The country club universities and the real reason college costs so much

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by ncbullgator, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. ncbullgator
    Offline

    ncbullgator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +426
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324619504579029282438522674.html?mod=trending_now_2

    Gotta love: "Colleges are an escape from reality. Believe me , I've lived one for half a century. It's like living in Disneyland...."

    Yes , those hard working liberal professors and administrators are busting their ass...Ha ha.

    And he goes on to talk about the explosion of college loans, Pell Grants etc, fueling the greed.

    Talks about the fairness of allowing government employees to discharge their loans but private employees get screwed.

    Home run piece. Once again, Obama is clueless.

    :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  2. gatordowneast
    Offline

    gatordowneast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,730
    Likes Received:
    302
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +984
    On the money. A friend of mine went to an Ivy in the early and mid 70s. His total per year including tuition, room and board...about $4000-$4500 per year. His son went to the same school 2004-2007...try $50 K year. No financial aid or schollies and no pell grants for that boy. The more involvement by the fed government financially (loans, pell grants etc) the higher they jack the tuition. It is an arms race by the elites to be competitive with other elites.

    Our kids went to an expensive private school in Jax and a friend was on the board. The way they set the budget was first determining what new equipment they needed to buy, salary increases they wanted to give, financial aid (for athletes) they wanted to grant and then and only then, would they decide tuition. And of course they would look at the other private school in Jax to see what they were charging and the tuition was always the same + or - $100 annually. So the entire time our kids were there, tuition was increasing 6-7% annually while the inflation rate was 2-3%.

    So with the Obama recession naturally the admissions people (who once accepted the best and brightest) now have to mine prospective parents for who can stroke the $20 K annual checks...per child.

    I have no doubt, colleges and universities have done the exact same thing. So while well intentioned, federal involvement, like in just about everything, produces outcomes that are debt laden. Education Dept under Reagan was $6 B annually...today it is likely almost $90 B annually.
  3. GatorRade
    Offline

    GatorRade Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    7,091
    Likes Received:
    273
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +935
    What you are saying is sort of right, but Pell grants only give a few thousand dollars, so jacking Harvard up to 50K (I think 60K now) is also quite a bit Harvard's doing.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...rol--or-is-it/2012/05/25/gJQAoH3mpU_blog.html
  4. gatordowneast
    Offline

    gatordowneast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,730
    Likes Received:
    302
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +984
    Absolutely. All these schools want to seem elitist and the way to compete in that area is price. So for those who can pay the toll, they are getting hosed. While the majority are getting aid by the school (which is fine) or through government or private loans and pell grants which now as I understand it are $5500 per year. In my day(70s), UF total expenses were less than that and I lived damn good for a college kid.
  5. GatorRade
    Offline

    GatorRade Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    7,091
    Likes Received:
    273
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +935
    Indeed, even public university prices have been rising, so I think it is very fair to wonder how much of these increases are caused by real costs. I don't know if you've hung on the UF campus recently, but it has certainly upgraded quite a bit since the 70s (and since the 90s when I first saw it), with computers, HD monitors, nicer dorms, nicer rec facilities, etc. Whether all of these things are necessary is another question, but they do impose real costs.
  6. ncbullgator
    Offline

    ncbullgator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +426
    And while the professors who post on Too Hot religiously support their largesse and attack the for profit schools (which I am not a fan of), the article points how the University of Phoenix and the newer on line schools control their overhead significantly better than the bloated public universities.

    By the way, I just bought spend over $600 for books for four classes for my son.

    The entire college text business is one huge scam from professor to publisher.

    :wink:
  7. gatordowneast
    Offline

    gatordowneast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,730
    Likes Received:
    302
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +984
    Yep, both kids attended and graduated in the last 7-8 years including one who was also there for grad school. It has been upgraded and is nicer. I think state schools have done a "better" job than privates at holding down costs.
  8. GatorRade
    Offline

    GatorRade Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    7,091
    Likes Received:
    273
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +935
    Just for the record, I don't think that I've ever supported the largesse of public schools or attacked for-profit schools.

