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Post by BirdWatcher on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:15 pm

I bumped my US Healthcare topic for those coming late.   After solving the healhcare issue Laughing  I decided to think about Free College.  And where better to turn to get my ideas shredded and spat back at me than Turk's.  So, here's my idea on Free College"

Alot of the general hubbub about Bernie Sander’s proposal for “free college” stems from the fact that, as a country with 22 trillion dollars in debt, no one wants to pay for it.   Personally, as a Libertarian, I object to it as an overreach of federal government.  But why couldn’t college be free, without the government?

We already have plenty of “free stuff” here in the U.S.   If you want free tap water, every gas station, restaurant and grocery store has drinking fountains. WiFi is pretty much free in urban areas.   Buy a smartphone and you get free access to the GPS satellites (even the Russian ones).  Google made Email free.   Built on the back of businesses, but free and ubiquitous.

I earned my Masters Degree from University of Phoenix Online.  Later, I taught there for five years.  And when I say “there,” I mean from the comfort of my living room.  Every major university now offers online classes.   The internet is chock full of “free lessons.”   I taught myself to play both the fiddle and Dobro off free internet lessons.  So the infrastructure is there (UoP used Outlook “newsgroups”, a technology that is almost as old as the internet).  The servers could be old cast-off Google or Facebook servers.  It’s not that data intense.

Really, all you lack is teachers and accreditation.    The Department of Education already exists and recognizes regional and national accreditation.  The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) -- a non-governmental agency -- also recognizes accrediting organizations.  So, pick an organization (for example, the same one that accredits Harvard) and work to those standards.   That way no one could say the “free college” wasn’t up-to-snuff.  By god, it would have the same accreditation as Harvard!

What about teachers?   Well, the military academies have a TON of PhD engineers and scientists already on the payroll.  How about a loaner program where, since Uncle Sam has PAID for those PhD’s, the payback is two years volunteering as teachers at “free college.”    What about volunteers in general?    I give free guitar and fiddle lessons to anyone who asks in my neighborhood.   At some point you have to give back, and I’m sure Bernie Sanders (after he loses his presidential bid in 2020) would sign up to teach political science.   I would volunteer to teach at “free college.”  I think there are alot of professionals who later in life would like to teach.

Many philanthropists have adopted “education” as their pet projects.  Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Salman Kahn already have a ton of money invested.   Perhaps a professorial stipend would be needed to get started.  Maybe not.

So, who would be against “free college?”  Well, for-pay colleges for sure.  They would have to offer something (campus experience, hands-on training, etc) to counter the free alternative.  And they’d probably have to lower their prices.   Many people, especially at first, would be skeptical of free, online only colleges.  It might not be a fit for everyone, or even your kid.   But if you as an individual wanted to go to college but couldn’t afford it -- or the time away from jobs/kids/family -- it would be an option.  So you could never say “college was not an option for me.”

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Post by dusty7 on Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:22 pm

Does a college degree gurantee that you will have a better life?  If everybody has a degree then yes they will be qualified for a job but how many applicants would there be for open positions?  You are going to just create uneeded unemployment.  Then what, create a program where everybody get a job?

Just because you want to do something or want a degree doesn't mean you deserve that degree.  I would love to become a Brewmaster.  I've made over 100 gallons of homebrew and a few batches of moonshine.  I know the basic process of making beer but there are aspects of the brewing process that I don't understand.  If I went and got a brewing license (about $18,000) I could obtain that skill.  Make that education free and now me and 500 other people have that skill.  Out of those 500, who gets the handful of brewmaster jobs that open up every year?

I'll be honest, I don't think I've never had a student who wasn't able to attend college.  Probably 70% of my students will attend a community college which is very affordable.  Some may not be able to afford a 4 year university right away but will go to community college, learn a trade, then use that money to go to a 4 year school if they so choose.

I grew up in a low income family and I was able to get through college with only $5,000 in loans.  My 5 of my 6 older siblings were also able to get a 4 year degree and had more in loans but I believe they were all paid off by the time there were 40.  That was also when college was  less expensive as well.

I believe college should be a selective process and should cost money.  There needs to be some sort of accountability on the student.  For many it is the goal of graduating that gives them the motivation to work hard and succeed.  I knew if I didn't do well, pass classes, etc., I was out $5,000 that semester.  The cost is what held me accountable.  

With students these days, they are all about instant gratification.  If you create free college I think many students will say it's too tough, drop out, and then go to another school, fail again and drop out.  I think the financial aspect keeps many students motivated/accountable.  College is an investment in yourself with the hope of improving your life later on.
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Post by Head Idiot on Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:50 pm

Meanwhile, there are thousands of high ying jobs going unfilled in the US every year because they involve physical labor or work. The skills gap is real and is becoming a giant issue.

