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Dyndrilliac
04-21-2010, 10:29 AM
Yesterday, a blogger at ZD Net posted an article (http://blogs.zdnet.com/igeneration/?p=4702&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ZDNetBlogs+%28ZDNet+All+Blogs %29) discussing the current situation in the UK on the issue of tuition fee caps just as the General election gets under way there for the job of Prime Minister. As some of you know, I am a faculty member at the University of North Florida. My position energizes me in an almost arcane and enigmatic fashion when such discussions rise to the surface of the digital communications ether.

I would have felt compelled to leave the conversation alone had it not been for this person:
Someone has to pay for it.

Apparently, Mr Whittaker's position is that the "someone" in question be anyone other than the students receiving the education.

Having had personal experience with this issue, I decided to weigh in with my two cents. Again, as some of you may or may not be aware - I was not always the born and bred scholar you now have within your midst. As a matter of fact, it was a little more than a decade ago that I was snorting lines of coke in some ****-hole club bathroom getting ready to do a show with my band. After that, I had two choices: Get student loans to go back to school or join the military and let them pay my tuition in exchange for my freedom for the foreseeable future (and 3 years is a long time for a guy in his early 20's). I chose the latter, and while I don't regret it, not everyone is capable of making that choice. Here was my reply:
You are making an irrelevant appeal, which is a logical fallacy if I ever saw one. First of all, no one is suggesting that schools not get paid for providing students with an education. What is being taken as the issue here is what exactly are fair payments. Do you honestly believe that the current costs of education in relation to students have anything to do with the income of those who actually provide the education (School faculty, aides/interns, etc)?

America has a similar problem to the UK in terms of outrageous costs to attend college. Unless you have parents (or other relatives) that can pay, or qualify for scholarships and/or grants that account for the vast majority of the total cost, the only way for a student to get into a good school is to be swimming in a mountain of debt due to student loans. In fact, the vast majority of student tuition goes towards two primary resources: Textbooks and fees. The fees cover things like taxes, licenses for software/hardware used in libraries and computer labs, subscriptions to scholarly databases and journals for research, and other costs of the infrastructure the institutions try to offer to students (including the insurance schools must purchase in case students/faculty get hurt while on campus, and other administrative costs).

At first this seems like a good thing: schools offering students the tools they need to succeed, and in most part it is. However, there is a big problem to this system of the school passing on its infrastructure costs to students: these costs often aren't legitimate in the first place and the Educational system and Government are not doing enough to limit the commercial exploitation of this system by textbook publishers and other businesses designed to cater to both scholarly needs and the needs of a large computer networks being used by a school (software makers, database/journal paywall licenses, etc).

In this way, Education is not so different from Health-care. Costs will continue to rise, and the only end result in sight for students is that more of those rising costs will be passed onto them because for the most part Schools do actually do a good job of trying to mitigate costs as much as possible for students, but the corporate gluttons that exploit the Educational system's need for certain resources simply continue to milk more money by buying off all these politicians so they will continue to raise the cap whenever the financial bottom line starts to lag behind.Comments and opinions on the matter are welcome.

Ranged
04-21-2010, 02:18 PM
Yesterday, a blogger at ZD Net posted an article (http://blogs.zdnet.com/igeneration/?p=4702&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ZDNetBlogs+%28ZDNet+All+Blogs %29) discussing the current situation in the UK on the issue of tuition fee caps just as the General election gets under way there for the job of Prime Minister. As some of you know, I am a faculty member at the University of North Florida. My position energizes me in an almost arcane and enigmatic fashion when such discussions rise to the surface of the digital communications ether.

I would have felt compelled to leave the conversation alone had it not been for this person:

Having had personal experience with this issue, I decided to weigh in with my two cents. Again, as some of you may or may not be aware - I was not always the born and bred scholar you now have within your midst. As a matter of fact, it was a little more than a decade ago that I was snorting lines of coke in some ****-hole club bathroom getting ready to do a show with my band. After that, I had two choices: Get student loans to go back to school or join the military and let them pay my tuition in exchange for my freedom for the foreseeable future (and 3 years is a long time for a guy in his early 20's). I chose the latter, and while I don't regret it, not everyone is capable of making that choice. Here was my reply:Comments and opinions on the matter are welcome.

