Friday, March 1, 2013

The scam of higher education (part 1)

Part one of an occasional series

It's no secret (or shouldn't be, at least) that higher education in America is, for the most part, a scam.  Students emerge from college as pampered neo-Communists who expect everything to be given to them on a silver platter and have little to no idea of how real life works.  Employers have fallen into this scam, requiring college degrees for jobs that require little more than a high-school diploma and some real-life experience - mostly because having a degree means students have been taught how to be docile in responding to authority.  In other words, perfect training for business.

And of course it's us, the taxpayers, who increasingly get stuck with the bill for all this.

So from time to time, I'm going to pop by with some info on some of the more ridiculous examples of colleges scamming the public.  I'd been thinking about this for awhile, but I was motivated by this excerpt from an article in today's Star Tribune discussing a hitherto secret extension of Gophers women's basketball coach Pam Borton, which is going to make it all the more expensive for the U if they want to jettison her after yet another unsuccessful season.  Now, my interest in women's sports is somewhere below zero - I think I'd rather work on my worm dissecting skills - but it was this section that caught my eye:

[University President Eric] Kaler faced legislators in January to deny the school’s administrative costs were out of control after the Wall Street Journal reported that, among 72 major research institutions, the Twin Cities campus had the largest share of employees labeled administrators and the school had been “on a spending spree over the past decade.” The Star Tribune also reported last year that former school President Robert Bruininks had agreed to a series of compensation packages worth more than $2.8 million, and that top administrators had routinely been given lengthy paid leaves, then allowed to return or leave the school’s payroll.

Yup, your tax dollars at work.  My guess is that the people making these decisions were all college grads.  

1 comment:

  1. I have been researching this very topic tonight just after my hard-working senior with a 3.85 GPA got turned down by our local state college. He and many of his classmates, all good kids and fine students didnt get accepted. The teachers were livid today when they heard this news, but with more than 25,000 local students applying for a Freshman slot, only 4,000 were accepted. He called the admissions office today and was told that they were looking for a minimum 4.0 GPA and that his was a little short, even though he's been on the honor roll for four years and wrote a science book for his senior project. We were trying to save money by having him enroll at a local state school where he could commute and live at home, but now the only option he's got is community college. Thirty years ago, when I went to a state college, if you were a student who got good grades and was a good kid, state university was a guarantee. Today it's a competitive crapshoot, with perfectly smart middle class kids getting shafted and left out in the cold. In addition, according to what I've read, schools are courting and offering scholarships to students whose parents already have the means to pay for tuition out of pocket, in the hopes that these same families will give sizeable donations to the school later. For families like us, who have worked hard to raise a decent and responsible kid, there is nothing. I refuse to saddle my son with thousands of dollars in student loan debt, so he'll be enrolling in our local community college, and will transfer out later. Luckily, he's already completed 6 college level classes while still in high school, so it won't take too long. In the meantime, instead of the money that we would have spent for his education at the state university, I have decided to purchase him a small piece of land. I figure that with the way things are now, it will be something much more valuable than that overpriced piece of paper that doesn't guarantee anything! Our education system is a travesty. Thanks for listening.


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