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Covid = End of College 'As We Know It' = End of Byu?

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Posted (edited)

So this is an interesting article recently published by Forbes: Why College Is Never Coming Back

My question is whether it will have an effect on BYU and the Church's other institutions of higher learning.

Some excerpts from the article:

Quote

Here’s some great news: one of America’s most broken industries is finally being exposed as a sham. And make no mistake, the end of college as we know it is a great thing.

It’s great for families, who’ll save money and take on less debt putting kids through school. It’s great for kids, who’ll no longer be lured into the socialist indoctrination centers that many American campuses have become. And as I’ll show you, it’s great for investors, who stand to make a killing on the companies that’ll disrupt college for good.

...I love learning, but I hate what college has become. As recently as 1980, you could get a four-year bachelor’s degree at a public school for less than $10,000. These days, it’ll cost you $40,000 at a minimum, $140,000 for a private school, or well over $250,000 for a top school.

College costs have ballooned beyond all reason. They’ve risen even faster than healthcare costs, which is really saying something. Kids are burying themselves in debt—$1.6 trillion at last count—in order to attend college.

I was fortunate to graduate with my bachelor's degree with no debt (same with my wife).  I incurred some debt for my law degree, but not nearly in the amounts most others did.

My three older kids are college-aged.  They are keenly aware of the exploding costs of education.

Quote

When I wrote about this last year, I had little hope things would change anytime soon. Why? It’s a tough sell to convince an 18-year-old kid not to attend the four-year party all his friends are going to, especially when the US government is financing it through student loans.

But a Lightning Bolt of Disruption Just Fried the Business Model of College

Mark my words: coronavirus will be remembered for transforming college forever. The virus has forced practically every college to move their courses online for the next semester. So instead of living on campus and walking to lectures, kids will be sitting in their bedrooms watching professors on Zoom calls.

This is FAR more disruptive than most folks realize. College is about much more than just the learning. There’s the education, and then you have the experience. The learning part has barely changed in a century. Kids still sit in 60-year-old lecture halls listening to professors.

But now, the “experience” has been stripped away. Do you think teenagers will be willing to mortgage their futures in order to watch college lecture videos on the internet?

This is a really intriguing argument.  Time will tell if it holds up.  

We've seen a number of "disruptive innovations" in the last several years.  Consider PCs.  Smart phones.  Streaming media.  Democratized news / information / reference services.  P2P commerce.  Web-facilitated learning / communicating / working / shopping / playing.  Retail medical clinics.  

Are colleges and universities on the chopping block?  Will they be displaced by (far cheaper) online learning?  Will employers start looking for alternative means (besides a college degree, that is) of discerning an prospective employee's competence?  How much of higher education costs are wrapped up in "the college experience," and in propping up tenured faculties, massive layers of administrative/bureucratic bloat, and so on?

How many people are now working remotely?  How many employers are moving to make these arrangements permanent?  If employees can work remotely, and save substantial costs to themselves and their employers in the process, can the same thing happen with students seeking a higher education?  If so, why pay tens of thousands of dollars to, as noted above, "watch college lecture videos on the internet?"

Quote

This Is the End of College as We Know It

Right now, millions of kids are questioning what they’re paying tens of thousands of dollars for. NOBODY is willing to pay $30,000/year to watch lecturers on Zoom calls. In fact, tuitions are already falling.

New data shows colleges reopening “online only” this Fall have slashed costs by $9,000, on average. How many kids will jump at the chance to save themselves tens of thousands of dollars in tuition with online learning? My prediction: millions.

In fact, by slashing tuitions for online courses, schools have permanently changed the perception of what college is worth.

I think this fellow may be on to something.

Quote

Here's My Prediction for How the Disruption of College Will Play Out

Millions of American kids will soon be able to complete degrees­—fully online—for way less than the cost of traditional college. But they won’t just be enrolling in Ohio State or University of Florida’s “online classes.”

With learning shifting onto the internet, there’s nothing stopping nimble disruptors from offering real college degrees at much cheaper prices.

