March 27th, 2012
06:20 AM ET

My View: A model for addressing college costs

Courtesy State University of New YorkBy Nancy L. Zimpher, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Nancy L. Zimpher is the Chancellor of the State University of New York, the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education.

College costs are exploding. Last fall, U.S.public four-year colleges increased tuition by more than 7%. Combined with severe cuts in state funding, university systems are scrambling to get a hold of skyrocketing costs. Worse, more than half of students earning bachelor’s degrees at public colleges – 56 percent – are graduating with $22,000 of debt, on average.

The sharpest tuition increase – 21 percent – took place last fall atCalifornia’s public colleges and universities, where one in 10 of the country’s four-year public college students are enrolled. Arizona and Washington fell in just behind the Golden State, increasing tuition by 17% and 16%, respectively.

This year, an especially bleak financial outlook in Pennsylvania has spurred talk of privatizing public universities.

This full-blown crisis in higher education is being felt by students in virtually every state inAmerica, except for ours in  New York. Here, we’ve solved our revenue problems and kept tuition in check by implementing a five-year rational tuition policy and earning a commitment from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to be held immune from state budget cuts. Not bad for world-class colleges and universities located in one of the most expensive areas of the country.

Don't get me wrong, State University of New York students will see tuition go up. But unlike other states, where students can get hit with sharp tuition increases without warning, there will be no surprises in New York. We have given our students the benefit of knowing how much tuition will increase year to year, for the duration of their time on campus. And we’ve told them this even before they apply. Importantly, our plan also maintains access for New York's neediest students by dedicating the first 25% of new revenue for those receiving the maximum state aid. And 40% of our students are graduating without carrying any loan debt.

This policy can work for any public institution, and that’s why other states should embrace our model. It's the best working example today of a responsible policy that addresses President Barack Obama's call for affordability in public higher education.

But solving the budget crisis in public higher education must go beyond the standard solutions of state funding and tuition hikes. All too often, administrators see it as an "either-or" decision. Our nation’s economic crisis demands that we find new and innovative ways to manage our public institutions. The status quo is no longer an option.

When you have a large public university system – SUNY has a 64-campus umbrella – opportunities can be identified to cut costs and increase efficiency, and those savings can be redirected to expanding access and enhancing services that directly benefit students. For instance, there are significant cost savings that can be realized by consolidating information technology or human resources services, and those funds can enable universities to hire more full-time faculty, offer more courses, or expand advisement services to ensure on-time degree completion. Regional centers can centrally process payroll, purchasing, and other administrative tasks instead of duplicating these services at one or more campuses.

We're taking this notion to scale at SUNY, and in doing so over the next three years, each of our campuses will shift - at minimum – 5% of its administrative spending to student services. That's at least $100 million of money we already have that will simply be invested in a smarter, more efficient manner every year.

This is a comprehensive approach that requires a commitment from state officials to at least maintain public investment in public higher education, from campus administrators to identify and root out wasteful practices, and from students to pay modest increases in tuition. As public colleges and universities and federal and state legislative leaders continue to navigate today's economic crisis, SUNY andNew York State are proud to offer some very realistic, very viable solutions.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Nancy L. Zimpher.

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Filed under: College • Issues • Voices
soundoff (197 Responses)
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    April 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
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  7. Gareth

    I love it when the educational elite talk about high cost when the substantial increase in tuition is directly related to faculty pay and benefits. Add to this the government subsidy (student loans) to Universities and we have soaring cost. Where is the reduction in payroll of tenure professors? Why are endowements not funding the total expense of attendance at Harvard, Yale, Standford, Univ. of Michigan, SUNY, etc. without ever the principle ever being touched? If you ran a business and the government sets aside assistance to your patrons of $500 then what would your entry price be? Like Washington, the Public University system needs an overhaul, and like Washington, the chances look slim for the foreseable future. Of note, I saw a study the other day that said the number 2 profession for millionaires is Education; excluding school teachers. Yes, 12% of this profession are listed as millionaires; hmmmmm

    April 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
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    March 31, 2012 at 2:20 am |
  10. JeramieH

    "Dr. Zimpher will receive an annual State salary of $490,000. Dr. Zimpher will also be provided an additional retirement benefit via direct annual contribution in the amount of $55,400 per year; the use of a state car and driver when she is traveling on University business in New York State; and the use of the University apartment in New York City and the Chancellor’s apartment in the South Tower of SUNY Plaza in Albany"

    March 30, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  11. JeramieH

    > Don't want a cheap, lousy education? Don't be born poor you bums.

    Does the author of this article, the chancellor of a university, making half a million dollar salary per year improve the quality of my education? Is every word out of her mouth so blindingly intelligent that we're paying several thousand dollars per word she utters?

    March 30, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  12. Jason

    High college costs? When overpaid administrators like Nancy Zimpher are budgeted to receive $490,000 per year (keep in mind this is just salary, and not counting other ancillary perks), then I wonder where these high tuition costs are going? To pay for her ridiculously high compensation.

    http://www.suny.edu/communications/releases/zimphernamedchancellor.cfm

    How about this Nancy? Care to comment?

    I didn't think so.

    March 30, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Kencuda

      Again I agree 100%. Jason if you read my post from yesterday,you will see one small example of high priced admins, exec directors etc, all over suny campuses. It increases costs to every NYer. Fsa was nothing but a way to nickle and dime people.By not being up front and letting people know about the extra costs they will incur before they led them to the slaughter on opening day of classes. You have to love a mandatory meal plan. Again thank you Kevin Kelly exec director fsa suny stony brook.NY schools are overcrowded with too many high salaried admins directors etc.

      March 30, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Jack

      well said sir!

      March 30, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  13. Larry

    Most colleges charge way too much and the biggest schools are way too big. Schools are looking at studenst as a source of income and a degree from them as a prestigeous gift instead of looking to educate people and taht education being the best it can be. There is NO REASON for costs to be what they are at most schools other than greed simple as that. Maybe if they lowered costs class sizes and GASP actually taught instead of saying here ae your notes give me last classes assignment on the way out more people could get a good education. The college where i live raised tuition two years in a row without adding any services and while having two programs that are among the worst 20 or so of their kind in the country then wondered why enrollemtn was down.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  14. asdf

    The States should follow Michigan's example – limit tuition increases in order to receive State funding.

    For that matter, the feds could do the same thing, but tied to financial aid.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  15. Michael

    This article really says Nothing, why did CNN even publish it?
    40% of students with no debt at SUNY, meaning 60% have debt. Compared to only 56% of students having $22k of debt elsewhere? So, other schools are doing BETTER.

    Planned tuition increases is nice. California also planned theirs. I had to laugh at the California students complaining about the tuition increases because even with the increases they are still paying way LESS than other schools. So SUNY doesn't nee to increase as much because they are already higher.
    Where exactly are the savings at SUNY? Combining HR and IT? Come on. That's not a groundbreaking idea.

    Waste of space article.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • simpl3

      agreed.

      they could start by getting rid of a half million dollars going to this top administrator lady who can't even write an effective opinion piece.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • asdf

      on the other hand, some of the comments are quite thoughtful and insightful. it's refreshing.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Mark

      Well, if you assume the other 44% of students at other universities have zero debt, you might be right. I suppose it's possible that the remaining SUNY students go from zero debt to over 20k at some arbitrary point, but do you really think the remaing student body averages over 22k? Look at the numbers again, it's highly improbable. SUNY definitely seems to be doing better than other university systems at managing student debt load at graduation.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  16. Ciara O'Toole

    @WWRRD:

    During my senior year of high school I was accepted at MIT and Holy Cross. I chose Holy Cross because I decided I loved history and English more than I loved mathematics and engineering. Fifteen years later I am well-employed in the field of my choice and have no regrets about living my life among words rather than among numbers. If you think that all liberal arts lovers love liberal arts only because they ‘can’t cut it’ in a hard science course, I suggest you get your head out of your a$$ and actually talk to some of us.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Hakeem

      You didn't read my post.

      I said that it doesn't make sense to go to a 40k+ a year school for those majors because, which majors are experiencing a lack of jobs?

      Exactly... If I can get an english degree for 20,000 less, compared to going to some big expensive school, then why not?

      March 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
      • JonPeter

        What is lost in this discussion are careers that require both learning to think and apply ideas combined with getting your hands dirty. qualified people are inshort supply in areas asuch as machinist, especially prototype and model makers, master craftmen 9and women) such as carpenters and electricians, and hands on designers. Students are often steered away from these areas, because the hands on component is often dismissed by those who cherish a desk job and wearing a suit. My own personal experience is one with multiple degrees in science and engineering combined with hands on machine and process design. I've always been in demand, but my major concern is that there are not enough American born students to mentor. There are many foreign students to take these positions and most want to stay in the country to become good Americans, just as our ancestors did.

