College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby inbox788 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:25 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:I look at what my alma mater is charging these days, and I just can't figure out where all of that money goes. The facilities aren't fancy, and the few modern buildings were built with money from the "whale" donors. Few if any professors are earning six-figures. The food is a notch above low-grade dog meat. They nickel and dime the students with fees, and force basically everyone to live on campus to foster some kind of "collaborative learning environment" or whatever (read: money grab, they don't want that money going to the local landlords). Even though it's a lower tier school, they are extremely stingy with scholarships unless you had a 3.8GPA or higher in HS or are a good athlete.

And of course, they pay no property taxes on the campus.

Yet they are now charging $40-$45k a year with room and board. I don't get it. I guess you can charge whatever you want, so long as people are willing to pay it.


Classroom education sure doesn't look like it would cost that much. Big building with big classrooms, 100 chairs, a college professor salary, a few bucks for electricity and light bulbs. Lets pay the professor $100k, and assume (probably generously) that everything else to keep the classroom open (rent for the room, utilities, cleaning, etc.) is another $100k. That means you could charge $2k/year and break even. Now if you had 500 students, it would be far less in faculty salary, but you'd need 5 times the classroom space and support, so not much savings there.

What has been left out? Administration, admissions, deans office, financial aid office, registrar, counseling, advisors, etc. Assume college dorms run break even, or even at a profit, so won't count those administrative costs against the college. Offices for faculty? Faculty staff? Healthcare and other benefits for faculty and staff? Office hours? Teaching assistants? Even if free graduate students, they still need offices and rooms to hold meetings. What about labs? Chemicals and supplies? Some schools recoup this with fees, others wrap it into tuition.

Want better student faculty ratios? Want better professors? Might have to pay 200k! For 10:1, that could mean $20k/student for faculty salary alone. Want small school? Highly paid school president could be making nearly $500k, so if only 5000 students, that's $100 just for the salary of the president. Want nicer environment, don't forget landscaping costs. Want sports? Gyms? Do you see a line item charge? Someone somewhere is paying for that? Libraries?

Sure, there are government funds and endowments at some schools to help, but at many schools, they're not that significant. How the Harvard sized endowments choose to spend their extra funds varies, but my understanding is largely subsidizing need based students. Fundraising helps pay for some building costs and some schools have land, but others have to acquire these on the open market for expansion.

It's a complicated equation, but college costs are real and more money means more services. Whether its worth it is another question, but cutting costs means cutting services somewhere.

http://sites.williams.edu/wpehe/files/2011/06/DP-44.pdf

http://www.usnews.com/education/article ... dents-earn
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby NorCalDad » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:16 pm

A significant part of the sticker price subsidizes financial aid for low-income students. At most schools, a majority of students receive aid and do not actually pay the sticker price. Endowments pay for some of that aid, but so do the families paying full price. If cars were sold this way, dealers would list a sticker price of $50,000 for a Honda Accord and then many people would actually pay half that or less while some well-off buyers would get stuck with the $50,000 price tag. It's not as if a school with 40,000 students gets 40,000 x $50,000 each year. I'm not going to discuss whether this is fair or not, but it's the way the system works.

Even with that understood, yes, there are a probably a lot of bloated costs with universities. At research universities, tuition helps pay for professors who are not full-time instructors and spend a good amount of time conducting research and writing papers. Universities are in an arms race to attract students by building newer and better facilities. With no cap on student and parent loan amounts, families have not acted like consumers might if they had to pay cash.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby bungalow10 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:20 pm

NorCalDad wrote:A significant part of the sticker price subsidizes financial aid for low-income students. At most schools, a majority of students receive aid and do not actually pay the sticker price. Endowments pay for some of that aid, but so do the families paying full price. If cars were sold this way, dealers would list a sticker price of $50,000 for a Honda Accord and then many people would actually pay half that or less while some well-off buyers would get stuck with the $50,000 price tag. It's not as if a school with 40,000 students gets 40,000 x $50,000 each year. I'm not going to discuss whether this is fair or not, but it's the way the system works.

Even with that understood, yes, there are a probably a lot of bloated costs with universities. At research universities, tuition helps pay for professors who are not full-time instructors and spend a good amount of time conducting research and writing papers. Universities are in an arms race to attract students by building newer and better facilities. With no cap on student and parent loan amounts, families have not acted like consumers might if they had to pay cash.


I hear this a lot. My question is whether or not those students who pay less receive grants that pay a portion, or do the universities truly just lower the price for them? I always thought grants and scholarships made up the portion that wasn't paid by the student. Is it different for private schools versus public schools?

I don't think I've ever heard of anyone just getting a portion of their education costs cut (hey, I have a 20% off coupon for tuition!). Usually they get need-based aid. In this case, the school is still receiving the payment from someone (government, endowment), just not directly from the student.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby reggiesimpson » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:32 pm

We loaded up on the 529s for both our children. My son ended up going to a state school and got his masters and went straight to work for a top software company at over $100,000 pa. My daughter will be done with her masters in one year at a private school. Her pay will be half my sons. Stick with the state schools if at all possible.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby McCharley » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:56 pm

My neighbor encouraged her daughter to pursue esoteric, sought-after sports. The girl became a pole vaulter in high school and had multiple full scholarship offers when she graduated. She ended up dropping the sport in college but that did not affect her scholarship.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lostInFinance » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:28 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:We loaded up on the 529s for both our children. My son ended up going to a state school and got his masters and went straight to work for a top software company at over $100,000 pa. My daughter will be done with her masters in one year at a private school. Her pay will be half my sons. Stick with the state schools if at all possible.


Which state school? What sometimes get lost in these discussions is that not all state schools are created equal and out of state tuition can sometimes approach that of a private school.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Rodc » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:54 pm

I hear this a lot. My question is whether or not those students who pay less receive grants that pay a portion, or do the universities truly just lower the price for them?


