Ask me how I know. :(
So, if you have good chances of getting in after high school to such programs, do it. There's no reason to risk your future on community college. Professors at all colleges are a gamble and even a slight misstep can ruin your chances of getting into a good program. (which then leads to better chances of getting good jobs - if you care) That said, if you don't get into the programs after high school then community college could be fine.
What type of “top ranked” program are we talking about here? If parent is trying to get into MIT after a long educational hiatus, then, ok, maybe it’d be a bit difficult. But if they’re hoping to obtain an EE or CS degree (for example), these programs—in the states—are usually accredited and if their engineering program is not accredited, you shouldn’t even entertain the idea of entering that program.
There seems to be this constant myth that comes up when talking about higher education and that is a top ranking = better. Don’t get me wrong, a social science education from Yale or Brown will differ greatly then one at a state school but that is a given. Same goes for the select engineering programs or CS—think Cal, Georgia, MIT, etc.—but something like engineering is a program that has to follow strict course requirements so your end goal is practically the same no matter what your alma mater is.
The point of going to a top program isn't that it's a better program academically (maybe it is - maybe it isn't). It's about the resume and other things the university offers. Some of the schools help place you in co-op programs, have catered career fairs, and much more. They can set you far apart from other "lower tier" schools and make you stand out in the overwhelming crowd of new grads. It's mostly about signalling more than anything.
Transfers don't include foreign students as they generally aren't eligible for transfers.
Freshman 869 (admit)
Private like ivy leagues didn’t make sense for me then because tuition assistance was so poor. Unless you’re super highly ranked and can get a ton of merit based scholarships that was a bad idea anyway.
However, it’s perfectly reasonable to work hard in undergrad as a researcher and student then make your way into the top tier. James Mickens is a great example of this path. This is obviously not for everyone but neither are private world acclaimed universities.
Another option (depending on the school) is low to no tuition if coming from a lower income family. I want to say it’s Stanford but i may be wrong, that offers free tuition to eligible students whose family income was less than something like $50,000/yr. So there are ways for poor students to get a great ivy league education but like you said, you must also have extremely high rankings in your class to attempt that route.
I had a 4.0 before I moved up to Seattle. I thought it was going to be a done deal but then I got some bad professors and it screwed me over. Quite unfortunate.
I don't think people need to get into top private schools. It's just a matter of how hard you want to work after college because you won't have had the same footing as those other folks.
If you want to run a business that isn't but has the potential to maybe be very large then easiest way to do that is to build your own and CS has a very low bar for entrepreneurial activity.
If you just want to run any business then no degree necessary. Just work in food service and treat it like a career. Maybe do a bookkeeping course. You'll get to manage a restaurant eventually.
Did you know that, for example, Stanford’s CS program is not accredited?
Do you think people shouldn’t entertain the idea of going to Stanford for CS?!
> something like engineering is a program that has to follow strict course requirements
From what I know accreditation sets a super low bar because it’s all above that bar. What colleges teach varies massively. You definitely can go to a lower ranked but still accredited college and come out with massive gaps in your knowledge compared to an unaccredited program like Stanford that would push you much more.
I don’t think that any of us think that, but there are people doing the hiring that do think that. There are jobs you can get if you graduated from MIT that you can’t get if you graduated from Idaho State. Mr. Idaho State will find a job, and it will be a good job, but Mr. MIT will find a better one.
I’d actually argue there is more value in being a well known open source contributor than where you went to school in our industry.
There are way more candidates that went to X great university than have contributed to X great open source project.
I wish I had a cite, but I remember reading a while back a study that concluded it doesn't matter where you go to college - provided you major in STEM. I suppose the corollary is that it does matter quite a bit if you don't major in STEM.
