something close to $0.40 on the dollar goes to the state already, more for specific items due to punitive taxation. While I don't dislike your idea, I already pay too much in taxes to float the systemic deficit spending loan as it is. Enough is enough. I want my money and my rights/freedoms back please.

Re:Education con game (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#45444829)

If we could give up our obsession with blowing up brown people, we could probably afford education and a tax cut, especially if the taxes are shifted back to the people who already have enough money to support 3 or 4 generations of their family.

Especially if we get tough on both educational institutions and healthcare providers to stop gouging.

Re:Education con game (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#45444893)

Yeah but what about the existing debt? That has to be paid off before we can improve anything else. We also need a government in place that doesn't spend like a 16yo princess with her daddy's credit card.

Re:Education con game (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#45445089)

If we had stayed on the course Clinton set and restrained the bankers from crashing the economy, we would be debt free right now. We don't have to pay it all off before we can do anything at all (that rarely makes fiscal sense), we just need to put it in the right direction.

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45446309)

You mean still jobless (Clinton signed the NAFTA as well as successor bills making it so that US businesses are forced to complete with businesses without labor laws, environmental regulations, or consumer protection.)

Due to "free trade", we have no steel industry, no solar industry, no manufacturing, and are dependent on China for even the basic chips in a calculator. Even food, we have to import from them.

Re:Education con game (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#45446993)

I would certainly support scaling free trade back, but that's entirely irrelevant to the national debt.

But you seriously need to check your facts. There is very little chip fab in the PRC compared to the U.S. and Taiwan. The U.S. produces plenty of food to keep us all fed. We actually have a lot of manufacturing, just not consumer goods. I would like to see more consumer goods made here though. I would also like to see at least standby steel capacity here for strategic reasons.

Re:Education con game (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | about 9 months ago | (#45446361)

Yeah but what about the existing debt? That has to be paid off before we can improve anything else.

Money and Debt is a (not so) simple zero sum game. Whenever a dollar is created, an equivalent debt/obligation is created. It always balances out to zero.

So who do you want to reduce their savings so that the US government can have less debt? Once you have decided on that, it is easy to discuss the actions the government should take to cause it to happen.

Re:Education con game (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45444901)

Those brown people aren't going to blow up themselves.

Re:Education con game (2)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#45445099)

Oddly enough, they will!

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445197)

Don't explain the joke!

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445035)

go fuck yourself you libertarian faggot.

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445075)

MUH TRIGGERS!

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445131)

I can only concur.

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445729)

Isn't it fun to spend somebody else's money?

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445103)

If "sales tax" is on your radar of major personal tax expenses, then you aren't the ultra-rich that need to start paying more again (like they used to, when this country had a somewhat more functional economy). Multimillionaires and billionaires spend negligible portions of their money on things that get hit by sales tax; and pay overall tax rates in the 0-10% range. If you're bothered by your 40% taxes, then stop sticking up for the super-rich, who are screwing you and the entire working and middle class over.

Re:Education con game (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45447409)

When the government decides who is rich and who isn't, you end up finding people who would never consider themselves rich to be rather wealthy even when they are working and in the middle class.

If you taxed the truly wealthy, the 1% or even the 5% of top earners 100%, it wouldn't make much of an impact on our debt. It would be around 2.4 trillion dollars in total (about 1.9 trillion more then they are already paying) and it would drop as soon as the top 5% of earners stopped trying to make a paycheck they wouldn't ever see. The top 5% of income earners have about 31% of the adjusted gross income in the US and already pay more than 58% of the taxes collected. The top 10% of earners pay 70% and the top 25 earners pay roughly 87% of taxes collected already. And you can be in the top 25% if your adjusted gross income is just over $66K a year. Who would have thought 60,000 was rich? Well, the government does.

the sources for this came from here.
http://taxfoundation.org/article/summary-latest-federal-individual-income-tax-data-0 [taxfoundation.org]

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45444851)

We have a problem of too much educated labor. Jobs that don't actually require a high school diploma are being filled by college graduates because there are too many of them.

There is not enough economic demand for educated labor to justify educating everybody.

Yes, those who are educated have an advantage over those who are not....at the (few) jobs that actually require an education. But leveling the playing field by giving everyone a free education does not resolve this; it just changes the means by which these jobs are attained (even less on merit and even more on nepotism).

Spending taxpayer dollars on widespread education that is widely unused (due to lack of demand), is WASTEFUL.

Re:Education con game (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#45444967)

Exactly. Janitor jobs have started asking for 'college degrees'. wtf?

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445111)

Oh it's worse than that. Job ads for janitorial work mention such things as "reducing costs" and "maximizing longevity of surfaces". The HR drones who hire janitors have completely lost sight of the purpose of sanitation: clean shit up to eliminate the spread of disease.

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45448069)

Yes! The only reason for educating people is for their job. There are not other benefits to having a generally well-educated population at all! None whatsoever!

In unrelated news we have the most corrupt government in decades and the nobody seems to care.

Re:Education con game (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45445293)

40 years ago the U.S. had a system of free college education (like most of Europe has today). It worked.

Forty years ago, only about 10% of Americans graduated with a college degree; today it's more than three times that. And your idea that European nations just give everybody a free college education is a fairy tale.

