Cost of a College Education

Jan 2010
4,277
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#61
But the
To rephrase your question:

Do you think everyone who wants to be a famous actor should?

Do you think everyone who wants to become a police office should?

Do you think everyone who wants to become an airline pilot should?

Or looking at it from another angle:

Do you think everyone who's father thinks they should become a professional football player should?
So your answer is “no”? I see quite a diference between specific occupations and an education.
 
Likes: Edratman

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,781
#62
I wasn't caricaturing, there are indeed people that consider social traits in the same vein as genetic traits, and you yourself mentioned wealth, intelligence and beauty as being in the same category of "privileges". They are not comparable. The world has largely changed in the last centuries away from that model, although there are people that oppose this change, still believing that nobility or wealth should deserve and have more rights than the rest. The point is not to make everyone the same (heaven's forbid), but to guarantee as a society that all its members will have equal access to its functions (healthcare, security, education, political rights, etc). This is what egalitarianism is all about, to consider a citizen as a citizen, regardless of wealth and social status.

You're not entirely wrong that obsession with egalitarianism (with anything in fact), or misinterpreting the concept, can have negative results. I do not agree with lowering the standards to accommodate lazy or less intelligent people. I'm in favour of selecting the best to send in special schools or universities, to advance with faster paces and excel. Special educational institutions themselves can conduct tests and exams to accept students that meet their standards, above the average. What I'm arguing about is simply removing the financial situation of a student out of the equation. Provide free education, no charge, as long as the person has the merits and talents to receive it. Conduct nation-wide tests and exams, or each university and educational institution can conduct its own, and those who succeed, rich or poor, will be accepted, free of charge. I'm in favour of meritocracy, but against plutocracy. It seems to me that an education that is not state-funded and free of charge rewards wealth, not merit.
But that does not really work because you immediately have the same people complaining as to why the poor and the rich have the same benefits (i.e. free university education).... next you have complaints about why the state is paying the education of foreigners who happen to be in country (or come to the country to get the free education)..... next you have complains from the universities that there is never enough money..... meanwhile you have students sitting there forever (its free so why bother) and doing mostly "politics" (trying to find new ways to spend other people's money since they themselves dont expect to earn any, anytime soon).....also many professors (who can never be fired) who work an average of 12 hours per week or less and spend the rest of their time fiddling their thumbs or also doing politics , next what happens is that private schools/universities form, offering better conditions... at a price.... And lo and behold, who goes there ? Those who can afford to pay.... The evil rich

That is why I favor a middle of the road solution, where university comes at a price... but a price that is reasonable (defined as affordable for middle class families with 2 kids)... with some scholarships and other mechanisms to help those who deserve it.....
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,781
#65
do you think everyone who wants a college education should get one and, second, who should pay for it?
.
My 2 cents

No , not everyone..... Those who deserve it (as evidenced by their academic record)

I favor a mixed system where the individuals pays part of the cost (that avoids free riders) and the state provides some subsidies to cover the rest... I would not be unfavorable to the subsidy being later reimbursed through either payment or through work for government institutions for a limited amount of time... (it was more or less the case in the past for boys at least in those countries where military service was mandatory....)
 
Jul 2009
9,424
#66
As to your last sentence: first, do you think everyone who wants a college education should get one and, second, who should pay for it?
I have in mind that actress’s daughter who posted a video of herself on line admitting she only wanted to go to college to party and go to football games.
Lori Loughlin's daughter mentioned above evidently didn't want to go to USC, or any college for that matter (I don't know about the other daughter). One assumes it was parental pressure and the all-too-common view of post secondary education as just part of "pre-adulthood."

The places taken by these students, who otherwise may not have been qualified, denied other students those places. Parents who would pay $500,000 to cheat their kids' way into university are in the same category as those whose kids got into - and through - university because of big financial contributions and continuing financial support. That is part of the "elite way."

Universities with sufficient endowments have made educations almost free for deserving students. Those endowments in many cases have been enhanced by money from alumni, whose kids go the universities in question. Its just a matter of conversation I suppose, but if Michael Bloomberg contributed $1,800,000,000 to Johns Hopkins University for scholarships, I think its reasonable that one or two of his grandchildren might get into the university even if their qualifications are marginal. It is not quite fair, but where else are they gonna get $1.8 B?
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
2,667
Australia
#67
When I went to University the government paid for it. University was free back then. I tell that to the youth of today and they don't believe me . If they do they get depressed about it, so I tend not to tell them anymore.
 