This, as an aside, might explain why the most elite students in the US (unlike internationally) still eschew engineering and hard science in favor of economics, humanities, law, and other non-STEM fields. If you're at Harvard, why not study the thing where the Harvard pedigree actually gets you ahead? A CS degree from Harvard may land you that google interview, but if you're applying for an SWE position, you still need to be able to write snappy tight code a the whiteboard to find all matching subtrees in a binary tree. Law school interviews seem to be more general and conversational (this is anecdotal, but based on quite a few close friends who went this route) - law firms don't subject their candidates to a detailed re-hash of their 1L civil procedure exam.
That said, our industry is so obsessed with technical interview exams that I'd say neither degree nor open source projects is especially important, beyond what it takes to get you into the door. After that, you really do need very sharp whiteboard coding skills, and if you have them, it doesn't really matter if you went to SJSU or MIT.
I don't love interview coding exams, but I actually do like the fact that high tech is less obsessed with where you got your degree (or whether it was a math, CS, other related fields), provided it was from a program that teaches the proper curriculum. And I am genuinely relieved that we haven't empowered some NGO to decide what degree is required and where it can be earned, the sort of thing that allows law schools to put a $150,000 degree between smart people and the practice of law (backed with the force of criminal and civil sanctions). That last bit about SJSU wasn't meant as any sort of dig art all, there are lots of very talented people at that school, the curriculum is proper and rigorous, and their tech graduates have a much better crack at joining top tech companies than a 3rd tier law school grad would have at a big firm job (whether a big law job is any sort of prize to covet is a different matter, of course!)
A classic example of this is that people read the resume before they enter the room to interview someone. They see the person went to their alma-matter (let's say MIT/Stanford). They will have a bias - whatever way it swings. (I've seen it go both ways - people hating on their alma and some loving it) It will completely color the way they give hints, the way they evaluate the candidate, and much more. If they went to a less competitive school, they might nitpick every thing the candidate does to confirm their belief that less competitive school candidates are garbage. Whereas if the candidate went to a very competitive school, they might overlook the candidates mistakes by saying, "oh, it happens - but they're clearly very smart, they went to that competitive school."
Whether you like it or not, I've seen top 10 schools overrepresented within the bay area wildly. One could say that it's because those who went to those competitive schools are more likely to be competitive and strive to work at the most prestigious companies but that alone cannot explain just how wide this division is.
I also think you have overestimated the probability that interviewers read the resume. My interviewers at most jobs were at best faintly aware of the projects, degrees, and jobs I’d held. They tend to come in with their own agenda. I’ve mentioned things in it during interviews and it seems pretty clear they are trying to feign awareness if the contents of the resume or cover letter.
In spite of that anecdote, I think there’s a good chance your thesis has some merit. I certainly don’t want to defend the technical interview as it is currently practiced.
That's irresponsibly false. Just because you want something to be true, don't repeat it as if it were a fact.
Forget about top schools for a second--there are plenty of people at top companies who did not even attend university at all. Compare that to the management consultant industry where one's school is practically the beginning and end of their resume.
Of course the reason most students don't contribute to FOSS is that it's hard. Very few just-out-of-high-schoolers could really make inroads to contributing. Colleges and universities are helping hands that guide them to where they need to go.
It does not say that someone who did not go to a top school performs more poorly. It does not say that those who did not graduate from a top school are not good enough. All it says is that from a relative starting point, if you graduate from e.g. Harvard, you are more likely to be successful than if you did not.
My nitpicks with this premise are: is success defined in financial terms? Is it in position (CEO vs engineer)? What is the empirical evidence that graduating from a top school confers greater success (I think that there is such data, but citing it would be nice). There's enough stuff here to talk about that I am somewhat flabbergasted that you took this as a personal affront and misconstrue what's actually being talked about.
These seem like they’re saying the same thing. If people like me were considered “good enough” OP wouldn’t have said that to begin with and CC to state school would have been fine
How are you even defining prestigious? Am I incapable of doing so? Please explain.
You might work at Amazon - that's fine - congrats. I'm saying that it's /more difficult/ to get there on average than if you had gone to Stanford. You're more likely to get overlooked for another candidate who has all the same credentials you do but went to Stanford instead of generic school.
Just because you did it does not mean that it's a completely level playing field.