But, due to all sorts of reasons- one of which I'm a part of right now- education- we continue to mislead kids and tell them the only way they ever have a chance of getting a good paying job is through college. It's one of the best racquets ever invented.
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Post by BirdWatcher on Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:55 pm

Studies say a college degree translates into about 2X lifetime earnings. So if you measure "better life" in dollars, yes.

The drop-out rate at UoP Online was, I think, higher than "regular" universities. It's tough to self-motivate. Online is not for everybody.

I went to JuCo first. My wife graduated from a 4-year uni with zero debt.

So, I guess, my question is, is this about free "college" or free "knowledge." Is a piece of paper really that relevant? When I TAUGHT at UoP Online, I taught Computer Science courses at the 500+ level.. even tho my undergrad was Engineering (1 Fortran class) and my masters was MBA. All my CompSci knowledge was self-taught.

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Post by Head Idiot on Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:59 pm

BirdWatcher wrote:Studies say a college degree translates into about 2X lifetime earnings.  So if you measure "better life" in dollars, yes.

The drop-out rate at UoP Online was, I think, higher than "regular" universities.   It's tough to self-motivate.   Online is not for everybody.

I went to JuCo first.  My wife graduated from a 4-year uni with zero debt.

So, I guess, my question is, is this about free "college" or free "knowledge."    Is a piece of paper really that relevant?   When I TAUGHT at UoP Online, I taught Computer Science courses at the 500+ level.. even tho my undergrad was Engineering (1 Fortran class) and my masters was MBA.   All my CompSci knowledge was self-taught.
As the skeptical person that I am, I'd be interested to know who funds those studies.

Be real easy to oil industry those studies for colleges.
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Post by 19delta on Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:38 pm

BirdWatcher wrote:Studies say a college degree translates into about 2X lifetime earnings.  So if you measure "better life" in dollars, yes.

The drop-out rate at UoP Online was, I think, higher than "regular" universities.   It's tough to self-motivate.   Online is not for everybody.

I went to JuCo first.  My wife graduated from a 4-year uni with zero debt.

So, I guess, my question is, is this about free "college" or free "knowledge."    Is a piece of paper really that relevant?   When I TAUGHT at UoP Online, I taught Computer Science courses at the 500+ level.. even tho my undergrad was Engineering (1 Fortran class) and my masters was MBA.   All my CompSci knowledge was self-taught.

University of Phoenix is shady and I'm saying that as a UoP graduate student (MA '04):
https://www.consumerreports.org/consumerist/whistleblower-lawsuit-claims-university-of-phoenix-defrauded-the-federal-government/

With that being said, schools like UoP are the sympton, not the disease. When there was this everyone-needs-to-go-to-college paradigm shift in the 1980s, the problem was that the feds were ready to shovel huge amounts of Stafford Loan money at kids to go to school but the schools couldn't handle a huge influx of kids who really weren't 4-year college material.

So, schools began to develop degree programs for these students. This was when the Grievance Studies began to show up. Kids could go to college, major is something like Women's Studies, and then get a degree four years later. Of course, there really isn't that many jobs for someone with a degree like that, but that was not the schools' concern. So we have all these kids racking up debt while going to college and earning degrees for jobs that don't exist.

Compounding the problem was that at around the same time, colleges were able to pressure lawmakers to get college debt exempt from bankruptcy. So, these kids who rack up all this debt can never discharge it through bankruptcy.

So, long story short, what it comes down to is that the colleges have no incentive to lower costs. The feds continue to issue loans and kids can't ever get out from under the debt. Schools don't have to compete for students.
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Post by 19delta on Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:45 pm

Head Idiot wrote:
BirdWatcher wrote:Studies say a college degree translates into about 2X lifetime earnings.  So if you measure "better life" in dollars, yes.

The drop-out rate at UoP Online was, I think, higher than "regular" universities.   It's tough to self-motivate.   Online is not for everybody.

I went to JuCo first.  My wife graduated from a 4-year uni with zero debt.

So, I guess, my question is, is this about free "college" or free "knowledge."    Is a piece of paper really that relevant?   When I TAUGHT at UoP Online, I taught Computer Science courses at the 500+ level.. even tho my undergrad was Engineering (1 Fortran class) and my masters was MBA.   All my CompSci knowledge was self-taught.
As the skeptical person that I am, I'd be interested to know who funds those studies.

Be real easy to oil industry those studies for colleges.

I think the problem is that those studies include ALL degrees.