If you charge people for college, only the rich can go to college. For the rest of us, the other choice is to go into debt that you may never repay.

College has generally become more affordable, and far more people go to college now than 40 years ago. Furthermore, a college education costs about as much as a good mid-size car; if you can't afford paying that back, you picked the wrong major.

The job of government is to pay for education.

No, that's not its job, but for practical purposes, it's doing it already.

Re:Education con game (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 9 months ago | (#45445645)

College has generally become more affordable, and far more people go to college now than 40 years ago. Furthermore, a college education costs about as much as a good mid-size car; if you can't afford paying that back, you picked the wrong major.

Most instate Universities with room and board are around $18,000/yr. So, a 4 year degree is in the neighborhood of $72,000. I don't know what mid-size cars you drive, but that's pretty steep. College has become anything but more affordable. If it had been, there would have been less need for student loans, not more.

It has nothing to do with the major one picks (although some majors do not gain one an advantage in employment). 40 years ago, a college degree in business allowed one to jump into middle management. Today, it is pretty much standard for administrative assistants to have one. Yes, today's administrative assistatns do more than yesterday's secretaries and stenographers, but $72,000 worth of education more?

No, the system is broke, because somebod confused correlation and causation 40 years ago when the push for everybody to have an education really took off. Yes, people with degrees made more money than those without back then, but without all of today's financial aid, many of those people attending college already had a socio-economic advantage. Yes, there is no doubt that in certain fields it really did make a difference, but in most, we all knew the doctor's kid was going to get a better job with or without college than the farmer's kid was.

But, with all the best intentions, after misidentifying the real problem, we through billions of dollars at it so that today, many, many people have a college education, but the doctor's kid still gets the better job than the farmer's kid, because often it's not about what you know, but who you know that makes the difference.

Re:Education con game (1)

ranton (36917) | about 9 months ago | (#45446077)

Most instate Universities with room and board are around $18,000/yr. So, a 4 year degree is in the neighborhood of $72,000. I don't know what mid-size cars you drive, but that's pretty steep.

Well I am pretty sure that he meant the cost of tuition, since you have to spend money on room and board even if you don't go to school. But the amount of opportunity costs of an average student is likely around $8k per year since you can probably only work part time, so I still agree with your actual figures.

It has nothing to do with the major one picks (although some majors do not gain one an advantage in employment). 40 years ago, a college degree in business allowed one to jump into middle management. Today, it is pretty much standard for administrative assistants to have one. Yes, today's administrative assistatns do more than yesterday's secretaries and stenographers, but $72,000 worth of education more?

Well, if you compare that $72k with an investment paying out 8% over inflation (a very high ROR), you would need to make about $5500 per year more for the education to be worth it for the employee (if they invest that money too). And if you look at it from the employer's perspective, they would only have to be about 15% more effective to make the degree worth it (if you assume they are paying $5500 more than for a non-degreed assistant).

I think that even for an administrative assistant, it is more than worth it to get a degree. All employees such as these that I have worked with have had degrees, and they are vital employees who make important decisions. They aren't just answering phones and sending faxes. I know of some that have worked with my parents where this isn't true, but that was a different generation.

It is becoming more and more rare for someone who works behind a desk to not benefit greatly from a college education. And that is not just to get a job; it really does help educate the workplace. Most people do not have the self-motivation to educate themselves so an extra 4 years of "forced" education is useful.

Re:Education con game (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45446909)

Most instate Universities with room and board are around $18,000/yr. So, a 4 year degree is in the neighborhood of $72,000. I don't know what mid-size cars you drive, but that's pretty steep. College has become anything but more affordable. If it had been, there would have been less need for student loans, not more.

Average college debt is about $36k. That's because parents support their kids, people work to support themselves, and low income students get financial aid. I got financial aid and worked in college.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/17/pf/college/student-debt/ [cnn.com]

It is becoming more and more rare for someone who works behind a desk to not benefit greatly from a college education. And that is not just to get a job; it really does help educate the workplace. Most people do not have the self-motivation to educate themselves so an extra 4 years of "forced" education is useful.

Giving people four years of free room and board while getting an art history degree is not "forced education", it is allowing them to waste another four years of their lives.

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45447415)

I'm not sure success can be measured monetarily. Imagine a world where education only served the purpose to people into the work force. All applied, nothing pure, in terms of the sciences.

I would propose the following.

1. First 2 years of college 'tuition' free for everyone. It would be based on the average state tuition of some sort.
2. Modify Direct Loans interest rates to be equal to the Consumer Price Index inflation rate with a 6.8% cap incase inflation ever gets out of hand.
3. Consider an introductory rate for Direct Loans so the interest rate is 0% if you pay on time, but limited to the first 2 years of repayment. This would be restricted to those who have the 10 repayment plan.
4. Change the grace period for Direct Loans to 24 months. (Combined with #3, you could have 4 years post-college with interest free Direct Loans.)
5. Consider changing college accreditation. Require no more than X% of college tuition be used for administrative purposes.
6. Consider removing unsubbed loans from Direct Loans and increasing the amount you can borrow with subsidized Direct Loans.
7. The following isn't entirely my idea. Take semester credits. 120 credits in order to get a 4 year degree. I think I remember hearing you shouldn't borrow more than what you expect to make in a year. So, assuming 25 years, 4%/year would pay it off. But we need to adjust that since it would only be on taxable income. Let's say at worst the average taxable income is two-thirds your AGI. So say 6% instead. 6% divide by 120 credits means we should charge 0.05% per credit borrowed at full COST OF ATTENDANCE (not tuition). This repayment plan might have restrictions on when someone can opt into it, with no option to opt out once opted in.