        March 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  17. HenryMiller

    "Importantly, our plan also maintains access for New York's neediest students by dedicating the first 25% of new revenue for those receiving the maximum state aid."

    Oh? Why are you prejudicially preferring some students over others? Doesn't New York subscribe to the ideal of equal opportunity for all?

    March 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Shazaam

      It's a shame you don't understand the meaning of "equal opportunity".

      March 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  18. Chris

    I graduated from a public university in 1999 with a combined debt of around $24k. I busted my butt my first few years out of school and paid off all of my loans in about 7 years. My wife graduated with virtually no debt because she applied for every scholarship under the sun and did well enough in high school to qualify for many academic scholarships.

    College should be earned...

    March 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • JO

      I appreciate the hard work of the Chancellor of the State of NY to keep our system from drastic tuition increases like in CA. The rational tuition policy is a great start and the SUNY student senate should be commended for their agreement with this tuition policy. But, Dr. Zimpher fails to include in her piece that SUNY also saved money by cutting faculty positions (at some schools entire departments) and has left many faculty lines unfilled. Perhaps if administrator salaries were not so outrageous, we could fill some of these vacant lines with much needed qualified faculty members.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • HenryMiller

      College should be earned...

      Precisely.

      March 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  19. Richard

    I am 63 years old and graduated from a state university in 1969. I was drafted after graduation and started working two years later as a private citizen. I paid for college through a combination of bank loans, summer jobs and "loans" from my divorced mother. Upon graduating I owed @$7,000 to banks and $2500 to my mom. I got married and my mom forgave her portion of my debt. I made $500/month on my first job which means it would have taken me about 14 months of earning to pay off my school loans. If the average college grad today graduates with $22,000 in debt and earns $35,000/year ( I got the $35,000 year from a CNN article about recent college grads average first year earnings), why ar they so bad off? It seems I got a worse deal in '69! Stop your griping, already.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • John B Good

      While I appreciate your comment you just compared a specific example to an average. That may not accurately reflect the experiences in the 60's and 70's. If you wanted to make a point you should use the averages for then against the averages now. That would give a better representation of what your generation faced against the current one.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • JonPeter

      I'm part of the same generation, turning 63 this summer. I worked various jobs to pay for 2 undergrad (physics, chemistry) and 3 graduate degrees (including a PhD in materials science) These included teaching, bartending, audio and design engineering, consulting and manufacturing engineering. I can't do what i did when young, working 80 hours per week between schools and jobs, but I don't have to having finished my plan in my thirties. Now i just work, half of which is till fun.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  20. Hakeem

    Or maybe we should start encouragin our children to actually pick majors that will offset this balance.

    Honestly what is the point of going to a 40,000+ school to learn history/english/philosophy,art, etc.

    Our parents and the government need to make children more interested in science, math, business, etc.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • DAISHI

      That's silly and short sighted. We should encourage participation in the hard sciences, of course. At the same time, a lot of the softer sciences produce individuals that contribute to society in a number of other ways, including socially progressive individuals.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • WWRRD

        We don't need any socially progressive people. There are too many already. They go to school take a poly sci course and then think they have the skills to meddle in business and economics and they no nothing about said subjects. Train for useful stuff like engineering, math, computer science, business, accounting, finance, healthcare etc. The poly-sci, and sociology, and philosophy majors are there because they can't cut it in a real discipline. Now most of them are in occupy wall street.

        March 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Nmh

      I have a degree in Biology and Chemistry (you pointed out being interested in non-pointless degres). If it were not for me working as a temp in college as a secretary in the medical field, I would have NEVER been able to get the position I managed to get. I would have been standing in a restaurant taking orders with my SCIENCE degree. I also work with people who have art degrees and business degrees. All that matters is that you spent the nearly $80K to get the degree. Get your facts straight.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • Bryan

        This made no sense. Your internship or whatever it was you did during school got you recognized and offered the opportunity to interview for the position. Your degree got you the job (or helped). Simply working as a student and having an Art degree would have brought a different outcome. You are right – everyone owes $80k...but an engineer starting at $60k a year is going to pay it off much faster than the social worker making $28k...and don;t kid yourself into thinking they even out as years go by.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • Kaipo

        You can get a job TOMORROW with a degree in chemistry. Be willing to relocate and have some motivation.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Tinsley

      For what? For those fields to become over-saturated? Many attorneys pick English or Philosophy as undergraduate degrees.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  21. unhanon

    The author's suggestions are hardly new. Any high level manager in the corporate world has experimented with consolidation over the past 30 years in order to save money. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't. As anyone in the private sector knows, there are costs associated with this as well (usually in terms of processing time and quality of service). Sometimes the costs outweigh the benefits, sometimes the benefits come out on top.
    So this advice isn't particularly new.
    More to the point, it isn't relative to most colleges and universities. SUNY has 64 campuses. 64! U of California and California State *combined* only have about 34 (depending upon what you count as a campus). So while this advice may be well-intended, very few colleges and universities will be able to realize anything like the financial savings that SUNY could experience in its consolidation experiment.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  22. Rob

    It's funny how the FOX/Glenn Beck viewers show their ignorance on education. Teachers make squat, tenure has nothing to do with it, and teachers are NOT union. It's funny watching all of the Tea Partier's kids fall behind in life because mom and dad don't believe in College while minorities shoot past them with a degree.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Tom

      Rob – wrong story, wrong post, wrong answers. Thanks for playing the knee jerk reaction game, but let's stick to this story thanks.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  23. Michael

    This is a flawed argument. The cost of tuition in her SUNY system is $6600 per year (http://www.suny.edu/student/paying_tuition.cfm). The cost of tuition in California is much lower ($3,286.00 - http://www.csus.edu/schedule/fall2011spring2012/fees.html). Unless something changes economically, those systems more reliant on tax dollars are going to continue to see large increases at least until they reach her tuition levels. There are no magic administrative tricks that she is doing that aren't being done elsewhere. And telling the kids about those increases aren't going to make them easier.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • David

      Michael – the CSU tuition you are referring to is per semester. The SUNY tuition is per year.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  24. ILOVENY

    So for that past several years this money wasted because of lousy management? Someone's head should roll!

    March 29, 2012 at 3:25 am |
  25. limits

    why doesnt the state just tell the univetsities, if youre going to continue recieving funding from us, you will limit your tuition increases to X% per year?

    the feds could do the same thing with financial aid.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Mr. X

      Because colleges couldn't operate with those cuts. Believe it or not, it's actually extremely expensive to run a college in the U.S. It's not like all the people working at them are multimillionaires.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:59 am |
      • WWRRD

        Or could it be the luxury student dorms, multi million dollar rec centers, tenure and pensions for professors that rarely teach, sabatticals, and all kinds of things unrelated to really teaching kids anything?

        March 29, 2012 at 7:17 am |
      • limits

        oh? do those costs really have to rise twice as fast as any other sector of the economy? do administrators like this lady really have to make half a million dollars per year to be effective?

        I don't buy it. why isn't this phenomenon occurring in any other country in the world?

        March 29, 2012 at 8:57 am |
      • Patrick Harris

        umm, that's B.S. – College football and basketball coaches are multi-millionaires... that's where your tuition money is going, college is a farce anymore.

        March 29, 2012 at 9:24 am |
      • N

        That doesn't explain why tuition is increasing so much faster than inflation.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Mich

      The State of Michigan currently does this. Tuition increases were limited to 7% (I think) last year in order to receive State funding.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  26. Sure

    Could part of the problem with California's public colleges is that there are more admin people than there are professors. Think the system is a little bloated at the top? Another problem might be that the people running these colleges make more than people who run large multi billion dollar corporations or the governor of California. Increasing taxes on the anyone will not make the system work. Only when state governments like the feds, get their spending in order will any system work.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  27. Samir

    Did I just read a piece written by a politician or university chancellor? Oh I forgot, it doesn't matter. Both spend other peoples' money, are completely isolated from reality, and can write an entire article without saying anything. I am also having a difficult time believing the author who writes about controlling escalating college costs is the same person who spent like a drunken sailor while at Cincinnati, leaving the university mired in hundreds of millions in debt due to her inappropriately conceived and poorly executed capital programs. Building big buildings to support a big ego is not a sound plan, Nancy. And in case no one told you, Bob Huggins is doing very well at West Virginia after you botched his firing.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  28. Gil

    The California State university system is broken. The feeble minded bureaucrats who are running this system remind me of the stories I used to hear from people who lived in the former USSR. As a student I often see my fellow students demonstrate against the budget cuts. I used to try and explain to them that the budget is not the issue. Increasing the budget will not save the system it will only perpetuate the problem. For the same reason one would not keep filling a bucket with a hole, one should not keep throwing money at a bottomless pit.

