Obama proposes tieing Financial Aid to college ratings

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by gatordowneast, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. gatordowneast
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    gatordowneast Premium Member

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  2. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Unless Hillsdale & Liberty put students into heavy debt without graduating them in good numbers, I think they would be fine in this rating system. IF they don't then they would have incentive to lower costs or graduate more students. Its a pretty good idea to tie federal $ to acceptable outcomes, rather than a free for all with no concern for results.
  3. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    That's a tremendously good idea.

    I've said many times that one of the biggest problems driving the student loan bubble is the hugely expensive for-profit schools that will take anyone who applies, charges them monstrous tuition, gets them all federal student loans to pay that tuition, then spits them out unqualified for any job that could ever hope of paying that loan back.

    By way of example, someone who goes to a tip-top law school where employment at graduation rates are well over 90% and average starting salaries are in the range of $160,000 can afford to pay back the $150,000-200,000 in student loans they likely took out for law school. Someone who went to a private, for-profit unranked law school will graduate with a nearly identical student loan debt load, less than 40% of the class will be employed at graduation, and the average starting salary for those who are employed is well under $50,000 - good luck paying back $200k in student loans in ten years on that.

    The entire business model of the predatory for-profit schools relies on federal student loans being treated like free money and students who don't consider whether the education the school is providing offers a benefit worth anywhere near the cost of attendance (they don't) or prepares them for a job with a hope of paying back those student loans (again, they don't). We need some reform that considers the value of the education offered by a given school before throwing as much "free money" as the school wants to charge at it and leaving students on the hook to pay it back.
  4. philnotfil
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    philnotfil Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely needs to be done. Too many schools preying on the uneducated, luring them in with good customer support, right up until the loan money clears, then the school doesn't care about the student anymore. They make their money by getting people in the door, not by getting them out the door. (I worked on a marketing campaign for one of these schools, they were very up front with us about their business model)
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  5. gatordowneast
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    gatordowneast Premium Member

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    Agreed but not what I'm concerned about. Political ideology is what my concern would be. Is this a factor? Would institutions categorized as more "liberal" receive greater stipends for student attendees than those considered more conservative?

    Just saying. Slippery slope. Have to have nailed down criteria.
  6. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Why wouldnt the criteria be universal?
  7. icequeen
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    icequeen Well-Known Member

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    As a side note, I live about 5 minutes from where he's speaking today, and it's a bit unnerving to watch online and see the bridge that's just down from my townhouse with snipers on it.

    On the bright side, at least I know that this place can be cleared in an act of terrorism really fast - he's taking the most heavily traveled areas during the day - ghost town. Pretty efficient stuff. Kind of used to it when a freak blizzard pops up and they have to clear the roads super fast...but still. Impressive.

    Lots of choppers overhead. Lots of sirens earlier this morning.
  8. gatordowneast
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    gatordowneast Premium Member

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    You mean like IRS regulations governing approval of non-profits? You mean like IRS audits? You mean like Justice Department investigations of itself? Or state department investigations of itself after Benghazi? (4 suspended employees were never interviewed)

    Call me skeptical but I trust nothing with this regime. Nothing.
  9. vangator1
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    vangator1 Well-Known Member

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    Obama is anti-gun. Those aren't guns.
  10. icequeen
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    icequeen Well-Known Member

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    :laugh:
  11. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    I don't see how its like any of those things, even allowing the mostly bogus and debunked conservative narative of those events to color them. If, for example, a college has to graduate 90% of students within 5 years to qualify, how is that open to political abuse/bias? Seems like the criteria would be numeric benchmarks, not subjective interpretations of what a college is teaching or doing. Other than simply purposely ignoring or breaking the standards set, I'm not sure what kind of shennanigans could occur. The IRS has to determine what a groups "intent" or "purpose" is for tax status. I don't see how that would apply if you are setting benchmarks on loan debt and graduation rates.
  12. g8rjd
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    g8rjd Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree with you Ben. I see this as an attack on the predatory for-profit universities that really are fleecing the students and the federal loan system with little hope of improvement for the students and prospect of repayment. Another aspect of this is the GI Bill. That one-time benefit for veterans is resulting in a number of veterans burning it on for-profit universities that fleece them and if they do get a degree is isn't worth much more than the paper it is printed on.

