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Best eight years of my life

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, May 28, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Quiety, according to Bloombert columnist Richard Vedder, the U.S. Department of Education has stopped tracking five-year graduation rates for colleges and instead now tracks eight-year graduation rates:


    The problems with this? Besides altering the culture so that finishing in four years is steadily no longer the norm, it raises the price of college significantly - for example, state schools and less expensive private schools begin to see their tuition price advantage erode compared to supposedly pricier schools. Per Vedder:

    I looked at 20 elite private schools (the Ivy League colleges and others, including Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and calculated that 87 percent of the students in the median Class of 2011 had graduated in four years, and 95 percent in six years. I then took an unbiased sample of 20 lower-quality state universities (one of every 12 from the 248 state schools that Forbes magazine ranks). At the state schools, 25 percent of students typically graduated in four years, and 55 percent in six. More strikingly, the probability of dropping out was vastly greater at the state schools.

    Seven years of tuition costs roughly 75 percent more than four years’ worth does, and the income lost from not graduating in four years probably exceeds $100,000.

    There is a lot of talk in this country about the "education bubble," and finding a way to reduce the cost of college. It seems like encouraging students to finish in four years would be a relatively easy place to start.
  2. Finishing in four years is tough if you have to work 20-30 hours per week and only take 12 credits per semester. I'd like to see accurate statistics of students who take more than four years to graduate that break it down to working students, those who change majors, or those with a lack of initiative to take more than the bare minimum to be considered a full-time student.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Definitely fair questions.

    A return volley: May it, at least sometimes, be more cost-effective in the long run for such a student to eschew working 20-30 hours a week and instead work to finish the degree and enter the work force fully qualified? Do the tuition savings ultimately esclipse the money earned working? What if working 20-30 hours a week costs such a student academically - and, hence, narrows potential job opportunities?

    Lots of questions.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It's also tough to get through in four if you get shut out of required classes repeatedly. It isn't uncommon for an English 101 class to be loaded with seniors who have already passed 200 and 300 level courses.
    Colleges should guarantee being able to finish in four years for full time students, maybe even giving them discounts or credits if they take required stuff during summer school or at a community college.
    A big driver in the cost increase is a decrease in public funding. A lot of "public" schools face all of the mandates of a public school, but get a fraction of the funding that they used to. So schools pass the cost on to students and often look to international students who will pay full-freight, and decreasing the percentage, if not the number, of in-state students.
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Is it because they're only taking 12 credits because they're working, or is because they're dropping classes?

    Or because they took no credits during several semesters? Or because they changed majors, or transferred to another school?
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Rare good news today on that front:

  7. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    Worked nearly full-time, still got out in four, no summers. No reason it should take more than five years to get an undergraduate degree under any normal circumstances, which is what we should be measuring.
  8. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    With ability to take college courses while you're a senior in high school, there's no reason you can't get done in four years if you plan early in high school and you're going to a public university. I graduated in three years by taking post-secondary in high school and saved about $20,000. It honestly only takes you sitting down for about two hours when you're 15 years old to work out a gameplan.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    People hate "big business" but view colleges as altruistic Temples of learning.

    But, higher education is big business, and their goal is the same as a casino -- to take all of your money.
  11. If someone's working through school, I'm sympathetic. But if your only responsibility is your classes, there is no excuse. When I hit my fourth year of college, I only needed 21 credits to graduate and had to take an extra class my last semester just to stay full-time. Barring a life catastrophe, there is no reason that someone without a job should not graduate in four years.
  12. In college, I majored in education for four years. The school's education program was a four and a half-year program. The final half-year was dedicated to a semester of student teaching.
    I carried to 15-18 credits a semester - 21 credits for a semester or two - but anything above 18 required an academic exception.
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