The bill lists the full price and a discount is also listed. The real price is then listed as the difference.

In some cases the Federal or state government pays the for the discount, sometimes the endowment pays for the discount, sometimes parents paying full or nearly full price are paying for the discount. You will know if the government is paying. In the last two cases it looks like the school is paying but the funding can be a pass through from other parents to your kid. Note many schools have very little in endowment funding so really there are only two sources for the discounts (called grants or scholarships).

In the last two cases this is functionally just "truly lowering the price", regardless of how the bills is dressed up. Seems to me. (like here is a $100 coupon to help induce you to buy my $200 widget is really just lowering the price even though the cashier rings up $200 and then applies a coupon (grant) of $100.)
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby SpecialK22 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:40 pm

Rodc wrote:...sometimes parents paying full or nearly full price are paying for the discount. You will know if the government is paying. In the last two cases it looks like the school is paying but the funding can be a pass through from other parents to your kid.


Also, low income students taking out six-figures in loans because they have high income/expensive lifestyle/low savings parents help to subsidize other low income students.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Rodc » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:24 am

SpecialK22 wrote:
Rodc wrote:...sometimes parents paying full or nearly full price are paying for the discount. You will know if the government is paying. In the last two cases it looks like the school is paying but the funding can be a pass through from other parents to your kid.


Also, low income students taking out six-figures in loans because they have high income/expensive lifestyle/low savings parents help to subsidize other low income students.


Unfortunately true.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby BackOfTheNet » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:05 pm

I graduated from a state school (CSUS) in 2006 with a BS in Computer Science and immediately got a job paying about $50k. Not exactly setting the world on fire then or now (at around $90k now) but for a school that was roughly $2000 a semester (tuition only), looking back it does seem like a pretty good value. I sometimes think it would have been nice to go to a better school and get a better education but am glad to not have any student loans.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby joe8d » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:29 pm

BackOfTheNet wrote:I graduated from a state school (CSUS) in 2006 with a BS in Computer Science and immediately got a job paying about $50k. Not exactly setting the world on fire then or now (at around $90k now) but for a school that was roughly $2000 a semester (tuition only), looking back it does seem like a pretty good value. I sometimes think it would have been nice to go to a better school and get a better education but am glad to not have any student loans.


:thumbsup and your " Better Education" will come through on the job experience and training.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby MnD » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:51 am

Since it's graduation season here's some anecdata regarding 2013 HS graduates I know:

Stanford - full ride wrestling
Purdue - substantial ROTC scholarship
State U engineering school - 25% merit aid scholarship on top of in-state rate
Community college with dorms - paying list price 13K per year all in- including housing and meal plan
State flagship - list price for in-state
2nd tier State school with solid nursing program - nearly full ride merit scholarship - student was ranked in top 10 students of large public high school.
Yale - 100% need scholarship (waitress Mom)
Out of State flagship State U - received equalizing merit aid award so cost is ~ same as full cost in-state state U

Not a lot of people paying $60K per year - but maybe I don't travel in ritzy enough circles..... :mrgreen:
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby technovelist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:55 am

If you aren't absolutely sure that you are all set for retirement, I wouldn't save a nickel for college until retirement is completely taken care of. Remember, you can always get a college loan, but retirement loans are a lot harder to come by. :P

But even beyond that, I wouldn't pay those prices for college, except for a child who I was morally certain would benefit greatly. If there is any doubt about that, the risk of college loans is too great.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:04 am

technovelist wrote:If you aren't absolutely sure that you are all set for retirement, I wouldn't save a nickel for college until retirement is completely taken care of. Remember, you can always get a college loan, but retirement loans are a lot harder to come by. :P

But even beyond that, I wouldn't pay those prices for college, except for a child who I was morally certain would benefit greatly. If there is any doubt about that, the risk of college loans is too great.

There's a timing problem there for most. My wife and I are relatively old to be sending kids to college (I'll be 65 when my youngest heads out), but many parent are in their late 30s or early 40s as the kids head out. Tough to have saved for college after retirement is "completely taken care of."

As regards a "moral certainty" that a child would benefit greatly, I can understand that thought, although I'm a bit inclined to only insist on the civil court requirement (a preponderance of the evidence).
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Rodc » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:49 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
technovelist wrote:If you aren't absolutely sure that you are all set for retirement, I wouldn't save a nickel for college until retirement is completely taken care of. Remember, you can always get a college loan, but retirement loans are a lot harder to come by. :P

But even beyond that, I wouldn't pay those prices for college, except for a child who I was morally certain would benefit greatly. If there is any doubt about that, the risk of college loans is too great.

There's a timing problem there for most. My wife and I are relatively old to be sending kids to college (I'll be 65 when my youngest heads out), but many parent are in their late 30s or early 40s as the kids head out. Tough to have saved for college after retirement is "completely taken care of."

As regards a "moral certainty" that a child would benefit greatly, I can understand that thought, although I'm a bit inclined to only insist on the civil court requirement (a preponderance of the evidence).


Exactly.

I'm older too so at least with my last two I can probably meet this requirement (I'll be 65 as they finish college). Most parents are just to far from retirement when college comes along (and did for my first who hit college 7 years ago). They will have to make a judgement call. Certainly they should not greatly imperil their ability to retirement. One can never be certain ahead of time, but the preponderance of the evidence standard is good here as well.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby MnD » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:05 pm

We are not "all set" for retirement but I feel we are on track.
It's also why we set a firm budget of up to in-state flagship State U costs for our college contribution and clearly communicated that to the kids.

If the sky was the limit and our kids took us up on it, we would not be on track for retirement that's for sure.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:22 pm

MnD wrote:We are not "all set" for retirement but I feel we are on track.
It's also why we set a firm budget of up to in-state flagship State U costs for our college contribution and clearly communicated that to the kids.

