by Dale Hobson
on August 22nd, 2013
In western New York today on a bus tour to promote new initiatives in financing higher education, President Obama gave a speech at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His address, lasting approximately half an hour, outlined a number of steps to make college education a better bargain for families, and more widely accessible to families of limited means.
A complete transcription of the president’s address is available on the White House website.
Tune in tomorrow to The Eight O’clock Hour for more coverage of the president’s travels in New York, his education plan, and his stops in Syracuse and Binghamton.
Tags: economy, education, politics
At the same time that the cost of college has sky-rocketted, many colleges have developed their endowments to eye popping levels. The common denominator between these two bits of information is that financial people get to make money on both sides of the equation. While the endowments help to provide sound underpinnings to financial markets the federally guaranteed student loans provide fresh revenue with little risk to anyone except the poor kids who are talked into loans that it may take them decades to pay off.
Meanwhile legislators, many of whom went to college at a time when college was very low priced or even free, are making decisions on what types of loans are available to students and setting interest rates that the legislators themselves would likely have been extremely loathe to pay themselves. College administrators have been working hard to expand endowments and cut costs by cutting tenured professor positions, the administrators themselves get paid very nice salaries because… well, because they deserve the extra money for bringing in lots of endowment money, cutting costs and saddling students with debt.
College costs are out of control. It is disgusting to watch the two private universities in the area compete to see who can charge more, jockeying for position each year. Even Gov. Cuomo worried how he was going to pay for a sausage sandwich because the twins are going to Havard and Brown.
There was some interesting discussion on “On Point” this morning regarding the issue of college costs. There was an acknowledgement that this country is known, worldwide, for its many fine universities. This was followed by the statement that our primary school system is lagging. If colleges are to be ranked and rewarded based on their performance, such as tracking the percentage of students that successfully complete a 4 year degree in 4 years (or 2 in 2), I would be concerned that colleges will become much more selective in admissions. If the colleges are not provided students that are ready for college, the task becomes tougher. How many students are going to be excluded from admission when the college suspects it may take them an extra year or two because of the remedial work necessary?
Seems to be a bit of the cart afore the horse.
The willingness of people to bankrupt themselves and their children in the pursuit of useless “degrees” is a major part of the problem. Take a quick look at the degree and certificate programs offered at SUNY and you will quickly understand why many “graduates” have to move back in with their parents after college and can’t pay off their loans. Adventure Sports? Jewelry Design? Sport Studies? It is unconscionable for colleges and universities to continue preying on the uninformed and delusional who believe the big lie that every child should go to college. It’s all about the education industry turning a profit.
Funny, the degree programs Larry mentions seem to me to be vocations for which a graduate could actually get a job. At least Adventure sports and Jewelry design.