2U (TWOU) runs online classes for 73 of the world’s best colleges including Yale, Cambridge, Georgetown, and NYU.  It’s only a matter of time before online disruptors like 2U or Coursera start offering their own degree courses.

For example, they could hire world-class professors to create online courses for, say, $200,000/year. Each professor might teach 250 students per school year, which works out to roughly $800 per student. Tack on the cost of running the online course, plus a profit for the college, and you could probably charge each student $3,000/year.

These courses would carry the same qualification as any regular college. Yet, tuitions could be slashed by 70–80%. Right now, every US state has a couple of big schools and dozens of little ones. And they’re essentially all teaching the same material in a slightly different way.

Yep.

Think of higher education as sort of like the journalism industry.  Journalism is presently a shadow of its former self.  There are a variety of reasons for this, one of which is that news outlets no longer have a geography-based monopoly or quasi-monopoly.  Growing up in Utah, my parents had subscriptions to the Deseret News and, sometimes, the Salt Lake Tribune.  They also watched KSL News.  One generation later, I look at these three news outlets as teeny tiny slices of the overall "pie" from which I obtain news and information.

Journalism has been decimated by news going online.  Can the same be said for higher education?

Quote

I Expect Online Disruptors Will Put Many of the 4,000 “Middle-of-the-Road” US Colleges Out of Business

Top schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford will always attract elite kids and command huge tuitions. They are disruption proof. But the thousands of schools that sell “standard issue” degrees for tens of thousands of dollars are in for a rude awakening.

Think of them as the new department stores. You know how unspecialized, middle of the road retailers like Macy’s and Sears are dying off?  Nimble online schools will do to traditional colleges what Amazon did to department stores.

This is a change every American kid should be cheering for.

I think he may be right.

What about BYU, BYU-I, BYU-H, and Ensign College?  They aren't "{t}op schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford" that are "disruption proof."  But I'm also not sure they can be easily categorized in with "the thousands of schools that sell 'standard issue' degrees."  Kids go to these schools because they A) get a good education, B) that is generously subsidized, and C) to hobnob with fellow Latter-day Saints.  Will this anticipated "disruptive innovation" in higher education affect the Church's schools?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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I think tech companies are offering their own courses geared to training people for jobs in the tech industry.  One problem I see is how are the schools going to test a student on how much they actually know ? More London Bridges falling down ( see Florida ) ? 

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Posted (edited)

There are courses that need labs, hands on work.  I don’t see many companies wanting chemists who are trained online. 
 

I can see using a combination of a couple of years of online for general courses and then going a couple of years for in person coursework that benefits from immediate, face to face interaction. 
 

I suspect graduate work will be still be on campus more. There is a dynamic of interaction that may be lost with the technical medium. But who knows, maybe we will adapt. 

Edited by Calm
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38 minutes ago, smac97 said:

What about BYU, BYU-I, BYU-H, and Ensign College?  They aren't "{t}op schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford" that are "disruption proof."  But I'm also not sure they can be easily categorized in with "the thousands of schools that sell 'standard issue' degrees."  Kids go to these schools because they A) get a good education, B) that is generously subsidized, and C) to hobnob with fellow Latter-day Saints.  Will this anticipated "disruptive innovation" in higher education affect the Church's schools?

I don't think Church schools will be impacted nearly as much as other institutions, and I believe you've touched on the main reasons why: quality, pricing, and environment.

That last one is a big one. I've lost count of how many couples I have met over the years who, like myself, met their spouse while attending BYU or some other Church school. 

 

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1 minute ago, Amulek said:

I don't think Church schools will be impacted nearly as much as other institutions, and I believe you've touched on the main reasons why: quality, pricing, and environment.

That last one is a big one. I've lost count of how many couples I have met over the years who, like myself, met their spouse while attending BYU or some other Church school. 

My parents met at BYU.  I met my wife at BYU.  One of my brothers met his wife at BYU.  One of my brothers-in-law met his wife at BYU-Idaho, as did my one of my sisters-in-law with her husband.

Plenty of couples meet through the Church's Institute program as well.  For example, my in-laws met through the Institute program up at the University of Washington in Seattle.  If schools with Institutes nearby shut down, I wonder what the Church will do to encourage/facilitate intra-church endogamy.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

..........................................t.