Hypothetical example: For a "specific" year, the Cost of Attendance happens to be $25k (for 23 semester credits). $8k of that $25k is (in-state) tuition. This person gets $15k in grants, leaving $5k to be borrowed. Since $6k is 24% of $25k, we have a factor of 0.24. This person is only taking 23 semester credits that year (instead of the 30 you'd expect in order to graduate in 4 years). 23 credits * 0.05% * 0.24 = 0.276%. If this were the only year attended, and this person dropped out, this person would have to pay 0.276% extra in taxes.

Let's say this person did 120 credits, but only borrowed 24% of the Cost of Attendance each time. This would work out to be 1.44%. If someone needed to have 100% of the loans covered, that person would need to pay 6% additional in income tax. Remind you, this is for 25 years.

This could be extended to graduate school too, but perhaps at differing rates.

I don't have an art history degree, but I imagine those who do have one took other classes than just art history that helped in becoming well-rounded. And as I said, it's not monetary value that determines success. If that were true, I'd think you'd have to count Congress as successful.

Re:Education con game (2)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#45448405)

Giving people four years of free room and board while getting an art history degree is not "forced education", it is allowing them to waste another four years of their lives.

You obviously don't know anything about art history.

I took art history courses.

I learned about the Bauhaus, industrial design, architecture. I learned about the history of the motion picture and the birth of video. I learned how people figured out how to apply a new technology.

I learned about Leonardo da Vinci and the study of anatomy. For many centuries the study of art anatomy was the same as the study of medical anatomy. I learned about art and technology.

I learned about why they had the art that they did in Renaissance Italy, in the Soviet Union, in Nazi Germany, in 1960s New York.

It helped me understand the history of science.

Art history is simply a branch of history. Do you think the study of history is a waste of time? Do you think it's more important to study generals and battles than it is to study architects and industrial designers?

BTW, when undergraduates major in art history, they also take the same basic courses that everybody else takes, such as math, science, English, foreign languages, music, other history, etc. The idea is that you go to college and get a well-rounded education, that teaches you how to deal with anything. You don't know at age 19 what the world is going to be like for the next 40 years, so you have to be prepared for the unknown.

If you go to the Nobel prize web site http://www.nobelprize.org/ [nobelprize.org] and read the biographies, you'll see that many of the most accomplished scientists studied the liberal arts as undergraduates. Harold Varmus, who is now head of the National Cancer Institute, after discovering the role of retroviruses in cancer, was an English major. Eric Kandel, who discovered the physiological basis of memory in neurons, studied German literature at Harvard.

The four-year undergraduate degree, where you let kids follow their curiosity, is the goose that lays the golden egg. It's the most valuable thing we've discovered -- throughout history, around the world. That's the way we turn out great minds, including scientists, including "producers". It's a system that works and you shouldn't mess with it if you don't understand it. If you start tossing out all the subjects that bored you, you'll kill the goose that lays the golden egg. You'll turn out technicians who don't know what to do when the world changes.

Re:Education con game (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45450391)

In fact, I went to a liberal arts school and took plenty of art, music, literature, and foreign languages. But at the same time I learned what I needed to earn a living. In your case, your liberal arts education merely seems to have turned you into an ignorant jerk.

Re:Education con game (1)

notonthegrid (1414053) | about 9 months ago | (#45449981)

Let's face it... Most largish Universities are just Billion dollar hotels
with no "checkout time". Stay until you run out of money, whether it's your
money or money that comes from someone else. They REALLY don't care.

Re:Education con game (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 9 months ago | (#45445923)

Furthermore, a college education costs about as much as a good mid-size car; if you can't afford paying that back, you picked the wrong major.

Even if I grant you that statement, if typical 18 year-olds were decently equipped to make such rest-of-your-life decisions they wouldn't be such attractive targets for military recruiters.

Re:Education con game (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45446881)

Even if I grant you that statement, if typical 18 year-olds were decently equipped to make such rest-of-your-life decisions they wouldn't be such attractive targets for military recruiters.

If they pick the wrong career, paying back a student loan is the least of their worries. And the typical teenager has parents to help them make decisions.

Re:Education con game (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#45448435)

If they pick the wrong career, paying back a student loan is the least of their worries. And the typical teenager has parents to help them make decisions.