    It is time to reform the system. I'm tired of having neo-liberals professors who in some cases show up drunk to class boasting that they cannot get fired.

    A quick an easy solution for the system will be a reduction of 25% of general education requirements. In Germany you can become an engineer in 3 years. In California you are lucky if you'll graduate in 5 years. But than again we must provide employment security to all those gender studies professors and other made up disciplines.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • nixliberals

      I agree wholeheartedly, as I went back to school online. My first class was orientation to the college and cost me $2000.00. Then there is a whole list of courses that had nothing to do with my chosen degree that would have to be taken. With full federal funding my degree, a BS in Economics would cost over $100,000. At my age, 43, this would be tantamount to financial suicide. I stopped taking courses and now am self employed again, where my financial risks are less risky. I also had to seriously take into account that one small misstep and my career could be ruined, beit any criminal matter, I have no record at all, or to take a job at a firm where they can ruin your career.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • Violette

      Gil, I think you are right on. The actual educational system needs to be looked at and evaluated. The fact that you have to have a BA degree (at least in CA) to become a CPA is ridiculous. Really? I you can pass the rigorous exams, why does it matter that you took philosophy and music appreciation? This is the same design since the 1800's when it was designed for the sons of rich people to become well-rounded individuals. Well-rounded individuals are great, but I don't think we should spend our tax dollars for that. Do you really care if your dentist read the classics?

      Most people do not work in the field in which they received their degree, but employers don't usually care what your degree is in as long as you have one. That is just silly. Someone fresh out of college with a degree is hired over someone with years of experience? We are putting the emphasis on the wrong things.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  29. Marine5484

    My cost for college $0 nada zip...thank god for the post 9/11 G.I. bill

    March 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • maggotfist

      If it wasn't for post 9/11 I would not be at SDSU,...Thank you Designers of Post 9/11!

      March 29, 2012 at 12:14 am |
      • CalStateAlumni

        So, how are those crowded classes going? Are you able to get the classes you want? Having any success talking to a GOOD counselor?

        March 29, 2012 at 4:48 am |
    • rfielding

      :-) It was paid for in taxes by the rest of us. I am not complaining, as it is money well spent.

      I totally agree with people that think we should cut out B.S. (I don't mean 'bachelor of science') class requirements that do little more than fatten the bill and distract from the major. We can go read fru-fru fiction books as a hobby and go be well-rounded once we make enough money to spend time doing that; or we should get that over with in our teenage years.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  30. brian

    Maybe they could cut down on the costs if they got rid of all the core courses that have nothing to do with the major.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • rachel

      Bingo. they charge for 2 years of basics. Basics that are not much different than high school courses. But boy do they rack up the $$ on making everyone take Biology AGAIN, English AGAIN, etc. by the time you hit 18 you should be able to at least have a focus area if you know you are drawn toward Science, English, etc.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
      • Diane

        Well, there is no reason to go straight to a 4 yr UC or CSU in CA....everyone should go to a community college first for their undergrad and pay thoundands of dollars less. Its the same courses, then transfer to the 4 yr for the last 2 yrs. Your degree will not be any different.....the only difference is the amount of debt you have at graduation.

        March 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • Keith

        NIce if you can get it. Most HS grads are woefully unprepared for college-level work–math and English, most notably. University graduation rates would be even *lower* if they didn't have to play "catch-up" for first year or so, teaching stuff students SHOULD'VE LEARNED in HS.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  31. Mitch

    How about scaling back the number of overpaid administrators?

    March 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  32. Still Paying after all these years

    Lets start by slashing all those garbage liberal arts classes that end in "Studies". Then lets go through the list of garbage easy "A" classes. You could easily wittle off 100 or more courses at larger schools. Get rid of the needless staff to support those classes and refund the students money. I know what I didn't learn in Bowling

    March 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • JayJ7

      I agree and had a similar idea. The time is ripe to take a small state school and try a low cost model. I am sure that professors could make the same or more, but teach larger classes in a much more uniform curriculum, without the "studies courses". Do away with athletic facilities, keep labs simpler, minimize the "arts" for hard Science students (they only confirm the bad opinion hard science students have of them). Take advantage of modern cheap resources. The "great teacher" series on DVDs are some amazing teachers to watch, even if it's not in person. You could cut the cost of a four year degree in half.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Keith

      Spelling or typing must not have been part of it. It's "whittling," I believe.

      College is for football, fraternities and beer. God forbid anything with the word "Studies" in it should be happening.

      Next thing you know, there'd be intelligent posts here and possibly even (gasp) an Informed Electorate.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  33. Still Paying after all these years

    Asking a Chancellor advice on reforming college tution and fees is like asking a Senator to reform Washington. Both are part of the problem.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  34. Cal Peter

    What I saw in the article is the state agreed to spare them the budget reductions. So...raise tuition and simultaneously not get less tax money. You can't compare that situation to other states where state support was reduced and that was not negotiable at any level.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  35. VaBlueRidge

    Reigning in expenses to cut college tuition is an admirable goal. Higher tuition and room/board costs are being caused by the U.S. Government allowing banks to loan out money directly to students without a co-signer. This is creating a bubble in college costs, and needs to be nipped in the bud now. Just another bank scam that our legislatures need to stop. Grants, scholarships, loans backed by parents, and then limits on individual loans need to be re-implemented. No student should be allowed to take out more than 10% of their expected first year salary in the major that they have declared. This is just like the housing bubble. Someone has relaxed the laws and now the students are paying the price. They will never probably be able to afford a house or start a business. This greedy act by the banks will certainly lead this country into financial ruin. Put back the old laws which protect the young from being fleeced.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Alarmed by ignorance

      Check your facts before you start dispensing with folksy wisdom. Those no co-signer loans are exclusive propoerty of the US Department of Education. The feds took over student lending in this country back in 2008 (they essentially funded the loans made by private lenders and state agencies). I am assuming you ire against the banks is for the so called "private student loans." This accounts for between 10-15% of student lending during the year. The vast majority of those private student loans require a parent or some other co-signer. I agree with you that their is a student loan bubble. The only difference is that I see the government as the ones perpetuating this madness. Oh and by the way, way the bubble does burst you and I as taxpayers will provide the bailout to the Department of Education. And unlike the bank bailout, we will not be getting our money back with interest!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
      • rachel

        4 years isn't necessary. There are at LEAST 30 hours of wasted college time. People know their strengths and weaknesses enough by 18 to allow for a 3 year – 90 hour bachelor's degree.

        March 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  36. Jake Richards

    Maybe we could add a small tax to the rich to help cover this cost. Adding a 1% tax would hardly be noticed by the rich and reduce the hardship on the lower or middle class parents.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Stu

      who are "the rich"?

      March 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Sure

      Ah the old, let us tax the rich, they can afford it. In my state 5% of the taxpayers, pay 80% of the taxes. That means 95% of the rest only pay 20% and those are the taxpayers not the entire work force. Hell almost 50% of the working people in the country does not pay any federal tax AT ALL! As in this state, you will have those rich that can, move out of state to avoid the higher and higher taxes you want to heap onto them. Then who will be left? What happens to your budget when these rich taxpayers have been years, like over the last 4 years. What happens to your budget then? Will you scream that they have to pay higher percentage of their income? You are an idiot like all the others who think that raising taxes on the rich will solve all our budget problems.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  37. ProperVillain

    Wait, so her brilliant solution is to tell her students how much their costs will be going up? I don't know what world she lives in (oh yeah, the academic ivory tower of reality) but that is called a "warning" not a solution. Typical out-of-touch educational admin type....

    March 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  38. Jake Richards

    I would like to see education expenses handled similar to Obamacare. Lets make it mandatory that parents send their kids at minimum to a state college. This will ensure that all kids are well educated and have no excuse for not having a good job.

    March 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Marie

      Sounds good to me.. are you willing to pay though!? Because otherwise how the heck do you expect them to go!?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • ThePastaSauce

      Hey genius "we should MAKE parents send their kids to college?" – last time I check 99.9% of the kids in college are over the age of 18 and therefore ADULTS. It's their choice whether to go to school or not.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  39. David

    I think colleges need to get back to basics with what they offer. I went to college in the late 90's and we didn't have half of the things that colleges are offering now to attract students. Gone are the days where you would have to walk downtown to the local town for a coffee or a late night snack. In are the days where there are 24 hour cafes on campus and dorm rooms that are nicer than the apartment I live in today. I want to know where does the money come from to do all this lucrative stuff and does it have an impact on the tuition? I understand that colleges need to attract students but I see more and more college graduates who can't even function in the real world. It seems all of these fancy amenities are attracting students for the wrong reasons these days.

