More Kids Need Trade School....



  • @Kcmatt7 Great point about our in state universities. Base scholarships at KSU also are better. What I love about this discussion point (not holding my breath) is that many more kids would go to JUCOs or Community colleges. That’s where the real value is, particularly for the first year (when you get TAs for the most part anyway at KU/KSU type schools). I’ve long said that every kid can afford to go to college. Work and go to school at a JUCO or CC for your first two years (or maybe first 50 or so credits if you need university credits as you get deeper in the process). That would really cut student loans, plus working while going to a JUCO/CC is much easier. Also, I’d love to see universities charge less for intro classes per credit hour. If you have a full professor, higher level classes, that goes at a higher rate (but should be less than it is now). Again, paring back the mission and thing universities have their hands in would create a more efficient and less expense product. The cost of living in a dorm, for example, is outrageous for mass housing in a public university setting.



  • @HighEliteMajor most any student I know that is serious about education will accrue 1-2 semesters worth of college credit while in high school. I only needed 1/2 credit in an elective to graduate and took nothing but college (Juco) course my Sr year. My roommate graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from ku in 3 years, by putting in a year at juco + college credits in Hs. Only suckers pay the advertised price for a 4 year college degree, but maybe that’s part of the education.



  • I’ll also add KU provides as much or more merit aid in 4 of 5 achievement categories (ACT + GPA). KSU has a much better deal if you’re a 29 ACT, and that’s about it. I believe KSU offered me marginally more aid just because of extracurriculars, but KU’s base was higher. The two schools always fight about it and it’s pretty funny.



  • FarmerJayhawk said:

    @Kcmatt7 KU is less than 10% more than KSU and about 25% more than WSU. Much of that is higher faculty salaries for KU than KSU, and much higher than WSU because they just play in different sandboxes. Research institutions charge more all around the country because their mission is different.

    To drive the efficiency point home, I was part of the effort in 2017 that mandated every single public university in Kansas hire independent firms to conduct efficiency studies that will be made public and presented to the Board of Regents and the legislature. Looking forward to seeing what the private sector folks come up with. I really hope they turn out better than the giant study the state commissioned, because it was a steaming trash fire.

    12 credit hours:

    • KU: $5,057.00
    • KSU: $4,222.50
    • WSU: $3,623.28 - (This could be missing a fee, but max it’s $4k a semester).

    That’s right in line with what I said. And it doesn’t include fees for certain departments which could easily be more at KU than the other two.

    I am an accountant and I have worked in Higher Education Institution myself. I’ve seen and processed the invoices/payroll. I know the waste is rampant. Bloated salaries for positions that shouldn’t exist are everywhere. Professors getting paid $150K plus per year are teaching basic courses. Travel expenses for faculty are outrageous and basically just funding family vacations. “Retention bonuses” are paid to some staff and faculty every single year for no apparent reason other than they can be (Fun fact: They don’t actually prevent anyone from leaving). Schools pay thousands for memberships for faculty members that mean nothing and don’t benefit the school whatsoever. Hundreds of Thousands are paid for subscriptions to databases that nobody ever uses. The list could go on if I kept thinking about it.

    I’m glad to hear that they’re conducting the study, however I don’t expect many results if each institution got to pick who the independent firm was. It is similar to public companies firing their auditor because they didn’t like their opinion. But even if they don’t have results, I can tell you with 100% certainty that KU should not have over $1B in operating expenses.

    We spend $400M a year on “instruction” when we only bring in $315M in Tuition and Fees. This margin dumbfounds me. It makes no logical sense. We have TA’s doing a ton of work and getting paid almost nothing. We have Grad Assistants teaching classes for very cheap. We have adjunct professors getting paid squat and doing online classes. We have giant lecture halls where the Student to Teacher ratio is as high 350 to 1. They don’t even provide books! Yet somehow we are still spending $400M. It just makes absolutely no sense.



