Tag Archives: Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases

Small colleges face fight for survival

15 Apr

College Data describes what is meant by a small college in the post, College Size: Small, Medium or Large?

Colleges Considered Small, Medium, or Large
• Colleges considered “small” have fewer than 5,000 students. These are typically private colleges like Hobart, Colgate, Grinnell, and Reed. Yet, it is entirely possible to find small public colleges, such as SUNY Geneseo and Delaware State University.
• Many colleges fall into the “medium” category, between 5,000 to 15,000 students. Yale, Brown, Howard, Duke, University of Arkansas, University of Montana, and Binghamton University are all medium-sized.
• “Large” usually means more than 15,000 students. University of Southern California, New York University, and University of Pennsylvania qualify as large on the private side; UCLA, Michigan State, and University of Texas at Austin on the public side. A label of “huge” would be more accurate for those public universities that have more than 30,000 students.
The Social Side of College Size
Deciding between a large college and a small college often comes down to the social environment you prefer. Knowing whether you feel more comfortable as “a small fish in a big pond” or a “big fish in a small pond” can help you make a decision.
• Smaller schools can easily set the stage for camaraderie and team spirit. You can get to know just about everybody in a small school, and see familiar faces whether you are in the library, the cafeteria, the quad, or in class.
• Larger colleges may seem impersonal on the surface, but most offer many opportunities to become part of a smaller community of students with common interests. You may need a bit of self-control to say “no” to all the socializing that tempts you away from your studies.
Small Colleges Don’t Have a Monopoly on Small Classes
Small colleges are more likely to offer classes with fewer students, enabling professors to give students more individual attention. At larger colleges, classes may be more lecture-oriented. But many such classes are supported by lively discussion sessions. Also, university honors programs can provide a small-class environment…. https://www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_choosearticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10006

There should not be a one-size-fits-all in education. Many small colleges are facing financial challenges which they may not survive.

Michael McDonald of Bloomberg reported in the article, Small U.S. Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops:

Dozens of schools have seen drops of more than 10 percent in enrollment, according to Moody’s. As faculty and staff have been cut and programs closed, some students have faced a choice between transferring or finishing degrees that may have diminished value…
The number of private four-year colleges that have closed or were acquired doubled from about five a year before 2008 to about 10 in the four years through 2011, according to a study last year by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, citing federal data. Plus, among all colleges, 37 merged in the three years through 2013, more than triple the number from 2006 to 2009, according to Higher Education Publications Inc., a Reston, Virginia-based directory publisher.
‘Difficult Steps’
“There will clearly be some institutions that won’t make it and there will be some institutions that will be stronger because of going through these difficult steps,” said David Warren, president of the Washington-based National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities….
Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has predicted that as many as half of the more than 4,000 universities and colleges in the U.S. may fail in the next 15 years. The growing acceptance of online learning means higher education is ripe for technological upheaval, he has said…
“I’m not sure a lot of these institutions have the cushion to experiment with how to stay afloat,” said Michelle Weise, a senior research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a think tank the Harvard professor helped establish in San Mateo, California.
Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, said in January that it would discontinue six majors, said Lisa Murray, a spokeswoman for the school, which has about 1,400 undergraduates.
Ratings Cut
Net tuition revenue fell 14 percent to $30.3 million last year from 2009 as Franklin Pierce boosted financial aid to attract freshmen and keep students from transferring. Standard & Poor’s cut the Rindge, New Hampshire-based school’s credit rating last year to B, five steps below investment grade, from BB. Moody’s reduced its rating to B3 from B1 the year prior.
“Disheartening is certainly a valid term,” said Carl Brezovec, a math professor whose program will no longer be offered as a major, the second time it’s been cut in a decade.
Ashland University, a 136-year-old college in Ohio, reduced tuition by about $11,000 — and direct aid commensurately — for the coming school year, with the goal that a lower-tuition/lower-discount model will eliminate sticker shock and lure students. In November, Moody’s downgraded Ashland’s rating to Caa2, eight levels below investment grade, saying the probability it will default has increased after three years of enrollment declines….
Enrollment Targets
Even wealthier schools are working to plug budget gaps. Yeshiva University in New York, which has a $1.2 billion endowment, has been selling real estate around its campus.
Some colleges are looking beyond belt-tightening for more permanent solutions. Morgan State University in Baltimore, a historically black college, is targeting more Hispanic applicants and those of other ethnicities, according to Moody’s. Chatham University in Pittsburgh, whose undergraduate program is women-only, said in February it was considering going co-ed to boost enrollment.
All of the schools in the Vanderbilt study that closed in recent years were small, with fewer than 1,000 students and average assets of less than $50 million. Most had endowments of about $1 million. Many were religious, such as Bethany University in Scotts Valley, California, which shut in 2011. Some folded into other colleges such as Southern New England School of Law, whose assets were acquired by the University of Massachusetts in 2010.
Investment Return
“We haven’t hit bottom yet,” said Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and author of the book, “The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education From Itself.” Students are shopping for a less expensive education as the cost of college has increased and the job market worsened, he said.
“It’s a question of return on investment,” Reynolds said.
Declining enrollment has forced many colleges to offer deeper tuition discounts to attract students, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The average freshman discount rate rose to 45 percent in 2012 from about 40 percent in 2008, according to Nacubo.
Moody’s found that expenses are outpacing revenue at 60 percent of the schools it tracks even as many try to slash their way to balanced budgets, according to Fitzgerald…. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-14/small-u-s-colleges-battle-death-spiral-as-enrollment-drops.html