    March 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • JS

      actually, colleges use these things as a way of offsetting costs that would otherwise be absorbed by increased tuition. That posh dorm room will generate an extra $1K or more per year for the college from students who can afford to trade up for the premium package. Of those $3 lattes, I betcha $1.50 goes to pay off the coffee shop and the other $1.50 goes to cover college costs so that tuition doesn't have to raise as much. Does that mean all colleges are as frugal as they can be? No, but most colleges support the majority of their student services budget from things like dorm rental, food service, and gym fees. These are luxuries to students, but colleges recognize real revenue. Who else can have the equivalent of an Extend Stay, a Starbucks, and a 24 hour fitness all within walking distance of several thousand 20 somethings with their parent's credit cards. The best part of it is that the truly needy students aren't being charged for these things since they aren't using them. It's a backdoor way of convincing the wealthier students to subsidize the poorer ones.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • Mom of Two in College

        Actually, most of the 24-hr. coffee facilities on campuses that I have seen are (like the Barnes and Noble bookstores on campus) branches of national franchises. The franchise comes in and operates them, makes money off the students, and then pays the college for the priviledge of having access to the student body on campus.

        March 29, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  40. ES

    > Armypilot Mom
    My daughter spent six months studying in Sweden just last year from Jan-June 2011. She had quite an education: Students don't respect their free ride and party at a rate that makes the wildest students here look tame.
    -----------------

    Intresting. And if they party and can't pass the exams at the end of the semseter, what happens? I would expect them to be expelled.
    I received free colelge education both in Europe and US. And I can assure you, I worked very hard and I didn't see it as a free ride. Because if I didn't pull it off, there were plenty of other people ready to take my place.
    Either the standards in Sweden are too low or the story is a half-turth.

    March 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Dan

      The story is half truth. It is actually quite the contrary. I have had a privilege to observe both systems: I got my BS in Europe and then came to US to teach. It is the US system that is all party and fun. European students bust their behinds because professors have no incentive in letting them pass with poor knowledge (they paid nothing to be there). In the US, students pay tons of money and they feel they deserve the degree because of that. In Europe the ride may be free but, as you said, if you goof around out you go.

      March 30, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  41. Pharma776

    Hello! ebdgage interesting ebdgage site! I'm really like it! Very, very ebdgage good!

    March 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  42. spoo

    colleges have become amusement parks to entertain kids and have degraded their educational value...the driving force for this tendency is the great increase in salaries for the university bureaucracy but not for the faculty...presidents, deans, etc make big money, nothing compared to the salaries of a professor

    March 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Jim Dolian

      So the average student graduates with $22K in debt, roughly the median price of a new car. I don't find that to be an unreasonable burden for four years of higher education.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • Justin

        That would make sense, but I believe that statistic is misguided. It seems that most people I have talked to about their college debt (I'm a May 2011 graduate) either have a lower $10K or higher 30-40K debt. That may be the average but I have a feeling that the true debt loads are polarized around that number. I don't have any data to back this up, just makes sense from people that I have talked to, at least in my neck of the woods.

        March 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
      • MC in TX

        Average starting salaries for college graduates are around $50K. So $22K means a debt load of about 45% of their salary. That's a pretty rough way to start your career. Granted there are some careers where you can expect your salary to double in the first few years so maybe it is not that bad. But for most, that debt will be an anchor for a very long time. What's worse is that you have to figure that, given those averages, there is probably a large number starting out with a debt approaching $30K and a salary well under $50K. That's a prescription for bankruptcy.

        March 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  43. Will

    Privatization = Fascism

    March 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  44. Michael

    So, she is going to consolidate HR and IT (therefore saving money and reducing the requried headcount for these areas due to increase efficiencies) and add more "educators" – so all of that consolidation "savings" won't go to students, but it will be spent on growing the headcount of public pensioned tenured teachers? Outstanding.

    March 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Samantha

      The ability to add more faculty and classes does pass savings along to students. Increased faculty and classes means that general requirements and major-specific classes are available more often and at varying times. When students are able to take the classes they need when they need them, they end up taking fewer "filler" classes just to keep their full time standing and tend to graduate in the expected time frame, meaning they spend less money and/or take out less debt.

      I graduated from a University whose faculty for my major was so limited that most "required" intro and mid level courses were offered only 2 out of 3 quarters a year, one time slot each quarter. If you couldn't make that work, tough luck. High level (senior) courses were usually once per year, one time slot. Again, if you couldn't make it work, tough. Trying to maintain full time standing (in order to keep my financial aid) meant taking filler classes that had nothing to do with my major and were a waste of my time. I'm willing to bet that I could have graduated almost a full year earlier if there had been more options for when to take my required courses.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  45. ssnowak

    What ever happened to apprenticeships? Luke Skywalker studied under Yoda, and became a master of his trade. A JEDI MASTER.

    March 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Mark Jarzemba

      Not true! Luke was only a Jedi Knight at the end of Episode 6.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
      • Derpderp

        At that time there was no Jedi Council left and when Yoda died no more Masters. Luke could easily be assumed to be a Master, since he was the only one left. Hell, he could call himself the High Supreme Super Duper Jedi. Who was left to argue?

        March 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • kevin

      We aren't discussing trades here.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  46. 76trombones

    I'm surprised that everyone seems to have missed her statement that the first 25% goes to subsidize needier students. That is a big reason why tuition is so much higher than it was a generation ago when financial aid given was much less. My 4 kids will all spend a decade or more paying off student loans they wouldn't have needed if they had not been subsidizing someone else's tuition. They have a couple of low income friends who, because of the general need-based aid funded by increased tuition on others, will graduate debt fee, enjoy semester abroad, etc.

    March 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  47. carlyjane6

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    March 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • bobington

      http://imtoostupidtowriteanintelligentcomment.com

      March 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  48. Pkim

    the past decade, universities spent so much money upgrading their facilities and services to compete for students, now when kids go to college their life gets huge upgrade. Upscale dining facilities rivaling eating out (how many of us eat out every day?), GYMs rival pro facilities, Health facilities have better GYM equipment than most Health Club, dang their campus grounds are kept much better than 99% of my neighbor. Do small colleges really need a lab that rivals large colleges? I understand it is nice to have good place to learn and enjoy the life, at cost to actual education? That is why community colleges offer cheaper solution but then that is the first two years of general education. Can colleges cut back on luxury and actually concentrate on what matters the most, EDUCATION!

    March 28, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Lauren

      Pkim: I work at a college, and I agree with a lot of that. However, those facilities are how colleges attract students. We emphasize to high school students the "college experience", which is not solely (or even mostly) academic in nature. Many students choose a college based on the facilities, or the "feeling" they get from a college, which is often heavily influenced by those aspects of campus. Colleges have to improve their facilities like this in order to attract students, because without tuition from those students, they will not have enough revenue to continue operation. It's a vicious cycle.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  49. SK

    I taught in a private university.

    The quality of course design diminished over time – dumbed down. Classes got larger. The risk of students dropping out was transferred to the instructor via compensation. The quality of teaching took a hit when tighter response times and larger classes took up instructor time. There was no prep time compensation. The instructors were required to have a full time job in thir field as well. Saves the university from having to provide benefits. Instructor salary did not rise with inflation. The quality of students admitted was not monitored. Only numbers counted. The admission officers were pressured to get students in.

    Do you want that type of education for your children or yourself? If so, pressure your state reps to privatize State universities.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  50. olddude

    The Chancellor has so much makeup on in that picture, if she were to smile her face would crack.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  51. OC Mark

    My freshman year at UCLA (1980) the tuition was $759/year (based on $253 per trimester). By the time that I graduated, it had doubled. The percentage increases are about the same as they are now, but now, we are dealing with large numbers in terms of the actual Dollars. College should not be viewed as a luxury. This country is based on technology, not manual labor. If we continue to price our population out of a college education, we may soon find ourselves being one of the countries that others ship their products to be assembled because our future generations will no longer have the skills needed to be technological innovators.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  52. MIke

    I also work for a for profit university U of P to be precise and they are total frauds . Cost per hour are 400.00 or three times what the cost of a community college costs. As an EA I'm constantly pressured to find more and more students. I don't know what your education plans are but my advice would be to stay away from the for profit colleges. The key word is profit. The management is only interested in their profits and stock options.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Meg

      I worked at a minimum wage job for years and was depressed at my lack of opportunity. However, I still needed to work and go to school. My answer, a for-profit school. I enrolled and several weeks into it, I was astounded to find out how long I would have to take classes, how terrible the education was, and how much I was paying for a terrible education. I decided there had to be a better way. I dropped the class two weeks into it and was still charged 1,500 dollars for two weeks alone. They didn't care about me succeeding, they never did. They just wanted my money. Sadly, most of the people in my classes were not educated enough to know what a terrible education they were getting. Most of them were struggling people, single moms and dads, people trying to find HOPE. And this school was sucking it out from under them without them even being aware of it. IT IS DISGUSTING what for-profit schools are doing to those less fortunate. It outrages me when I think about the injustice of the situation. I now go to a state school and am due to graduate this year. My education is amazing and the money, although still high, beats the for profit school any day. My advice to anyone in for profit or thinking about it, DONT. You deserve better.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  53. iceload9

