3rd world America: College increasingly out of reach

27 Oct

Moi really doesn’t know what to make of the idea of privatizing state universities.  In the recent past, government had the goal of raising the standard of living and producing the economic conditions that fostered livable wage jobs. The goal of most politicians was to create the conditions that promoted and fostered a strong middle class. Particularly, after WWII and the Korean War, with the G.I Bill, one part of that equation was the wide availability of a college education. This push produced an educated workforce and a college education was within reach, no matter one’s class or social status. This educated workforce helped drive this country’s prosperity. Now, have we lost the goal of providing educational opportunity the widest number of people possible, no matter their class or social status? This question causes moi to wonder about privatizing state universities.

Sam Dillion was writing about the prospect of privatizing public universities in the New York Times in 2005. See, At Public Universities, Warnings of Privatization In 2004, William Symonds wrote an opinion piece in Business Week about the role of public universities 

Justin Pope, AP Education Writer details just how fast college costs are rising all over the country in the article, College prices up again as states slash budgets:

Average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose an additional $631 this fall, or 8.3 percent, compared with a year ago.

Nationally, the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high. Throw in room and board, and the average list price for a state school now runs more than $17,000 a year, according to the twin annual reports on college costs and student aid published Wednesday by the College Board.


Prospective students and families will not only have to worry about getting into college, but finding a way to pay for college.

Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn have written With New Lists, Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the Department of Education’s new site about college costs. The College Affordability and Transparency Center is useful for students who are applying to college.

More people are switching careers several times during their working career and that means that they must be retrained. Many students cannot afford a traditional four year college either in terms of cost or time spent away from home. Community colleges have always offered these students educational opportunity. KCBS radio in California has a report of the push by legislators to have community colleges in California offer four year degrees. In Community Colleges Pushed to Offer Four Year Degrees Melissa Culross reports….

There are two issues when community colleges offer four year degrees and they are increasing access to educational opportunities and the realities of budgetary constraints. Each college will have to decide whether offering four year degrees fit within the college mission and the needs of the individual community. See, Robert Franco’s The Civic Role of Community Colleges: Preparing Students for the Work of Democracy

Daniel de Vise has a great article in the Washington Post, 25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College which reports online information from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.    

The question lawmakers should be asking themselves is why society developed public universities and do those reasons still exist? In the rush to get past this moment in time lawmakers may be destroying the very economic engine, which would drive this country out of the economic famine that currently exists. While tuition is increased for students, the pay of college administrators remains hefty. Administrators are in effect pigs at the trough and should come under some scrutiny. Of course, if the current public universities were privatized, we wouldn’t have to worry about pigs still at the trough or would we? In a totally privatized university environment, administrators could be paid what the market will allow or the regents can go wink, wink at. Wait, wasn’t unfettered pay one element in the U.S. financial meltdown?

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

One Response to “3rd world America: College increasingly out of reach”


  1. Will a three year B.A. help more students afford college? « drwilda - June 24, 2012

    […] Prospective students and families will not only have to worry about getting into college, but finding a way to pay for college. So, it comes as no surprise that reducing the time it takes to get a B.A.  is an idea that is being floated.  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/3rd-world-america-college-increasingly-out-of-reach/ […]

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