  • HighEliteMajor said:

    @Kcmatt7 Great point about our in state universities. Base scholarships at KSU also are better. What I love about this discussion point (not holding my breath) is that many more kids would go to JUCOs or Community colleges. That’s where the real value is, particularly for the first year (when you get TAs for the most part anyway at KU/KSU type schools). I’ve long said that every kid can afford to go to college. Work and go to school at a JUCO or CC for your first two years (or maybe first 50 or so credits if you need university credits as you get deeper in the process). That would really cut student loans, plus working while going to a JUCO/CC is much easier. Also, I’d love to see universities charge less for intro classes per credit hour. If you have a full professor, higher level classes, that goes at a higher rate (but should be less than it is now). Again, paring back the mission and thing universities have their hands in would create a more efficient and less expense product. The cost of living in a dorm, for example, is outrageous for mass housing in a public university setting.

    I went to KCKCC my first year. And I worked 30 hours a week almost the entire time I lived at KU. And I lived at home my Junior year and commuted an hour every day.

    And I still came out with $30k in debt.

    It’s just insanely expensive to go to college, imo.



  • @Kcmatt7 …and then there’s my aunt who graduated from KSU with a vet degree and enough leftover grant money to buy a new car. 🤦♂️ she set the bar too high. I left with plenty of debt. Lol



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  • Marco said:

    @Kcmatt7 College should be earned, not given away. That way you more appreciate what you had to go through to get it.

    I didn’t say it should be given away.

    I just said it shouldn’t be as expensive as it is.



  • @Kcmatt7 I think it is priced about right. If too cheap we would have the most degreed waiters, waitresses and bartenders in the world, but it would do next to nothing for the economy or nation - could, in fact, even hurt both. But, yes, it is expensive…



  • @Marco is upward mobility for those waiters and bartenders a bad thing?



  • @approxinfinity Not at all, they can pay out the ass for an education that they won’t need and won’t use if they want to.



  • Marco said:

    @Kcmatt7 I think it is priced about right. If too cheap we would have the most degreed waiters, waitresses and bartenders in the world, but it would do next to nothing for the economy or nation - could, in fact, even hurt both. But, yes, it is expensive…

    So, in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, when someone could pay for tuition, rent, food and gas with a part time job, this country must have really sucked huh?

    Please explain to me how a more affordable education would hurt the economy.

    Please explain to me how the middle class having more dollars in their pocket would hurt the nation.

    Please explain to me how having a more educated society is a bad thing.



  • @Marco even if there were a correlation to making education cheaper and more people not using their education in lieu of taking unskilled jobs, it would not necessarily be the same people that education would be made affordable for.

    Also, assuming that a large number of people would spend years getting a degree to not attempt to use it professionally is hard to believe.

    Furthermore a more educated populace is a good thing, employment aside.



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  • @Kcmatt7 Please explain to me why I have to explain everything to you? Our system is not broken. We are becoming a nation of whiners. “I want free education and healthcare!” Fine, and they can go ask someone else to pay for it because I am not going to.

    Upward mobility, ofcourse, is fine. I’ve been to Australia a few times, met a beautiful (…indeed) bartender in Perth, she was thirty years old and held a masters in anthropology - they have free university there. She didn’t offer much in the way of conversation.



  • @Marco one beautiful educated Australian bartender woman didn’t want to talk to you, and so Americans shouldn’t have more affordable higher education… 🐟yyyyyyy…



  • Marco said:

    @Kcmatt7 Please explain to me why I have to explain everything to you? Our system is not broken. We are becoming a nation of whiners. “I want free education and healthcare!” Fine, and they can go ask someone else to pay for it because I am not going to.

    Upward mobility, ofcourse, is fine. I’ve been to Australia a few times, met a beautiful (…indeed) bartender in Perth, she was thirty years old and held a masters in anthropology - they have free university there. She didn’t offer much in the way of conversation.

    First, you won’t explain it because your argument makes no sense.

    And, again, nobody here has said anything about free education. Not a single post above or in this thread.