    I don't see any "approach" here at all. I don't see the difference between having to pay more and being told in advance you will have to pay more. Saying the increases will be smaller means nothing when the underlying costs are already astronomical. We are in a viscous circle of the govt loaning more so the the colleges charge more. As painful as it will be the govt has to stop paying for college and in time colleges will rein in their costs.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  54. jkal;f

    I like how there is "inAmerica" in the

    March 28, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  55. eslrobert

    I studied what I loved – English literature. My total annual income is just short of $90,000. I did go to school at a time when it was affordable (I graduated in 1975). I also tacked on a Master's degree. Without those degrees, I don't know what I would have done, but I know life wouldn't be the joy it is for me every day. I raised my sons to go to college. The first studied computer science at U of Houston. A corporation raided him the semester before he graduated (something I am NOT happy about), but he make's over $60K a year after one year on the job. They're paying for him to finish his degree, too. He's doing something he loves and he's very good at it. Second son has finished 2 years of college (no debt) but doesn't know what he wants to study. He's a waiter now, but he'll go back when he figures out what he's interested in. The last is still in high school. He takes it for granted that he will go to college. For now, he says he wants to be a writer.
    My point in all of this is college is an education. It's worth pursuing in and of itself. Making a living will happen regardless.

    March 28, 2012 at 5:55 am |
  56. CS

    I work for a "for profit" university. Our industry has been bashed all over the media but I can tell you that our graduates are working. They are trained in specific field. Yes, they go into debt but they are paying it back- you can check out cohort default rates of colleges around the country. I can tell you one thing from being in this industry for 12 years- we have flaws but want our graduates to do well- it is a reflection on us and keeps us growing. State schools don't even keep track of graduates. The paper does not make you successful. It is your work ethic, your ability to network, professionalism, etc. Perhaps schools should focus on that vs. ancient history. It is a system that is broken.

    March 28, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Mark Romens

      If we understood ancient history, we wouldn't need college.

      March 28, 2012 at 1:42 am |
      • Synthetically Thought...

        A superb statement!

        March 28, 2012 at 2:09 am |
      • me

        Quite true. If you understand ancient history, you're not qualified for any work that needs college.

        March 28, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Synthetically Thought...

      I detect a certain arrogance in your statements as you compare your "for profit" university to other colleges. You are making reckless assumptions that the only way to obtain gainful employment upon graduation is to attend your university.
      I find it remarkable by the way that as 501cs, corporations, middle class families, federal, state and municipal governments all have to cut back on their budgets (learn to operate more efficiently)...the only segment that feels it should not have to cut back are colleges. That too is quite arrogant!

      March 28, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • MIke

      For profits are total scams.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Meg

      No disrespect to you individually CS, but for profit school are disgusting. It is a terrible education for more money than a state school. Yes, with dedication and their own motivation and drive, they may finish and learn something. I agree, no one can get a good education for a person BUT schools should be in the best interest of the individual they are teaching, not their pockets. When a school is only trying to make a profit, you can guarantee the quality of education is being looked over. Greed l does not equal justice for people. Never has, never will.

      March 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • asdf

        crusade, I dont follow your reasoning.

        March 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
      • asdf

        Firstly, where is it written that the federal government is required to garauntee the financial well-being of state schools? Finacial aid is meant to help the STUDENTs, not the schools.

        March 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
      • asdf

        Why would the states be more inclined to divest in their universities when they know that the feds wont be propping their budgets up or the universities are forced to keep their spending down?

        if anything I would think the states would be more inclined to kick in their fair share knowing that the schools are forced to practice fiscal responsibility. the states arent going to let their school system die, and no university in their right mind would choose to quit taking financial aid, even if that means reducing some administrative pay or positions. (they could start by eliminating theis half million dollar per year lady, who can't write.)

        March 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  57. simple idea

    the answer to this problem is simple: the feds could put a cap (inflation adjusted of course) on the amount that a college can raise their tuition per year, if they are to continue receiving federal financial aid dollars.

    before anyone starts shouting about invasive government regulation, I would like to point out that strings are usually attached to government funding as a way to enforce mandates. the payer has a right, in this case I would say a duty, to try and maximize the return on their investment dollars (in this case OUR dollars.) they are just squandering them currently. it makes no sense.

    March 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Crusade2267

      The major issue with capping tuition is that tuition is often used as a fallback for losses in state funding. If it costs $100 million to run your school, and this year the state is giving you half your budget and next year they're cutting $20 million, you have to make that up somewhere. A federal cap on tuition would only work if the funding for the college was guaranteed... and I can assure you that states would be up in arms over the Feds telling them how much they have to fund a state program.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:29 am |
      • simple

        I disagree that this would amount to a requirement for states to fund their university system. all it would be is a limitation on how large a part of the bill the us government is willing to foot. it would give them incentive to control their costs, regardless of how much the feds or states kick in. if anything your argument that they may lose state funding from year to year would give them even more reason to be fiscally responsible. the people of individual states can sort out their priorities for spending as they see fit. there's nothing that says the feds have to sign a blank check when it comes to education. are the states up in arms over federal requirements attached to highway dollars? of course they eould resist such a change, but weening them off the teat of the endless cash cow the federal government has been would begin to make them make adult decisions about raising costs. it would be uncomfortable, but I don't see any other way.

        March 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • Crusade2267

        The Federal Financial Aid system treats public colleges, non-profit colleges, for profit colleges, and scam colleges all the same. And yes, it does need reform. But the federal government cannot limit the colleges budget without guaranteeing it will have enough to operate. The biggest threat to public higher education is that states keep disinvesting in it. Eventually, we will have a number of state university systems that are public in name only, and cost exactly the same as a private school. Capping their tuition without forcing states to stop disinvesting essentially says that eventually we plan to close public higher education.

        March 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Samantha

      Washington State has a cap on how much public universities and community colleges can raise tuition. The cap was 7% per year.

      In 2010, the Presidents of all public universities in the state began lobbying for an "exception" on that cap. They got it, and promptly raised tuition by 16% per year, on average. The logic was that because of state funding decreases, the universities needed to be able to increase their "normal" annual amount (6 – 7 %) and also increase to cover the state funding decreases.

      In theory, a tuition increase cap works, but only if there is absolutely no way around that cap.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  58. simple idea

    the answer to this problem is simple: the feds could put a cap (inflation adjusted of course) on the amount that a college can raise their tuition per year, if they are to continue receiving federal financial aid dollars.

    March 27, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  59. David

    So, the legislature has agreed not to cut a dollar of funding, and they are still increasing tuition rates (albeit telling the students about this a little further in advance, as if that will somehow make money appear out of nowhere in time to pay the tuition bill).

    What part of this glorious model for higher education funding am I missing?

    For the record, California's UC system, highly priced as it may be, is extremely well regarded and on a higher plane entirely than the likes of SUNY. Perhaps the author should pick more flattering examples next time she is patting herself on the back.

    March 27, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • well said

      good summary. other than fixing the tuition increases in advance, all that she mentions is saving some administrative costs by consolidating some services (which only works because it's a huge network of universities.) im sure these justify her half million dollar salary. I didn't see any ideas which could be emulated by other states to reign in theirupward spiralling tuitions.

      this is one of the few articles I've ever read online where the comments are more thoughtful and interesting than the article itself.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • John

      Where do you get your information that the UC system is so much better than the SUNY system? If a NY resident goes to UC Berkley he will pay $52,000 per year. If a CA resident goes to SUNY Geneseo he will pay $27,000. It costs less for a CA resident to go to a SUNY school. Geneseo, Stony Brook, and Binghamton are continually ranked in the top 50 schools for value by Kiplinger, as are several UC campuses. UC system has some very good schools, but the system is flat broke. I suggest you do a little research before you spout on about how great the UC system is and criticize a system which you nothing about.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:44 am |
      • Josh

        Don't bother arguing with a UC supporter, they're all the same and they all think their education is superior to everyone elses. I live in California and can attest to the over hyping of the UC system, it's no better than the CSU system in California or the SUNY system in New York.

        I really can't say enough about how awful the UC system supporters are, they are irritating and out of their minds.

        March 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  60. Fiske

    For the state universities, tuition is going up for a variety of factors. The biggest factor is that the recession caused people's incomes to drop on average. No extra income to tax then no new state revenue to pay for these schools. Then the availability of loans inflates tuition even further than simple cuts would have.