Oct 2010
4,844
DC
#68
I think rather that the thinking is that the "free market" does not work in all cases...



I always love the example of antique Roman firefighting brigades.... They were a private business..... They would show up when a fire started and quote an outrageous price to work on it... As the owner would start haggling, they would bid their time and even increase their price as time passed and the fire got worse until the desperate owner had no choice but to pay up or lose their house.... Sometimes competing brigades would show up at the same fire.... instead of quoting a better price to the hapless victim, they would beat each other up until only one brigade would be left - which would then charge whatever high price they wanted....



So unfortunately the "free market" is not a universal recipe... Some services require some forms of regulation...
I like how the current for "free Market" is to pay outrageous sums to non-essential and pretty much useless Artists (of various Kinds) and Athletes (not to mention speech giving former politicians) as if their services are valued in the millions while expecting life-saving/Improving doctors as well as educators to be paid pennies in comparison. I am not saying you subscribe to that but that is a trend I am observing.

The other part I always end up asking "we can not live without food, just like we can not live without some medications, almost all of us need food to live but not all of us need medications, why is food cheap ? why shouldn't it be expensive/free if everyone needs it"

I think subsidized education is like subsidized mortgages, too emotionally oriented for my liking.
 
Jul 2010
96
#69
I read that in some countries around 60 pct of costs go to wages, 30 pct to overhead (utilities, maintenance, rent, etc.), and 10 pct to others (extraordinary costs, scholarships). The first goes up by up to 30 pct because of employers' contributions, wage increases, etc., and the second by 5-10 pct due to inflation. Because of those, the total cost goes up by around 10 pct a year. If the school is non-profit and can only earn through tuition, then tuition may go up by that percentage yearly, or double every ten years.

Other businesses don't face that increase because wages make up a smaller portion of expenses and they can increase production to earn more, unlike in schools where the number of slots for students is generally fixed, unless the school chooses to increase class size and increase the world load of professors.

On top of that, schools generally want better quality of education, which includes encouraging professors to receive further education or hiring more PhDs. Unfortunately, their wages are also higher, which makes their classes more expensive.

The implication, then, is that whether it's private or public education, formal education costs go up faster than those of other industries, making it more difficult for parents or taxpayers to cover them.
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,358
Athens, Greece
#70
But that does not really work because you immediately have the same people complaining as to why the poor and the rich have the same benefits (i.e. free university education).... next you have complaints about why the state is paying the education of foreigners who happen to be in country (or come to the country to get the free education)..... next you have complains from the universities that there is never enough money..... meanwhile you have students sitting there forever (its free so why bother) and doing mostly "politics" (trying to find new ways to spend other people's money since they themselves dont expect to earn any, anytime soon).....also many professors (who can never be fired) who work an average of 12 hours per week or less and spend the rest of their time fiddling their thumbs or also doing politics , next what happens is that private schools/universities form, offering better conditions... at a price.... And lo and behold, who goes there ? Those who can afford to pay.... The evil rich

That is why I favor a middle of the road solution, where university comes at a price... but a price that is reasonable (defined as affordable for middle class families with 2 kids)... with some scholarships and other mechanisms to help those who deserve it.....
These are minor issues, fairly easy to fix. The major issue is to guarantee that all, irrespective of wealth but according to merit, can have equal access to (higher) education. There are countries (most of European ones) that have excellent higher education, publicly funded and free of charge. I see no problem with private education co-existing with public one, even if that means that only the rich can afford the former. As long as there is a public, free one, it might even set the stage for healthy competition. The point is not to lower the standards or limit the number of people attending higher education, but quite the contrary. The more, the better. The higher and more qualitative, even better.

And don't bet that private universities are always better or more prestigious than public (free) ones. From my country's experience, diplomas from the domestic universities (public and free) are highly regarded, and it is considered a great failure not to pass the exams allowing attendance there. Those that have failed often go abroad (if they can afford it), but usually their first choice was a local university. Snobbing the latter beforehand, in favour of globally renowned universities like Oxford or Cambridge, concerns a minority that has very high ambitions and the financial means to back them up. However, since those that don't, and are dirt poor, can also have access to better education (in public unis) and therefore better jobs, there is no problem.
 

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