    In fact, if you had any sort of reading comprehension abilities, we have been talking about the Dept. of Education taking more control over universities and forcing them to reign in the cost of tuition. And how universities, because they get federal loan dollars, raise tuition every year instead of looking inward at their own bloated costs. We have been talking about controlling tuition costs.

    I repeat, nobody here has said anything about a free education.

    I do not think it should be free. Let me repeat that, just in case you didn’t read it correctly. I DO NOT THINK IT SHOULD BE FREE. I just don’t think it should cost an arm and a leg. I think the cost of tuition has been detrimental to the economy. As college degrees have become more of a standard for most good jobs, we have encouraged a huge chunk of our population to go the college route. That route means that the average person comes out with $30k+ in debt, even at public institutions. This 30k debt weighs on a person for 10+ years and reduces their buying power significantly. $300-400 a month goes a long ways, especially for someone fresh out of school only making $45k-50k a year. Those same people are expected to save for retirement, save for a house, be able to afford a car whenever the beater they drove through college gives out, and are pretty likely to have a kid within those same 10 years they are paying for a loan. Therefore, that $300-400 a month limits their buying power significantly.

    High college tuition also ends up costing YOU more money. When someone defaults on their student loans, guess who is paying for that? The taxpayer. As tuition prices have increased, so have loan defaults. 11% of student loans are defaulted on. People who work for non-profits and pay just the minimum on their loans are able to get their student debt wiped away after 10 years. Millions of dollars of tuition paid for by the taxpayer.

    I could go on and on. But, as you can see, the high cost of college tuition hurts the economy and burdens the tax payer. It is not good for the nation. And nobody is even asking you to pay more for it.

    All we are preaching is fiscal responsibility from public institutions of higher education.

    Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.



  • approxinfinity said:

    @Marco one beautiful educated Australian bartender woman didn’t want to talk to you, and so Americans shouldn’t have more affordable higher education… 🐟yyyyyyy…

    ROFL



  • Marco said:

    @Kcmatt7 I think it is priced about right. If too cheap we would have the most degreed waiters, waitresses and bartenders in the world, but it would do next to nothing for the economy or nation - could, in fact, even hurt both. But, yes, it is expensive…

    There are some pretty crazy things said here, but this is pretty close my friend.

    I can’t even comprehend an appropriate response. I’ll try.

    Think about this – America is about opportunity. We can’t level playing fields. We can’t give me Lebron James’ talent, or Elton John’s voice. We can’t have every child born to good parents, or into wealth, or into common sense.

    What we can do is work to create reasonable paths to achievement. While that path is open to anyone that will take it … and it is unless your brain just isn’t smart enough … we can trim the lard from public institutions to make things more cost friendly, which widens the path on the front end and back end.

    This is where real opportunity lies to help folks by paring back government (public institutions).

    Private institutions, from my perspective, can charge what they want. But change can be effected there by more stringent limits on the public grants/loans for all institutions – more related to educational path and ability to pay it back.

    What it does is create more competition. Competition is good for our nation and our economy. I want everyone to be able to compete. That’s how our engine chugs along the best.

    Just my opinion. But your response, well, I’m befuddled.



  • HighEliteMajor said:

    Marco said:

    @Kcmatt7 I think it is priced about right. If too cheap we would have the most degreed waiters, waitresses and bartenders in the world, but it would do next to nothing for the economy or nation - could, in fact, even hurt both. But, yes, it is expensive…

    There are some pretty crazy things said here, but this is pretty close my friend.

    I can’t even comprehend an appropriate response. I’ll try.

    Think about this – America is about opportunity. We can’t level playing fields. We can’t give me Lebron James’ talent, or Elton John’s voice. We can’t have every child born to good parents, or into wealth, or into common sense.

    What we can do is work to create reasonable paths to achievement. While that path is open to anyone that will take it … and it is unless your brain just isn’t smart enough … we can trim the lard from public institutions to make things more cost friendly, which widens the path on the front end and back end.

    This is where real opportunity lies to help folks by paring back government (public institutions).