    What's sad is that while the average American income has dropped, the top wage earners incomes have increased exponentially. And we don't tax the top wage earners compensate for the shift of money going from the middle class to the higher class. Look up statistics of the PEW research center to see.

    The perfect storm of crony capitalism that caused the housing market to collapse, the downgrade of the middle class, and a worldwide economic recession has ruined the affordability of higher public education.

    I am a student at the University of California system. I work a part time job, go to school full time (in engineering), live frugally, and I still have to take out over $5000 in loans each year. The amount tuition is going up each year while they cut services. It is insane, but this is the reality of the situation.

    Believe me, I wouldn't be going to college if it wasn't a requirement. The college system itself is outdated. All my classmates and I have information shoved in our head for a standardized test. And for what? Just to forget it so we can focus on another class! Do we really need to memorize all the constants in physics for just one application that lasts a week? I thought that was what books were for?

    Lots of changes need to be made. A crisis has a way of doing that.

    March 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • bob

      you should be thankful for what the taxpayers of california are giving you. even after spending 5000 out of your own pocket, the MAJORITY of the cost of your education still is being paid for by someone else.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  61. Jason

    That's funny coming from Nancy Zimpher, who has an annual salary of $490,000.

    http://www.suny.edu/communications/releases/zimphernamedchancellor.cfm

    March 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  62. sean

    tax rates in the 'free' _______fill in the blank ---- are much higher than ours. in the end nothing is free.

    March 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  63. BenInTN

    Someone spoke of professor salaries being too high and needing to be dealt with. I have no problem paying a professor 100k to 200k, but I have a HUGE problem doling out outrageous salaries to the football coaches. Give them the same salary as every other teacher in that college, and you'll immediately have more money to spend elsewhere.

    March 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • sean

      sounds good, but, football programs , like at OSU generate big money for the college and pay for themselves.

      I understand what you mean. Hey, a surgeon makes less than any pop star.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Jimaine

      The ratio of revenue generated to the paycheck is not close in most college football programs. I think that some of our education related taxes and other taxes should be used in an attempt to lower tuition. Is this possible?

      March 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Doug Lynn

      The big salaries paid to coaches do not come from the state or any taxpayer. Big time college sports are a business mostly separate from the rest of university. They generate millions that support the high salaries and all the less popular sports.

      The biggest problem with colleges and all public schools is the growing number of well paid admin positions. The second biggest problem is the number of well paid professors that do not teach at all or very little. The dollars are not going into instruction.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Guri S

      Noooo! Football Coaches are the cream of the crop. Without them, there is no lucrative contracts. The revenue stream pays for their salaries.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  64. Milke

    It's too bad that Americans have such a knee-jerk reaction to anything that might seem "European" or "Canadian". We need state-sponsored higher education, and single payer healthcare. Our capitalistic economy will survive fine from these "socialist" incursions. Canada and Germany are good examples.

    March 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • eslrobert

      Those knee-jerk reactions to healthcare and public higher education are the result of really good, decades-long propaganda campaigns.

      March 28, 2012 at 5:41 am |
    • ES

      Very true. I got my college education for free in my home country.
      And then a US company paid for my MBA here. I would’ve never paid 80K for something I could’ve learned on internet in my free time (and that was top 20 US university).
      I am sorry to point out, but in most countries with free / sponsored college education the entry criteria are very stringent, you have to maintain certain grades and you have to graduate on time. Or you lose you spot to someone more deserving.
      From what I've seen of the US students, only 20-30% of them ( at best) would be admitted to a European college. Most of US colleges are not colleges but are more like glorified high schools. All community colleges fall into this category.
      Most Americans simply don't know what to compare to and think a community college is really a college.
      That is why US corporations love to bring foreigners to work. It is a myth that they are paid less. The truth is , foreigners have better skills because they have better education.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Dan

        Totally on the spot! Other than perhaps Ivy League Schools, US colleges are no match to any European University. What I am forced to pass here, in my home country those students would not progress beyond first semester.

        March 30, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • ES

      > colleges have become amusement parks to entertain kids and have degraded their educational value...

      ---------------

      True. College facilities should be plain and boring. You are not there to enjoy yourself. You are there to get the best education you can, at the lowest cost and as quickly as you can. You can enjoy yourself after you are gainfully employed and can live independently. That is the way it has been until recently.
      And don’t even get me started on various sports programs. They are a disgrace. It seems , most students chose a college based on sports facilities. That just shows you the priorities.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Keith

      @Milke

      Yabbut, then the system might be "fair." America is more often about "I got mine, and screw you." :)

      March 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  65. Milke

    Basically, aside from some measures mentioned for efficiency, your plan consists of telling the students BEFOREHAND that their costs will go up. Genius.

    March 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  66. Jo Ann

    @flyingram "Major in Genetics, Math, Molecular Biology, nearly any area of Engineering, Architecture, Information Systems, Accounting, etc. that do empart highly employable skills – and even in a recessionary period, you'll find lucrative job offers and upward mobility."
    Really?? Wasn't there a recent study that found architecture is currently the worst thing to major in if you want a job offer? English majors are getting more offers than architects.
    Don't major in something just because you think it is marketable. What if things change over the next four years? Major in what you love. Look for internships that help you figure out how the job market can use your major and the critical thinking and writing skills you've acquired. Use what you learn from your internships to figure out which electives might beef up your application – maybe a couple of classes in marketing, accounting or IT. Be proactive in working with you college's career services department, starting early in your college career – don't wait until your senior year.
    Liberal arts graduates who follow that plan ARE getting jobs. Will the engineers make more money? Maybe. But would the liberal arts major be happy as an engineer? Probably not. Getting a job is very important, but being happy with the job you are doing is priceless.

    March 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Andy

      I agree. Don't major in something you don't see yourself being good at or liking cause you'll just open all sorts of doors of misery and depression when you end up stuck in the career field until retirement. Plus, someone unmotivated looks terrible in the interview room.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Jason

      I understand what you are saying. I graduated with a degree in Architecture in 2000 because it was something I loved. Problem is, I have never had a job even remotely related to Architecture. Most of the jobs I have had were warehouse jobs since then. The highest paying job I have ever had was working in the oilfield and I was surrounded by rough-necks who didn't even have a high school education but that job dried up as well. Twelve years later and I am working in another warehouse that pay only $11.00 an hour. Believe me, I would be much happier if I had my money back that I used (or shall I say wasted) to go to college.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  67. Paul

    The university model is an anachronism, professors who teach undergrad courses can easily be replaced with a video screen, and the economics of rising tuition versus what graduates can earn in the real world is unsustainable. The model for skyrocketing college costs is for the Khan Academy (if you don't know Khan Academy, google it) to become accredited and to expand its curriculum to a full four-year college degree, make college free for everyone through online self-paced learning, and restore a meritocracy to the educational world. We don't need college campuses anymore than we need horses and buggies – the world has gone virtual.

    March 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Andy

      As a person who spends a lot of time on the internet I have to disagree with you.

      Being overly virtual is terrible and social interaction with others is VERY important. Meeting people in person is still important so is social interaction and hands on type learning I would say is a thousand times more meaningful than spending it all online. Yes, the world is becoming increasingly virtual but it shouldn't be a complete replacement. The problem with education is not only is it expensive but we are becoming more and more out of touch with each other which isn't teaching you much of anything.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • me

      How is this "video screen" supposed to answer student questions.

      Distance education can work quite well. But the models that work well tend to be MORE expensive than the butts-in-seats lecture hall model, precisely because you need to offer MORE support to the students in order to get the same level of performance.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  68. Nathan

    One can appreciate the intent here, and one can congratulate the Chancellor, but what works for a 64-campus system will hardly work for all the States! Some of us have recently decentralized purchasing as a way of saving money. Outsourcing/consolidating human resources and technology would lead to disaster for many campuses–and far higher expenses. SUNY is thoroughly unionized and bureaucratized in ways that many campuses and faculties are not. Many do not have a gigantic expensive system of SUNY's kind. Nor do we have the resources of a New York. With all do respect, Chancellor, you are out of touch with reality as we experience it in most of the States.

    March 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  69. Thermal Jockey

    To those who claim that colleges don't teach real world skills, I say this: Nonsense!

    I went back to college in my late 30s, with years of experience. I graduated with a B.S., then got an M.S., both in Computer Science. I saw what was taught. It was clear to me as an experienced I.T. worker that there were very large lessons to be had by those who had never worked in that field. This may not be true at all colleges, and all majors, but it was true at University of Utah, and at UCLA. It was true in the Engineering Departments. It was true in the Business departments. I saw no evidence that it wasn't true elsewhere. Was there stuff taught that wasn't specifically useful? Sure. But most of that was in the "breadth requirement." But that was useful in a completely different way. College is not just about a job. It is also about being an educated, informed, thoughtful citizen. Even when I disagreed with the professors (something that as an older student I was willing to do), the act of argument clarified, enhanced and yes, sometimes changed, my opinions. It also enhanced my reasoning skills. And the defeats taught some good lessons as well.