    Textbooks seem extremely expensive to me. And yet it is a competitive market and the royalties paid to the "scamming" authors are a very small percentage. So why the expense?
  9. gatordowneast
    Offline

    gatordowneast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,730
    Likes Received:
    302
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +984
    Bull, my daughter was turned on to a website where she bought her books last few years of undergrad and grad school. My textbook bill went from about $600 semester to about $200. I don't know if she was buying used on amazon or what but apparently a lot of the kids are doing this now.
  10. GatorRade
    Offline

    GatorRade Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    7,091
    Likes Received:
    273
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +935
    There are a lot of great used book markets, and if bull's kids are in large market classes (most of the ones that students see in the first couple of years), there should be electronic books available too. I recommend the ebooks to my students, which are somewhere around half the price.
  11. corpgator
    Offline

    corpgator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    6,319
    Likes Received:
    164
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings Received:
    +792
    You can rent books from amazon. Most people don't keep their textbooks anyway, so it's better to just rent at 40% of the cost then buy and hope you can sell them back at the end.
  12. oldgator
    Offline

    oldgator Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,605
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings Received:
    +139
    on the matter of country club universities

    just my opinion on a number of facets of this issue
    ---govt needs to be more selective in regards to funding research---some of the stuff is good and needed in regards to military, health, etc. But a lot of the stuff dealing with social issues tends to generate a lot of trash projects professors use to stay employed and published
    ---this topic brings to mind some comedy movies over the years---Animal House, Van Wilder, Ghostbusters I(remember the early scene in which the Bill Murray character gets fired from the university for doing useless research?). though Van Wilder and Animal House are pretty funny it is also sad that much of the stuff the two movies contain actually occurs. ie--lifetime students, etc
    ---the matter of 'country club universities' seems to apply in varying ways from the local jucos all the way to Ivy League

    My chief complaint about the university system is that it seems to be more about whether or not students get a diploma rather than whether or not they learned what they should have learned in the courses they took. This issue as a topic comes up a lot in regard to scholly athletes. But it also applies to students in general.

    Another matter---it seems that in recent years a greater percentage of students entering college aren't emotionally, socially, intellectually ready for college. and I tend to believe this ties in with another topic we had on this board recently---the increasing number of adult children still living with their parents. For some reasons I believe parents, schools, and society in general are stunting the emotional/social develop of children and teenagers by lowering the bar in regards to what is expected of children and teens emotionally, socially, etc in terms of personal responsibility

    I'm a liberal and endorse this post


    bottom line----the main reason(IMO) for massively increasing college costs is that colleges are charging what they can get away with charging.
  13. philnotfil
    Offline

    philnotfil Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    12,742
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings Received:
    +723
    Isn't that how you should set your fees for a service? Determine how much it will cost you to provide the service, add another 3% for yourself, take a look around and if you are too far under the market raise your prices a little. That seems like exactly what they should be doing. Perhaps I am reading you wrong, but it seems like you are implying that they should be doing it a different way?
  14. philnotfil
    Offline

    philnotfil Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    12,742
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings Received:
    +723
    Because the students have very limited choices. There is only one publisher for any given book that the student is required to use. The internet is putting some downward pressure on prices, but if you don't know what books you need until the first day of classes, and you need the book the second day, you don't have a lot of options on where to get the book from. And when the school bookstore says that if you have financial aid you can get your books now and they will just take it out of your financial aid when it comes in, the purchase is relatively painless and you have your books for the next class.

    The system doesn't help new consumers learn how to make good financial decisions.
  15. GatorRade
    Offline

    GatorRade Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    7,091
    Likes Received:
    273
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +935
    This is a good point. There is a disconnect between the actual consumer, the student, and the party that makes the decision to consume, the professor. So using your model, we should expect the market to produce high quality texts (as the choosers of the good are extremely well educated) and high priced texts (as the choosers of the good aren't the one's paying). However, the chooser usually still cares a bit about student costs, so shouldn't the different publishers still be trying to undercut each other, even if the process is slower than in a regular market?