Certainly, people who graduate with a degree in an engineering field are going to make way more than people who don't go to school. But I would like to see how much the average Gender Studies or African American Studies or Latino Studies graduate makes compared to someone without a degree.
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Post by Head Idiot on Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:48 pm

My freshman roommate was a Classics major. He now works as a police officer. I'm sure he's really enjoying that 30-50k of debt.
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Post by BirdWatcher on Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:36 pm

19delta wrote:I think the problem is that those studies include ALL degrees.

... like the "women make 77 cents on a dollar" myth because they lump all women versus all men, regardless of job type.

I know women engineers (insert machinists, accountants, whatever) at Caterpillar made the same as men. Our pay scales didn't have a gender checkbox.

To someone's point above that free college makes it less worthy.... I had free college. Caterpillar paid for it. All of it. I was even paid to sit in class, to drive to class, and they covered my books & fees. I guess I could have sat back for the ride, but instead I studied my ass off (with little kids at home and a mortgage) and graduated Summa. I don't think free makes it worthless.

But I think "free college" funded by Bill Gates would drive other schools to lower prices.

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Post by BirdWatcher on Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:39 pm

Head Idiot wrote:As the skeptical person that I am, I'd be interested to know who funds those studies.

I don't have the link handy, but I think that is a Bureau of Labor Statistics number. Not saying it isn't manipulated. It IS from the government, you know.... Cool

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Post by Head Idiot on Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:10 pm

BirdWatcher wrote:
Head Idiot wrote:As the skeptical person that I am, I'd be interested to know who funds those studies.

I don't have the link handy, but I think that is a Bureau of Labor Statistics number.  Not saying it isn't manipulated.  It IS from the government, you know.... Cool
Exactly.

One thing that really alarms me about the left right now, and especially younger ones, is how accepting they are of ANYTHING the government tells them. As long as it doesn't come out of Trump's mouth. That would obviously be a lie.
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Post by BirdWatcher on Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:42 am


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Post by Pike Bishop on Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:10 pm

Head Idiot wrote:My freshman roommate was a Classics major. He now works as a police officer.  I'm sure he's really enjoying that 30-50k of debt.

We were at the Wildcat Indoor Invite at IWU ($55,000+ a year), Wednesday night. Between events, I came across two of my junior girls studying. One of them is going to finish her last year of high school in Hawaii living with her grandparents to get in-state residency for cheaper tuition and go to the University of Hawaii. I asked if she was going to major in surfing. She said no, pre-med. The other girl told me she was going to enlist in the Army, become a combat medic, get her associate degree while she on active duty, then get her bachalor's degree on the GI Bill and become a nurse when she gets out. She has been planning this since she was a freshman.

I have been blessed being around kids (my own and ones I have coached ), who have solid goals, realistic plans to achieve their goals, and are not typical stereotype millennials.

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Post by Head Idiot on Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:57 pm

Pike Bishop wrote:
Head Idiot wrote:My freshman roommate was a Classics major. He now works as a police officer.  I'm sure he's really enjoying that 30-50k of debt.

We were at the Wildcat Indoor Invite at IWU ($55,000+ a year), Wednesday night. Between events, I came across two of my junior girls studying. One of them is going to finish her last year of high school in Hawaii living with her grandparents to get in-state residency for cheaper tuition and go to the University of Hawaii. I asked if she was going to major in surfing. She said no, pre-med. The other girl told me she was going to enlist in the Army, become a combat medic, get her associate degree while she on active duty, then get her bachalor's degree on the GI Bill and become a nurse when she gets out. She has been planning this since she was a freshman.

I have been blessed being around kids (my own and ones I have coached ), who have solid goals, realistic  plans to achieve their goals, and are not typical stereotype millennials.
Not to be nitpicky, but if they're in HS now, or really for about the past 5 years, they're not Millennials.
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Post by Pike Bishop on Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:45 pm

Head Idiot wrote:
Pike Bishop wrote:
Head Idiot wrote:My freshman roommate was a Classics major. He now works as a police officer.  I'm sure he's really enjoying that 30-50k of debt.

We were at the Wildcat Indoor Invite at IWU ($55,000+ a year), Wednesday night. Between events, I came across two of my junior girls studying. One of them is going to finish her last year of high school in Hawaii living with her grandparents to get in-state residency for cheaper tuition and go to the University of Hawaii. I asked if she was going to major in surfing. She said no, pre-med. The other girl told me she was going to enlist in the Army, become a combat medic, get her associate degree while she on active duty, then get her bachalor's degree on the GI Bill and become a nurse when she gets out. She has been planning this since she was a freshman.

I have been blessed being around kids (my own and ones I have coached ), who have solid goals, realistic  plans to achieve their goals, and are not typical stereotype millennials.
Not to be nitpicky, but if they're in HS now, or really for about the past 5 years, they're not Millennials.