I would have replyed with only one word: Capitalism.
We got the same problem in Canada. How come when you finish school you get over 20 thousands $ in debt, thats not normal, and the worst thing is that its pretty common.

MiCrOz
04-21-2010, 08:37 PM
In an ideal world the government would supply free education from pre-k to college degrees for all of its citizens, which would only benefit the country. Quite improbable, just saying.

han_han
04-21-2010, 08:50 PM
Personally, the one thing that pisses me off the most is how everything is overcharged on campus. EVERYTHING.

The quickstop has chips that are 50% more price for 50% less snack. The textbooks are insanely overpriced. It cannot cost that much to PRINT a goddamn book. Sure, the textbook authors should get paid, but honestly, I cannot believe that it took 200 dollars to produce the piece of crap I knew as my microbiology text book. It's gotten to the point where I will try to pirate the book before I buy it. Hell if I put in 2 hours with a library printer with the textbook, the entire print out will cost me maybe 30 bucks, for a 1000-page textbook that cost 200 dollars on the shelf.

In addition to textbooks, the student body is going to get shafted harder in Nevada since Governor Gibbons is in office. Tuition fees have increased every consecutive semester, with new increases proposed every semester.

Mookster
04-21-2010, 09:59 PM
People seeking an education aren't able to afford it because it's possible for the suppliers to get away with overpricing their products because they're absolute essentials, and the cost is passed right on to the student, leaving little consequence to the governing body in between.
No one important has a reason to care until **** hits the fan.
Government intervention will mean cut backs on the employees of those suppliers and their products because it's someone's job to ensure the profit margins remain the same. In every scenario like this, capitalism ends up hurting the vast majority, while preserving a few who are fortunate enough to be in a position of dominance. It makes me wonder why people are so afraid of communism, when the end results of capitalism and communism are practically identical.
Capitalism just seems to take longer to collapse under it's own weight.

bat
04-21-2010, 10:08 PM
sometimes i think the same. feels like the college is taking you for a ride with their yearly hike -- the last one being a 32% increase.
but then i just remind myself of the lifetime earnings curve from higher education, and then it doesnt seem like so much anymore. you have to put it into perspective...

from what ive seen, a lot of colleges dont really make a ton of money off of their undergraduate programs, its not seen as their main source of income, not the respectable ones at least.
their biggest cash they get from the undergraduate class over a lifetime is mainly in the form of endowments from past alumni to be honest.

My school prides itself on its research output. And im starting to see why
Its because the real money is in the graduate school and higher education. Not only do they charge alot, but thats just the beginning. All I know is that my mentor at the business school here -- brilliant guy btw, two masters and a Phd from Stanford -- In the last month he got a half a million dollar research grant and just last week we were sitting in his office talking about it, and laughing at how the school takes the first 55% slice of it right off the top. We sat there doing the calculations and turns out his research, 3 months work for 1 guy, brought in more money to the school with that grant than the entire undergraduate student body paid in tuition for a year. And my school has like 50-100 other guys like him doing the same, winning nobel prizes all the time and ****. I cant imagine how much they bring in just from research. You can begin to imagine why a school would switch their primary focus to something like higher education, thats where the real slice of the pie is. Thats why a state thats bleeding like california is right now, is still giving out grants to those pursuing higher education. My brother is getting a free ride right now while he's getting his MA in mechanical engineering, because the hope is that in the long run you will generate that money right back to them in taxpayer dollers etc.

In the end, I think as long as you go to a public school, then youre probably alright as far as tuition is concerned. You might pay a little more here and there, but in the grand scheme of things its not a travesty being committed against you.
if you go to a private school, well that's your choice then, but frankly I don't think there's many if any undergraduate programs out there worth 40k+.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/moneymatters/a/edandearnings.htm

MiCrOz
04-22-2010, 07:39 AM
eBooks are another thing that colleges should use in an ideal world, however I don't see that happening any time soon either.

The_Jelly
04-22-2010, 07:59 AM
I would have replyed with only one word: Capitalism.
We got the same problem in Canada. How come when you finish school you get over 20 thousands $ in debt, thats not normal, and the worst thing is that its pretty common.
Anyone who has finished Medical school in Canada is said to have no savings until their 40's because of their debt from student loans. It really unfair. They should at least charge interest later down the road instead of 6 months after you graduate...