See, Private Distress
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/12/09/private-colleges-remain-under-weather#sthash.7bwQsW2G.dpbs

Related articles:
Tuition Revenue Down http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/11/25/tuition-revenue-not-keeping-pace-inflation-4-10-four-year-universities#sthash.vbeRKUy0.dpbs

Downgrading Elite Colleges http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/30/prestigious-liberal-arts-colleges-face-ratings-downgrades#sthash.qQCJGwgf.dpbs

Don’t Panic … Yet http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/08/27/sallie-mae-survey-highlights-changing-marketplace-students#sthash.057z48ft.dpbs

Big Trouble, Potentially, for Little Colleges http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/10/17/big-trouble-potentially-little-colleges#sthash.UgmCpDVF.dpbs

Revenue Dip for Private Colleges http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/11/03/moodys#sthash.lfor4RtI.dpbs
There are many reasons to go to a small college.

Jeremy S. Hyman and Lynn F. Jacobs wrote in the U.S. News article, 10 Reasons to Go to a Small College:

1. You get small classes. Unlike large research universities where you could regularly find yourself in lecture halls with many hundreds of other students, at a small college you’ll rarely be in classes of more than 50 students; in most cases two-thirds of your classes will have fewer than 20 students. (Again, the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings include the percentage of classes under 20 at each school.) The small class environment will give you a much greater opportunity to ask questions, participate in discussion, and have a professor who actually knows who you are. It’s always nice to be a real person, rather than a nameless spectator in the crowd of a mega-university.
[Search for the best school for you.]
2. All the teaching is done by professors. Since most small colleges only grant undergraduate degrees, they don’t have graduate students. And if you don’t have graduate students, you don’t have to stick graduate students in the classroom to get trained on how to be a professor. This means that you won’t have to deal with inexperienced TA’s teaching your class. (It doesn’t mean that you might not get stuck with inexperienced young professors. But with many colleges “tenured in,” and with not much chance for professors to change jobs in this ultra-tight economy, there should be fewer beginning professors compared to the steady stream of green graduate students coming into the research university.)
[Read 10 Warning Signs of a Bad Professor.]
3. Your professors will be more committed to teaching. At many research universities, “publish or perish” is still the phrase of the day. As a result, professors there who seek tenure and promotion have to make research their No. 1 priority and teaching, at best, No. 2….
4. Your work will be evaluated more carefully. In larger schools, professors, TA’s, and/or graders have to rush through huge stacks of papers and exams to grade (that is, when they haven’t relegated the grading to a computer), so they don’t have much time to offer feedback and suggestions on individual pieces of work….
5. You’ll have a chance to write more papers. Grading papers is quite time consuming and papers are one of the first things to go when an instructor is faced with a large class. The limited size of classes at small colleges, though, makes it possible for professors to assign more written work (or other sorts of projects)….
6. You’ll have more opportunity for one-on-one contact with your professor. At the big universities, your professor may just be a speck in the distance, someone you would never dare approach….
7. You’ll have more freedom in the curriculum. Often smaller colleges are more flexible about requirements and give you more leeway to construct programs that meet your individual interests….
8. You’ll have more opportunities to collaborate with a professor. At larger schools, the are endless hordes of graduate students waiting in line to partner with a professor in his or her research program. At smaller schools, it’s the undergraduates who are called upon to look up the sources, help conduct the experiments, and often even write up—or present at a conference—the findings with the professor…..
9. You’ll face less bureaucracy. At small colleges you will be spared the endless lines at registration, the hand-to-hand combat to get into closed classes, and the sprinting between innumerable offices to try to get your simplest questions answered. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?
10. You get the feeling that you count. Large universities can be very alienating places. There it’s easy to feel that no one cares about you and whether you learn anything. At most small colleges, they have room to care. Group hug, anyone? http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2010/07/28/10-reasons-to-go-to-a-small-college

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/georgetown-university-study-even-in-a-depression-college-grads-enjoy-advantage/