If the sky was the limit and our kids took us up on it, we would not be on track for retirement that's for sure.


Same here on the first part. We have'nt set a firm budget yet as college is quite aways off though that is what I have in mind right now.
Playing with the EFC calculators - right now, we would get zero aid, not sure where or if merit comes into play. Those calculators seem to penalize those who have taxable assets that are earmarked for retirement. I guess they view it as spendable, but to put retirement at risk is a "no-go". On the other hand, if you are fortunate enough to have a DB plan, those assets are not considered. :oops:
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lindisfarne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:04 pm

Part of the increase in college costs is the increase in non-educational bells & whistles which play a significant role in where students (and their parents) choose to attend. If colleges provided the same amount of services & amenities that they did 20-25 years ago, their cost would be far less expensive.

Here's something for everyone to be aware of: private colleges bring you in the first year by giving you more "grant/scholarship" money as part of the package. In subsequent years, they give you less grant/scholarship money, at least as a percent, and often in absolute dollars. At that point, they have you hooked - most people aren't going to ask their child to go elsewhere. If your child has strong grades and looks attractive to the institution, you might be able to negotiate a little more of the grant/scholarship money, but probably only the first year.

There's no reason for a stronger student to go to a private school, assuming the high school they went to demanded performance rather than just gave out A's for simply showing up (many more schools do that than parents want to realize). A student at a big research institution can get a lot of personalized attention if s/he gets involved with research and shows that s/he is responsible. In fact, that will get the student a far more meaningful letter of recommendation than a letter from an unknown professor at a small private institution (there are some strong private research universities, so letters from those professors are meaningful). The quality of research done at the research-oriented institutions is better, too.

I honestly think parents are better off putting their kids in GOOD private schools 9-12 to give them the skills they need to survive in college. This will make them more attractive to colleges (& help them compete for scholarships) as well as able to survive academically if they go to a public university.

You can bribe your kids: if they go to a public university, get a B average or higher, and save you $$s by graduating on time, you'll put $10K towards a down-payment on a house
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lindisfarne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:11 pm

NorCalDad wrote: At research universities, tuition helps pay for professors who are not full-time instructors and spend a good amount of time conducting research and writing papers.


This isn't true. Those researchers are almost certainly bringing in grants that pay their salary plus give money to the university. Universities regularly skim 50-55% off government grants ("overhead costs") researchers bring in. That's why universities want people with a proven track record of getting grants. Those research grants subsidize undergraduate education.

The costs for ADMINISTRATORS as a percent of education costs have risen greatly over the last 20 years (their individual pay, plus total numbers have both increased) - this is well documented. The cost of faculty as a percent of education cost has remained stable.

If you look at # of employees (including all FTEs on a campus), you'll find that their number is very high, compared to # of students, at private schools. It is easily 1 to 6 at even the less competitive private colleges. This is why private schools charge so much. Faculty numbers have remained stable, and costs attributable to faculty have actually decreased, since the percent of adjuncts (rather than tenured or tenure-track) faculty has increased (this means a less stable faculty who are less committed to the institution are teaching more and more of classes - these adjuncts usually have much lesser or no expectations for scholarship or service (committees, etc.) to the university so when that's factored in, their pay is actually quite good - scholarship easily eats up 40% of a tenure-track faculty member's time - which means they end up working 50 - 60 hours/week for relatively low pay, and work (usually unpaid) on research in summer). Additionally, faculty have long NOT received salary increases equivalent to tuition increases (in recent years, many private school FACULTY have have 0-1% increases, and some have actually had decreases).

Many people have the idea that faculty members are highly paid, but many are not, especially when you consider the hours they work and the number of years of salary they sacrificed to get a Ph.D. - middle managers with a BA usually make far more than faculty. Many faculty members are making between $50-75K at private universities, and the people at the top have 20+ years at the institution. How many of you sacrificed 5-7 years of salary towards getting a Ph.D., work 50-60 hours/week, have devoted 10+ years to an institution, and make <$70K?
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lindisfarne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:26 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
stoptothink wrote:You also didn't address my main point - average debt at graduation is $27k. Is that really that horrible? It's not ideal, but it isn't exactly insurmountable.


Many parents think nothing of paying $27K for a car. To a large degree, our priorities are screwed up.

Part of the reason tuition at public universities has increased is because many states legislatures have gone from paying about 2/3s the cost of an education to currently paying 1/3 or less the cost. This says something about our priorities as a nation.

Many people complain about having to pay taxes (which pay for schools, infrastructure maintenance, and so on), yet think nothing of buying a new car every few years or purchasing a ready-made dinner 2-3 times a week (not to mention, buying coffee and lunch on a daily basis).\
======
Parents of kids today have created an "entitlement mentality". Rather than make their kids responsible for the consequences of their own bad decisions, they go into the high school and badger teachers into letting them re-take an exam, or re-write a paper, etc. These kids would learn important life lessons (and skills) if their parents allowed them to bear the consequences of their own bad decisions. Kids with B averages at high schools get to college and flounder because they have not learned the skills necessary to learn well independently in high school (and this in large part is the fault of parents who badger teachers who try to make those kids responsible for the consequences).

Kids today are starting college at the level of about an 11th grader 25 years ago. They are not learning the same with a 4-year degree that they did 25 years ago, in part because they start college at a lower level, and in part because they study less on average (this is well documented, too - there have been surveys through the years asking students across a large number of colleges questions like how much do you study, how much do you work). Even high schools that parents think of as "good" are not demanding anywhere near what they should from students - and if they start college at an 11th grade level, in 4 years, they're just not going to get as far as they would had they started with the equivalent of 2 more years (as was the case roughly 25 years ago). This isn't simply due to a higher % of the population going to college - even better students are less well prepared. The good news is a student now with, the skills that 25 years years ago would have made them average, comes out as one of the top students in college.

