College isn’t cheap — a very important conversation!

College Isn't CheapThe cost of college is out of hand!

Please note: This provocative infographic was prepared by “FrugalDad.com” and I’ve posted it here at their request. I think the issue raised is very real and central, but I haven’t fully fact checked their piece. So, comments and corrections are welcome!

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Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

6 replies on “College isn’t cheap — a very important conversation!”

  1. Does anyone ever stop and think that the more government is involved in an aspect of our economy the more difficult to keep costs down. Whether it be defense, health care or education, costs have risen many times the rate of inflation because with government involvement there are limited market signals or incentives to limit expenditures. In education we have a very generous publicly funded student loan program, yet what is the public getting for their exposure to the risks on these loans. Are we investing in top students to pursue degrees in areas of national interest at colleges that have proven track records, or stated another way would you loan your money to any and all college bound students? I posit that the government loan program has sent bad signals to the educational market place and is a prime reason for the explosion of education costs. Furthermore government involvement in education has kept marginal colleges from closing, packed higher education with armies of costly administrators (note the huge raise in administrative positions over the last decade versus teaching positions)and allowed any student to take any education path at others risk will little regard to future job prospects.
    Perhaps when we realize that government involvement is part of the problem, the cost of education will slow.

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  2. Certainly you are right as to all three — education, health care and defense — government has made them more expensive. The trick is that these are all very important to us, so we are willing to spend heavily to achieve them and yes that does result in some waste.

    I agree we need to be all about controlling waste in all three areas.

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  3. *Really* hoping that with technology, the whole landscape of education will be changing.

    I am for free education for all.

    While being part of a college/university is culturally important, it is so easy to seek out education via the internet. Unless it’s lab work or something particularly hands-on, I hope to see this trend further develop.

    I especially argue in this regard since I went to art school for 3 years, acquired skills and skipped the degree.
    My husband is in fact, a GED recipient and has done just fine in the world working with his own intelligence. We do feel that lack of degrees have been a hindrance in finding jobs: if a job indicated a degree is required, we would probably not apply. This is really too bad.

    I believe this will change once employers can appreciate skill sets/experience required (and perhaps they can test or have better interviewing for it).

    I feel for the families who cannot possibly afford education.

    A larger problem, too, is that when new grads are young, they put off having children until they can “afford” them (or else not fear being riddled with debt). By the time they get around to it, they are older and need fertility treatments (covered by insurance which then costs us hefty loads of money).

    It’s a major problem in our society- better to have children young, both from a mental and health perspective.

    I also feel for the students who take the debt plunge. I was fortunate to have my education paid for. Taking on student loans is a serious burden and in my opinion, while novel, irresponsible and unnecessary in today’s world.
    We need to bridge the gap between the affluent and the poor.

    Stressors in our lives: http://www.stress-and-relaxation.com/main-causes-of-stress.html
    Our society is totally burdened with stress. It will get better, right?

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  4. I agree that education should and will become more accessible to all through technology. The challenge is to create mechanisms to allow people to not only acquire, but also demonstrate mastery and get certification without hanging around a school or college. I see the market edging in this direction. I believe it is a matter of time, but I’m also looking to see how I can help get us there sooner as a legislator.

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  5. Recent related article —

    Why Men Are More Likely to Drop Out
    “According to a new paper in the journal Gender & Society, men are more likely than women to leave school rather than take on more loans. Women are more likely to finish their degrees, even if that means graduating with a higher debt burden. The research suggests that student debt may help explain a significant but poorly understood trend in recent years: Women are not only enrolling in college at higher rates than men, they’re also more likely to graduate.”
    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/02/22/why-men-are-more-likely-to-drop-out/

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  6. I believe that education is the sole hope for humankind and the planet. In addition, I believe there is an administration-driven cost-bubble that – like the housing bubble – is going to implode in the not-too-distant future. Administrations are controlling costs, and educators have by and large allowed colleges and universities to be driven not by a desire to educate, but to feed the insatiable appetites of the business model set up by administrations country-wide.

    Distance learning may already be one harbinger of the coming collapse, and hopefully there will be others. It is patently absurd to indenture a person who wishes to learn with a dept which cannot even be wiped out by declaring bankruptcy (I believe that to be the case). No other endeavor in our society is thus handicapped.

    How about legislation that reverses this bankruptcy preclusion? And then following up with legislation aimed at righting the tilted cost-ship (I regretfully have no suggestions).

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