Related:
That Facebook post may affect your college acceptance
https://drwilda.com/tag/that-facebook-post-may-affect-your-college-acceptance/

More colleges are putting college applicants on mid-year acceptance for enrollment
https://drwilda.com/tag/students-may-be-accepted-to-college-but-for-spring-admission/

Study: Prior criminal behavior does not necessarily predict behavior on campus
https://drwilda.com/tag/college-admission-questions-rarely-identify-criminal-behavior/

Is a woman’s college the right college for you?
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/20/is-a-womans-college-the-right-college-for-you/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Ask a lot of questions before choosing your college

5 Mar

Moi wrote in Choosing the right college for you:
Now that many students are receiving letters of acceptance from colleges, they are deciding which college is the best fit for them. Given the tight economy, cost is a major consideration. Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn wrote 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. It allows parents and students to calculate the costs of various college options. Once the costs of various college options are considered, then other considerations come into the decision.

Danielle Moss Lee, president and chief executive officer of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund offers some great advice in the Washington Post article, Top 5 factors to weigh when picking a college (by May 1st deadline):

Here are the top five factors students across the country should be considering when making this critical decision:
1. Size. When it comes to choosing a college, it isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are significant differences between large and small colleges, and students need to decide what matters to them. Factors to consider include class size, teacher-to-student ratio, name recognition and what options are available on campus – research centers, sporting events, internship opportunities, clubs and organizations, course choices, faculty members and more.
2. Location. Part of the value of college is learning to live on your own, away from your family, and in a city you choose. Students should push themselves to learn how to be successful in a new environment but also still need a support system. Students should consider how far away they can be and still feel comfortable – for some it’s a short car or bus ride, for others it can be a cross-country flight.
3. Finances. Students and their families need to think carefully about the financial impact of their choices. With student loan debt above $1 trillion (surpassing credit card and auto-loan debt) students — especially those from low-income families like many students at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund — need to figure out what the numbers really mean. How much is need-based grant aid and how much is loan-based aid? What will it cost to travel to campus? What incidentals will be required? Will my mother or father need a second job? How many hours will I be allowed to work on campus?
4. Academic focus. Not every student knows what they “want to be when they grow up” and you don’t need to pick a major to pick a college. However, students should consider the variety of courses, curriculum and majors available.
5. ‘Expert’ opinion. Get some insight. Use your family and friends as a resource. Talk to the people you admire personally and professionally, as well as recent graduates who you might know, to find out what they consider the most important aspect of the college experience. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/top-5-factors-to-weigh-when-picking-a-college-by-may-1st-deadline/2012/04/13/gIQAOAH4FT_blog.html

Once the decision is made to attend a particular college, the thought turns to how to cut the costs of college. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/choosing-the-right-college-for-you/

Deborah L. Jacobs of Forbes wrote, Five Things College Admissions Directors Won’t Tell You:

1. College costs more than you think. Not being prepared for the full cost is one of the biggest reasons student drop out of college. Tuition is only part of the total expense. You also need to consider:
Student fees. Some schools have hefty fees for everything from student government and clubs to special or recreational facilities.
Room and board. There may be extra costs associated with Wi-Fi and cable TV; staying on campus during holidays and breaks; and storage space.
Cost of living. Find out the cost of living range for the local community.
Travel and transportation costs. Anticipate the number of trips home per year you will make. Is there a student discount for travel provided by the school? Are there “ride share” boards available?
2. You might not graduate. Many factors can influence students’ ability to graduate, how long it takes and their satisfaction with the academic experience. These can include the major selected, whether they are enrolled full-time or part-time, the work-study balance, and academic environment.
To get behind the numbers on graduation rates and class size, dig deeper for information about factors that can affect how long it takes to graduate, such as how often certain courses are offered; the ratio of faculty advisors to students; which class levels offer small seminars (rather than just large lecture courses); and how many credits are required for graduation for specialized majors.
3. There is friction with the community. Students generally venture off campus–for recreation, for upper-class housing or both. Therefore, it’s important to find out whether they are welcome in the surrounding community. Ask whether there is adequate student housing in the community once the on-campus living requirement, if any, has been met. Do some window shopping in local stores or hang out at a town eatery and talk up the owners about what their experiences have been interacting with students. For example you could ask, “What has been your best and worst experience with a student here?”
4. This place is unsafe. Almost every college campus struggles with safety issues, but what resources are dedicated to campus safety and how issues are addressed when they occur makes all the difference. Colleges are required by law to produce a safety report each year. Review these reports before visiting each campus.
To find out how safe the campus really is, you will want to know about: Campus police. How many officers are on call at any given time and what is their average response time? Do they patrol inside or outside of resident halls? How do they interact with students?
Proactive safety measures. How many emergency phones are there on campus and where are they? Do you sponsor late-night walk home programs? What counseling services are available? Does the school offer prevention programs? Where can I find your yearly campus safety statistics?
5. You wouldn’t be happy here. Talking with folks in the admissions office is a great first step, but don’t stop there. Take the time to stroll the campus and interact with students at large – not just your student tour guide. The unrehearsed answers you get from students whom you stop at random might give you a much better understanding about what it would be like to go to the school. Here are some questions to ask them:
What has been your best and worst experience as a student here?
What do you like most and least about this college or university?
Would you choose this college or university again? Why or why not?
Do you feel safe here?
Do you think your professors are providing you with a good education?
Are your courses taught by professors or graduate student assistants?
Are you satisfied with the classroom facilities and labs?
Do you like the community? Are students treated well by the locals?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2014/03/03/five-things-college-admissions-directors-wont-tell-you/