We as a nation are not developing our most important resource - we don't truly value education. Parents say they do, but what they really want is their kids to "get good grades" (and are far less concerned about whether enough learning actually happens).
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lindisfarne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:52 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
The United States has a problem: rapidly rising student debt. It also has a solution: online education.


PJW


Online education may work for more mature (usually older) students. It won't work for your typical 18-19 year old. They come in to college as a group very unmotivated, with very remedial study skills - this is true of many students who got B to A averages in high school. Many no longer have note taking skills (high schools don't expect them to develop good notetaking skills, and some schools no longer teach cursive handwriting - these same students cannot type very fast, either - how are they going to take notes when meeting with a client in a job situation?).

A study by Columbia University using data from all the Washington state community colleges showed that failure rate in online classes is higher, and that the students typically most poorly prepared for colleges were at greater risk for not passing an online class. The students more poorly prepared include MALE STUDENTS in general, and minorities. The effect of online classes is to exacerbate the differences which have their root in different levels of preparedness for college (kids in school districts with lower average family income tend to be less prepared for college - the reasons for this are many).

The push in many state legislatures to increase the % of online classes is going to hurt most those least ready for college. Those least ready are the ones who benefit more from one-to-one contact with faculty, and they are far less likely to have that contact if the class is online (when a class is face-to-face, the faculty member can more easily talk to the student, and the student likely feels more comfortable asking for help, because the student has got to know the faculty member).
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby livesoft » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:23 pm

lindisfarne wrote:Kids today are starting college at the level of about an 11th grader 25 years ago. They are not learning the same with a 4-year degree that they did 25 years ago, in part because they start college at a lower level, ....
This isn't simply due to a higher % of the population going to college - even better students are less well prepared. The good news is a student now with, the skills that 25 years years ago would have made them average, comes out as one of the top students in college.

That has not been my experience. The best/better students are still very well-prepared. They get high marks on AP exams and take more of those exams than students did 25 years ago.

Of course, it is fun to play loosey-goosey with generallzations, but I have confidence in the best students compared over the generations. I am not so sure about the non-best students.

And MALE STUDENTS have a problem in high school: video games. The hours devoted to such games are hours not spent on other things.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Rodc » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:25 pm

This isn't simply due to a higher % of the population going to college - even better students are less well prepared.


That is a bit of an overly broad brush.

Same for similar comments about kids getting out of college which we sometimes see.

I'm a research scientist/engineer/mathematician depending on what project I am leading. Well, now I guess I'm a manager. I work in a prestigious research laboratory. We hire the cream of the crop. I also meet some of the cream of the crop of public schools in a volunteer position.

I went to a very decent suburban high school back in the 70s. I went to a solid college and have degrees in math and physics, with a PhD in theoretical math, though I wrote a fairly applied thesis as I wanted to get a job. :)

The really good kids out of good high schools today blow away ever kid I knew in high school. The really good kids coming out of good colleges today are far better prepared than I was, and I was pretty close to the top as both an undergrad and grad student. They have a lot more real experience for one thing.

I'm not at all worried about the better/best students.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lindisfarne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:31 pm

livesoft wrote:
lindisfarne wrote:Kids today are starting college at the level of about an 11th grader 25 years ago. They are not learning the same with a 4-year degree that they did 25 years ago, in part because they start college at a lower level, ....
This isn't simply due to a higher % of the population going to college - even better students are less well prepared. The good news is a student now with, the skills that 25 years years ago would have made them average, comes out as one of the top students in college.

That has not been my experience. The best/better students are still very well-prepared. They get high marks on AP exams and take more of those exams than students did 25 years ago.

Of course, it is fun to play loosey-goosey with generallzations, but I have confidence in the best students compared over the generations. I am not so sure about the non-best students.


High marks on AP exams are not so meaningful. In fact, colleges are giving less credit now for AP scores than they used to because it takes less to get a high score these days.
See, for example, http://www.aaup.org/article/warnings-tr ... bJQSjeH_4g
"I mentioned that at least half my students were in AP classes. The explosive growth of these classes, driven in part by high school rankings like the yearly Challenge Index created by Jay Mathews of the Washington Post, is also responsible for some of the problems you will encounter with students entering your institutions. The College Board did recognize that not everything being labeled as AP met the standards of a college-level course, so it required teachers to submit syllabi for approval to ensure a minimal degree of rigor, at least on paper. But many of the courses still focus on the AP exam, and that focus can be as detrimental to learning as the kinds of tests imposed under No Child Left Behind.

Let me use as an example my own AP course, US Government and Politics. I served several times as a reader for the examination that follows the course. In that capacity, I read the constructed responses that make up half of the score of a student’s examination. I saw several problems.

First (and I acknowledge that I bear some culpability here), in the AP US Government exam the constructed responses are called “free response questions” and are graded by a rubric that is concerned primarily with content and, to a lesser degree, argument. If a student hits the points on the rubric, he or she gets the points for that rubric. There is no consideration of grammar or rhetoric, nor is credit given or a score reduced based on the format of the answer. A student who takes time to construct a clear topic sentence and a proper conclusion gets no credit for those words. Thus, a teacher might prepare the student to answer those questions in a format that is not good writing by any standard. If, as a teacher, you want your students to do their best, you have to have them practice what is effectively bad writing— no introduction, no conclusion, just hit the points of the rubric and provide the necessary factual support. Some critical thinking may be involved, at least, but the approach works against development of the kinds of writing that would be expected in a true college-level course in government and politics."


For example, Dartmouth has stopped giving college credits for high AP scores, because they just don't feel that AP classes do as good of a job as they used to. At Dartmouth, at most, you may get a lower-level prerequisite waived & be able to take a higher level course instead. Other colleges are following suit.
Concerned that Advanced Placement courses are not as rigorous as college courses, Dartmouth has announced that it will no longer give college credits for good A.P. scores, starting with the class of 2018.