What about BYU, BYU-I, BYU-H, and Ensign College?  They aren't "{t}op schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford" that are "disruption proof."  But I'm also not sure they can be easily categorized in with "the thousands of schools that sell 'standard issue' degrees."  Kids go to these schools because they A) get a good education, B) that is generously subsidized, and C) to hobnob with fellow Latter-day Saints.  Will this anticipated "disruptive innovation" in higher education affect the Church's schools?....................

CES will survive, along with BYU-Pathway, and will likely grow.  A lot of LDS parents are afraid to send their kids elsewhere.  The Church can afford to continue to subsidize CES.

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32 minutes ago, Calm said:

There are courses that need labs, hands on work.  I don’t see many companies wanting chemists who are trained online. 
 

I can see using a combination of a couple of years of online for general courses and then going a couple of years for in person coursework that benefits from immediate, face to face interaction. 
 

I suspect graduate work will be still be on campus more. There is a dynamic of interaction that may be lost with the technical medium. But who knows, maybe we will adapt. 

My daughter took a freshman chemistry class online.  It wasn't something I would reccomend.

One of the things I've noticed with her classes is how much earlier she was taking classes that mattered to her profession than students in my day.  

She has taken two classes that had lab work with cadavers.  With all of the other anatomy stuff she has done she said there is nothing that could replace that.  There were things she understood so much better being there with a cadaver in person.

-------

I do think things will change, but not to the extent the writer suggests.

There is a huge social component that you miss with online.  The last year and a half my daughter took some classes online because that was all that was offered or timing and some in person.  Then since March till she graduated in May it was all online. 

She completely preferred in person classes. But then you get people like my husband who did his master's at the same time completely online and wouldn't have it any other way.  He learned a ton, but being his introverted self it was perfect for him.  

It's interesting about the tuition coming down.  My husband actually had to pay increased tuition for doing it online.

$40,000 isn't a minimum.  Even without my daughter's scholarship her costs would have been less.  She did live at home so obviously that makes a difference, but many online students won't live at home anyway so I don't feel you should always count that in the equation.  

Also, I think that some of the rising costs came because with educational savings plans and other tax savings then many could afford higher costs.  It's ridiculous to me how many "luxury" apartments were around ASU, but if you have the money already out aside then you can afford higher costs.  No, not everyone will have saved that way, but I do think enough have that it has made a difference in costs. People still have those accounts so when schools can go back in session they will still be able to cover them.

So I do think things will change, but maybe not as much as some assume.   Maybe it makes a difference in how some view it as to if their children went to school to party or to get an education 

 

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I see there's no accounting for inflation.  10,000 grand in 1980 is about $33,350 today.  That means the increase is (40,000-33,350)/33,350, or about 20%.  But complicating it...the average for instate is $8,893/yr.  So $35,572.  But that's average.  But the little piece says "you could get a four-year bachelor’s degree at a public school for less than $10,000" suggesting that would be on the very low end.  Imagine you could get a 4 year degree for less than $30,000, which then would put the cost of college at a lower rate than 1980.  Certainly complicated seeing as the range of cost for college is very, very large.

I'm not sure there's much to the hysteria here.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, smac97 said:

So this is an interesting article recently published by Forbes: Why College Is Never Coming Back

My question is whether it will have an effect on BYU and the Church's other institutions of higher learning.

Some excerpts from the article:

I was fortunate to graduate with my bachelor's degree with no debt (same with my wife).  I incurred some debt for my law degree, but not nearly in the amounts most others did.

My three older kids are college-aged.  They are keenly aware of the exploding costs of education.

This is a really intriguing argument.  Time will tell if it holds up.  

We've seen a number of "disruptive innovations" in the last several years.  Consider PCs.  Smart phones.  Streaming media.  Democratized news / information / reference services.  P2P commerce.  Web-facilitated learning / communicating / working / shopping / playing.  Retail medical clinics.  