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano reported in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s about the education arms race. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/education/edlife/edl-24masters-t.html?emc=eta1&_r=0 Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. See, https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/georgetown-university-study-even-in-a-depression-college-grads-enjoy-advantage/

Resources:

Five Ways to Cut the Cost of College http://www.cnbc.com/id/41626500/Five_Ways_to_Cut_the_Cost_of_College

Secrets to paying for college
http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/27/pf/college/tuition-costs.moneymag/index.htm

Related:

That Facebook post may affect your college acceptance https://drwilda.com/tag/that-facebook-post-may-affect-your-college-acceptance/

More colleges are putting college applicants on mid-year acceptance for enrollment https://drwilda.com/tag/students-may-be-accepted-to-college-but-for-spring-admission/

Study: Prior criminal behavior does not necessarily predict behavior on campus https://drwilda.com/tag/college-admission-questions-rarely-identify-criminal-behavior/

Is a woman’s college the right college for you? https://drwilda.com/2012/08/20/is-a-womans-college-the-right-college-for-you/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Tuition is only the beginning of college costs

15 Aug

Moi wrote about college costs in Figuring actual college costs:
Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn wrote With New Lists, Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases in the Chronicle of Higher Education http://chronicle.com/article/Governments-New-Lists-on/128092/ about the U.S. Department of Education’s new site about college costs. As college becomes more unaffordable for more and more people, they are looking at ways to cut college costs.
Suzanna de Baca wrote the great Time article, The 12 Hidden College Expenses:

Here are some less obvious but common — and pricey — expenses to watch for:
Books and media: According to the College Board, the average annual cost of books for a college student ranges from $850 to $1,000. This is one item you shouldn’t skimp on. To save money, buy used textbooks (even cheaper used books can be found online vs. in the bookstore) or use library resources. If books cost more than you expected, revise the textbook budget for future semesters accordingly.
Class and parking fees: Some classes — like art or chemistry — charge fees for materials and studio or lab use. Know in advance which classes come with additional fees and plan for them so you aren’t blindsided. Also, many schools or cities charge for parking on or near campus, so find out how much a parking pass costs.
Having fun: Campus life often includes socializing and entertainment. However, movies, concerts and sporting events come with a cost. If this is a priority, explore purchasing a discounted season sports or events package vs. paying per event. Also, set entertainment spending limits for yourself or your child.
Fraternities and sororities: The Greek system can be pricey. Dues may be required (from modest to expensive), and joining halfway through the year can require paying for months past, which can double the dues. Other required Greek spending, like clothing for special events and traveling, can also add up.
Getting involved: Learning experiences outside the classroom are an important part of college, but clubs, intramural sports and memberships may cost money and require the purchase of T-shirts or member memorabilia. When considering activities, think about what’s most important and weigh the varying costs.
Furnishings: You have likely purchased items not included in the dorm plan, like bedding, towels, lamps, decorations, furniture, laundry and waste baskets, bulletin boards, hair dryers and even storage and appliances. Once settled, you may have a new list of things you discovered you’re missing, like a vacuum or other electronics. Think about what is necessary, as many of these items have a limited life postcollege and can often be rented or shared.
Electronics: According to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Back to School report, electronics are popular expenditures with college students: 60% said they will buy a new computer, MP3 player, smart phone or other device and will spend an average $217.88. Tack on a new flat screen for the dorm room, and the cost of electronics seems daunting. Determine what non-necessary electronics you can afford to splurge on in advance, and avoid peer pressure around purchasing the hottest new item.
Cable TV: Most dorms have common areas with TVs that have cable access. However, many students opt for cable in their room or apartment on or off campus — at a fee! Evaluate how much time you spend at home or in your room and determine whether the cost is worth it, especially given the options now available in streaming media for both entertainment and news.
Wardrobe: While purchasing back-to-school clothing is an annual affair for most students, once on campus, unexpected clothing purchases may emerge. Internship interviews and extracurricular activities along with other special events may all require specific attire. Try to anticipate these expenses and think about delaying your shopping trip until after you get to campus. Consider which purchases are priorities and make budget trade-offs if you tend to spend more on clothes.
Mobile-phone service: Understanding the right mobile-phone plan is important. Your chatting, texting and data-downloading habits may change at school as you keep in touch with friends or use services throughout business hours. Staying on the family plan is usually a good option, but determine which provider has the best service on campus.
Food and beverage: While you may have a food plan, the cost of eating out and buying snacks and beverages for the dorm may be more than you think. You also might overspend on these things as you navigate campus life.
Travel: Most students go home to visit several times a year, so budget for gas or plane tickets. Since these trips will likely happen at heavy travel times, plan ahead to get good prices. If you’re a parent planning to visit your child’s campus, don’t forget to plan for your trips, which can include many of the same costs as a vacation: travel, food, transportation and entertainment. Talk about how often is realistic for you to see your family based on travel costs and consider using technologies like Skype to eliminate some of these costs.
http://healthland.time.com/2012/11/16/the-13-hidden-college-expenses/#ixzz2CzQ5qfnK
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/25/figuring-actual-college-costs/