Well, let's look at the facts.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html [nytimes.com]
For Poor Strivers, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall
By JASON DePARLE
Published: December 22, 2012
3 students from Galveston, TX, graduated 2008 at top of their class in low-ranked Ball High, were in Upward Bound, a college-prep program for low-income teenagers. All 3 got into college, but 4 years later, none has a 4 year degree. “Their story seems less like a tribute to upward mobility than a study of obstacles in an age of soaring economic inequality.”
"Each showed the ability to do college work, even excel at it. But the need to earn money brought one set of strains, campus alienation brought others, and ties to boyfriends not in school added complications. With little guidance from family or school officials, college became a leap that they braved without a safety net."
  Angela Gonzales went to Emory, but her financial aid got screwed up. She dropped out after 3 years with $61,000 debt. She’s working in her boyfriend’s furniture store for $8.50 an hour.
  Melissa O'Neal went to Texas State University. Her high-school boyfriend ran up $4,000 on her credit card and never got a job. Melissa got depressed, skipped classes, and failed some, but is now a 5th-year senior with an engineering student boyfriend and $44,000 in loans.
  Bianca Gonzales enrolled in community college to be near her boyfriend and dying grandfather. She finished her associate degree, and now works as a beach-bar cashier and spa receptionist.
Education is not an equalizer. It doesn't promote social mobility. The gaps between high- and low-income kids are widening. The role of class is growing. Growing incomes at the top, single-parent households, segregated neighborhoods, lower-quality neighborhood schools, and increasing college costs are responsible. So only the prosperous get educated. “It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that a low-income student, no matter how intrinsically bright, moves up the socioeconomic ladder,” said Sean Reardon,

Re:Education con game (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45450261)

Well, let's look at the facts.

I'm not sure what "fact" you think those three stories are supposed to provide. You have three students who failed out of college and obviously made bad financial decisions, since they ended up owing more than average and not even getting a degree out of it. Statistically, more

Education is not an equalizer. It doesn't promote social mobility. The gaps between high- and low-income kids are widening. The role of class is growing. Growing incomes at the top, single-parent households, segregated neighborhoods, lower-quality neighborhood schools, and increasing college costs are responsible. So only the prosperous get educated.

College attendance has been steadily increasing across the population, race, and class since 1965. And college graduation rates are not that dissimilar: about 60-70% for kids from families making $70k+, and about 45-55% for kids from families making less than $25k. The remaining difference is more than adequately explained by factors other than educational or financial inequality.

Plenty of people with little or no money manage to go to college, on scholarship, loans, and by working. I got an excellent education without taking out loans and without my parents spending a dime on it. My parents had literally nothing and worked themselves through college. Is it harder if you have little or no money? Yes. But so what?

Re:Education con game (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#45450993)

I'm not sure what "fact" you think those three stories are supposed to provide. You have three students who failed out of college and obviously made bad financial decisions, since they ended up owing more than average and not even getting a degree out of it.

The point of the story was that these are students who came from low-income families, and because of that they and their families didn't know how to make "good" financial decisions. Students from upper-income families know how to make "good" financial decisions because their families have been handling money all their lives. It demonstrates the advantages of upper-income families.

college graduation rates are not that dissimilar: about 60-70% for kids from families making $70k+, and about 45-55% for kids from families making less than $25k.

That looks dissimilar to me.

Suppose you had a deadly disease, and you could take one of two drugs. One drug had a survival rate of 60-70%, and the other drug had a survival rate of 45-55%. Which drug would you take?

The remaining difference is more than adequately explained by factors other than educational or financial inequality.

I can see where this is coming from. The remaining difference is explained by circular logic. Since they didn't graduate, it must have been their own fault.

Plenty of people with little or no money manage to go to college, on scholarship, loans, and by working. I got an excellent education without taking out loans and without my parents spending a dime on it. My parents had literally nothing and worked themselves through college.

I don't know the specific facts in your case, so I don't know how you got through college without loans or parents' assistance, and whether there you had some unusual benefit that those students in the Jason DeParle story didn't have.

But I've often heard people brag about how they made it themselves, and then when I found out more about them, it turned out that they had all the advantages of social class. "Yeah, my father helped me, but I could have done it myself."

Is it harder if you have little or no money? Yes. But so what?

OK, we'll take some more of your money away in taxes. You'll get by. It'll just be a little harder.

Re:Education con game (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45452809)

I can see where this is coming from. The remaining difference is explained by circular logic. Since they didn't graduate, it must have been their own fault.

And I can see where your error is. You think that, given the same environment, you'll get the same outcomes, so if you observe different outcomes, someone must have been unfairly disadvantaged. But kids aren't a tabula rasa. Academic achievement (strongly correlated with income) is passed on through the generations just like strength, height, and athletic achievement. It makes no more sense to aim for equal representation of all classes in the Harvard graduating class than it makes sense to aim for equal representation of all heights in the NBA.

I don't know the specific facts in your case, so I don't know how you got through college without loans or parents' assistance, ... But I've often heard people brag about how they made it themselves, and then when I found out more about them, it turned out that they had all the advantages of social class

Of course I had the advantages of social class: although my parents worked their way out of poverty, they were fiercely smart and solidly middle class. You just got the causation wrong: my parents weren't middle class because someone handed them a wad of money, they were middle class because they were smart and worked hard. And they passed that on not by handing me a wad of money, but by requiring me to work hard and achieve myself. So, make that: "Yeah, my father could have helped me, but he required me to achieve it myself."

OK, we'll take some more of your money away in taxes. You'll get by. It'll just be a little harder.