Are colleges and universities on the chopping block?  Will they be displaced by (far cheaper) online learning?  Will employers start looking for alternative means (besides a college degree, that is) of discerning an prospective employee's competence?  How much of higher education costs are wrapped up in "the college experience," and in propping up tenured faculties, massive layers of administrative/bureucratic bloat, and so on?

How many people are now working remotely?  How many employers are moving to make these arrangements permanent?  If employees can work remotely, and save substantial costs to themselves and their employers in the process, can the same thing happen with students seeking a higher education?  If so, why pay tens of thousands of dollars to, as noted above, "watch college lecture videos on the internet?"

I think this fellow may be on to something.

Yep.

Think of higher education as sort of like the journalism industry.  Journalism is presently a shadow of its former self.  There are a variety of reasons for this, one of which is that news outlets no longer have a geography-based monopoly or quasi-monopoly.  Growing up in Utah, my parents had subscriptions to the Deseret News and, sometimes, the Salt Lake Tribune.  They also watched KSL News.  One generation later, I look at these three news outlets as teeny tiny slices of the overall "pie" from which I obtain news and information.

Journalism has been decimated by news going online.  Can the same be said for higher education?

I think he may be right.

What about BYU, BYU-I, BYU-H, and Ensign College?  They aren't "{t}op schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford" that are "disruption proof."  But I'm also not sure they can be easily categorized in with "the thousands of schools that sell 'standard issue' degrees."  Kids go to these schools because they A) get a good education, B) that is generously subsidized, and C) to hobnob with fellow Latter-day Saints.  Will this anticipated "disruptive innovation" in higher education affect the Church's schools?

Thanks,

-Smac

I think it might be that I took my retirement from the Deseret News just in time. 
 

With three of four kids yet to be sent through the pipeline, I think I might be delighted with a just-in-time disruptive innovation that renders expensive, on-site college education obsolete. 
 

And with the nation’s universities being so thoroughly infested with Marxists, I don’t know that the nation wouldn’t be the better off for it. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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Posted (edited)

As long as Canadian Latter-day Saints keep paying their tithing, BYU should be fine.

 

2020-07-23_14-12-01.png

Edited by Nevo
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The reason a university education has become so expensive is because of government involvement in tuition. 

The need for big university buildings has almost vanished. 

But the same can be said for church buildings. 

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Harvard said, "Nope!  Harvard's Harvard, and a Harvard degree is a Harvard degree!  We ain't lowerin' our tuition a dime!"  Maybe Harvard can get away with that, and maybe a lot of "Ivies" can get away with it, but a lot of schools wouldn't/won't be able to.

I wasn't very smart in how I approached my post-baccalaureate degree  from a fiscal standpoint (hell, maybe I wasn't smart in persisting to get the damn thing in the first place, given all of the difficulty I experienced :huh:<_<), but I do know, looking at the average "debt at repayment" figures from my school, that, still, my debt wasn't anywhere near that high!

As long as on-campus was the main option, as long as students pay for school with loans, and as long as loans are subsidized by the government, schools are going to keep trying to add all of the "bells and whistles" such as extra layers of bureaucracy, newer and newer facilities, and so on.

I'm all for anything that breaks that pattern, thankyouverymuch.

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42 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

... I'm not sure there's much to the hysteria here.  

Is there "hysteria here"?  Is that what it is?  Huh. :huh:<_< 

Okay. :unknw: 

Of the two of us, certainly, you're the better psychiatrist.  (Which is kinda disappointing for me to have to admit, given all of the ways so many people have poked around in and prodded the deepest, darkest, corners and recesses of my psyche!)  But, I have to call it like I see it.  Congratulations!

 

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Posted (edited)

People go to college for 2 reasons, primarily.  1) the social experiences/opportunities and 2) the college diplomas most businesses want their future employees to have before offering them a job.

The social experiences/opportunities can come from different places as long as the same people are willing to meet in those other places, and the diplomas/pieces of paper aren't necessary as long as people can get the same education from some other sources(s).

I met my wife at a Church single adult conference, and that is also where she met me.

Edited by Ahab

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

My parents met at BYU.  I met my wife at BYU.  One of my brothers met his wife at BYU.  One of my brothers-in-law met his wife at BYU-Idaho, as did my one of my sisters-in-law with her husband.

