Colleges Scared as Obama Proposes to Rate Them

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    May 26, 2014 3:19 PM GMT
    NYT: College presidents are balking at a system to compare schools to aid students and determine federal funding.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/26/us/colleges-rattled-as-obama-presses-rating-system.html?hp
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    May 26, 2014 10:22 PM GMT
    So, if I understand correctly, the problems that have been identified are rising tuition, falling graduation rates, and students leaving with high debt and little hope of high-paying jobs.
    How will a rating system fix these problems?
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    May 26, 2014 10:37 PM GMT
    How else does the state decide which universities to fund in what way..
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    May 26, 2014 10:43 PM GMT
    Pheidippides saidSo, if I understand correctly, the problems that have been identified are rising tuition, falling graduation rates, and students leaving with high debt and little hope of high-paying jobs.
    How will a rating system fix these problems?
    There was a NYT article several months ago focusing on certain colleges that graduate students with high debt but many of them cannot find jobs. If the rating system can identify correlation relationship between colleges that graduate students who get jobs or get jobs with low debt, it may be a map for prospective students. Otherwise, prospective students may choose poorly ending up in debt, no job.
  • madsexy

    Posts: 4843

    May 27, 2014 12:03 AM GMT
    What this will turn out to be is another fucked up scandalous government program which is driven by illegal or should-be-illegal donations to get the ratings.
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    May 27, 2014 1:10 AM GMT
    I think the premise behind the government's plan is good: The government is backing student loans for some students who attend colleges where they will be unable to repay those government backed loans upon graduation. The government (e.g. taxpayers) eat the loan guarantee to the lender and the student is saddled with crippling student loan debt.

    I am kind of amused at the "outrage" in academia over this issue since their real concern is the gravy train of federal loans to students will stop if the student attends a low-rated institution.

    What I found interesting was that none of the colleges wanted to propose an alternative to the president's system or to propose a way to lower tuition (which means cutting faculty and administrative salaries).
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    May 27, 2014 1:18 AM GMT
    the chart of student loan debt corresponds nicely to the advent of all the newer for-profit and online schools that grant a "degree" or "certificate" for careers you don't even need higher education for (medical billing and coding, nurses aids, etc).

    I'm not saying kids at Ohio State or Wake Forest don't have debt, but these garbage for-profit and online schools are trouble
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    May 27, 2014 1:24 AM GMT
    ^ I didn't want to point them out specifically. But this is precisely the problem as discussed in the previously mentioned article. For-profit schools are laughing to the bank while our kids are saddled with debt which cripples our economy because they would have used it to buy a house, car, furniture, and so on.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    May 27, 2014 1:41 AM GMT
    ^^

    You are correct (and I could care less about being PC)

    I had a friend in Phoenix who did "recruiting" for DeVry online (read: sales) - his stories were disgusting - and DeVry (and ITT Tech, etc) are the good ones.

    Devry, for instance, used to prey on military vets and video gamers (thinking they could design video games after graduating)
  • BAHBAA

    Posts: 122

    May 27, 2014 2:44 AM GMT
    I dont necessarily think that this is a bad idea but I also don't think its necessary since most collages are fairly well reviewed already. You can, and should, find out the employment rate of a university prior to deciding to go there.

    I don't understand why government backed loans aren't tied to academics.In my opinion if you have to meet criteria to get into a college you should also have to for tuition assistance.
  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    May 27, 2014 3:50 AM GMT
    I think for one it may alleviate the problem that you have to go to a big-named school for a certain major. Most curriculum's have a sort of set standard across the board, unless it's some backwards arse major...

    Still doesn't help my 103K debt problem haha. I'd love to go back icon_razz.gif
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4862

    May 27, 2014 7:40 AM GMT
    If the proposal is properly implemented, I am all for it.

    There are for-profit colleges that are nothing but diploma mills. Their credits are worthless for employment and will not transfer to legitimate colleges. In addition, some are exceedingly expensive. They trap students in debts which they cannot pay off and from which there is no escape. Some of them advertise heavily on TV.

    Many veterans are rather naïve and unaware that bad colleges exist. They are not getting good advice on furthering their education. Of course it is not only veterans who get trapped in debt by expensive diploma mill colleges, but veterans seem to be especially vulnerable.

    Actually, this is nothing new. When I lived in Minneapolis, there was a college called the College of Medical Technology. Their high-pressure sales personnel sold naïve high school graduates on attending it but employers saw it as useless and it did improve the employability of students. The state of Minnesota tried to close it down, but it opened under another name, i.e., the College of Medical Technique, and continued gypping students for some time before it was closed down for good.

    Closing down worthless diploma mills is a never ending operation. There should be effective legislation to deal with them so that people will not be cheated out of their money.
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    May 27, 2014 11:09 AM GMT
    This may be disastrous for college and university programs whose primary philosophies have never prioritized lucrative careers as a "learning outcome."

    Art and design schools are a good example, and anyone who chooses a career trajectory in such competitive fields would be foolish to think that the value of an education as a painter can be measured by job placement.

    What a stupid idea. Unless the government is willing to revive something like the Works Progress Administration of the 1930s-40s, federal aid for artists seeking an education will be woefully compromised.
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    May 27, 2014 1:37 PM GMT
    A thoroughly bad idea from top to bottom.
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    May 27, 2014 3:06 PM GMT
    tj85016 said^^

    You are correct (and I could care less about being PC)

    I had a friend in Phoenix who did "recruiting" for DeVry online (read: sales) - his stories were disgusting - and DeVry (and ITT Tech, etc) are the good ones.

