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Tell Virginia Foxx to step down

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by damedog, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Virginia Foxx is the Chair of the Higher Education & Workforce Training Subcommittee in the House, and she really needs to leave that position. Her top contributors are for-profit universities, and unsurprisingly she introduced a bill that would deregulate them at a time when they have horrible graduation rates and higher student debt than most nonprofit.

    What really sets her above the "intolerable" level is how she views student debt. She claimed that student debt is the fault of the student because when she graduated in 1968 she had to borrow roughly $1500, forgetting the fact that tuition rates have increased dramatically and have roughly doubled since 2000 alone.

    I normally wouldn't ask anyone on the BoM to sign anything, but if you want to you can here: http://act.rebuildthedream.com/sign/denounce-foxx?akid=563.436715.8_Hlhf&rd=1&t=2
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    :confused: It's not the student's fault that tuition rates are what they are, but they were the ones who decided to attend the school they attended, they knew what the tuition was at that school, and they decided to take out a loan. If you don't want to spend $50,000 per year to go to school, go to a public university that isn't for profit.

    No one makes you go to Harvard you know...
     
  3. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't get it either.
     
  4. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Come now you two! Students can't be held responsible for taking out loans they can't afford in the same way home buyers can't be held responsible for taking out unaffordable mortgages. It's those damned lending institutions' fault for giving them the money they asked for! :lol:
     
  5. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Sure, you can go to a public university, but that's no reason to not take the issue of rapidly rising student debt seriously. It's not like public universities can house the whole student population. Furthermore the idea that nothing should be done about students who go to better universities being further and further penalized is, quite plainly, ridiculous. Student debt is a huge issue. It's incredibly difficult to get written off on bankruptcies, and often contributes to such bankruptcy, and the trend now is toward it getting worse, with proposals that students should start paying interest on it while still in college. I'm quite surprised that you don't find anything wrong with this, especially when college is starting to become much less of a choice and more of a necessity (unless you enjoy stark poverty) as the job market changes. The last thing we need in a weak economy is to have new additions to the workforce burdened with massive loans that take forever to repay. As a whole there is almost a trillion dollars in student debt. You really think this is a non-issue and students should just go to a public university and when they're completely filled, just not go to college instead of doing something about this problem? Come on now.

    College tuition has increased over 900% since 1978, and yet 1/3 of them don't even get jobs that require degrees. 15% end up defaulting within the first 3 years alone. If that's not a problem I don't know what is. I see very little reason to ignore it and just let it get worse, and the last thing I want is the person deciding student loan policy taking money from colleges who do it the worst.


    Blackthorne TA- You act like students aren't up against a rock and a hard place. College isn't exactly a consumer choice the way a house is- you can live in a rented place but you won't be able to afford either if you can't get a semi-decent job that are exceedingly rare without some type of education. And besides, if housing prices skyrocketed the way student debt has I have no doubt you would be up in arms too if you were affected.
     
  6. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Then why go to university and rack up a lot of debt? They didn't need the degree they got.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    You make it sound like you have to go to college to get a decent job. While it's true you can't do much with just a high school education, there are trade school that cost a fraction of college degrees, and you still come out with a good job. I'm talking about careers like mechanics or electricians.

    I am not arguing that the cost of attending a university hasn't skyrocketed in recent years. But think about what you're saying. You're talking about for-profit universities. By definition, they are trying to make money, and as such, are run like a business. It stands to reason that they will charge as much as they can for their services and still fill up their schools. Some of the highest priced private colleges in the nation also have some of the highest applicant rates. They aren't hurting for students. Until and unless people stop applying to these places in droves, there is no incentive on the part of the universities to lower their prices. In fact, given that a lot of those private school accept fewer the 5% of the people who apply, one would assume that they can go even higher and maintain full enrollment.

    And it's not like they are hiding how much it costs to attend their school. They tell you up front what it costs, you know how much you can afford to spend. You can then deduce what you'll need to borrow, what the interest rate will be, and what your monthly payments will be after you get that education. They aren't hiding the facts from the students.

    The thing I find mind boggling is that you see people who go to these schools with the goal of getting a job in a career that isn't connected to having a high salary. Don't go $200,000 in debt to get a job that typically will pay $40,000 per year. And you see it all the time.

    I always planned on going to college when I was growing up. At the time I went to college the highest priced private schools were around $25,000 per year. I didn't apply to them. It's not that I thought they weren't great schools, I just couldn't justify the cost of attending them. Why spend three times as much on an education unless you're going to see a return on that investment with a higher salary than what you'd get from going to a less expensive school? You always weight cost versus benefit with any purchase you make. You don't need to buy a $5,000 home theater if you would be content with a nice system for $2,000. Similarly, you don't have to pay $50,000 to go to the "best" private school, when you can get a comparable education (and a comparable paying job) by attending a public school for a third of the cost.