I have lived in high tax countries, and part of my family lived in socialist countries, so I can tell you from first hand experience that it won't make any difference.

Re:Education con game (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#45453727)

Diane Ravitch https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Ravitch [wikipedia.org] was assistant secretary of education in the G.H.W. Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration. She started out as a neocon, and writes for the Wall Street Journal editoral page. One of her responsibilities was collecting data on educational accomplishment.

After looking at the data, she realized that the major factor associated with educational achievement was family income. The higher the income, the higher the educational achievement. This is probably due to first, the advantages of money, and second, the advantages of understanding the system that comes with social class. The NYT story showed that even if you tried to give students money, they still had problems understanding the system. It's irrelevant whether it's their "fault"; that's the way it is, and if you want everyone to be educated to their full potential, you have to first give them money (or at least not charge them), and second help them navigate the social system. That's what we used to do during the big immigration waves and the (mostly successful) assimilation of immigrants.

One of the differences between income, OTOH, and strength and height, OTOH, is that you can change income, by giving the poor money. If everybody gets roughly as much money, as they do in the Scandinavian countries, then students will advance according to their ability. Until then, you can't say that people are advancing according to their ability. They're advancing mostly according to their family's money.

I think that a modern economy will be more efficient and profitable when we educate people to their maximum capacity. That's what Singapore does. If there is a point at which education isn't returning value for the money invested, we haven't reached it. If you set up economic barriers to college education, you don't educate people to their maximum capacity. If you let people sink or swim, as they did in the NYT story, you don't educate people to their maximum capacity. If you leave education to the free market, you don't educate people to their maximum capacity. Singapore is as devoted to the free market as you get, and they treat college education as a government responsibility.

Re:Education con game (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45455941)

After looking at the data, she realized that the major factor associated with educational achievement was family income. The higher the income, the higher the educational achievement.

Yes, that's clear: there is a modest correlation.

They're advancing mostly according to their family's money.

A much simpler explanation (that happens to agree with the data) is that smart parents both make a lot of money and also produce smart kids.

if you want everyone to be educated to their full potential,

You keep using the term "potential". What "potential" are you exactly talking about? Genetic potential? Epigenetic potential? Potential after early childhood experiences? Potential after high school? Each of those stages progressively limits the academic potential of students. How far are you willing to limit parental freedoms to make decisions for their kids in order to let them "reach their full potential"?

One of the differences between income, OTOH, and strength and height, OTOH, is that you can change income, by giving the poor money.

But you cannot increase intelligence by giving people money.

I think that a modern economy will be more efficient and profitable when we educate people to their maximum capacity.

Paying young adults to sit on their asses at university and be lectured at for four extra years is not "more efficient" for the students or the economy. And it is destructive to academia and universities as well, because they increasingly become little more than vocational schools. And that situation gets even worse if you look at European universities where they have reduced inequality among universities, which means that future scientists are now forced to study side by side with future office clerks and web designers.

In different words, you still haven't even explained why we even want more than 50% university graduates in the country.

Re:Education con game (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#45457041)

They're advancing mostly according to their family's money.

A much simpler explanation (that happens to agree with the data) is that smart parents both make a lot of money and also produce smart kids.

I would like to see that data, in a peer-reviewed science journal (and not an economics journal).

The best evidence I've seen, generally in Science magazine (sorry, I don't have the citation handy) is that about 50% of intelligence, as measured in standard tests, is genetic, as inferred by twin studies, and 50% is due to the environment.

The psychologists say that in a society with strong economic equality, and equal opportunity in education, like Finland, you can safely hypothesize that most of the variation is due to genetics. You can assume most people are starting out at the same starting line.

But in a society like the U.S., with great economic inequality, and expensive education, you can't assume that other factors are equal and genetics is the only variation.

The biggest difference in the environment -- and test results -- is the black/white difference. It's only since the Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education that schools were required to provide equal education to black students. You can see the results in the NAEP historical achievement tests by race in math and reading comprehension. The black scores show a steady, dramatic increase from 1970 to the latest results. Their genes weren't changing. The environment was changing.

if you want everyone to be educated to their full potential,

You keep using the term "potential". What "potential" are you exactly talking about? Genetic potential? Epigenetic potential? Potential after early childhood experiences? Potential after high school? Each of those stages progressively limits the academic potential of students. How far are you willing to limit parental freedoms to make decisions for their kids in order to let them "reach their full potential"?

You give kids the best education you can, starting from preschool and continuing to graduate school, vocational school, or whatever works. (Something like Germany.) According to a review in Science, there are preschool programs like the Perry School that have scientifically validated, demonstrated results. (The evidence on Head Start, unfortunately, isn't as good.)

When you see kids are learning something, you continue with the education. It's hard to decide exactly what learning is, or what they're supposed to be learning, so you can't judge them by nationwide curricula and high-stakes testing, until those curricula and tests have been validated (and so far, they haven't been).

So I would borrow a line from the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Individuals can best decide for themselves what's good for them. As long as they think they're learning something, they should be allowed to continue. I'd like to limit it to traditional programs and their goals, like universities and vocational schools, but if some innovator can meet the burden of proof, we would include them too.