Families must look at all college costs to plan a budget.

Phillip Elliott of AP wrote the article, Tuition Costs Trumped By College Housing, Food Bills: College Board:

A look at typical college students’ budgets last year and how they’re changing:
COMMUNITY COLLEGES
The public two-year schools charged in-state students an average $3,131 last year, up almost 6 percent from the previous year. While the tuition hike was larger than at other types of schools, students at community colleges saw the smallest increase in room and board costs – a 1 percent increase to $7,419. Total charges for students to attend an in-state public two-year school: $10,550.
Tuition and fees at community colleges are up 24 percent beyond overall inflation over the past five years, according to the College Board.
PUBLIC FOUR-YEAR SCHOOLS
Tuition for students attending public four-year schools in their state was an average $8,655 last year, a 5 percent jump from the previous year. They paid more than that – $9,205 – for housing and food. These schools, like other four-year schools, posted a 4 percent jump in housing costs. Add in books and supplies, transportation and other costs and the total reaches $17,860 to attend an in-state public school, such as a student from Tallahassee attending Florida State University. When grants and scholarships are included, the average student pays $12,110 at such schools.
For students who choose to attend state schools outside their home state, the costs increase to $30,911. They pay the same $9,205 price tag for room and board, but the tuition rates are more expensive. The typical student who crossed state lines to attend a public college in 2012 paid $21,706 in tuition and fees after grants and scholarships – a 4 percent jump from the previous year.
Over the past five years, the tuition sticker price at public four-year colleges is up 27 percent beyond overall inflation.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS
On the surface, private four-year schools are the most costly colleges, with the average student’s sticker price coming in at $39,518 for all expenses. Tuition and fees were $29,056 last year – another 4 percent jump – while room and board ran to $10,462. After grants and scholarships, the average student paid $23,840 to attend schools such as Yale or Stanford.
The tuition at private schools was up 13 percent beyond overall inflation over the past five years adjusted for inflation. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/13/tuition-costs-college-housing-food_n_3748511.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Applying to a college is just the first step. Students and families also have to consider the cost of particular college options.

Resources:

Five Ways to Cut the Cost of College http://www.cnbc.com/id/41626500/Five_Ways_to_Cut_the_Cost_of_College

Secrets to paying for college
http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/27/pf/college/tuition-costs.moneymag/index.htm

College Preparation Checklist
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/college-prep-checklist.pdf

Federal Student Aid
http://studentaid.ed.gov/resources

Related:

Choosing the right college for you https://drwilda.com/2012/04/15/choosing-the-right-college-for-you/
Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’ https://drwilda.com/tag/college-cost/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Figuring actual college costs

25 Nov

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 U.S. Department of Education’s new site about college costs. As college becomes more unaffordable for more and more people, they are looking at ways to cut college costs.

Suzanna de Baca wrote the great Time article, The 12 Hidden College Expenses:

Here are some less obvious but common — and pricey — expenses to watch for:

Books and media: According to the College Board, the average annual cost of books for a college student ranges from $850 to $1,000. This is one item you shouldn’t skimp on. To save money, buy used textbooks (even cheaper used books can be found online vs. in the bookstore) or use library resources. If books cost more than you expected, revise the textbook budget for future semesters accordingly.

Class and parking fees: Some classes — like art or chemistry — charge fees for materials and studio or lab use. Know in advance which classes come with additional fees and plan for them so you aren’t blindsided. Also, many schools or cities charge for parking on or near campus, so find out how much a parking pass costs.