    It's simply economics.
     
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  8. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Interestingly enough, the highest priced private schools in your era is roughly what the average student debt is now. My larger point, and the topic of this thread, wasn't that student loans need to be bailed out or anything, but that the person who controls policy on this issue is taking money from the people she's supposed to be regulating and then turning around and bashing students for what is a problem that is basically out of their hands in many ways, and as such doesn't deserve the position she's in. The phrase "conflict of interest" comes to mind.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    OK, but from your initial post you made it sound like Ms. Foxx was regulating for profit universities and thus the costs of attending those universities would go higher with her in charge. I assumed your point was that the cost of going to college had to be better controlled, which is problematic when talking about for-profit universities.

    If the average student loan right now is $25,000 then I fail to see what the problem is. I owed $20,000 when I got out of school 15 years ago, and had a starting salary of $35,000 per year. As a pretty good rule of thumb, you don't want to come out of school owing more money that what your expected annual salary is.

    Furthermore, regarding "conflict of interest", Ms. Foxx is just like the Chairperson of just about any Committee or Subcommittee you can name. You don't think that defense contractors are major contributors to members of the Armed Services Committee? Or that utility companies aren't major contributors to members of the Energy Committee? I could go on, but I think you see my point...
     
  10. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    A university is absolutely a consumer choice. There are thousands of universities to choose from. California alone has probably on the order of two hundred and I'd say maybe 20-30 state universities. Those are 4-year institutions. Then there are the community colleges of which there is probably an equivalent number; you can consider these to be the rental places in the housing metaphor. :)

    Oh, and talking to a Californian about housing prices is not the way to go :)
     
  11. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Claiming public universities as the solution to this is misguided IMO. Not only can they probably not hold everyone but their funded on the public dollar. If massive amounts of people started going to them instead of universities I could almost guarantee you would see some pretty serious tuition hikes, especially in light of the budget crises most states are having, not to mention the fact that state spending per student has already fell pretty far in the past 30 years (30% or so) and some even use teaching assistants and not actual teachers. So basically what you would see if everyone did that would be clogged up schools with more tuition and less education. Speaking of California public universities, didn't they increase their student fees by 32% a couple of years ago?

    Although I didn't say it they probably would increase under her watch considering she's taking money from them and deregulating them and stuff. Some of even the larger for-profit colleges have been engaged in some pretty shady stuff to being with. I'm speaking of Kaplan and the like.

    Yeah, conflicts of interest are sadly pretty common, but that doesn't mean we should just be okay with it. I'm pretty sure I went after this a bit in the Occupy thread a while back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  12. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Is a college the same thing as a university over there (I've probably asked this before)?
    Here we go: Primary school, Secondary school, College, University
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Essentially, yes. The differentiation between a college and a university is simply based on the number of majors you can chose from. Universities have more than colleges. But assuming a given college has the major you are interested in, you get the same degree as you'd get from a university.

    But just because a college doesn't offer as many courses as a university, it doesn't in any way imply that the college offers an inferior program in the choices of study that are available. In fact, in my area the best business school is a college. You can't major in engineering there, but if you want to get a business degree, it's the place to go.
     
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  14. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Not really a problem I share. Higher education is free in Finland. I have some debt from my studies but the interest rates are laughable and deductible in taxation. Also I have more assets than debt so I'm not in any problems with my debt anytime soon.

    I can sympathize with the problem though. I can imagine it creates a lot of extra stress and pressure not knowing if you can handle your studies financially. You're always free to seek education abroad. Finnish education is currently free for all those seeking from abroad as well so you are always welcome to apply to one of our fine universities for cheaper high class higher education. ;)

    EDIT: I've always wondered a bit why people from countries like the UK, US or Canada aren't more interested in seeking to study in some European countries that have internationally highly regarded universities and offer even to foreigners the benefits of higher education free? It's really more the Asians who have spotted the opportunity. It might be a worry that employers in the US and UK are awfully distrustful of any degrees done abroad.
     
  15. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    It is rare that I agree with Damedog, but in this case I partiallly agree with him. Not that this person has to step down as I'm sure she is doing no worse a job than anyone else would.

    The problem is that the entire college/university system in our country is broken. It has become such a huge industry that we send millions of people to higher education who aren't deserving to go to it. If you are willing to pay and or get loans you can go. Many of the students are not worthy of going and instead should be looking to get into trades or other businesses, like they end up doing when they can't get the job they are paying for.
     