As for parents, we have compulsory education laws in all developed countries. Parents have to comply with those laws. I'm personally skeptical of home schooling, but if they can demonstrate that they can home-school their kids to the same standards as public schools, then it's acceptable to me.

One of the differences between income, OTOH, and strength and height, OTOH, is that you can change income, by giving the poor money.

But you cannot increase intelligence by giving people money.

If George Bush is stupid, you can't increase his intelligence by giving him money. However, if you have a population of people who have low intelligence and are living in destitution, without enough food, housing and health care to give them a stable life, and you give them money, then yes, I think you can increase the individual and average intelligence in that population. I think the Perry school and other programs that attend to all of their social needs, not just school, have demonstrated that.

If someone has a deficiency of a hormone, like thyroid hormone, you can get dramatic cures by simply giving them thyroid hormone. If someone has a functioning thyroid, more hormone won't do any good. But let's get everybody's thyroid hormone level up to standards.

I admit I have an ulterior motive. I don't just want to improve education to make students more productive workers who can beat the Russians into space. I also want to eliminate poverty for its own sake. If we brought people up to a Scandinavian level of income, and provided a Scandinavian level of education, I would like that even if it didn't make them economically more productive. I'd like to see everyone have adequate food, comfortable housing, and the necessities of life -- even if we had to tax the rich to pay for it. That's how devious I am.

I think that a modern economy will be more efficient and profitable when we educate people to their maximum capacity.

Paying young adults to sit on their asses at university and be lectured at for four extra years is not "more efficient" for the students or the economy.

We now send young adults into the military, to maintain huge ships, aircraft, hospitals, etc., for counterproductive wars like the invasion of Iraq. The military is our largest industry, our largest make-work project, and our largest vocational education program.

Paying young adults to go to the university and do whatever they feel like is just as efficient for the economy as the military. Some of them will get stoned for 4 years, some of them will create multi-million dollar businesses. Some of them will do both.

In California, Ronald Reagan and his successors cut the budget to the University of California, and increased the budget of the prison system by roughly the same amount, where most people are serving draconian sentences for victimless crimes. I think we should move the money back into the University of California.

And it is destructive to academia and universities as well, because they increasingly become little more than vocational schools. And that situation gets even worse if you look at European universities where they have reduced inequality among universities, which means that future scientists are now forced to study side by side with future office clerks and web designers.

Future scientists are now forced to study side by side with future office clerks and web designers. You think that's a bad thing? I think that's a good thing. Besides, how do you know which students are going to become scientists and which are going to become office clerks? Read the biographies of Nobel laureates at http://www.nobel.org/ [nobel.org] and see what kind of background they came from.

In different words, you still haven't even explained why we even want more than 50% university graduates in the country.

Because John Adams said, "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."

We've got the money, it's just poorly distributed. There aren't enough jobs to go around. Let them enjoy themselves for four years. When you do that, they seem to come up with something useful.

I am not going to pull that old excuse on you, that I have to get back to work and can't spend any more time on this discussion. So I won't say it. Thanks for the links to the college graduation rates.

Re:Education con game (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45457681)

The best evidence I've seen, generally in Science magazine (sorry, I don't have the citation handy) is that about 50% of intelligence, as measured in standard tests, is genetic, as inferred by twin studies, and 50% is due to the environment.

Yes, where "environment" mostly is epigenetic and very early childhood. Hence, you proved my point: given what we know about nature and nurture, you would predict significant differences in college attendance by class.

I would like to see that data, in a peer-reviewed science journal (and not an economics journal).

What about you providing hard evidence that spending more on education leads to better outcomes. So far, you have provided nothing.

You give kids the best education you can, starting from preschool and continuing to graduate school, vocational school, or whatever works. (Something like Germany.)

Yes, what about Germany? A smaller percentage of people goes to university. While tuition is low and student loans are partially subsidized, the majority of Germans take out student loans to pay for university.

If we brought people up to a Scandinavian level of income, and provided a Scandinavian level of education, I would like that even if it didn't make them economically more productive

Bringing up? Leaving out Norway, which is simply oil-rich, Scandinavian levels of income and GDP are lower than the US; Americans complete university at higher rates than Scandinavians; US adult science literacy is higher than the Scandinavian countries; and Scandinavian growth is anemic. And, of course, to the degree that they work at all, Scandinavian policies work in Scandinavia only because those are small countries with homogeneous populations.

So, what you're actually saying is that you want to drag down the US economy and education to Scandinavian levels.

I'd like to see everyone have adequate food, comfortable housing, and the necessities of life -- even if we had to tax the rich to pay for it. That's how devious I am.

Every American has adequate food, comfortable housing, and the necessities of life available to them. What people call "poverty" in the US these days is simply low income relative to the median, not privation.

There aren't enough jobs to go around. Let them enjoy themselves for four years. When you do that, they seem to come up with something useful.

We have moderately high unemployment and relatively low growth because the kind of policies you advocate are destroying jobs and growth. And if people like you keep going, we'll achieve what you want: end up like Europe, which is far worse than our current situation.