    PS I am pretty sure that most universities are sensitive to this issue and have policies mandating that students need to be given their book choices weeks in advance.
  16. Gatormb
    Online

    Gatormb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    9,077
    Likes Received:
    312
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Bradenton, Fl
    Ratings Received:
    +972

    That would be "Bolles"? Cost my Dad around $1,500/year in the late 60's early 70's. Check out the tuition at IMG.

    That quest doesn't come cheap. For room, board and sports training, which includes twice-daily workouts and weekly mental conditioning sessions, athletes specializing in baseball, basketball, ice hockey or soccer pay a basic rate of $25,000. Tennis players pay a minimum of $30,100 and golfers $33,800. Add-ons, including enrollment at Pendleton School ($11,250) and extra sessions with coaches, trainers and even massage therapists, can push a boarder's tuition near the $70,000 mark (box, right). The parents of one tennis student recently purchased a $100,000 school-year package that included hiring an Academies staffer to be the student's personal coach.
  17. oldgator
    Offline

    oldgator Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,605
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings Received:
    +139
    school I attended as a young teen

    East Woods School(Oyster Bay Cove)
    here's the cost now
    Pre-Nursery (2 days): $4,800
    Pre-Nursery (3 days): $7,200
    Pre-Nursery (5 days): $10,900
    Nursery: $13,200
    Pre-Kindergarten: $14,200
    Kindergarten: $19,500
    First Grade: $21,500
    Second through Fourth Grade: $22,000
    Fifth Grade: $23,600
    Sixth through Eighth Grade: $25,100
  18. vangator1
    Offline

    vangator1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +163
    I was accepted at Rensselaer Polytechnic in 1975 at $33K per year. It's hard to believe an Ivy League school would be less.
  19. asuragator
    Offline

    asuragator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    20,531
    Likes Received:
    4,090
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +6,082
    So you knowingly allow yourself to be scammed? I kid. It is a serious issue you raise.

    Leaving aside the left/right politics...

    I think you would find most professors care tremendously about the costs of texts and the burden on students, but in many ways it's a Hobson's choice about which texts to use...to include opting for a coursepack type book--i.e. one that a professor puts together from a variety of readings. The savings tend not to be all that much with coursepacks since if it's comprised of readings from different publishers, the costs associated with copyright drives up the costs of the coursepack.

    We should also talk about the push to constantly put out "new editions" of a text. This forces students to purchase the most expensive editions since the cheaper used ones become "antiquated" nearly immediately (I allow my students to use old versions if they can get their hands on them).

    Or how about the lack of texts that are available electronically, and when they are the costs are almost the same as dead wood books.

    In any case, regardless of what you think you know about professors...who by the way aren't all liberals...I can tell you from over a decade of experience, it is really tough to keep the costs down b/c we have little control and not very good cost cutting options when weighed against needs of the course, short of just not using any texts all (and I've tried that route before).
  20. philnotfil
    Offline

    philnotfil Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    12,742
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings Received:
    +723
    But they don't have to undercut each other. It isn't a functioning market. The person making purchasing decisions (the professor) isn't making the actual purchases. The students are often, strictly speaking, not making purchasing decisions, they are just picking up their books and the bill is magically getting paid. Even the students who are making actual purchasing decisions do not have time to evaluate their options, or to take advantage of cheaper options, they have class the next day, and a bunch of other things to take care of before tomorrow. The publishing companies are all trying to only exceed their competitors by a dollar or two rather than undercut their competitors by a dollar or two. Neither the professors nor the bulk of the students will pay attention to a dollar or two, but give the publishing companies a couple of decades and you have $200 textbooks (when last year's edition is only $20).


    And how many incoming freshmen are thinking about purchasing their books weeks in advance? Like I said, not a functional market.

Share This Page