  16. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    When I worked in HR, one of my jobs was to select people for interview. The biggest factor was experience. The company I worked for didn't give a toss about someone's degree as long as they had enough experience to know what they were doing.
    Obviously, there were some qualifications that were a must (We wouldn't employ a lorry driver without a HGV licence!) but 9 times out of 10 we found that someone who had just walked out of uni with wet ink still on their degree was an absolute waste of time to employ. They were so busy doing things the way they had learned from textbooks that it was completely inefficient and they couldn't deal with problems that crop up everyday.

    The one graduate that we did keep on asked for extra training because she realised that, while her engineering degree was all well and good, the definitions it gave her for doing her job were too narrow.

    University degrees are all well and good but a trade school should always be a serious consideration and not viewed as something for drop outs.
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    The point I was making is that people are NOT flooding the public universities. Some of the highest priced private school also have some of the highest application rates. As for teaching assistants instead of actual professors, all schools that I'm familiar with - public or private - use them to some extent. Hell I was a teaching assistant when I was a graduate student. The main class should always be taught by a professor though. Most of the time you see TAs teaching labs or work groups. To use myself as an example, I instructed freshman and organic chemistry labs when I was a TA. But the actual freshman chemistry and organic chemistry class was instructed by a professor.

    I never said you had to like it. Just pointing out that simply changing the name plate on the door will not necessarily change what happens once that door is closed.

    Out of curiosity, if the education is free, how is it that you have debt? Living expenses?

    A problem for most Americans unless, by chance, Finnish universities teach classes in English.

    I would say the two principle reasons are 1) a language barrier and 2) while the education in the US is very expensive, the US is regarded as having many of the best universities in the world.

    I agree with you insofar as I would like the system to be based more on merit than on one's ability to pay. If you can afford it, chances are you'll be able to go somewhere. It may not be your first choice, and given that many of the top universities have admission rates of less than 5% of applicants, simply having the money won't be enough. It's more the other side of the problem. If you can't afford the education or get a loan, even if you are capable, you likely won't be going anywhere.

    I find that is largely true here as well. Experience nearly always trumps education. Coming from a top university with high grades shows you have the intelligence and work ethic necessary to be a good employee. It doesn't prove that you will be good at doing the specific work that company does. Having actual experience and accomplishments in the field does prove you will be good and doing that work, because you've already done it.

    And some of them pay pretty good money. I have a friend who spent two years at a trade school learning how to install elevators and escalators. He got into the work force 5 years earlier than me, and is presently earning an annual salary comparable to mine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  18. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Absolutely. If I'm interviewing someone for a job, what university they went to is immaterial to me. Even for an entry-level position I don't care; I've met (and worked with) plenty of stupid people who went to high-powered universities.
     
  19. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    And for that matter there are plenty of smart people who aren't formally well educated. One of the guys I used to work with has succeeded in the banking industry on a high school education (and an 'official' designation of poor prospects) because he is incredibly shrewd. He probably can't do an algebraic equation but he can think circles around most everybody.
     
  20. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Finnish universities tend to offer more and more entire masters programs in English. Granted, it's harder to find good Bachelors programs that are entirely in English.

    I agree on both counts but I can't imagine that most seeking higher education ever study in universities/colleges in the US that are on the Shanghai list of top universities. Finland for the record has two universities on the list which is not too bad for a country of five million.

    The language barrier is of course a bit of an issue but as I mentioned there are plenty of Masters programs in English and Asian students have found themselves here but I can't say I've ever seen a student from the Anglo-Saxon countries. Not that I have any exact statistics but it's just something I've noticed. We have plenty of exchange students from the other side of the pond though. There are some post graduate students (I hope I'm correct in naming those who study for a Phd?) but that's a different matter. They seem to migrate a lot more in order to find the proper environment for their expertise anyhow.

    Yes more or less. I took a couple of thousand euros debt for living expenses. The loan is state guaranteed so the interest rate is something like 2%+12 month Euribor, which at the moment amounts to lower than the level of inflation. I chose to take a loan instead of selling stock in a bad market situation. There are plenty of people who choose to take student loans and invest it further to stock or some lower risk alternatives.

    EDIT: About the value of higher education in general. While higher education is not a guarantee for anything and higher educated people are not automatically smarter than others the odds are still that you'll get further with a higher education than a lower one. I think an exception in that statistic is that those with a Phd tend to earn less than those with a Masters (in Finland that is). So I guess there's an upper limit too. ;)
     
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