Are you sure? Where exactly did you go?
That...depends. There are a number of very highly ranked public universities with transfer agreements with same-state community colleges, in which case it's not all that difficult.
Most of the high ranked public schools afaik have gotten rid of such things because they are impacted heavily on all their programs.
What I'm saying is that while the student loan crisis is real, and higher education costs at "big name" schools are ridiculous. That narrative has some unnecessary hype in it.
Specifically, you don't need to go to a "big name" school to get the jobs, state schools are just as good. And state schools (or even better the combination of community college + state school) are affordable for a lot of people.
The $40K number isn't an outrageous amount of money to get on a loan (especially when it is in 8 $5K chunks) If you were going to start a gardening business you could put that down on a used pickup truck and some lawn care equipment.
My concern is people who read "College costs $150K? No way could I ever pay that off!" and never look deeper. That narrative makes for a click baity story but it isn't the whole truth.
The cheapest working professional option I know of is Western Governors University (WGU). They do “competency based education” which I guess means letting you test out of a bunch of stuff and cost roughly $6700/year. Since you a presumably a practitioner already, you’d finish the program in 2-3 years, getting closer to that $2400/year target.
That's not evidence. States spend that much, but not because that's what it costs.
Keep in mind that in many school districts the parents themselves are an enemy of education. In the district I grew up in there was a tremendous push to spend tons of money on sports. While we weren't struggling much academically there was definitely better uses of funds that were overlooked due to the pressure.
I've often wondered how that could be improved, but in reality, it's likely that improving the education system will cost more money, not less. I truly hope that it improves and that I'm proven wrong about the costs though.
*Just a side-note. Online education can be cheaper, but I've seen zero evidence it provides any significant improvement in quality of education. Every person I know that was 'homeschooled,' typically through some form of cyber-charter school, had massive gaps in their education. Most notably in math and science.
$2.5k/year is very low but it is within the realm of the possible. An above commentor pointed out that elementary school students cost ~$10k/year and they require constant supervision and more contact hours than a university student.
An average 100,000$/year including benefits professor works out to a ~75k/year salary. Teaching 16 credits per semester to an average class size of 25 starts at 4,000$ per year per student. That does not cover building, supplies, administrative or technical support, advertising etc.
> That does not cover building, supplies, administrative or technical support, advertising etc.
A building is mandatory I'll grant you that; but maybe skip the advertising, downplay the admin and go light on the supplies. They invented calculus without anything much more impressive than pen and paper; there is a limit to how many toys are needed. Everyone can bring their own laptop.
People won't be bragging about it to their millionaire friends but it would be cheap and they'd learn enough to do hard jobs. It wouldn't be feasible to do Real Science where lab-work is required, but it'd work a treat for maths, engineering, arts and social sciences which are more about reading papers, talking to people and in extreme cases doing maths.
The 'teaching' is overrated, the value of university is in the controlled assessment environment. That can be replicated for a few thousand each with a few tens of students.
A 50+ person class would similarly limit students from asking questions. At which point you might as well just show videos. Some introductory classes are taught in huge auditorium’s but they still require additional TA’s and don’t work for upper level classes.
Don’t get me wrong, you could simply have an online system with canned videos, multiple choice question tests, and zero ability to ask questions. But, that’s not a collage education.
They definitely are not necessary for a quality education outcome. They are, basically, a product of democracy working against the best interest of the people.
*Still, the primary cost drivers are all the other things I referenced. Sports and extra-curricular activities are just one item on the list. The dynamic at the university level is very different. I was only describing the cost of education up to that level, as it demonstrates the cost of actually getting a student to university.
Tell me how and I'll sign up tonight.
2. Apply to PhD programs.
If you aren’t working with a professor doing research, you may have the option of being a TA, which would cover your tuition and stipend.
I never went to grad school, so others may be able to provide more detail.
Of course, an economist would point to the 'opportunity cost'  - if you leave a job paying £30,000 after tax to take a PhD with a tax-free stipend of £15,009 the 'opportunity cost' of doing a PhD is £14,991 a year.