Plenty of couples meet through the Church's Institute program as well.  For example, my in-laws met through the Institute program up at the University of Washington in Seattle.  If schools with Institutes nearby shut down, I wonder what the Church will do to encourage/facilitate intra-church endogamy.

Thanks,

-Smac

A friend of mine met his husband at the Flagstaff Institute 12 years ago. To this day and with honest gratitude they attribute the stability and healthiness of their relationship and the deeper cultivation of their faith to the experiences they had there. They continued to attend church together faithfully up until the COVID-19 quarantine. 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

There are courses that need labs, hands on work.  I don’t see many companies wanting chemists who are trained online. 
 

I can see using a combination of a couple of years of online for general courses and then going a couple of years for in person coursework that benefits from immediate, face to face interaction. 
 

I suspect graduate work will be still be on campus more. There is a dynamic of interaction that may be lost with the technical medium. But who knows, maybe we will adapt. 

This is what I see happening.  I'm in an applied science discipline, and our program wouldn't survive if it went online.  If we can't provide experiential learning, then meaningful learning will decrease significantly, and our graduates won't be marketable.  However, I see the general education courses disappearing from, or going fully online at our university.  Of course, our state started offering free tuition to community colleges a couple of years ago.  So, unless you have a good scholarship, it doesn't make much sense to take your gen eds here.  The next couple of years could be interesting.  We might see some sifting, with only 'hands-on' disciplines remaining in the traditional system.

One big challenge this year has been the decreasing ability to conduct research.  On our campus, labs are limited to as few as one person at a time.  Newer faculty on the tenure clock and graduate students are really being impacted.  My workload has increased greatly due to not having students around since March.  My guess is that our university will hire a bunch of new administrators to deal with these new problems!  lol.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nevo said:

As long as Canadian Latter-day Saints keep paying their tithing, BYU should be fine.

https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/hacc/srch/pub/t3010/v23/t3010QlfdDns_dsplyovrvw

Hence, the rainy day fund. ;)  If the Church’s rainy day fund only yielded a 3% annual return rate, about one-sixth of that income could be used to give free tuition to every single student at the three BYU schools.

(Not saying the Church *should* do that, of course.  But financially speaking, so long as BYU admin and faculty remain in the Church leadership’s good graces, the universities will be just fine regardless of broader educational trends.)

Edited by mgy401

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6 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

The reason a university education has become so expensive is because of government involvement in tuition. 

The need for big university buildings has almost vanished. 

But the same can be said for church buildings. 

Sort of. It is more due to the proliferation of nondischargeable loans for tuition. Bankruptcy proof loans have artificially inflated the supply (both government and private lenders). The way to cut back would be to reform the law so student loan debt is dischargeable in some timeframe. Suddenly a loan for cooking college or a degree in folklore literature will not be something a bank wants to get behind. More marketable degrees will still have lenders willing to take the risk. Tuition will also fall due to the need to attract students.

6 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I see there's no accounting for inflation.  10,000 grand in 1980 is about $33,350 today.  That means the increase is (40,000-33,350)/33,350, or about 20%.  But complicating it...the average for instate is $8,893/yr.  So $35,572.  But that's average.  But the little piece says "you could get a four-year bachelor’s degree at a public school for less than $10,000" suggesting that would be on the very low end.  Imagine you could get a 4 year degree for less than $30,000, which then would put the cost of college at a lower rate than 1980.  Certainly complicated seeing as the range of cost for college is very, very large.

I'm not sure there's much to the hysteria here.  

There is a lot of truth there but most don’t want to go to community colleges. They want the experience and it has value. While you are right that the cost has not gone up as much as some suggest the real value of wages is what really hits hard. We are well and truly out of the post-WW2 boom now. Add in the affordable housing difficulties and it gets more severe. A growing percentage of people’s wages are stunk in fixed costs now (rent, mortgage, auto payments, student loans) compared to my parent’s generation.

