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Flying Sausages

Why US college and university are so expensive?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Why the fuck US college and university are so fucking expensive. I am currently in community college working on my AA degree to transfer to a big college or university, but I don't think I will make it because I have bad finance, and I have to pay out of pocket for tuition. I don't want to sign $45k+ student loan if I can't get a good paying job. Working at Best Buy where they pay $16/h is barely enough get me going in college. My degree is Computer Science focus on cyber security and programming. 

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Get people that probably don't need it but can afford it to subsidize the cost for people that can use that education but can't afford it.


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5 hours ago, OlympicAssEater said:

Why the fuck US college and university are so fucking expensive. I am currently in community college working on my AA degree to transfer to a big college or university, but I don't think I will make it because I have bad finance, and I have to pay out of pocket for tuition. I don't want to sign $45k+ student loan if I can't get a good paying job. Working at Best Buy where they pay $16/h is barely enough get me going in college. My degree is Computer Science focus on cyber security and programming. 

Mainly because of government guaranteed loans.

 

Because of government guaranteed loans, students can borrow vast amounts of money they would not have been able to borrow otherwise. No lender would be crazy enough to lend so much money to a young person who hasn't even done the first thing in proving ever being able to pay it back absent government guarantees.

 

Students then turn around and bid the price up using that money. It's a vicious circle. If students weren't able to borrow so much money many of them would not be able to afford to go to college and colleges would have to slash prices to keep their seats filled up. But because the guarantees have driven prices up so high it looks to most ppl as if the guarantees are necessary and a good thing rather then the main cause of the problem.

 

A secondary reason is also the current mentality that everyone has to go to college. Standards have been lowered and ridiculous, completely useless, courses have been added to allow more people to make the cut, which adds to demand and drives prices up.

But many ppl just aren't college material and it's a waste of everyone's time and money forcing them trough a dumbed down useless course anyway.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Sil3nt1 said:

Then get a worthwhile degree not something worthless 

Please, do enlighten me, how is a CS degree in Security and programming worthless?


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America is just fk'd, college is like the tip of the iceberg. A 4 year degree here in Ireland costs 12k


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I've seen an interesting article about this very topic. It's a mentality thing - Americans seem to view college and university, or, more broadly speaking, education in general as a monetary investment, thus justifying the high up-front cost with the prospect of being able to land a high-paying job in the future. It makes sense, of course, but it's, well, a very capitalistic way of doing things.

 

Other countries often have a more idealistic approach in that they see education as a basic human right. I'll take Germany as an example because I'm familiar with it: College and university are largely free over here, as it is in many other European countries. Of course, "free" in this context means it's tax-funded, which is both the upside and the downside depending on your perspective. Personally, I feel like people seem to ignore the downsides a little too much because taxes over here are indeed very high, but I can't disagree that it's a good thing to allow everyone to study regardless of the size of their bank account.

 

If you're tight on money, have you considered studying abroad? I'm honestly not very familiar with it, but we have a lot of foreign students in Germany, so I'm assuming it's not terribly difficult to study over here.

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4 hours ago, Unimportant said:

Mainly because of government guaranteed loans.

 

Because of government guaranteed loans, students can borrow vast amounts of money they would not have been able to borrow otherwise. No lender would be crazy enough to lend so much money to a young person who hasn't even done the first thing in proving ever being able to pay it back absent government guarantees.

 

Students then turn around and bid the price up using that money. It's a vicious circle. If students weren't able to borrow so much money many of them would not be able to afford to go to college and colleges would have to slash prices to keep their seats filled up. But because the guarantees have driven prices up so high it looks to most ppl as if the guarantees are necessary and a good thing rather then the main cause of the problem.

 

A secondary reason is also the current mentality that everyone has to go to college. Standards have been lowered and ridiculous, completely useless, courses have been added to allow more people to make the cut, which adds to demand and drives prices up.

But many ppl just aren't college material and it's a waste of everyone's time and money forcing them trough a dumbed down useless course anyway.

 

 

Pretty much.  When you create an unlimited demand no matter what then you get high prices.  I would also say there is this perception that you somehow absolutely need college and that is the only pathway to success which is simply untrue. 


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1 minute ago, TacoSenpai said:

I would also say there is this perception that you somehow absolutely need college and that is the only pathway to success which is simply untrue. 