If you want an advanced degree in a science field, it’s common for your tuition to be paid for in full, and receive a yearly stipend on top of that that’ll cover room & board.
You get to defer your payment until later when you aren’t in school and do have an income, presumably. Getting a loan and paying $2400 a year is not at all the same thing as having a part time job and paying $2400 a year.
If you are in state and get a scholarship, you can go for cheap or nearly free though. Work part time and you can cover Your rent and food
There is a lot of consternation regarding student loans because many students are deluded into getting way in over their heads for degrees that won't end up enabling well-paying careers. That's just not the case with a CS/EE degree at a state school.
The internship program at the university help facilitate a pathway into these kinds of jobs:
Alternatively, the chemical and petrochemical engineering departments are also well regarded. The local paper is only listing the average staring salary salary nationwide, but I recall new local engineering hires making somewhere between $75-$100k:
Most seasoned engineers that I know of in the field make in excess of $200k/year and they retire as low millionaires.
The point is that $120k in lost wages pales in comparison to the financial security a degree can provide assuming that one has the appetite and ability for that kind of work. UH and HCC get a lot of grief, but it's a reasonable school that produces good people.
Most professions require a degree either by legal mandate, or by essence.
Degrees at SUNY and CUNY are free for residents of New York, and it doesn't take much to count as a resident.
That depends A LOT on the person though. Some people are really better off learning on their own, and to them that's $330/mo for a piece of paper that says they're cool, while others may actually need that in order to learn effectively.
Well, there is some snobbery floating around out there. In my experience those degrees (like the one I have) don’t count just as much, but maybe 80% as much.
The reports says the adjusted wealth premium is going to zero. However, note that people who have degrees actually save (a lot) more money on average, the report is controlling for several variables trying to answer a hypothetical question about the true “value” of college education.
The report also show the income premium is, on average, about a factor of 2 for 4-year degrees, and a factor of 3 for advanced degrees. Meaning that, on average, people with degrees earn twice as much as people without. Several different studies have concluded that this income premium is not entirely based on skills learned at college, but is partly cultural and preferential behavior to people with degrees. That’s not a good thing, but it should factor into your calculations of whether a degree is “worth it”.
> If I ended up owing 150k and could afford to pay back 1k a month, It would take me 12.5 years. I’m sorry but it’s just not worth it. I can’t think of many sober people that would disagree.
Just curious, why would you end up owing 150k? That’s a lot, and you can get an education for a fraction of that at some very excellent state and private schools. The article said literally that students were paying 1/3rd of suggested retail for tuition. And also why would 12.5 years payback make it not worth it, if your salary was double for the rest of your life?
FWIW, I took student loans to pay my 4 year degree. I too thought it was going to take forever to pay off. Turns out it didn’t, I had them paid off in less than 4 years, after deferring them for a couple of years to do a masters.
I do have a wish list for our country to make education better and more accessible and less scary to people like you who want to go but worry about the finances. In the mean time, I hope you find a way.
When I was 19, quitting my pizza delivery job to attend school may have made financial sense. But who would leave at 24, or 29 to do the same?
You're forced to work for 12.5 years.
I prefer thinking of it as my active choice that gives me a better option to achieve my goals. My plan (like most people, I think) was to work for 45-50 years before I retire, so 12.5 years is a small fraction. Having gone to college, I am enjoying a larger salary than I would have had otherwise for 45-50 years, and in my case my loans were paid off in 4 years.
Getting seriously injured is not an average case scenario, but there are loan deferments for such scenarios anyway. The interest on student loans is quite low, it does not add a “ton” of time to your payback period unless you borrow a ton and pay as slowly as possible.
Actually, it would take a _lot_ longer, almost twice as long. The average student loan rate is around ~6%, which means that a $1k payment a month would work out to 23 years (I compounded monthly for simplicity, so subtract a year for a fudge factor if you'd like).
I've hired developers for the last 10 years and never looked at education, just skills. I think you're making a smart move and helping to hopefully boost these new forms of education that don't require sitting in a classroom for 4 years.