I remember my mom talking about how she went 50/50 to buy a boat with her dad right out of High School with a pretty menial job. A nice boat. It lasted 30 years in the family. I could not have realistically or at least responsibly done that when I graduated from High School. Kids today have it even tighter.

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5 hours ago, cacheman said:

This is what I see happening.  I'm in an applied science discipline, and our program wouldn't survive if it went online.  If we can't provide experiential learning, then meaningful learning will decrease significantly, and our graduates won't be marketable.  However, I see the general education courses disappearing from, or going fully online at our university.  Of course, our state started offering free tuition to community colleges a couple of years ago.  So, unless you have a good scholarship, it doesn't make much sense to take your gen eds here.  The next couple of years could be interesting.  We might see some sifting, with only 'hands-on' disciplines remaining in the traditional system.

One big challenge this year has been the decreasing ability to conduct research.  On our campus, labs are limited to as few as one person at a time.  Newer faculty on the tenure clock and graduate students are really being impacted.  My workload has increased greatly due to not having students around since March.  My guess is that our university will hire a bunch of new administrators to deal with these new problems!  lol.

Or will the big advances in VR take up some of that area?

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10 hours ago, smac97 said:

It’s a tough sell to convince an 18-year-old kid not to attend the four-year party all his friends are going to, especially when the US government is financing it through student loans.

And pell grants (that don't have to be paid back). I teach my high school students to apply for grants first and loans second.

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12 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Or will the big advances in VR take up some of that area?

That's an interesting thought.  I'm not familiar enough with VR advances to provide much of an answer to that question.  My first thought is that it would be impossible to virtually replicate environmental systems in a way that would allow students to gain applicable 'real-world' experience.  But then, I'm not the most visionary person when it comes to technology.  I'm amazed at some of the tech tools that have become available in my discipline just over the last decade or so.  Myself...... I'm going crazy trying to learn all I can about these online teaching tools that would probably seem very user friendly and basic to someone 20 or 30 years younger!  So, who knows?

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If I can leverage from my own experience, I think I know college got so out of control in the first place.  My dad and the rest of the Greatest Generation returned from WWII, and saw college as a way to ensure their boomer kids had it better than they did.  I remember my dad's opinions: "You are going to college.  I don't care what you do there, but you will work towards a degree.  You have this marvelous opportunity that I never did, and you will not squander it."   I'm sure I was not alone in hearing that advice, and I witnessed plenty of folks drifting through college because their parents required it, not necessarily because they gave a crap.  Colleges, flush with cash, secure in a national culture trained to believe you needed a degree to not be a failure, became what they are.

All hail Dave Ramsey.  His team's "Debt Free Degree" philosophy is still a good one, and still works.  My Kiddo #1 got two years of her nursing degree paid for by our local school district, dual enrollment while in high school.  She'll do her other 1-2 years on daddy's dime at our local community college. 

 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, smac97 said:

Top schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford will always attract elite kids and command huge tuitions. They are disruption proof. But the thousands of schools that sell “standard issue” degrees for tens of thousands of dollars are in for a rude awakening.

Think of them as the new department stores. You know how unspecialized, middle of the road retailers like Macy’s and Sears are dying off?  Nimble online schools will do to traditional colleges what Amazon did to department stores.

This is a change every American kid should be cheering for.

Think of the devastating economic impact that would have on hundreds of small college towns. Just the loss of college sports would be catastrophic for them.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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13 hours ago, The Nehor said:

There is a lot of truth there but most don’t want to go to community colleges. They want the experience and it has value. While you are right that the cost has not gone up as much as some suggest the real value of wages is what really hits hard. We are well and truly out of the post-WW2 boom now. Add in the affordable housing difficulties and it gets more severe. A growing percentage of people’s wages are stunk in fixed costs now (rent, mortgage, auto payments, student loans) compared to my parent’s generation.

I remember my mom talking about how she went 50/50 to buy a boat with her dad right out of High School with a pretty menial job. A nice boat. It lasted 30 years in the family. I could not have realistically or at least responsibly done that when I graduated from High School. Kids today have it even tighter.

I don't know if I agree with  your point.  I don't see how it's any tighter.  It seems less tight today then it used to be. 

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