Elite institutions like Dartmouth have long discussed how to handle the growing number of freshmen seeking credit for top scores on A.P. or International Baccalaureate exams. Dartmouth changed its policy after an experiment measuring whether top A.P. scores indicated college-level competence.

“The psychology department got more and more suspicious about how good an indicator a 5 on the A.P. psych exam was for academic success,” said Hakan Tell, a classics professor who heads Dartmouth’s Committee on Instruction, so the department decided to give a condensed version of the Psych 1 final to incoming students instead of giving them credits.

Of more than 100 students who had scored a 5 on the A.P. exam, 90 percent failed the Dartmouth test. The other 10 percent were given Dartmouth credit. A follow-up effort produced even worse results, Professor Tell said. “We looked at the students who failed our on-campus exam but decided to enroll in Psych 1, to see whether they did any better than students who had never taken the Advanced Placement class, and we couldn’t detect any difference whatsoever,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/educa ... .html?_r=0
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:41 pm

livesoft wrote:The best/better students are still very well-prepared. They get high marks on AP exams and take more of those exams than students did 25 years ago.

Of course, it is fun to play loosey-goosey with generallzations, but I have confidence in the best students compared over the generations. I am not so sure about the non-best students.

I absolutely agree. I was considered a good student 45 years ago (entered college at 16, went to graduate school, etc.). When I hear my son and his friends talking about their work, I know that they are years beyond where I was. As juniors, they are studying differential equations, physics, number theory, literature and history at a higher level than I ever learned. That said, I also agree with you about the "non-best." The divide between the well educated and the not-so-well educated kids seems to be getting wider.

Anecdotal but telling example:
My older daughter's college roommate said to her, mid-semester of her Astronomy class: "Remind me again, does the sun go around the earth or the earth around the sun?". My daughter's response, silently, was: "Man, you're either the best field hockey player of all time (the girl was on scholarship), or you're sleeping with the coach." You can't make this stuff up.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby livesoft » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:44 pm

Well, of course, humanities, psychology, and social science AP scores are useless. :twisted: I should have restricted my comments to physics, chemistry, calculus, computer science, and other STEM courses. :)

And universities have to stop giving credit for those scores because then all the English, History, and Sociology professors who teach intro courses would have to take a pay cut or even lose their jobs.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lindisfarne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:50 pm

livesoft wrote:Well, of course, humanities, psychology, and social science AP scores are useless. :twisted: I should have restricted my comments to physics, chemistry, calculus, computer science, and other STEM courses. :)

And universities have to stop giving credit for those scores because then all the English, History, and Sociology professors who teach intro courses would have to take a pay cut or even lose their jobs.


Seriously, that's your well-considered reply? Do you really believe that humanities and social science classes are useless? Seriously? I've always thought a well-rounded education was the goal. Unfortunately, far too many in the US agree with your position (and many more do not value education at all - or at least, that's what their actions tell us, based on the values they pass on to their kids and the way they vote) and for some reason, believe it's either one or the other. If we'd do a good job as parents and expect our kids to work, American kids are perfectly capable of getting a well-rounded education (and could function well in a university environment, rather than floundering). Kids in other developed countries get a far better (and more advanced) well-rounded high school education than we give our kids on average in the US.

Failure to develop our most important resource - our human resources - are costing us as a nation already, & it will continue to get worse. We import a significant amount of our intellectual talent rather than develop it in our citizens.

If you don't see the value in education, perhaps think of the value you lose in time dealing with people whose education was lacking. Think of the person at the grocery store who cannot figure out 10% of a price, or the social worker who uses very simplistic, formulaic (or no) thinking when you're dealing with an elderly parent's illness (many more examples here).

One reason why college costs have gone up is because they provide a lot more remedial support to students on average than they used to (at private colleges, there is free tutoring, free writing support, and so on).
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:55 pm

lindisfarne wrote:For example, Dartmouth has stopped giving college credits for high AP scores, because they just don't feel that AP classes do as good of a job as they used to. At Dartmouth, at most, you may get a lower-level prerequisite waived & be able to take a higher level course instead. Other colleges are following suit.


Overheard conversation between my son and a classmate: "Sam got a 5 on his AP Physics B exam but only a 660 on the Physics SAT2." The kids know that AP 5 scores are not what they should be. My son has, to date, taken 8 AP tests and some number of IB tests, but he doesn't want college credit for them. He's looking to place out of entry-level courses and get to the meatier courses.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:04 pm

lindisfarne wrote:Seriously, that's your well-considered reply? Do you really believe that humanities and social science classes are useless? Seriously? I've always thought a well-rounded education was the goal. Unfortunately, far too many in the US agree with your position (and many more do not value education at all - or at least, that's what their actions tell us (based on the values they pass on to their kids and the way they vote) and for some reason, believe it's either one or the other


You won't find many as supportive of education as me, but to some extent the colleges and universities share the blame. Admissions committees no longer look for well-rounded students; they are trying to put together a well-rounded class. Being well-rounded can even work against a student in some holistic application decisions; it can be misinterpreted as a lack of passion.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby livesoft » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:16 pm

lindisfarne wrote:Seriously, that's your well-considered reply? Do you really believe that humanities and social science classes are useless? Seriously?

No, not seriously. Do we need a lesson in emoticons here? :)

Kids in other developed countries get a far better (and more advanced) well-rounded high school education than we give our kids on average in the US.

I am typing this from an "other developed" country where I have spent the past week helping to teach advanced graduate students and post-docs. The "kids" (in their 20's, 30's, and 40's) are sharp and motivated, but really no different from the same class of students I find all over the world. The world is flat at the top of the academic mountain.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lindisfarne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:19 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:You won't find many as supportive of education as me, but to some extent the colleges and universities share the blame. Admissions committees no longer look for well-rounded students; they are trying to put together a well-rounded class. Being well-rounded can even work against a student in some holistic application decisions; it can be misinterpreted as a lack of passion.