I ask because it is very unlikely an employer will straight up tell you that this was the reason.
And it’s about to get worse. You could get a job without a degree or any relevant experience in the 90’s because there were so many to be had and so few degrees to be found. Once you were in, you could stay in by virtue of your experience. This isn’t the case any more; it’s about to be impossible to get an entry level development job without a relevant degree. I think sometimes HN commenters forget that there’s a whole generation of kids in high school today who didn’t work for .com startups throughout the 90’s…
I think the biggest problem our industry has is tying internships to 'enroled in college or university'. Eliminate that requirement, and now people have a path in. Software development is a somewhere between a trade and an amateur mathematics program.
Hmm, I wonder about that actually. From what I've heard (hearsay, really), for a normal application Google and Microsoft won't look at it without a degree. But maybe they don't really look at it anyway. The only big company that I've heard doesn't really care is Nvidia, so props to them I suppose, but again, I heard that from one guy who's working there who might not have been entirely honest about prior contact with them, so I really can't say for sure. It would definitely be interesting though.
We are seeing the big tech companies more than ever use algorithmic puzzle questions, and startups using "culture fit" as easy go-to filtration systems.
But, I imagine education might be an even simpler filter if labor supply keeps growing. It certainly makes for easy automated filtering if a person doesn't have a top-20 school listed on their resume.
Education is a shitty filtration system. Work-examples and/or skill-demonstration based interviews like the ones used for programmers are much better. The only reason that so many other industries rely on education is that they don't have as good ways of testing the actual skills of job applicants (and/or because testing doesn't scale that well - e.g. you can give a coding test to every programmer, but can't give a "surgery test" to every doctor).
That seems like a very weak hiring strategy.
I'd imagine the top 10% of CS majors at a mid-tier school might be better than the bottom 10% at a top-tier school.
Also, college rankings can include all sorts of factors like endowments that might only be weakly correlated with the quality of the education, which itself is probably very difficult to measure.
Plus you're going to have a hiring bias against self-learners or those that can't afford a top 20 school.
A quick quiz or sample of prior work is a much better filter than a college name.
So I can spend 4-6 years getting a 4-year degree and taking on 40-60k$ (my state's median household income is 54k!) of debt at 4.53% interest and probably around age 40 be able to compete for jobs with those that are 20-22 (as some kids are now simultaneously graduating high school and receiving associates degrees). At my current employer, moving up one position means a 7% increase in pay... so cool, I'd have 40-60k$ of debt, at 4.53% interest, and my 34k a year would bump up a to 36.4k a year...
Even internally, training for job-related stuff is only given to those in higher positions... so their degree creates an immediate gap via advantage and then the training they are allowed access creates a further divide, as do awards that are only available at certain levels (get an award for doing X but only people in certain positions are allowed to even do X, someone with an award for X will get preferential treatment over someone without the experience of doing X and without an award for X).
So at 34 I could try to go back to school, after 16 years of being removed from an educational setting, and try to learn how to study/write papers/etc and probably waste a couple of grand before I can get back into the groove and walk into my 40's with 1/3 of the cost of a house in debt for a piece of paper that says I toed the line and temporarily memorized random bits of material and finally have that de facto dues card employers require.
By the time I pay that debt off I'm probably in my mid to late 50s (while having net less than I was without the degree for at least some of those years) and only have a 4-year degree, while I've spent a decade competing against people with Master's so I'm probably not netting much more per year than I would have been without the degree and will now heavily be fighting ageism and have 5-10 years of work left in me wishing I hadn't spent all of my free time in my mid 30's working on a degree.
Do a MicroMaster’s from EdX in anything, or show some other proof of being able to do the work.
Apply somewhere that will let you take individual Master’s modules as standalone qualifications. I did the Centre for Financial and Management Studies . There are others available through the University of London  though you’ll have to search through the linked list to find the Master’s level ones yourself as they only do BOTH not AND. If you want an MBA and have three years managerial experience look here . If you have a lot of software engineering professional experience the Oxford M.Sc. in Software Engineering will accept “extensive experience in place of formal qualifications.“
CeFIMS Master’s cost ~£10K. I really doubt any of the above options cost over £20K.