You are being nitpicky. My children and many kids (besides the young women I mentioned), I have coached are millennials.


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Post by Head Idiot on Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:20 pm

These kids in HS were born after the turn of the century. The Millennial generation is generally agreed upon as having ended in 96.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/
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Post by Pike Bishop on Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:29 pm

Head Idiot wrote:These kids in HS were born after the turn of the century. The Millennial generation is generally agreed upon as having ended in 96.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/

You are being nitpicky. My children and many kids (besides the young women I mentioned), I have coached are millennials.

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Post by Head Idiot on Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:34 pm

Pike Bishop wrote:
Head Idiot wrote:These kids in HS were born after the turn of the century. The Millennial generation is generally agreed upon as having ended in 96.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/

You are being nitpicky. My children and many kids (besides the young women I mentioned), I have coached are millennials.
You don't get to pick whenever you think generations end or begin.
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Post by Pike Bishop on Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:43 pm

Head Idiot wrote:
Pike Bishop wrote:
Head Idiot wrote:These kids in HS were born after the turn of the century. The Millennial generation is generally agreed upon as having ended in 96.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/

You are being nitpicky. My children and many kids (besides the young women I mentioned), I have coached are millennials.
You don't get to pick whenever you think generations end or begin.

My children and many kids (besides the young women I mentioned), I have coached are millennials.

I think I started coaching before your were born, I loose track at times what generation is which and when they start and end. Whether it is millennial or generation Z, I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach some great kids. My post was about two young women who have great plans about their future. Many from their generation or before - do not. You have posted about those in your classes that do not. lighten up Francis.

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Post by Head Idiot on Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:51 pm

How long have you been coaching?
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Post by Pike Bishop on Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:43 am

Head Idiot wrote:How long have you been coaching?

Since Jesus was a corporal.

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Post by 4a(6afornet)north on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:01 am

Looking at the Sunday paper and once again as it has been for months,has listings for trades apprenticeship programs.........giving the opportunity to learn a trade and make money at the same time...free tuition and you get paid! One example is Pipefitters.....year 1 $19.40 per hour,year 2 $26.68 per hour,year 3 $31.53 per hour,year 4 of apprenticeship $37.83 per hour.so in 4 years of on the job schooling you will make over $240,000 with no tuition debt.
The Grundy Area Vocational Center at MCHS also has a relationship with the trades in the Will and Grundy county areas and is doing a great job at placing many of it's students in these programs and actually advance placing many of them at higher wages to start out.
My daughter went to community college for 2 years the ISU and got her degree in elementary education.Got out of college and landed a job at a great school district and is doing just fine. My oldest son went to community college,joined Army and finished his education on the GI Bill at ISU......got his degree in business and now is a radiation tech for Exelon....nothing to do at all with his degree. Exelon sent him to school and has been doing great. I guess my point is that if you are going to college for something that needs that degree to move on in that field,that's great. But too many kids are going to school for a degree that is pretty much a $75,000 + piece of paper that says you went to school for 16 years instead of 12.

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Post by BirdWatcher on Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:25 am

4a(6afornet)north wrote:....giving the opportunity to learn a trade and make money at the same time...free tuition and you get paid!

I was a Machinist Apprentice at Caterpillar before I was selected to go into Cat's Degree Option Program at Bradley U. Trades and apprenticeships are great. Two of my nephews are now diesel techs making serious money... and no college loans to worry about.

My "degree" was in Manufacturing Engineering. I never worked a single day as a manufacturing engineer.
Mrs BW's "degree" was in Computer Science. She never worked a day in CompSci and can barely turn on her PC without assistance.

I sent my kids to college because it seemed the thing to do. I'm not sure I'd recommend that my grandson pursue college.....

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Post by Teetime on Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:08 pm

I'm happy that all four of mine went to college, graduated and work in their fields of study. None have college debt. They all went to four year schools.

I like BW's free college idea and I'm delighted that he brought that to Turk's place to try it out. I'm stealing that idea and calling it my own as long as BW stays in the hills of Appalachia, or wherever he is. It's nice to have a Turkster that is as clear a thinker as BW and willing to share his thoughts.

Some of you make a good point about college education being overrated. For many students I think college is less about the subject matter as it is about the discipline learned from completing assignments, working hard and developing a satisfaction with doing one's best. It's more like a finishing school and it comes at an age when maturing is more likely.

Lots of kids will find jobs in trades that have nothing to do with their field of study in college. Others will avoid the college experience and cost and find that same job in the trades....debt free. I don't find any fault with either path.


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Post by Head Idiot on Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:04 am

I have no issue with kids stupidly going to college to get a piece of paper that 66%ish of them will never use. Not my problem.

When you start saying it's my responsibility to pay for it, then it becomes my problem.
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