    I'm glad I went. It increased my salary. It improved my abilities in my field and outside my field. I wish I could have afforded to go earlier in my life.

    March 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Paul

      In many respects, I agree with your comments that the purpose of a university education is to prepare your mind and character to be a more thoughtful and productive citizen; however, I would also suggest that most of the benefits of a college education can be had through virtual online sessions and videoconferencing technology. Clearly there are benefits to be had by your on-campus experiences, but for every one of you there are 5 people who couldn't afford it. Wouldn't it be better for society for 5 times the number of people to have received your education for the cost paid for just you?

      March 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Jo Ann

      Well said! Even for students pursuing technical degrees, the broad knowlege base and critical thinking/writing which have traditionally been incorporated into a college degree are important. Not only are they life-enhancing, they make for better workers and citizens.

      March 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
      • ES

        > Even for students pursuing technical degrees, the broad knowledge base and critical thinking/writing which have traditionally been incorporated into a college degree are important. Not only are they life-enhancing, they make for better workers and citizens
        ----------–

        That is what high school for everywhere else in the world. What are kids doing in high schools? This is where they should learn history, literature, geography and other arts and be well rounded by the age they are 18 . But I go to college to get a profession. If I want to be physicist, don't make me pay for English literature class. I can learn it for free on my own time. It isn't relevant for my chosen profession.
        I got math degree in Russia, where I was born and for 5 years of college I studied nothing but math and physics, every day 6-8 hours. At the end of 5 years I got MS degree. When compare what we learned to what is being learned by US students, US BS degree is equivalent of 1 year in a Russian college. And my 5 year education is on the phd level.
        The bottom line – US education is about 80% waste. it needs to be reformed. US BS degree iw an equivalent of a high school elsewhere.

        March 29, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  70. pj

    I teach in a public university. I receive a 3-4% raise every 3-4 years....it does not match inflation. There are two main problems in higher education as I see it. The first is administration. The administration in universities is enormous. every time a branch of the administration gets a little over burdened, it metastasizes into two or three new offices. it is similar to government, except there is not democratic process to reel it in. related, the second problem is a focus on short term-returns. The administration of most universities is focused very strongly on how to make revenue, not the "quality" of education. They tend to focus on variables like the quality of food on campus and the quality of recreational facilities to pull in new students (students who really are not ready for school yet) If we can reduce administration in universities, the overall cost will go down dramatically.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  71. erin

    uh this sounds like an ad. Kids! Listen to the experts who are saying DO NOT WASTE your money on useless college. I repeat DO NOT WASTE Your money! (i already wasted mine)

    March 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  72. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    the biggest problem for the american university system is the mass of american poorly educated peeps who attmept them.

    PhD in sdudies of popeye cartoons and their ability to predict the future.
    or 50s tv.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • flyingram

      The problem has been the creeping then coming on in roaring fashion of top-heavy bloated administrators.

      Look at the organizational charts of most state universities and you'll find layer upon layer of the provost, assistant provosts, executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents, just plain V.P.s, assistant V.P.x, deans, associate deans, acting deans, department heads, assistant d.h. - the list goes endlesslessly goes on.

      At time when corporate America has tightened its belt, universities have skated and are rarely under such pressure.

      March 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • Nathan

        True–but the question is why. Many of these administrators are in student services. Colleges and universities are far more tuition driven since the States cut support. They admit as many students as they can feasibly handle, and it requires a lot of support (of all kinds) to deal with these students. Further, accrediting agencies make all sorts of demands that require yet further administration. And then there is all the administration it takes to get into the appropriate revenue streams. Since State support was cut, donors and corporations and foundations and the federal government have become even more essential sources of revenue. It takes a lot of non-productive people on campus just to follow all the federal rules and deal with all the grants. No one foresaw all of this when the States cut their support, but the system has become far less efficient and more expensive as well. There are no quick or easy fixes. It is possible that the higher education system that the US produced in the post-war era–the one that is still the model for the world–has passed its peak, and has entered a phase of irreversible decline. I hope not.

        March 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  73. Ron

    A student in Sweden has all tuition paid for,as well as books and fees by the government. Health care is also covered by the government for all Swedes not just students. We have allowed the wealthy to convince us such a committment to education is not possible here. All the while vacation beachfront condos sell for $500,000.00 before the buildings are completed in Orange Beach, Alabama. It all gets down to who we vote into office. No wonder people feel powerless when the wealthy determine our choices on voting day.
    .

    March 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Chris in MN

      The average individual tax rate in Sweden is nearly 58%...I'd rather keep my lower tax rate and save for my own child's education.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • SM from Alaska

        Yes but you don't need to save for retirement, healthcare, college costs... So basically for an additional 25% you get a medical system that is ranked 6th (versus 36th for the US) with no fear of cripling healthcare debt, college and school costs paid for, and retirement paid for, plus you get a country with very much a live and let live mentality vs. live and let live as long as you're not wearing a hoodie or wanting everyone to have all of the same rights.

        March 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
      • me

        That's rather silly. Surely it depends on what the extra 15% in taxes buys you.

        For that 30% of your income, you get free health care (better than you can get in the States), retirement coverage (better than you can get in the states), life-long education, et cetera.

        A typical American worker pays about 20% in Federal income tax, 5% in state income tax, 7.5% in social security taxes, has another 7.5% taken out for SS employer side, is expected to contribute about 10% to a 401(k) plan, and still needs to pay for medical insurance (about $7000 average costs, lowball it at 10%) and college costs (another 10%?) atop this.

        Doing the math, Americans are paying 60-70% of their income for less than the Europeans are getting for 58%.

        March 28, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Armypilot Mom

      My daughter spent six months studying in Sweden just last year from Jan-June 2011. She had quite an education: Students don't respect their free ride and party at a rate that makes the wildest students here look tame. They attend classes infrequently and spend five years doing so. My daughter was chosen by her profs and business leaders as one of the top three students in the business program.
      We should never compare ourselves negatively to European situations without fully knowing what we are talking about. Denmark has high value added taxes and a 60% import fee on cars is not something Americans really would find beneficial. More people receive public aid in Denmark than work to pay for it. European economists are urging Americans to protect our way of life, because theirs is not sustainable.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
      • uratard

        Yeah right lady, thats why Denmark has the highes happiness rating out of every country in the world....they must be so happy because everything is about to crash around them you retard.

        March 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  74. Well Well Well

    @Peter, I also find it really strange that you didn't have any marketable skills when you completed your bachelors. Getting hired after college is tough, but it's not like college doesn't help you prepare for it. A lot of college degree programs require an internship or some sort of service learning for classes to help thier students gain real world experience. Many colleges also offer resume and interviewing seminars as well as mock interviews so their students can gain these valuable skills. I do attend a 4 year public university, and I am always amazed at just how much this college offers its students to help them become successful in their feild.

    March 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  75. dotheflippinmath

    People with college diplomas earn, on average, much more than those without, regardless of degree. Completing a college degree may not teach you the day to day duties you may do in your future job, but it tells your potential employer you have enough intelligence and dilligence to complete a serious task. Don't underestimate the value of college, especially liberal arts. A broad education equips a person with problem solving skills and knowledge that allow them to grow and "think outside the box." The TP/Evangelical movement would rather the sheeple remain hopelessly uneducated, so as to not to threaten their wealth, or their reluctance to accept the truth found in science and history. There are fewer and fewer well-paying jobs for the uneducated. Of course you can learn to program computers all by yourself. I did that when I was in junior high and high school. Try getting a good job with good benefits in IT without a degree or years of experience (which is really hard to get without a degree, and it doesn't even have to be in IT). Seems there are those that could care less about advancing our nation towards the future. Many are threatened by science and "liberal arts," mostly those who see the word "liberal" and automatically translate it (incorrectly) to "communist." Not since Galileo have we seen such denial of science. Museums that claim the earth is 5000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs go-existed. What is this nation turning into? What's next, a Spanish Inquisition Redux, starring the Tea Party?

    March 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • divanerd

      I can't agree with the "on average" part. I have worked for the past five years in a college and I'm more inclined to say that it depends largely upon the major and type of degree a student has earned. Many students are wasting a lot of money on a degree that won't get them a decent job when they graduate. I can't count the number of graduates I've stayed in contact with who are currently working in restaurants or other entry-level positions that don't require a 4 year degree. My heart cries for the parents of students who pay exorbitant amounts on their child's education, only to find that no employment opportunities after graduation. Even the graduates in our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program are often finding it necessary to further their education and obtain a terminal degree. Bottom line, every person is not designed for college, and some people will find success in areas that do not require a bachelor's degree.