If you want to get a Bachelor’s fast, for cheap go to Degree Forum. Very US centric. You can definitely get a degree for under $5K.
The problem is that in the marketplace, a degree is still more about prestige than actual knowledge.
Thanks for the correction.
Now, of course, you can put it somewhere better than a mattress—but also of course, you don’t expect a $50k/year raise from a college education. Which educations might give that? Top tech schools. Pharmacy. Not much else.
Also, 150k is almost certainly an underestimate unless that's only tuition. If we assume 150k tuition (over 4 years) and that they currently make 50k per year that's 350k their out for getting educated. So 4 years education + 7 years earning it back would be 11 years, they're now 48 by the time they broke even, before considering interest.
That math still sort of works out, but it's far from a slam dunk. They're accepting a fair bit of risk. What if they study x and by the time they are out the job market has changed and their is no demand for x? What if they run into financial issues while in school and need to drop out? Etc.
Find a community college with a credit transfer agreement. Take your undergrad courses and then transfer. I used to live in Dallas and DCCCD charges $59 per credit hour in 2020. You can then finish the remaining 60 hours at a school such as UNT for a total of $24,000. Total spend of around $27,500.
And Dallas is on the expensive side as far as cities in Texas.
Expensive schools are over $150k/4yrs in tuition alone.
Yes, you wont pay $30k if you don't get a decent paying job - you'll just waste your time.
The time is a cost, not a benefit. If you're choosing between spending $30k and nine months to get an education, or $32k and four years, the first one is obviously and vastly superior to the second.
You may be thinking that the education you get at the CSU is better than what you get at Lambda School, but "higher price, better product" is the opposite of the argument you actually made.
Saving time may be great anyway. You have a high-cost product and an ultra-high-cost product. The fact that one of them is more valuable isn't enough to decide which one is a better purchase.
Financially you’re wildly better off attending Lambda School, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to make an argument that the four years of university provide a vastly superior education to a year of Lambda School and three years working as a software engineer.
I don't think so. This is again making the big assumption that you get the same outcome and the same jobs coming out of Lambda School. Might be, might not be, but so far you just claimed grandiose properties without any argument behind them (and changing from comment to comment).
A year of college is enough to get an internship, and an internship is enough to get a job in many cases.
Hope the car helped - from your LinkedIn it looks like you were able to get back on your feet.
You're a young 17 year old. You can sign on to owe up to over a hundred thousand dollars, if you choose to go to a private college, even though you can't smoke or drink until you're 21 (and, if you live in Mississippi, you aren't legally at the age of majority until you are 21!). Not only that, but it's a really hard debt to get out of and they will strongly pressure your family to cosign, which (should you fail) is a great way to wreck a relationship.
In fact, the 21 thing is pretty dumb anyway. You can get married, enter a lottery, take out over $100K in debt, or join the army and get killed, or gamble away your life savings, or buy gun ammunition, or sue people or get sued, but heaven forbid you buy a beer.
Next, schoolbooks. Ludicrously overpriced, to try to convince you to "sell back" your books at the end of the semester for a pittance. Colleges claim to love diversity - if so, you might consider not price gouging books to oblivion and making it harder for lower classes to afford college, perhaps?
When I was getting my bachelors I had a history professor REQUIRE 6 textbooks 5 of which he was author or co-author. I read a lot as it is but reading 5/6 books for 1 class in 1 semester is crazy.
Now, go tell a realtor you want a house in a low crime, quiet neighborhood with highly rated schools and they'll know exactly what you are looking for. Or tell the hiring manager that the candidate you interviewed may not "fit well with the team" and that they should keep looking - they'll get it too.
How many whites only lunch counters exist today?
They had a saying along the lines of "We hire everyone because we sell to everyone."