Re:Education con game (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45447463)

You say that as if no one would join the military if they magically knew something. The fact of the matter is that most who join at that age have been talked into it by means other than a recruiter. In some cases, this is family like parents or other relatives who served, in some it might be to pay for college that they see no other way of getting, in some it might be to escape some reality in their hometown or life (lack of jobs, gang culture, the middle of nowhere and so on), in some it might simply be because they have a sense of duty.

18-20 year old are attractive to military recruiters because they are in their prime of being physically capable and fit which matches a lot of what the military requires out of a soldier. If it was because of some mental impairment, then people would be clamoring to raise the voting age to 21 or something.

Re:Education con game (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 9 months ago | (#45445733)

The job of government is to pay for education.

At some point one must question whether they are doing a competent job. Got the money? We are $17 trillion in debt. You mean other people have the money and you'd like to seize their property. Most rational people will object.

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445841)

Why should the US pay for education? We already are in debt up to our ass with China, and paying for more hipsters to have art and music degrees isn't going to help anything.

If someone wants an education, they can earn it just like you earn your car and house.

Re:Education con game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45446449)

The job of government is to pay for education.

I agree, but what they do at college these days is not "education", more like extended high school with lots of perks for the students, excellent pay and benifit for the teachers/admin, and ridiculously lavish campuses.

There are 3 fields the gov't should actively support, the rest are not worth it. Medicine, science, and engineering.

Re:Education con game (2)

Atomic Fro (150394) | about 9 months ago | (#45446611)

Spot on. The only thing a ratings system would accomplish would be handing out salaries to a handful of cronies tasked with compiling a worthless metric. Unless you are born into privilege (money, athletic, or scholarly ability) and you are going to college, its going to be the local state university. Hopefully one that caters do your chosen discipline without extreme financial burden.

Gut Homeland Security (by extension TSA), cut military spending, stop spending money on the militarization of local police. Stop taxing labor so working families can afford to send their kids to college.

Invest in education, don't subsidize tuition. Distribute more money to universities through grants. Invest more into agencies like NASA that can outsource some of their work to universities. Create an environment where universities can be flush with cash so that tuition becomes known as a barbaric tool used in the past by the elite.

Re:Education con game (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 9 months ago | (#45447109)

We are left with the value of the education. Free or not, the value dropped as prevalence increased. If everyone gets university, and need not pay, what is the advantage?
Why not extend mandatory schooling 4 years, free?

Re:Education con game (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#45447305)

The job of government is to pay for education.

That's part of why higher education in the US is so expensive now. That same reasoning above led to subsidized education loans which in turn led to vast demand increases and above average price increases at universities for the last 40 years. Talk about counterproductive activities.

We've got the money. We pay for wars, the military, police departments outfitted into SWAT teams, prisons filled with drug offenders spending long terms. We have the wealthiest billionaires in the world, who don't pay taxes. We pay college presidents salaries on parity with Fortune 500 executives.

And the US spends something like two thirds of all spending on the military and a couple of rather harmful entitlements (Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid).

The economically ignorant complain about how "we have the money", but can't afford whatever bad ideas they have in mind. In order to keep "having the money", you must take care of the golden geese at some point rather than just make the problem worse.

I speak as someone who bothered to get a number of technical degrees. Education is overrated. Sure, it can do the wonderful things that, for example, a liberal arts education is intended to do (such as creating a person who can think). Or it can create social contacts that are useful to the person or to society.

That sometimes happens. It also creates a lot of the problems of modern society, such as people who can't understand why we can't do their pet project when "we got the money" and people who know what's better for the rest of us (the infamous joke about "ideas so good they had to be made mandatory").

Re:Education con game (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#45455021)

I spent two years at a private university and left with a general education associates degree and thousands of dollars in debt. Yet I had a full-tuition scholarship. Why did I leave?

Free school is great, if you can afford it. Despite the free tuition, the cost of books, housing, food, the mandatory health insurance plan, and all the other expenses and fees involved, the tuition was the smallest piece of the pie.

badBIOS, Facts, speculations, and misunderstanding (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45444809)

badBIOS, Facts, speculations, and misunderstandings

First there was Stuxnet, then there was FLAME, the latest weapons grade malware is badBIOS accidentially discovered by Dragos Ruiu 3 years ago!

http://learning.criticalwatch.com/badbios/ [criticalwatch.com]

Why bother with college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45444861)

when you will not be able to find a job with your college degree? Where is the return on investment? Without ROI college has no value whatsoever.

Quit loaning people money to go to college (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445169)

Stop all student lending. If somebody is smart but can't afford to go, the government should give them a full ride. Not a lot of people should be getting that ride. Many colleges should simply shut their doors. Some community colleges should remain open to fix the damage that public high schools have done. Those students should sue their local school boards for educational malpractice. If the local school boards don't want to be sued, they shouldn't give high school diplomas to people who are functionally illiterate and can't do basic algebra.

Result? No more people in hock for useless degrees. High schools graduates who can enter the world of work and learn on the job. People without high school diplomas can dig ditches like they used to. The only difference is that they won't be wondering why their degree is useless while they're digging.

Re:Quit loaning people money to go to college (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 9 months ago | (#45445655)

Actually, community colleges are far more cost effective than the major universities. Probably because they have to live within their means.