Having fun: Campus life often includes socializing and entertainment. However, movies, concerts and sporting events come with a cost. If this is a priority, explore purchasing a discounted season sports or events package vs. paying per event. Also, set entertainment spending limits for yourself or your child.

Fraternities and sororities: The Greek system can be pricey. Dues may be required (from modest to expensive), and joining halfway through the year can require paying for months past, which can double the dues. Other required Greek spending, like clothing for special events and traveling, can also add up.

Getting involved: Learning experiences outside the classroom are an important part of college, but clubs, intramural sports and memberships may cost money and require the purchase of T-shirts or member memorabilia. When considering activities, think about what’s most important and weigh the varying costs.

Furnishings: You have likely purchased items not included in the dorm plan, like bedding, towels, lamps, decorations, furniture, laundry and waste baskets, bulletin boards, hair dryers and even storage and appliances. Once settled, you may have a new list of things you discovered you’re missing, like a vacuum or other electronics. Think about what is necessary, as many of these items have a limited life postcollege and can often be rented or shared.

Electronics: According to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Back to School report, electronics are popular expenditures with college students: 60% said they will buy a new computer, MP3 player, smart phone or other device and will spend an average $217.88. Tack on a new flat screen for the dorm room, and the cost of electronics seems daunting. Determine what non-necessary electronics you can afford to splurge on in advance, and avoid peer pressure around purchasing the hottest new item.

Cable TV:  Most dorms have common areas with TVs that have cable access. However, many students opt for cable in their room or apartment on or off campus — at a fee! Evaluate how much time you spend at home or in your room and determine whether the cost is worth it, especially given the options now available in streaming media for both entertainment and news.

Wardrobe: While purchasing back-to-school clothing is an annual affair for most students, once on campus, unexpected clothing purchases may emerge. Internship interviews and extracurricular activities along with other special events may all require specific attire. Try to anticipate these expenses and think about delaying your shopping trip until after you get to campus. Consider which purchases are priorities and make budget trade-offs if you tend to spend more on clothes.

Mobile-phone service: Understanding the right mobile-phone plan is important. Your chatting, texting and data-downloading habits may change at school as you keep in touch with friends or use services throughout business hours. Staying on the family plan is usually a good option, but determine which provider has the best service on campus.

Food and beverage: While you may have a food plan, the cost of eating out and buying snacks and beverages for the dorm may be more than you think. You also might overspend on these things as you navigate campus life.

Travel: Most students go home to visit several times a year, so budget for gas or plane tickets. Since these trips will likely happen at heavy travel times, plan ahead to get good prices. If you’re a parent planning to visit your child’s campus, don’t forget to plan for your trips, which can include many of the same costs as a vacation: travel, food, transportation and entertainment. Talk about how often is realistic for you to see your family based on travel costs and consider using technologies like Skype to eliminate some of these costs.
http://healthland.time.com/2012/11/16/the-13-hidden-college-expenses/#ixzz2CzQ5qfnK

Applying to a college is just the first step. Students and families also have to consider the cost of particular college options.

Resources:

Five Ways to Cut the Cost of College                                     http://www.cnbc.com/id/41626500/Five_Ways_to_Cut_the_Cost_of_College

Secrets to paying for college                                                  http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/27/pf/college/tuition-costs.moneymag/index.htm

College Preparation Checklist

College Preparation Checklist Brochure

Funding Education Beyond High School

Federal Student Aid

Related:

Choosing the right college for you https://drwilda.com/2012/04/15/choosing-the-right-college-for-you/

Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’ https://drwilda.com/tag/college-cost/

Is a woman’s college the right college for you?                    https://drwilda.com/2012/08/20/is-a-womans-college-the-right-college-for-you/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                              https://drwilda.com/

Is online higher ed a threat to bricks and mortar colleges?

17 Sep

Moi discussed free online universities in Can free online universities change the higher education model?

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 U.S. Department of Education’s new site about college costs. As college becomes more unaffordable for more and more people, they are looking at alternatives to college.

Jon Marcus reports in the Washington Post article, Online course start-ups offer virtually free college:

An emerging group of entrepreneurs with influential backing is seeking to lower the cost of higher education from as much as tens of thousands of dollars a year to nearly nothing.

These new arrivals are harnessing the Internet to offer online courses, which isn’t new. But their classes are free, or almost free. Most traditional universities have refused to award academic credit for such online studies.

Now the start-ups are discovering a way around that monopoly, by inventing credentials that “graduates” can take directly to employers instead of university degrees.

If I were the universities, I might be a little nervous,” said Alana Harrington, director of Saylor.
org
, a nonprofit organization based in the District. Established by entrepreneur Michael Saylor, it offers 200 free online college courses in 12 majors.