    Private institutions, from my perspective, can charge what they want. But change can be effected there by more stringent limits on the public grants/loans for all institutions – more related to educational path and ability to pay it back.

    What it does is create more competition. Competition is good for our nation and our economy. I want everyone to be able to compete. That’s how our engine chugs along the best.

    Just my opinion. But your response, well, I’m befuddled.

    I usually don’t agree with you politically but here we are. This is pretty reasonable.



  • @Kcmatt7 I was going off KBOR’s tuition and fee schedule for the 2019 academic year: https://www.kansasregents.org/resources/PDF/Data/AY_2019_State_University_Comprehensive_Fee_Schedule.pdf I also included fees since to most students they’re indistinguishable from tuition and are funded in largely the same manner.

    You don’t have to get me started on the publishing racket. My goodness. It’s a horrible coordination game where professors need to publish in certain journals to stay employed but the publishers of said journals charge about whatever they want because they know the demand is there. My position has long been that if research is federally funded, it should be free to the public. Re: faculty salaries, I very much wish we all made that much. Faculty is the one area where schools are cutting back. Tenure track employment isn’t growing at all (actually shrinking as a share of faculty employment) while underpaid adjuncts are ubiquitous these days.

    The real bloat is in administration, where it seems like there’s almost one assistant dean of X for every individual student. I did a little rough analysis of data from the Delta Cost Project and found that spending on actual instruction was essentially flat from 2001-2015, but spending on student services rose by about 20% over the same period. We absolutely have to do something about all the stupid federal mandates that schools use as excuses to hire more and more admins while skimping on the things that actually matter. The Title IX guidance under President Obama is a good example. Seems like every department on campus has a person that just does Title IX. Funny story out there about 2 people who, the morning after a drunken hookup both ran to the Title IX office to report an assault since the person who files the report is all but immune from any consequence while the accused could have his or her life ruined.

    We also have to consider the role of state divestment in the universities. The state spent (in nominal dollars) $75 million less on the university system in FY18 vs. FY08, even though credit hours taken is basically flat across the KBOR system. To keep a lid on tuition, the state needs to maintain its investment in the universities and the schools themselves need to rethink some aspects of their business model.

    @Marco nobody here supports “free” college. That whole idea is one enormous moral hazard problem, where if the schools know they have guaranteed income ad infinitum (because let’s be honest, the federal government is really, really, really bad at controlling costs except in health care where the just undercut the private market) they have every incentive to get as much of the ever expanding pie as they possibly can and hire more assistant deans to sit behind a desk and think of new and exciting ways to make teachers’ lives difficult. The real losers? Students.

    I honestly have no idea how much higher education “should” cost, other than less than it does now. There are so many forces pulling on those prices (many of them not supply/demand) that coming to any kind of equilibrium would have its own issues.

    @HighEliteMajor almost entirely agree. I took a break from empirical work to write a philosophy/ethics paper on why universal school choice in K-12 is the most moral thing we can do to break down barriers to equal opportunity. John Tomasi’s work in that area is worth a read, specifically Free Market Fairness https://www.amazon.com/Free-Market-Fairness-John-Tomasi/dp/0691158142

    Tomasi and I converge in thinking that as long as we’re treating primary and secondary education as a positive right (i.e. “right to” something) the question then becomes how do we best provide it? I’ve argued for something like a universal voucher scheme where schools compete for students but cannot deny anyone entry (unless they’ve previously been expelled or something) and must meet quality standards. It’s not all the way thought out and polished yet, but I think it’s definitely an improvement over the status quo.



  • @approxinfinity Oh,we did much more than talk, and that is good because she didn’t have much say.



  • @Kcmatt7 You’re quite welcome.



  • Marco said:

    @approxinfinity Oh,we did much more than talk, and that is good because she didn’t have much say.

    Maybe you were just her boy toy. 😂

    Not much going on on the australain achaeological association calendar 🙂 Hell, I can’t even choose both a month and a year from the pickers. lol

    https://australianarchaeologicalassociation.com.au/events/?calm=8&caly=2019



  • TMI


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