As for ditch diggers, just remember that the next time you need a sewer line put in, or cable or electric or anything else underground, that ditch diggers, usually make far above the minimum wage that many college graduates are making.

don't worry (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45445249)

Obama is going to revolutionize and rationalize education, just like he has revolutionized and rationalized health care.

Re:don't worry (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 9 months ago | (#45445657)

Obama is going to revolutionize and rationalize education, just like he has revolutionized and rationalized health care.

Well, if he would just undo the damage created by no child left behind, it would be a great start.

Re:don't worry (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45446923)

Well, if he would just undo the damage created by no child left behind, it would be a great start.

It would be. Unfortunately, he is obviously incapable of pulling something like that off and would make things worse instead.

Re:don't worry (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45447519)

Actually, Obama was and is a supporter of no child left behind. His ACES program is nothing but a few tweaks to it.

Re:don't worry (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#45447655)

As I was saying...

Re:don't worry (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45447761)

Oh, I didn't notice the sarcasm... My bad.

I have a habit of missing things like that.

what about drop the old 4 year idea and moving to (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#45445279)

what about drop the old 4 year idea and moving to an smaller and more skill based badges system?

Re:what about drop the old 4 year idea and moving (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 9 months ago | (#45445379)

what about drop the old 4 year idea and moving to an smaller and more skill based badges system?

Don't we have that already with IT certifications? The rest of the working world may benefit from something similar, flawed as certifications are.

Re:what about drop the old 4 year idea and moving (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 9 months ago | (#45445667)

what about drop the old 4 year idea and moving to an smaller and more skill based badges system?

Don't we have that already with IT certifications? The rest of the working world may benefit from something similar, flawed as certifications are.

Technically, a college diploma is a certification. The difference is that it is offered by the educational institution whereas IT certs usually are from the vendor of a specific product they ultimately want you to buy.

Hell I'd love it if they had something so (3, Insightful)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 9 months ago | (#45445525)

you could differentiate which ones are primarily research institutes and those that are actually focused on education. (I say that because the institute that I got my BA from pretty much has research as their primary goal. Finding the next generation of researchers is their secondary goal, politics and PR is their tertiary goal, but quaternary goal, oh yeah that's totally undergrad education.)

Re:Hell I'd love it if they had something so (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | about 9 months ago | (#45447649)

I wouldn't be surprised if "politics and PR" are higher than you think on their list, and "finding the next generation of researchers" was much lower.

Actually I think you're right (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 9 months ago | (#45448193)

I mean these days it seems when the local press or politician needs an expert in some field they go talk to somebody there more than when I was there. (I guess they've build up their reputation since I was there. It would have been nice if they put some effort in education though.)

System does not need to be accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45445791)

The headline is missing the point. It doesn't really matter whether the rating system is very accurate, because the goal is to identify fake colleges, that is, diploma mills. For-profit diploma mills have been scamming the government (and their students) for money that is supposed to be sending people to college. A simple rating system will identify the most egregious of these offenders and cut them off from taxpayer dollars. When you only need to discriminate between two classes that are very very different, real colleges and fake ones, you don't need a very accurate rating system.

Re:System does not need to be accurate (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 9 months ago | (#45447931)

The problem is that it is only going to be designed to weed out the for-profit colleges, whether they are diploma mills or not, and will leave the "non-profit" diploma mills untouched.

No (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 9 months ago | (#45445895)

One solution is to open the process by having the Department of Education gather and post data and provide a platform and tools for all interested

How do you think the Department gets the information? Search warrants? Waterboarding?

The information gathered from colleges is provided to the Department voluntarily, with the understanding that much of it will be held in confidence and only published in aggregate. If you insist on all the data be made public, you'll find a lot less data to work with to begin with, particularly from private institutions that have a competitive edge to maintain.

Rating system is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45446075)

Just stop the government backing of student loans. Once people have to feel the pain, they'll evaluate the value of different schools and select the "best" they can afford. With student loans being treated like free money, students criteria starts with which one they "like" stuffed through the filter of which ones will accept them. The loan program is most of the problem.

Dumb idea (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 9 months ago | (#45446597)

ranking colleges is kind of stupid. It's like ranking the mileage of car _companies_ such as Ford or Subaru.
It's not discriminatory enough.
The cost of every degree at any particular college is the same even though each degree has a different value in the marketplace.
The value of a liberal arts degree from Harvard might be more than the value of a liberal arts degree from local state college, but the Harvard degree will not be more valuable than a degree in nuclear physics from local state college.
You won't get any sort of useful value calculation until we start looking at the correct measurements of degrees versus colleges.
College pay the profs in different departments different wages because of economics, but they charge the same for each credit hour and that skews the valuations.

Department of Education... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45446685)

That's part of the problem. Get rid of it and let the free market work!

One Accreditation For All (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 9 months ago | (#45447121)

Many small,private colleges offer wretchedly bad educations and charge a lot of money. It is time that all colleges and universities are rated by one agency and that the criteria are constant across the board. The same is true for individual departments within universities. It is wrong for students to find out after graduation that the department behind their major is not accredited even though the university is accredited.

How Can We Justify Even Higher Costs??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45449177)

Is the actual name of the presentation.

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