Another nonprofit initiative is Peer-to-Peer University, based in California. Known as P2PU, it offers free online courses and is supported by the Hewlett Foundation and Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox Web browser.

A third is University of the People, also based in California, which offers more than 40 online courses. It charges students a one-time $10 to $50 application fee. Among its backers is the Clinton Global Initiative.

The content these providers supply comes from top universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, Tufts University and the University of Michigan. Those are among about 250 institutions worldwide that have put a collective 15,000 courses online in what has become known as the open-courseware movement.

The universities aim to widen access to course content for prospective students and others. At MIT, a pioneer of open courseware, half of incoming freshmen report that they’ve looked at MIT online courses and a third say it influenced their decision to go there.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/online-course-startups-offer-virtually-free-college/2012/01/09/gIQAEJ6VGQ_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

The New York Times reported about the online education trend in the article, Online Enterprises Gain Foothold as Path to a College Degree http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/education/25future.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Many free online colleges are not accredited. As an example, University of the People states this in their catalog:

RECOGNITION

At present, University of the People is not an accredited institution. The University is in the process of preparing the necessary materials to apply for accreditation from an agency recognized by the U. S. Department of Education. At this time no assurances can be given as to when, or if, accreditation might be granted….

NOTICE CONCERNING THE TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUR INSTITUTION

The transferability of credits you earn at University of the People is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree you earn in either the Computer Science or Business Administration program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits or degree that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your course work at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending University of the People to determine if your credits or degree will transfer.

Contact Information

For questions or comments, please contact: info@uopeople.org

http://www.uopeople.org/files/Pdf/university_catalog.pdf

Before signing-up for any course of study, people must investigate the claims of the institution of higher learning regarding graduation rates and placement after completion of the degree. The U.S. Department of Education has an accreditation database and you can always check with the department of education for your state. Back to College has a good explanation of College Accreditation: Frequently Asked Questions

Often these online ventures will offer a certificate or badge to show completion of a course of study. Education Portal defines the difference between a certificate and diploma:

Certificate Overview

A certificate is earned by a student after taking a series of courses relating to a subject. Students often earn certificates to get a step ahead in the professional field of their interest and certificates may be offered in similar programs as degrees. For instance, there are certificates in business, literature and technical programs. In some technical programs, a certificate may be required.

There are also graduate certificates, often taken either alone or alongside a graduate degree program. In some programs, the student may use his or her electives to fulfill a certificate in order to make him or herself more desirable to a potential employer.

Certificate programs taken alone are similar to associate’s degree programs. However, they take less time because core academic programs are not required.

Diploma Overview

Diplomas are similar to certificates but often earned at clinical schools. For instance, a diploma of nursing is offered as an option besides an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. This diploma program is only offered at hospitals with specialty programs that provide training. A diploma often takes two years and involves as much clinical work as classroom.

Degree Overview

An academic degree can be earned at many levels, including associate’s, which takes two years, bachelor’s, which takes four years, master’s, which is two years beyond a bachelor’s degree, and doctoral, which is several years beyond a master’s degree.

A degree program differs from certificates and diploma programs in that it often requires the student to take core courses to support a more rounded education. For instance, at many universities, those earning their bachelor’s degree are required to take English, math, science, philosophy and history. Earning a degree also opens up many more potential doors to the student than would a certificate or diploma. Many careers require that the student has earned at least a bachelor’s degree; several career options require more than this. http://education-portal.com/articles/What_is_the_Difference_Between_a_Certificate_Diploma_and_Degree.html

Some online universities are awarding badges. Lynn O’Shaughnessy reports in the U.S. News article, Digital Badges Could Significantly Impact Higher Education. http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-college-solution/2011/10/04/digital-badges-could-significantly-impact-higher-education                                                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/2012/01/23/can-free-online-universities-change-the-higher-education-model/

Doug Ward posts the article, Why Online Education Has Gained Revolutionary Momentum at PBS Media Shift:

The rush to create large, free online classes has generated anxiety at universities around the country. With finances already tight and with a surge of movement toward online learning, universities are being forced to move quickly to change centuries-old models of learning. Terms like historic, seismic and revolutionary now pop up in descriptions of the challenges that higher education faces in the coming years….

Technology leads the way

Internet connections, computers and cellphones have become faster and cheaper, providing easier access to online material and creating the potential to speak with, work with, and learn from nearly anyone in the world. Information, once something people had to seek out, now flows relentlessly to them. In education, lecture capture and lesson creation have become easier and cheaper, and online storage has made retrieval cheap and easy. Free tools like Moodle, Jing, YouTube, and Twitter have provided new means of information sharing and collaboration. Smartphones and the iPad have provided portable means of accessing and creating information, making learning more portable than ever…

College costs have skyrocketed

The expense of higher education has risen more than 550 percent since 1985, pricing many students out of the market even as a college degree becomes more important than ever for reaching the middle class. At the same time, the cost of technology has dropped, allowing more people easier access to the Internet and to resources for learning….