    Devry, for instance, used to prey on military vets and video gamers (thinking they could design video games after graduating)


    Reads like customers I waited on :/ q-Q
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    May 27, 2014 6:01 PM GMT
    Not only a bad idea but unnecessary. The structure of American higher education and the "good schools" and "good departments" have been easily known for probably close to a century, if not longer. Another silly rating system ("no child left behind redux") is a waste of time and money. The idea that a college degree is a, and is necessary for, a ticket for a job is a relatively recent philosophical academic concept anyway: a so-called higher educational degree was to prepare one for life, not just a "job."

    The root of the problem is that beginning around 1970 there has been a systematic political attack on higher education in this country by a reduction in public funding of our educational system complicated by a concomitant increase in relatively useless politically correct programs. California is a prime example of this, but the problem is nowhere limited to this state.

    As to the students graduating with high debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy and no job prospects, I am pretty certain that the most numerous and egregious examples of this problem have been reported with the "for profit" diploma mills preying on and promising a quick fix for people who didn't apply themselves sufficiently in their earlier years.

    While university budgets are undoubtedly top heavy in administration with outlandish salaries, it is not the professorial salaries which need reduction -- lop off and curtail the administration. One million dollar salaries for college presidents are a reality, based on specious reasonings, and if the president has such a salary, one can bet his underlings "need" correspondingly bigger salaries as well. If such funding went toward reducing tuition levels, students wouldn't be required to have so much debt. Publicly funded education has traditionally been an American hallmark which has been under attack in recent decades, which has resulted in a shift of the financial burden to the student rather than on the commonweal.
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    May 27, 2014 6:14 PM GMT
    Sulla saidNot only a bad idea but unnecessary. The structure of American higher education and the "good schools" and "good departments" have been easily known for probably close to a century, if not longer. Another silly rating system ("no child left behind redux") is a waste of time and money. The idea that a college degree is a, and is necessary for, a ticket for a job is a relatively recent philosophical academic concept anyway: a so-called higher educational degree was to prepare one for life, not just a "job."

    The root of the problem is that beginning around 1970 there has been a systematic political attack on higher education in this country by a reduction in public funding of our educational system complicated by a concomitant increase in relatively useless politically correct programs. California is a prime example of this, but the problem is nowhere limited to this state.

    As to the students graduating with high debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy and no job prospects, I am pretty certain that the most numerous and egregious examples of this problem have been reported with the "for profit" diploma mills preying on and promising a quick fix for people who didn't apply themselves sufficiently in their earlier years.

    While university budgets are undoubtedly top heavy in administration with outlandish salaries, it is not the professorial salaries which need reduction -- lop off and curtail the administration. One million dollar salaries for college presidents are a reality, based on specious reasonings, and if the president has such a salary, one can bet his underlings "need" correspondingly bigger salaries as well. If such funding went toward reducing tuition levels, students wouldn't be required to have so much debt. Publicly funded education has traditionally been an American hallmark which has been under attack in recent decades, which has resulted in a shift of the financial burden to the student rather than on the commonweal.


    This guy has it going on. icon_smile.gif
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    May 27, 2014 8:27 PM GMT
    The problem is that American colleges have gone from the halls of higher learning and critical thinking to a place where you "learn for a job."

    Sure, there are some "career-based" majors in college, but for the most part, college is drifting away from its alleged original intellectual purpose.

    A balance of both is necessary.
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    May 27, 2014 8:48 PM GMT
    What this whole system fails to address is the fact that most college drop-outs and unemployed degree-holders are the very people who were forced, coerced, or peer-pressured into going to college in the first place. It was not originally their intent.

    It's been common knowledge for a long time that people who go to college later in life, rather than right out of high school, do far better both in terms of grades and employment. If a system in going to be in place to determine federal funding, they should also factor in which colleges and universities draw in most of the older crowd (30+) who've already been "cultured" with life. Those are the ones who'll be more likely to choose a school that gets them somewhere, because they already know what they want to do after graduating, and usually have a solid plan to make it happen.
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    May 28, 2014 4:55 AM GMT
    icon_neutral.gif Some publication (which was founded on the premise that nobody needs more than a 5th-grade education) has been rating colleges for years. Where has that gotten us?

    Answer: Current college education = 5th-grade reading and math skills. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 28, 2014 1:01 PM GMT
    This is alarming for one simple reason:

    Department Of Education Most Profitable Company In America
    The Obama administration is forecast to turn a record $51 billion profit this year from student loan borrowers, a sum greater than the earnings of the nation’s most profitable companies and roughly equal to the combined net income of the four largest U.S. banks by assets. http://news-quality.com/2013/05/department-of-education-most-profitable-company-in-america/

    Total conflict of interest. You should never have a person/group with a profit motive issuing the ratings. I'd venture a guess that colleges which jack up tuition, and then steer students towards huge loan debts funded by the Feds, might fare well in the rankings.
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    May 28, 2014 1:05 PM GMT
    Also, "for profit" colleges is just a joke used by politicians to justify their power grabs. There are over 100 colleges with billion+ endowments and whose presidents make well over a million bucks a year, all "nonprofit."