This is why there's currently a trade work crisis in the US. No one wants to do plumbing or electrical or construction because you just HAVE to go to college to make money. Plus, it's not like trades are any more vulnerable to automation than white-collar work. Even if, in the future, we 3D print houses, someone has to hook up all the plumbing and electrical (and even set up the House Printer too).

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38 minutes ago, HarryNyquist said:

This is why there's currently a trade work crisis in the US. No one wants to do plumbing or electrical or construction because you just HAVE to go to college to make money. Plus, it's not like trades are any more vulnerable to automation than white-collar work. Even if, in the future, we 3D print houses, someone has to hook up all the plumbing and electrical (and even set up the House Printer too).

The long term effect I think we are about to see (if we haven't seen the short term effects of it) is that the whole purpose of higher education in a centralized institution was that you had to go to these places because they almost exclusively held the knowledge.  With the internet as big as it is and online learning as prevalent as it is (also cheaper mind you) I'm not sure that is so much the case anymore. 

 

I can think of very few things that outright require a 4 year college degree (i.e doctor, engineer, lawyer). 


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58 minutes ago, Openair said:

A good education cannot be cheap, it can be obtained in Africa or Russia for 50 cents, and it will not be appreciated anywhere. And America is the world's economic engine

Yeah.. thats a completely ridiculous point of view and is complete bs


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Also expensive education makes profits right now, whereas affordable takes a few years. We have a very, very short term outlook in this country.


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As someone mentioned earlier.  Government subsidized student loans.

 

That's why college is so expensive.  It's unfortunate though.  When federal student loans were brought it, colleges across the country saw it as guaranteed money regardless.  Sure it helped a lot of people get into college, but the universities saw more money.

The only way to cap it at this point is to set a profit cap IMO, on the colleges.  

 

No, I don't think advanced education should be free, but it shouldn't be the astronomical high rates it is.


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1 hour ago, Openair said:

🤣

*rolls eyes*

 

Can you stop the trolling for a few moments so we can get back on topic?

 

Education does not have to be expensive - certainly not up front to the student. If we make it that way, we basically say "Education is for people with money".

 

The American system for paying for College and University is straight up broken. Making it so less people can afford to go to College or University isn't helping the system, it's making it even worse.

 

Ideally, anyone who wants to - and has the grades - should be able to attend College or University. Yes, education should facilitate the needs of the economy. But it shouldn't exclusively so.

 

People also shouldn't be pushed into College or University unless they want to - trades need to be pushed as a valid alternative a lot younger in the education system. People need to see trades as a valid alternative for getting a good paying job.


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10 minutes ago, dalekphalm said:

straight up broken.

I can't find it right now, but there was a lovely graph that showed the cost of tuition and the moment the gov't started backing the loans.

As you can imagine, the rise is....dramatic at that point.


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Just now, Radium_Angel said:

I can't find it right now, but there was a lovely graph that showed the cost of tuition and the moment the gov't started backing the loans.

As you can imagine, the rise is....dramatic at that point.

That's because they applied a band-aid solution. It was a good idea, because lots of students from low income families simply cannot afford a loan from a regular bank - should those people be excluded from College or University?

 

There needs to be a multi-layered solution. Ideally, tuition is subsidized either entirely, or mostly, so that a student pays a nominal fee (say, $1000 per semester). Then, combined with regulation that caps profit margins.

 

But I think that it should also be a 2-tier system, where every state operates at least one publicly subsidized university (With either no tuition, or the $1000/semester suggested price above), and then private schools can continue to charge whatever the hell they want.

 

I know that many states do have universities that have lower tuition for in-state residents, but I believe that needs to go further.

 

Education should be a right to anyone who is qualified. It shouldn't have anything to do with their financial upbringing.


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While I won't deny that tuition for colleges can be stupid expensive at times, I'm also under the belief that college is still is as expensive as you want it to be. So I'll lay down some of my thoughts and experiences, with the caveat that this is anecdotal, so take it as you will.