I can see the point you're making, and don't disagree. But again, I would argue it's not either-or. If you're competitive enough, you can be well-rounded. And many schools (even public) are perfectly happy to get that well-rounded student with good grades that some highly competitive private school rejected. (My alma mater made the decision a few years after I graduated that it needed to increase diversity - it didn't feel it was diversified enough in terms of students from wealthy families! So students from wealthy families had a slightly easier time getting accepted! This was a college with an endowment of $300+ million at the time.)
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lindisfarne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:23 pm

livesoft wrote:No, not seriously. Do we need a lesson in emoticons here? :)
...
The world is flat at the top of the academic mountain.

I'm glad you clarified. No, I didn't analyze your emoticons - most emoticons are not all that clear.
The world may be flat at the top of the academic mountain, but far too many American students never make it to the top - this is why 25% + of graduate students at many top Ph.D. programs at US universities come from other countries!
First, international graduate students provide a substantial amount of talent in science and engineering — the fields that tend to drive the knowledge economy. The National Science Foundation (NSF) reports that 84 percent of foreign students who earned doctoral degrees in the period of 2001-11 did so in high-demand areas in the fields of science and engineering. The NSF also reports that the percentage of science and engineering doctorates awarded to foreign students peaked at 41 percent in 2007. About 35 percent of postdocs are temporary visa holders. Finally, according to a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, foreign students, postdocs, and other nonfaculty researchers were behind 54 percent of the patents issued by universities in 2011. This means that any “blip” in international student enrollments will disproportionately affect the areas of science and engineering.
The reality is that we are in an intensifying worldwide competition that Ben Wildavsky calls “the great brain race.” While nations like Australia, Canada, and many in the European Union are actively recruiting such students and looking to tear down regulatory barriers, the U.S. sets up roadblocks through a complicated and risk-adverse visa system. ... Moreover, China, India, and South Korea are all investing significantly in their domestic higher education systems (in some cases importing U.S. campuses) as a means to reduce the number of their students studying overseas. Finally, incidents such as the recent Boston bombing are causing many foreign students to re-evaluate the safety of this country, as well as further heighten scrutiny of the U.S. student visa approval and verification process. The sum of all of these developments suggests that the U.S. dominance in the race may be challenged in the stretch.

http://www.rockinst.org/observations/la ... sting.aspx

Again, I'll mention that the US as a nation is failing to develop it's most important resource - its human resources.
Unless we believe that American students for some reason have less potential ability, we should be focusing on improving the educations Americans get (which requires changing American attitudes about the importance of education - no small feat there).

If American kids are more prepared going into college, and put more of an emphasis on the education (rather than the amenities) colleges provide, this would help rein in the cost of college. (A dedicated, well-prepared student, who doesn't fail or withdraw from classes, and who takes 16-17 credits per semester,can easily graduate in 3.5 years at most institutions - which reduces the cost of a college education by 12.5%.)
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:41 pm

lindisfarne wrote:(My alma mater made the decision a few years after I graduated that it needed to increase diversity - it didn't feel it was diversified enough in terms of students from wealthy families! So students from wealthy families had a slightly easier time getting accepted! This was a college with an endowment of $300+ million at the time.)

Ah yes, the famous "developmental" admit. :D

I read somewhere that some large D-1 schools admit roughly 40% of the class as legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits. I guess that leaves 60% for hard-working bright kids. One of the reasons that MIT is my son's first choice (beyond the obvious) is that they claim that legacy doesn't influence admissions and, while they like athletes, no athlete who isn't otherwise qualified gets in. So, maybe he has a 10% chance :D

And yes, we're not despondent that our son is well-rounded (except for foreign language, where he can't quite seem to get an A). Some school will have to slot him in :D
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby HardKnocker » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:41 pm

AP classes are used as a means of raising students class ranking because the AP classes are higher credit, usually 5 credits. Therefore a B in an AP class counts as an A, an A counts as a Super A. This is why kids are taking all these AP classes now. It's a way to game the system.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby livesoft » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:44 pm

HardKnocker wrote:AP classes are used as a means of raising students class ranking because the AP classes are higher credit, usually 5 credits. Therefore a B in an AP class counts as an A, an A counts as a Super A. This is why kids are taking all these AP classes now. It's a way to game the system.

Yes, it can be used that way, but in the high schools that my children have attended, the same textbooks are used for the courses that the universities use. And if everyone takes those AP courses, then relative class rank is not really affected.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:54 pm

livesoft wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:AP classes are used as a means of raising students class ranking because the AP classes are higher credit, usually 5 credits. Therefore a B in an AP class counts as an A, an A counts as a Super A. This is why kids are taking all these AP classes now. It's a way to game the system.

Yes, it can be used that way, but in the high schools that my children have attended, the same textbooks are used for the courses that the universities use. And if everyone takes those AP courses, then relative class rank is not really affected.

Hardknocker, don't think for a second that a B in an AP class is that much easier to get than an A in a regular class. Colleges get the transcript, and most of them compute their own brew of weighted GPA. Most colleges are more interested in whether a student took the most rigorous course-load available to them rather than their exact GPA. Schools vary in their rigor, grade inflation, caliber of students, etc., which is one reason that standardized tests, with all their flaws, are still in use.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lostInFinance » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:06 pm

lindisfarne wrote:
NorCalDad wrote: At research universities, tuition helps pay for professors who are not full-time instructors and spend a good amount of time conducting research and writing papers.


This isn't true. Those researchers are almost certainly bringing in grants that pay their salary plus give money to the university. Universities regularly skim 50-55% off government grants ("overhead costs") researchers bring in. That's why universities want people with a proven track record of getting grants. Those research grants subsidize undergraduate education.

Many people have the idea that faculty members are highly paid, but many are not, especially when you consider the hours they work and the number of years of salary they sacrificed to get a Ph.D. - middle managers with a BA usually make far more than faculty. Many faculty members are making between $50-75K at private universities, and the people at the top have 20+ years at the institution. How many of you sacrificed 5-7 years of salary towards getting a Ph.D., work 50-60 hours/week, have devoted 10+ years to an institution, and make <$70K?


I'm skeptical that research actually subsidizes undergraduate education. Research does bring in a lot of money, but it takes a lot of professor's time as well. At the decent sized public college I attended, the faculty, at least in engineering, had to teach two classes a semester. That's six hours a week of actual class time. They had TAs to do the grading, but I'll assume they spend another six hours a week to supervise the TAs and for office hours. Yes, they have to develop the curriculum, but they could do that during the summer and even in many engineering classes, the content really doesn't change that much from one year to the next. So if the professors actually work 50-60 hour weeks year round, I'm guessing 30% max of that went to teaching.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lostInFinance » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:36 pm

lindisfarne wrote:The world may be flat at the top of the academic mountain, but far too many American students never make it to the top - this is why 25% + of graduate students at many top Ph.D. programs at US universities come from other countries!


China and India have 8x the population of the US. If the IQ bell curve looks the same there as here and most of their best and brightest want to go to school in the US, the question becomes not why 25% of grad students are foreign, but why are foreign students only 25% of the student bodies at those phd programs. I'm not sure there's an obvious lesson here unless you want to talk immigration policy, which would be against the forum rules.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby yukon50 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:31 am

Your school doubled in 15 years.

My school's tuition (public school) doubled in 6 years!
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TRC » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:14 am

Sad that at one time, one could "work their way though college" and pay on there own.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Rodc » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:38 am

lindisfarne wrote:
even better students are less well prepared


When challenged you nit picked on the side issue of AP classes, rather than the substance of the challenge.

When that failed you simply side stepped by changing your point to the non better students:

The world may be flat at the top of the academic mountain, but far too many American students never make it to the top


I might add that regardless of the quality of the educational system by definition most students will not make it to the top unless you believe all students are born with the same inherent abilities.

I think at this point it is fair to say you have not been successful in supporting your opinions in this discussion.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby 2stepsbehind » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:05 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
lindisfarne wrote:(My alma mater made the decision a few years after I graduated that it needed to increase diversity - it didn't feel it was diversified enough in terms of students from wealthy families! So students from wealthy families had a slightly easier time getting accepted! This was a college with an endowment of $300+ million at the time.)

Ah yes, the famous "developmental" admit. :D

I read somewhere that some large D-1 schools admit roughly 40% of the class as legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits. I guess that leaves 60% for hard-working bright kids. One of the reasons that MIT is my son's first choice (beyond the obvious) is that they claim that legacy doesn't influence admissions and, while they like athletes, no athlete who isn't otherwise qualified gets in. So, maybe he has a 10% chance :D

And yes, we're not despondent that our son is well-rounded (except for foreign language, where he can't quite seem to get an A). Some school will have to slot him in :D


That's fallacious.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:17 am

2stepsbehind wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
lindisfarne wrote:(My alma mater made the decision a few years after I graduated that it needed to increase diversity - it didn't feel it was diversified enough in terms of students from wealthy families! So students from wealthy families had a slightly easier time getting accepted! This was a college with an endowment of $300+ million at the time.)

Ah yes, the famous "developmental" admit. :D

I read somewhere that some large D-1 schools admit roughly 40% of the class as legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits. I guess that leaves 60% for hard-working bright kids. One of the reasons that MIT is my son's first choice (beyond the obvious) is that they claim that legacy doesn't influence admissions and, while they like athletes, no athlete who isn't otherwise qualified gets in. So, maybe he has a 10% chance :D

And yes, we're not despondent that our son is well-rounded (except for foreign language, where he can't quite seem to get an A). Some school will have to slot him in :D


That's fallacious.

Okay, I'll play, what is the percentage at large D-1 schools?
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:40 am

According to http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/5/11/admissions-fitzsimmons-legacy-legacies/
Harvard’s acceptance rate for legacies has hovered around 30 percent—more than four times the regular admission rate—in recent admissions cycles, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 told The Crimson in an interview this week.


But, it's different at Yale:
According to a New York Times story on the event, Brenzel said that Yale rejected 80 percent of its legacy applicants. Brenzel reported that Yale legacies comprise less than 10 percent of the class, according to Kahlenberg.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby 2stepsbehind » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:42 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
2stepsbehind wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
lindisfarne wrote:(My alma mater made the decision a few years after I graduated that it needed to increase diversity - it didn't feel it was diversified enough in terms of students from wealthy families! So students from wealthy families had a slightly easier time getting accepted! This was a college with an endowment of $300+ million at the time.)

Ah yes, the famous "developmental" admit. :D

I read somewhere that some large D-1 schools admit roughly 40% of the class as legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits. I guess that leaves 60% for hard-working bright kids. One of the reasons that MIT is my son's first choice (beyond the obvious) is that they claim that legacy doesn't influence admissions and, while they like athletes, no athlete who isn't otherwise qualified gets in. So, maybe he has a 10% chance :D

And yes, we're not despondent that our son is well-rounded (except for foreign language, where he can't quite seem to get an A). Some school will have to slot him in :D


That's fallacious.

Okay, I'll play, what is the percentage at large D-1 schools?


It is fallacious to suggest that whatever percentage of the class which happens to be as you call them "legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits" are not also hard-working bright kids.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:11 am

2stepsbehind wrote:It is fallacious to suggest that whatever percentage of the class which happens to be as you call them "legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits" are not also hard-working bright kids.

I guess that I should have stated it more clearly: I read somewhere that some large D-1 schools admit roughly 40% of the class as legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits. I guess that leaves 60% for hard-working bright kids without those hooks.

I don't disagree that the vast majority of hooked kids are also hard-working bright kids, but I have personal experience with some who are not. My kids have gone to school with kids who knew that, absent egregious behavior, they were going to Harvard. Their high school effort was not at the same level as the kids who would be in the crap-shoot that non-hooked kids call the admissions process. The field hockey player that my daughter roomed with (previously mentioned) does not quality as hard-working and bright.

From wikipedia, and note that this is relative to the old 1600-point scale:
At some schools, legacy preferences have an effect on admissions comparable to other factors such as being a recruited athlete or affirmative action. One study of three selective private research universities in the United States showed the following effects (admissions disadvantage and advantage in terms of SAT points on the old 1600-point scale):

Blacks: +230
Hispanics: +185
Asians: -50
Recruited athletes: +200
Legacies (children of alumni): +160


So, they might be bright, but I guess they don't necessarily need to be quite as bright.

I understand that some of this is well-intentioned. However, I think that when we wonder why our graduates aren't what we as a country would hope for, perhaps we should look at the admissions criteria. OTOH, as my son says, "we don't like the idea of legacy admits now, but wait until my kids apply to my college." :D
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby cheesepep » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:20 am

Honestly, tuition for a good public college is quite cheap. When you factor in the discussion classes and lab classes, it becomes ridiculously cheap. My college tuition about 8 years ago was about $1,700 a year. That is cheap!

But the books and room and board were the only expensive part. People who send their kids to private schools, especially when the kids choose a worthless major, are to blame themselves.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby BigOil » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:50 pm

I went to a "top 20" private University, not in the NE, and D-1. Couple of years ago spoke to the Admissions Director at an informal Homecoming workshop. Fascinating as he knows Colleagues at other highly selective Universities. He shared key insights. Oh, we won the game too...

While it varies by school, basically his Team's job is to gather a class meeting various targets and metrics. Pretty much 95%+ of applicants could succeed based on heir applications. It's strictly a numbers game. Blunt reality. But there is a human element in the process.

That said, at this school Legacy students do get advantaged for a "careful look". They are looking "for reason to admit" (not reject) them if the prospective student fits the profile they need at the time they apply. Basically he hinted, if they have the grades and apply smartly (i.e. if not at the top of the range, best to apply early admission and commit), they do usually get in. Athletes and diversity categories are similar (diversity counts, not just academic merit alone, no news there...). Good Public Universities have more politics in selection and pricing.

It does help to get proactive and interview and apply early if it is your dream school...but no promises. He said they really do want admits who sincerely want to be there...just hard to truthfully and accurately asses that factor sometimes.

To OP., like a few schools Admissions is TOTALLY NEED-BLIND. Unlike most they do not use loans at all in their admits and the FAFSA EFC (expected family contribution) and grades too can help in the aid package. List price is ~$50k++ PER YEAR(!), most do not pay this and get something in aid, some get a lot of aid plus work-study.

My child could have gotten in. But, very likely no need aid, perhaps a small discount(scholarship) for his grades/legacy. He chose to go to an even larger major public university's honors college, tuition-free. We were lucky finance wise. He just did not see the need for that branding in an Undergrad degree, versus spending $15OKish additional.

The point is college IS expensive, it does not have to be unaffordable. I wince at the things some and some Parents do to pay for elite colleges they really cannot afford.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby 2stepsbehind » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:26 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
2stepsbehind wrote:It is fallacious to suggest that whatever percentage of the class which happens to be as you call them "legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits" are not also hard-working bright kids.

I guess that I should have stated it more clearly: I read somewhere that some large D-1 schools admit roughly 40% of the class as legacy, developmental, athletic, or diversity admits. I guess that leaves 60% for hard-working bright kids without those hooks.

I don't disagree that the vast majority of hooked kids are also hard-working bright kids, but I have personal experience with some who are not. My kids have gone to school with kids who knew that, absent egregious behavior, they were going to Harvard. Their high school effort was not at the same level as the kids who would be in the crap-shoot that non-hooked kids call the admissions process. The field hockey player that my daughter roomed with (previously mentioned) does not quality as hard-working and bright.

From wikipedia, and note that this is relative to the old 1600-point scale:
At some schools, legacy preferences have an effect on admissions comparable to other factors such as being a recruited athlete or affirmative action. One study of three selective private research universities in the United States showed the following effects (admissions disadvantage and advantage in terms of SAT points on the old 1600-point scale):

Blacks: +230
Hispanics: +185
Asians: -50
Recruited athletes: +200
Legacies (children of alumni): +160


So, they might be bright, but I guess they don't necessarily need to be quite as bright.

I understand that some of this is well-intentioned. However, I think that when we wonder why our graduates aren't what we as a country would hope for, perhaps we should look at the admissions criteria. OTOH, as my son says, "we don't like the idea of legacy admits now, but wait until my kids apply to my college." :D


I also don't think that how a student scores on a 3 hour highly coachable exam is very clear indicator of how "bright" a student is. While I think there are a variety of critiques one can levy at the current system of higher education, I think most admissions criteria do a better job than previously at looking at a students achievements in context. For that reason, raw intellectual curiosity is likely to be more highly prized over those applicants that appear to be going through the motions. And of course buildings need to be built and teachers need to be paid so revenue producers are always going to be highly prized.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:34 pm

HardKnocker wrote:AP classes are used as a means of raising students class ranking because the AP classes are higher credit, usually 5 credits. Therefore a B in an AP class counts as an A, an A counts as a Super A. This is why kids are taking all these AP classes now. It's a way to game the system.


This is the first time I'm hearing that AP classes are used to "game the system". Back in the day, we took them as a means of having to take the same course in college, but we surely were not relieving ourselves of doing the work.
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