    This isn't aimed at state schools, private universities, but the University of Phoenix's of the nation. And it's a very good idea. That really is the next ticking financial time bomb.
  13. icequeen
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    icequeen Well-Known Member

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    He has a teleprompter AND a binder :laugh:

    A girl introducing him is talking so fast you can barely understand her.


    BTW one of these days I want someone to mess with that binder and see what happens to the speech :laugh:

    Anyways, I like the idea of Financial Aid tied to ratings, but there are so many rating services out there, what is used as the "official" rating then? They'd have to have a clearing house if you would that has ONE database for those ratings.
  14. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    I think that's what's being proposed here. The criteria would have to be exposed across the board. That would be pretty cool to see - a full listing of those criteria including average cost, average salary X years post-graduation, grad rates based on degree, etc.
  15. icequeen
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    icequeen Well-Known Member

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    Well what happens is that he mixes up the Mayor with the Congressman. That's okay, Mayor Brown is black, Congressman Higgins is white. Easy mistake. :laugh: The AUDIENCE had to correct him. He was like "what? Huh? OH!"
  16. cjgator76
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    I have seen examples of this - involving both graduates of these schools and dropouts - which were downright heartbreaking, and that is not a term I use lightly. The worst involved graduates who, despite high college grades, had nowhere near the minimum intellectual ability needed to work in their chosen field.

    In principle, the proposal strikes me as a sound idea.
  17. oldgator
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    one of the few times I agree with Gatordowneast....in general I find the notion of linking financial aid to college ratings to be fraught with risks
    ---political bias(from either liberals or conservatives) skewing which schools benefit and which ones don't.
    ---would it throw even more of a wrench into educational system by favoring some majors/professions/etc over others---creating a surplus of grads in some fields and a shortage in other fields?
    ---would it be biased in favor of red states or blue states depending upon the administration in power.
    ---how would the matter be resolved in regard to public institutions vs private institutions in an equitable manner? Would there be repercussions involved in instituting such a program in regard to religion based universities?

    The notion of linking looks appealing at first. But if looking into outcomes and possible abuses of the policy it is fraught with a lot of things that aren't too savory
  18. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    It happens in a way now with Ivy League schools. I certainly think this is a great idea.
  19. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    I think if nothing else you have to look at average salary for graduates. As it stands now the Federal Student Loan program essentially operates with no underwriting whatsoever, as long as the school is accredited by someone you are eligible for federal loans up to whatever the school itself certifies their cost of attendance as being (including whatever they decide to set their tuition at) without a bit of consideration as to whether the educational investment presents any prospect of paying that loan back at all.

    Since many of the students at the worst schools are not exactly educated consumers, this lets schools with no job prospects decide to charge the same tuition as the schools with the best job prospects, the federal government essentially puts the money directly in the schools pockets, and the students assume a non-dischargable student loan debt in that amount to hang around their necks for the rest of their lives.

    If we're worried about criteria, a solid start would be making for-profit schools ineligible for federal student loans. That said, I think this proposal would work better to bring cost of attendance back in line with the actual benefit being offered. If the government isn't throwing around free money to attend these predatory schools, they can't charge the outrageously inflated tuitions because no one will pay them anymore.
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  20. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    I think you'll find that the target is primarily for-profit schools. While tuition is certainly high at the Ivies, they are also the schools most likely to provide job prospects that can pay back that high tuition. At least in the law school context you find that the for-profit schools are charging tuitions that aren't markedly different than those charged at the Ivies with no job prospects whatsoever.

    That's largely my example actually. At the Ivy law schools average starting salary is around $160,000/yr and over 90% of the class has a job at graduation, with a tuition of between $45-55k/yr. At the for-profit law schools you are looking at less than 40% of the class employed at graduation, an average starting salary below $50k/yr for those who are employed, and tuitions of $35-50k/yr.

    Edit: I may be misunderstanding your point in reading it again, my apologies if I was.

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