Phrostbite
04-22-2010, 09:01 AM
Are you all talking about universities? I attend a community college and my pelligrant alone is enough to pay for each term. I only take out the extra 1.5k loan each term to pay rent and stuff.

CrazyGerbilEater
04-22-2010, 09:08 AM
im like 2 years in and im at 16 thousands in loans

but with a job 50k or over, thatll still be only 1 year living out of a vehicle to pay it all off.

Sight
04-22-2010, 12:09 PM
5 semesters here costs me 12k :(

xChinChillax
04-22-2010, 12:12 PM
24k and no thats not a pun

Dyndrilliac
04-22-2010, 01:24 PM
Are you all talking about universities? I attend a community college and my pelligrant alone is enough to pay for each term. I only take out the extra 1.5k loan each term to pay rent and stuff.Yes, I was referring to most State Universities, which are supposed to be the affordable route to a good education. Now a lot of them seem to think they have the right to charge nearly as much as an Ivy League school. Although, to be fair it isn't really the school's fault. It's the companies that furnish the essential educational resources that have decided it's okay to exploit the fact that they are the sole suppliers of these necessary resources. I couldn't even afford to go to UNF straight off the bat even with Uncle Sam paying for it. I had to start off at a Community College (and I didn't qualify for Pell Grants either) and then transfer after I got my AA.

Edit: bat has the right idea. Most universities see anyone who isn't competing for a Bachelor's degree or better as a necessary but unfortunate drain on resources that could otherwise be spent funding research with a big fat load of both Government cash and private sector research. Of course, every department has their own "research." For example, a lot of schools also spend a large portion on the School's marching band or sports team.

hellin
05-04-2010, 06:54 AM
College is pretty expensive when you have to pay for a fitness center, a sports team, green environmental brainwashing and on campus art crap that looks like scrap waste to me. Doesn't matter to me though because the government pays for me to go to college. One advantage of NOT being a single child. However, I do feel a little bit sorry for the 6 part time English professors who were layed off here when they removed college writing 1 and 2. I am guessing it was someone's brilliant solution to save $$. Yea, let's cut the teachers who are teaching 30 students each.

Dyndrilliac
05-04-2010, 08:09 AM
If the government subsidizes your education then that means that everyone who pays taxes is essentially putting you through school (US Military members in particular, because even though they get paid out of taxpayer money, they still have to pay taxes on it and so the government actually gets to tax that money twice). Therefore, it's still beneficial to everyone to cut costs. I agree though, cutting valuable faculty is not the answer.

hellin
05-04-2010, 08:16 AM
I think people can do the most about their education system because it is funded locally and the power to change it resides with your city and state. Things like the military on the other hand are controlled by the president and congress.

CrazyGerbilEater
05-04-2010, 11:10 AM
well my private university includes books in tuition, they are also experimenting with the kindle, and considering whether or not to switch to e-books to reduce costs. Since they also have to get rid of alot of books when they become outdated, which doesn't take that long. I'm hoping that there feasibility study goes well and my campus distrubutes kindle or something to everyone for course books.

it is a bit expensive, im 16 thousand in the hole as of this moment. Total cost is about 50k for 3 years to get a bachelors, in the end I could pay that back maybe 2 or 3 years provided I get a 40 thousand dollar a year job and live as cheaply as i can, which isn't all that bad. Though I can see if you feel you must enjoy high standards how that would effect you for a very long time.

however, like i said im in a private institution, and I have amazingly good teachers, great hardware to work on, small class sizes, and alot of extra's for what I'm paying. Such as 2 hour editing on and papers I send in, which will be checked over by 2 people for grammer and apa formating, and I can send it in electronically. They also help with math and really any help I need tutor wise, free of charge. Teachers are highly experianced in the field, one of my teachers if very overqualified with a large list of impressive degrees. Some of my teachers have their own businesses and are still working in the field to an extent.

We also have great opportunities to get jobs. Our school hosts a career fair with around 30 businesses every couple months(they run out of room for them), and they also hold meetings with businesses to learn what they want us to know as potential employee's. I've sat in on it, all in all I'm quite satisfied with the services my school provides.