      March 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • Jason K

        Another problem is that you are expected to figure out what you want to do with your entire life through your childhood. Then you go college and get specialized classes for this subject. Then you graduate and if you're lucky enough to find a job in the field, you may very well find that you hate it! I think more time needs to be devoted to kids learning about the entirety of a profession before going into it. You may decide you want to be a doctor but find that you can't deal with the physical strain it puts on your own body, or how it compromises your family and personal life, etc.

        March 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Jason K

      @ dotheflippinmath

      I recommend you live up to your name and do the same. College costs go up each year proportoniately to the decreasing dollar. The colleges are not going to take less money. Compound this issue with the fact that more average intelligence people are getting degrees for highschool round 2 classes and you can start to see our economic issues. College used to be reserved more for people that were going to be doctors or lawyers etc. I agree with you that people need to advance their education. However, college is not necessarily "advanced" education, its just more education, with a big price tag. My wife went to college and got a BS in English particularly in publishing and graphic design. She make half of what I make as a Bank accountant. Furthermore, I don't even possess a CPA. I've been a mechanic, a computer tech, and a salesman in addition.

      BTW, I'm spiritually a Christian, and a Jefferson Republican (not to be confused with the camps of Romney/Newt/@nal-lube). Please do not make the assumption that everyone who believes differently than you falls into another cookie cutter camp. Diversity of thought is what made our nation great. While I may not agree with your opinions I would fight and die for your right to express and trust them.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  76. Making slaves out of kids.

    plus its a very unhealthy lifestyle. classrooms and education are outdated the day you get it.

    March 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • JonPeter

      If you learn to think and research new ideas as part of your eductaion then your knowledge is not obsolete. Much of the basis of what is learned, such as physics, math, communications skills and how to deelop and present an argument form a basic foundation and never become obsolete. If you are a personates new knowledge and understanding, writes new stories, creates art and music, then you have learned well.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  77. Making slaves out of kids.

    They are just making slaves out of kids. At the most expensive time of their lives (when they need cars, houses, have kids to raise). I can't advocate strapping this kind of debt on a kid. I know they just want to be good, but our schools are so bad that you are basically teaching yourself now anyway. They are capitalizing on people's natural propulsion to learn. but there are plenty of resources out there. and i'm not kidding that you have to teach yourself anyway. save your money.

    March 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Making slaves out of kids.

      they don't treat their staff well either. banksters are making out like a bandit. computer companies. probably publishers (cost over $175 for an elementary algebra book last year). they know kids have money for school so they hike the cost.

      March 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  78. Bob C

    Costs are our of control in universities across the country due to high salaries and hugh pension costs , when these are dealt with and reduced to reasonable levels cost will go down.

    March 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Eric

      Hi Bob, the tuition increases are not being used to pay pensions/salaries or trips to hawaii. Teacher salaries have stagnated or been severely cut, at the same time tuition explodes. If we want to truly understand where this money is going, then I don't think it will help to continually bash and blame teachers.

      March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Kencuda

      I agree 100%. I worked at stony brook for about 5yrs I worked for the Faculty student association. Most parents of suny students know of them.When left my position their the exec director was making over 85000.00 yrly Owned a vacation home on block island.This is a supposed non profit that is in place to provide goods and services to the c ampus .They are non profit after salaries and benefits to full time employes. What they do to parents of incoming students is this little trick all freshman are required to be on a manditory meal plan which is purchased with cash and given back to the student in the form of a point system swipe card. The parent and student never getting adollar for dollar exchange. Pretty neat trick Mr. Kevin Kelly current exec at stony brook has been since he grauduaded from there I think early 60s. I also know he holds a phd in something. Hes very good at coming up with new and more devious ways to add to nyers costs to send or kids to school. Madam chancellor someone should reign our F.S.As.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  79. Charlie

    All this person says is that state controlled universities are going to keep their tuition increases to a minimum by getting the state to assure that state taxpayer funds for the university will not be cut.
    Please, someone tell me why the cost of tuition has raced well ahead of the rate of inflation for all other costs for decades?? How can this be justified? What costs have raced ahead at two or more times the rate of inflation??
    The fundamental problem that wasn't addressed by all the OWS protesters was that college tuitions costs of today cannot be justified. I see colleges taking huge amounts of money and piling up tax free real estate (See Harvard, MIT, Boston Univeristy, Boston College as examples in the Boston/Cambridge area.) THAT is where the over inflated tuition money is going. I am totally against government regulation, but too many lemmings are going to college and coming out with worthless degress and piles of debt. What will it take to make the insanity stop?

    March 27, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • What Now

      I don't know the answer for all universities and colleges, but I can comment for some state colleges and universities. When states around the country began cutting their budgets, that meant huge cuts to state supported colleges and universities. For many years, State colleges and universities have been able to keep the cost down for the student by using state funds to pay for alot of the cost. So, in an effort to keep going they have to up tuition to pay for the services that students want. Cuts are being made to staff, faculty and programs around the country to try and lower costs.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  80. Dave

    Sorry, but she did not say anything in this article. There are no details of anything here. Not a useful article.

    March 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  81. Steve

    nothing in this articel, NOTHING, addresses the basic issues with higher education in america...salaries, curriculum, sports (which, for the most part, cost schools. Sports being profitable is generally a myth), and a myriad of other problems other than just the cost...which are all contributing factors.

    This just says, "hey, we are going to raise tuition but at least you know how bad you are going to get screwed next year."

    March 27, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  82. Daniel

    Colleges are not the only issue in regards to education. Falling high school standards have led to a huge inefficiency in education. Community Colleges which have been lifelines to lower income students are reteaching students information they should have learned in high school. The public school system needs to be reorganized for efficiency and accountability. The GED is based on a 9th grade education level why are our students wasting 3 years that could go into career training or completing an AA at a community college. The hole system is faulty and a complete overhaul is needed at this point.

    March 27, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  83. Peter

    There are a number of problems with Universities as they stand today.
    First and foremost is the fact that the Federal government guarantees student loans. So we have all these people getting loans to go to university. If the government did not issue those loans, Colleges would be forced to lower tuition costs. It would hurt for the first few years, but things would change. Secondly, we are receiving no real marketable skills at most colleges. They are taught by academics who have never worked in the private sector. They are either not equipped at preparing students for real world work or think that everyone will be a teacher/prof like themselves. Furthermore, since everyone has a college degree...it has made the college degree worthless. I just completed an M Sc. I did that because there were no employment opportunities for someone who just had a bachelors. So after 40 000 in debt I get to start my life.

    March 27, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • What Now

      Peter, I think it is very unfair to say all colleges, all teachers. Although I don't know your field of study, it is truly sad that you managed to obtain an advanced degree without gaining any skills that are useable in the world. I find that surprising, yet think you might find that many people who have completed an MS have good jobs that they would not have received without the advanced education. I have an MS from a university and that has provided me with many career opportunities over the years. The private sector is not the only place to gain experience in the world. Hopefully, you have worked other jobs while attending university. Employers are always more impressed with those who worked their way through college.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • flyingram

        Peter -

        "What now" is on target. Major in Genetics, Math, Molecular Biology, nearly any area of Engineering, Architecture, Information Systems, Accounting, etc. that do empart highly employable skills – and even in a recessionary period, you'll find lucrative job offers and upward mobility. In fact, in leading graduate schools many (and in point of fact, most) students come from Asia or elsewhere (or are 2nd/3rd generation) where norms about math and literacy are far superior.

        Sadly, many students pass up the technical areas in the avoidance paradigm and pick a major because it is "easy."
        To cite one example, several universities offer a B.A. in History without taking a single Math course.

        Unbelievable in 2012, isn't it?

        March 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Jim

      Peter, you are absolutely right. If every student or family can get a loan to cover whatever costs they haven't saved for, or they haven't received a scholarship or grant for, then the University system sees it as a cash cow. Everybody has to have a degree now, however worthless it might be, and Universities know this. They squeeze as much as possible out of students and families. Its pretty sick, especially when you see $ 400 K patronage "educational adminstration" positions popping up at most all of them.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Clancy

      The Federal government only guarantees the first $5,500 per year. Everything after that a parent has to co-sign. All the aid is either for the extremely gifted or the extremely needy. The graduation rate for the needy is very low, but they receive the majority of the grants. The whole thing needs to be reworked.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
      • Augusto Pinochet

        That's a good idea. In fact, let's extend that rule to high school, middle school, and elementary school as well. Not like these poor animals will need to know how to do anything besides work in a lumber yard or push a broom anyway.

        Don't want a cheap, lousy education? Don't be born poor you bums.

        March 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm |