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Author Topic: Another CHE article on class in higher ed  (Read 24661 times)
proftowanda
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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2012, 4:12:23 PM »


I think we're comparing a bunch of apples, oranges, and bananas.....  As DVF notes, college grads make more, and I would as, have lower unemployment rates as well.  Something like 90 pct of all jobs created in the last 20 years require some post-HS training, or what is sometimes called college-level skills (which may not mean a full BA or BS). 

About debt, I checked and the average is just a tad over $25K, so that $50-$100K figure in the story is quite the outlier.  Personally, I would support a kid attending Amherst or Williams (or another of that ilk) if it meant that kind of debt, since the kid will be well placed after college.  But I would also expect a tippy top SLAC to be more generous with scholarships, so I would love to know what school was being discussed.  I would have to guess not a place like Amherst, although probably a "good enough" school.  At any rate, the younger sister could have figured a way to go to an OK place and leave with moderate debt, call it $25K.   

To alter my prior comments, a kid should not be deterred about going to college and walking away with a debt of $25K.  I would, however, encourage a kid looking at a debt of $50K or more to be more careful, perhaps shop around more, be more careful about one's major and so on.


Yes, the cost-benefit ratio always ought to be a consideration.  

But these bloggers remind me of the local media story about a student at my state campus, in one of the lowest-tuition-rate systems, who racked up $100,000 in student loans.  The reporter was so clueless, allowing the student to wail on and on about it, without ever asking why she had come across the border from her state to pay non-resident tuition, and why she had not filed for residency for the five years since. . . .  And her parents are both college grads, and they are not helping her at all, so they have some 'splaining to do.

And yes, her student-loan debt is four to five times the average that I find (i.e., it seems variously stated).  

And yes, as I know from working in administration at a private campus, they use their endowments to "buy" students, as we used to say -- often to get students with great potential from the working class.  So I cannot imagine why a student with good grades was paying her way, why she wasn't asking her college-graduate big sis with an academic career for guidance, etc.  They also have 'splaining to do in that story.

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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2012, 4:17:02 PM »

I do not think I am being obtuse, merely arguing that the sort of working class kid mentioned in this article usually does NOT have access to the sort of information you have.  The divide is real.
It is available in any public high school in any but the poorest neighborhoods, and any college prep school (like the author's Jesuit prep school).  It was available to me, and I'm from a less affluent family than the bloggers, and there is far more of this kind of information out there than there was 40 years ago.

Quote
As to the college costs, whatever the constellation of reasons for the vast increases, the increases are there.  $100k debt is unacceptable for the vast majority of kids and the vast majority of bachelor's degrees.
Even that amount though will on average be greatly offset fairly quickly by the projected annual income.  It is an intimidating choice, but the only one that makes sense for someone ready for college. - DvF
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glowdart
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« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2012, 4:22:38 PM »

You cannot borrow 100K from the federal student loan program for an undergrad degree; there are limits which are well, well, well below 25K/year.   I don't know what's happened to the private loan industry, however.  

There are still schools that meet your full need, if you're able to get into them.  If you're working class and smart, then you can still go to college for nearly free.  If you're lower middle class and smart, then you can still go to college for next to nothing.  Yes, you have to be smart enough to get into a school that meets your full stated FAFSA need, but such places do still exist; between in-house grant programs, Pell Grants, Perkins & Stafford Loans, that $50,000 tuition bill can be next to nothing.  

Of course, you need to have a guidance counselor who knows about such places and programs, and you need to get into those schools, but as many (most?) also run need-blind admissions, then it can be done.  

Note that I'm talking above about need-based aid here and not scholarship aid based on academics, athletics, etc.  Those can be additional funding sources, and those also seem to be the aid sources that most people know about -- and at many schools (like mine) they are all that's available, and they often won't cover the gap between tuition and what working class students can actually afford to pay.  Thus, it looks like you need $100K in loans, when really you need to apply to different schools -- to wealthy privates with good need-based aid that a working class kid without good advising would never think they could afford because the sticker price is 50-60K a year.  

All of this is easier said than done, obviously, particularly for students at high schools where everyone "believes" that the smart-student academic scholarship from the state flagship that covers tuition and leaves you with a 10K room & board bill + fees is as cheap as it gets.  It isn't.
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history_grrrl
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« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2012, 4:23:23 PM »


As DVF notes, college grads make more, and I would as, have lower unemployment rates as well.  Something like 90 pct of all jobs created in the last 20 years require some post-HS training, or what is sometimes called college-level skills (which may not mean a full BA or BS). 

College grads make more because they are more likely to be in higher-paying occupations. The data are clear: the more education you have, the more you are likely (in the aggregate) to earn, even though earnings vary considerably by sex and race/ethnicity. Unfortunately, this gets translated as: "If you get an X degree, you WILL earn more." No, you won't, unless you land a high-paying job. If you end up jobless or waiting tables, then you're out of luck.

I cannot understand why discussions of this sort rarely, if ever, veer into an examination of the state of the actual job market. What's the unemployment rate these days?

I haven't double-checked Zharkov's stats about educational qualifications for most recently-created jobs, but I doubt that getting a job as a retail clerk, home health aide, or burger-flipper requires a BA.

Don't get me wrong: I'm all in favor of higher education. At my university, we're under pressure to convince parents that it's fine for little Susie or Johnny to major in history because it'll help them develop the skills they need (critical thinking, writing, etc.) to get a job. But if the jobs aren't out there, what can we do?
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kaysixteen
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« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2012, 4:25:19 PM »

I suspect we are just going to have to agree to disagree as to the prevalence of good solid information about college and career prospects available to working class American kids, in general.  I wonder whether any objective comprehensive research has been done on this subject?

As to the ability to quickly retire that $100k debt and then move forward on into the middle+ class, exactly how much do you think the average new BA would earn, in order to start doing this?
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temporaryname
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« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2012, 6:20:46 PM »

College grads make more because they are more likely to be in higher-paying occupations. The data are clear: the more education you have, the more you are likely (in the aggregate) to earn, even though earnings vary considerably by sex and race/ethnicity. Unfortunately, this gets translated as: "If you get an X degree, you WILL earn more." No, you won't, unless you land a high-paying job. If you end up jobless or waiting tables, then you're out of luck.

I cannot understand why discussions of this sort rarely, if ever, veer into an examination of the state of the actual job market. What's the unemployment rate these days?
You mean like the sort of thing the Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of, and which Google is likely to lead to, if one is interested in that sort of thing?
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proftowanda
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« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2012, 6:49:56 PM »

College grads make more because they are more likely to be in higher-paying occupations. The data are clear: the more education you have, the more you are likely (in the aggregate) to earn, even though earnings vary considerably by sex and race/ethnicity. Unfortunately, this gets translated as: "If you get an X degree, you WILL earn more." No, you won't, unless you land a high-paying job. If you end up jobless or waiting tables, then you're out of luck.

I cannot understand why discussions of this sort rarely, if ever, veer into an examination of the state of the actual job market. What's the unemployment rate these days?
You mean like the sort of thing the Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of, and which Google is likely to lead to, if one is interested in that sort of thing?

Chuckle. . . .
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2012, 8:14:02 PM »

There's also NACE for 1st-year-after-college salaries by major. - DvF
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zharkov
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« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2012, 8:30:06 PM »


I haven't double-checked Zharkov's stats about educational qualifications for most recently-created jobs, but I doubt that getting a job as a retail clerk, home health aide, or burger-flipper requires a BA.