Convenience attracts students online

Online and hybrid education offers students freedom to work through course material when and where they want, and at their own pace, repeating material if needed, and reducing the amount of time they sit passively in large lectures…

Teachers innovate for a digital generation

Educators have been experimenting with technology, sharing ideas and collaborating as they try to find ways to reach a generation of students that has grown up with computers, cell phones, Xboxes, Nintendo and other electronics. K-12 schools, especially, have shown increased interest in using games, phones, iPads and other unconventional means to engage students in the classroom. Social media have accelerated the spread of ideas, spurring even more innovation.

Online and hybrid education offers new means of engaging students through interactive lessons, videos, animations, games, discussion boards and chats. These are all familiar and comfortable technologies for a generation of students that has grown up with ubiquitous technology….

Digital education offers a broad reach

Online education allows universities to reach students who can’t or don’t want to move to a physical campus, eliminating physical boundaries for recruitment and making nearly anyone anywhere a potential student.

Distance education is nothing new. It has existed for more than a century in the form of correspondence courses taken by mail. Radio and television allowed educational material, often lectures, to be broadcast, and educational shows such as “Sesame Street” combined education and entertainment…

For-profit colleges compete for students

The University of Phoenix and other for-profit colleges have attracted millions of students and millions of dollars in tuition with online courses. This has caught the attention of traditional colleges and universities, which see many potential students slipping away. Some critics of traditional education have even indicated that a degree matters less than tangible skills, and have suggested using certificates, badges and other means as a way to authenticate those skills….

Big online courses gain notoriety

New organizations such as Coursera and edX have made headlines by attracting large numbers of students, large investments of capital, and commitments from big-name universities. That has increased the buzz about online and hybrid education, especially as new deals have been struck and new money has flowed to the organizations.

The success of large online courses, or MOOCs (for massive open online courses), at attracting students and capital, and the success of for-profit colleges have sent many colleges and universities scrambling to avoid the perception that they lack vision or the ability to change in an era of digital learning. No university wants to look like an also-ran….

College budgets keep shrinking

Administrators are looking to online education and technology in general as a means to save money. Budgets have been squeezed, especially at public institutions, even as fixed costs remain high.

Bowen and his colleagues at Ithaka S+R offer one of the more persuasive arguments about potential cost savings through more efficient use of technology, personnel, and facilities. Upfront costs are higher as courses are developed, they say, but once a hybrid course is created by a faculty member, additional sections can be added using less-expensive adjuncts and teaching assistants….

Where is this headed?

The move toward technology-aided learning will only accelerate in coming years. Many K-12 schools have been investing heavily in tablets and other technology in hopes of reducing costs on textbooks.

Others have embraced a bring-your-own-device model, which draws on students’ growing ownership and use of cell phones, laptop computers and tablets. Many schools are also investing in tools such as lecture capture, high-speed wireless networks, cloud computing, and social networking, and combining technology-aided education with classroom work.

Despite these many changes, online education is unlikely to push aside a traditional four-year on-campus degree in the near future. That “college experience” allows students to make connections with faculty members, to work closely with peers and teachers, to improve their critical thinking, and, perhaps most importantly, to mature as they live away from home for the first time. With technology changing the way younger students learn, though, and with more new options for learning popping up constantly, universities have no choice but to adapt and make it clear to students what they offer over the myriad online alternatives.

Doug Ward is an associate professor of journalism and the Budig Professor of Writing at the University of Kansas. He is the author of “A New Brand of Business: Charles Coolidge Parlin, Curtis Publishing Company, and the Origins of Market Research” and a former editor at The New York Times. You can find him online at www.kuediting.com and www.journalismtech.com, and follow him on Twitter @kuediting.                                                                                                   http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2012/09/why-online-education-has-gained-revolutionary-momentum255.html

With any education opportunity the prospective student and their family must do their homework and weigh the pros and cons of the institution with with the student’s goals and objectives. In answer to the question of whether online college is a threat to traditional bricks and mortar universities, it depends. The market will answer that question because many students do not attend college to receive a liberal arts education, but to increase employment opportunities. If the market accepts badges and certificates, then colleges may be forced to look at the costs associated with a traditional college degree.

Related:

Online K-12 education as a cash cow for ‘Wall Street’ https://drwilda.com/2011/11/21/online-k-12-education-as-a-cash-cow-for-wall-street/

Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Producing employable liberal arts grads                       https://drwilda.com/2012/04/01/producing-employable-liberal-arts-grads/

Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping https://drwilda.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©