  • I went to school in California, which there are two primary state university systems (for some reason): California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC). UCs are the more prestigious schools (like UCLA and UC Berkeley) , which also means they cost more. I went to a CSU.
  • Tuition at the time I went was around $3000-$3500 per year (unfortunately that doubled since I went, because reasons). However, the first year I had to pay out of state tuition and I stayed in a dorm, which made that first year more like $10,000 - $12,000 (I don't know the exact figure)
    • The out-of-state tuition was waived after the first year, as I had an address in California I could use and they consider you a California resident if you have a California address for a year.
    • After the first year I rented a room in a house.
  • I only took out government loans and grants
  • I did have a part time job (it was around 10-15 hours per week)
  • I bought used books when possible and sold them back if I thought I didn't have any use for them anymore
  • Where I lived was close enough that I could bike to school. If I really wanted to, I could take the bus and the school had a trolley station if I needed to go somewhere else.

In the end, for a STEM based degree, I ended up walking away under the national average at the time, which was $25,000. Of course it would've been much lower had I not needed to pay out-of-state tuition and the dorm.

 

So basically:

  • Don't sign up for a prestigious school unless you want to burn money for the rest of your life or you have the money anyway to pay for it. As long as it's accredited, where you went to school ends up being a conversation topic.
  • Go to a local school. Unless there's some program or whatever that another school has that you really could use, there's no point in going elsewhere and paying the out-of-state tuition if the college has one.
  • Live close to school, but don't live in on-campus housing. And while it may be tempting to live elsewhere, note that parking costs could be a thing on top of gas and maintenance you have to pay for on your vehicle, assuming you have to drive.
  • Find and scope out every grant and scholarship you can. If there was one small regret I had, it's not trying to scour for scholarships that I could be qualified for.
  • You typically have a year with government loans before they start asking for money. Use that time to build up a cash reserve and/or find a decent job.
  • If your major lends itself to companies looking for interns, then apply for them. Though be weary of unpaid internships.
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9 hours ago, Unimportant said:

Mainly because of government guaranteed loans.

 

Because of government guaranteed loans, students can borrow vast amounts of money they would not have been able to borrow otherwise. No lender would be crazy enough to lend so much money to a young person who hasn't even done the first thing in proving ever being able to pay it back absent government guarantees.

 

Students then turn around and bid the price up using that money. It's a vicious circle. If students weren't able to borrow so much money many of them would not be able to afford to go to college and colleges would have to slash prices to keep their seats filled up. But because the guarantees have driven prices up so high it looks to most ppl as if the guarantees are necessary and a good thing rather then the main cause of the problem.

 

A secondary reason is also the current mentality that everyone has to go to college. Standards have been lowered and ridiculous, completely useless, courses have been added to allow more people to make the cut, which adds to demand and drives prices up.

But many ppl just aren't college material and it's a waste of everyone's time and money forcing them trough a dumbed down useless course anyway.

What you failed to mention is that all that increase in tuition doesn't go into the classrooms or the teachers, it goes to administration.

 

5 hours ago, Yeroh said:

Other countries often have a more idealistic approach in that they see education as a basic human right. I'll take Germany as an example because I'm familiar with it: College and university are largely free over here, as it is in many other European countries. Of course, "free" in this context means it's tax-funded, which is both the upside and the downside depending on your perspective. Personally, I feel like people seem to ignore the downsides a little too much because taxes over here are indeed very high, but I can't disagree that it's a good thing to allow everyone to study regardless of the size of their bank account.

The issue in both cases is the government. It's not a problem to pay for your own education or healthcare, it's all the government interference that massively inflates the costs and slows down the entire process.

 

Kind of off topic talking about medical stuff, but there's a few doctors that have cut out insurance companies and just do direct cash payments. You get better healthcare quicker and cheaper than going through the government and insurance. Or, I live near the border and Mexico is a lot let restrictive on medications n such, so getting medicine there with less government interference is not only possible, but significantly cheaper. Best example is that the US has apparently outlawed saline without a prescription.

Saline is literally just purified water and salt. Why does that require a prescription?

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6 hours ago, TetraSky said:

Please, do enlighten me, how is a CS degree in Security and programming worthless?

The problem is competition primarily as it's a highly sought after career path in modern times with CS having almost no job security.  It's not worthless, but at the same time you have way too much competition.  Some degrees also have shit pay here in the US, and kinda not worth it.  Journalists are told this constantly.  Heck, my sister was going to be a nurse here, but she makes more money than all her nurse friends by managing a some Italian place.


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