 

I should have specified net job growth.  There are openings in retail, fast-food, etc. but also a lot of turnover.  Just thinking about my own town, the latest "business" that opened was a medical building, and thinking about who works there -- doctors, nurses, physical therapists, ancillary staff, and so on -- I'd expect that the vast majority have some college, most definitely college grads (or more).  So the net job growth here aligns with my earlier take.  YMMV, of course.
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__________
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Adapting Zharkov a bit to this situation, ignorance and confusion can explain a lot.
history_grrrl
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« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2012, 10:12:38 PM »

College grads make more because they are more likely to be in higher-paying occupations. The data are clear: the more education you have, the more you are likely (in the aggregate) to earn, even though earnings vary considerably by sex and race/ethnicity. Unfortunately, this gets translated as: "If you get an X degree, you WILL earn more." No, you won't, unless you land a high-paying job. If you end up jobless or waiting tables, then you're out of luck.

I cannot understand why discussions of this sort rarely, if ever, veer into an examination of the state of the actual job market. What's the unemployment rate these days?
You mean like the sort of thing the Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of, and which Google is likely to lead to, if one is interested in that sort of thing?

That's interesting, but for it to be truly meaningful, we've got to know occupational categories. So, only 2.5% of Ph.D.s are officially unemployed. That's great. What are they doing? What happens when we do a breakdown by age group, years since degree, discipline, etc.? Does underemployment make a difference for how we evaluate the data? Again, I'm not saying education doesn't improve one's chances of a better job; of course it does. My objection is to the notion -- not articulated in this thread, as far as I can tell -- that it offers a guarantee.
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gekko
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« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2012, 12:29:05 AM »

I am so sick of hearing people repeat that education is the path to the middle class or even to substantial wealth. While it my be one, it is certainly not the most effective way. This is without any question by any objective metric the path of entrepreneurship, not education. (I don't wish in any way to discount the benefit of education to an entrepreneur, but only point out the importance of ownership independent of level of education.)

Why is this? Well, logically speaking, who in the world has an incentive to encourage someone else to start a business of their own? A competitor? A teacher who obviously knows nothing about this? Who has an incentive to encourage education? An entire industry! I have three different degree spam email pitches (not all from for profits...) in my email box today alone.

Students are in front of people for first 18, 22 or more years of their life who TOTALLY IGNORE OR SPEAK NEGATIVELY OF the most effective wealth generation technique in existence. Obviously they've chosen an alternative path by virtue of their presence in a class room to begin with.

Why do I care about this one way or the other? The reason this philosophy effects everyone here is that promoting the education myth (get appropriately credentialled and then you'll be exempt from production since someone will give you a job) creates a perceived victim when the acquired training fails to achieve employment. The victim believes they have no other option than to wait helpless as someone decides when they will receive a job rather than creating one of their own.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2012, 3:01:29 AM »

I am so sick of hearing people repeat that education is the path to the middle class or even to substantial wealth. While it my be one, it is certainly not the most effective way. This is without any question by any objective metric the path of entrepreneurship, not education.
Nobody is claiming that education is the natural path to substantial wealth. 

I challenge you to provide one iota of evidence that a larger number of non-graduates transcend class through entrepreneurship than through college.  Even half an iota.

As for production, most genuine production jobs these days in the US are related to the production of new knowledge (mainly in the tech sector).

Honestly, I'm sick to death of arguments where one side provides concrete data and argument and the other side pulls unsubstantiated feelings out of their ass. - DvF
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totoro
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« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2012, 3:27:15 AM »

Interesting from those two data sets that the average starting salary for a humanities graduate is about the same as for an average high school only person.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2012, 3:47:38 AM »

Interesting from those two data sets that the average starting salary for a humanities graduate is about the same as for an average high school only person.
That is true, though less quantitatively literate people than you might read more into this fact than you meant to convey.

Incidentally, note that the BLS numbers are conditional on the person being a full-time wage earner, and that HS grads have nearly twice the unemployment rate of college grads. - DvF
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proftowanda
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« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2012, 11:29:44 AM »

We've noted upthread that stated tuition rates are not necessarily what campuses actually charge many students.  See this in the CHE today re more than half of students now getting "tuition discounts":

http://chronicle.com/article/Tuition-Discounts-Rise-Again/131439/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
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