That is true but it is also true that if everyone is 20-something graduate of the same handful of colleges then a group that looks very diverse isn’t diverse at all in any meaningful sense. This should be called “the Google paradox”.
* To further the above point, it allows you to position yourself and your brand on the correct side of moral issues. This allows your company to look like it's doing something positive when most companies exist, in a Milton Friedman sense, as soulless money making machines with little regard for anything else. This also allows employees to feel as though they're good/smug/working for a positive organization.
* Floating sensitive soicio-political topics leads to great clickbate, and gets lots of eyes on articles and ads.
* It allows you to sell to larger demographic. This makes you more money via sales.
* It allows you to recruit from larger pools of labor, or at least attempt to appeal to larger numbers of applicants. This allows you to keep labor costs down and/or to find solid candidates from alternative sources.
* There is no serious rebuttal to pushing that agenda. If you push back you're a fascist/ageist/racist/ableist/misogynist etc., and this makes the individual, and/or the brand, look bad.
As a soulless capitalist I'd be hammering those concepts CONSTANTLY in order to expand the bottom line. Actual adoption, like many boilerplate talks about workplace safety, compliance, and sexual harassment, would be as pro forma as possible, so long as the perceptions were met.
The point of a university pretty much is to hole yourself away from the broader world and engross yourself in the life of the mind squirrels away from practical concerns about the real world. It's kind of weird that we shoehorned this whole idea of career preparation for mass populations into an institution that's uniquely unsuited for that specific purpose.
Then we get pissed off because when those same universities don't do a good job preparing students for the job market. But that's like complaining that a winter coat is uncomfortable to wear to the beach.
it's because of the GI bill https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Bill , which setup a generation of people who got cheap/free college. Then they, obviously being educated, did well, and it flowed out on to the rest of society.
University was originally only for those who have the privilege of paying for it. And if you could afford it, you wouldn't need to worry about jobs or having to pay bills. But the recent college education dogma for jobs has transformed it to a utility, an "investment", and thus loans.
There is a place for loans to college education, but not as high as i see right now.
Bootcamps are close, but I think they are over-promising in their speed (only 12 weeks!) and have some reputational issues now.
A lot of universities have adapted and are offering separate but closely related programs for software dev and CS.
How many philosophers do we need?
The cozy vibe of murder?
Jokes aside, my impression of the school in that book was that it was closer to one of the fancy east coast SLACs that do have somewhat of a reputation, but it's been a while
1.) Colleges jack up their tuition to the point of being un-affordable (multiple years of salary), forcing students to take on massive amounts of debt at the start of their careers
2.) Prospective students are unwilling to become servitude to student loan debt at no-name small colleges and realize that college is hardly the only means for employment
3.) Small colleges close due to low enrollment
>According to Moody’s, in the next few years the closure rate for non-profit, U.S. private colleges will climb to around 15 a year—triple what it was in 2014.
you know what kind of editorializing of titles i'd like? one that puts the lede front and center. there are 1687 private nonprofit unis in the US. so this is a rate of less than 1% a year. is that really alarming?
I think the college of the future looks a lot like USC Film School. It's virtually identical to a production quality film or television studio. But tuition, room and board plus stipend will all be provided in part via corporate sponsorship or government funding. Product development exists symbiotically with research as "pure" funding is priced out, even by the wealthiest of donors
Dominate the Fight: The Army's Synthetic Training Environment (USC-ICT)
Likely explanation: demographic dip. The demand for a credential is still high (perhaps even rising), but the number of college age students is either in a local dip or downward trend. And the value of a small college has always been marginal, so that's where the leading edge of the trend hits. Enrollment falls, tuition receipts with it, public funding is strained, the institution closes.
The average student loan debt for students who took out a loan is around $30,000. Some have more, as averages work, but most have less. How? About 30% of students graduate with no debt.
Furthermore, the number of schools closing is absolutely trivial and if you read the article you would see that the real issue seems to be plummeting birth rates in the northeast US. The school in the article was charging $12,000 per year in tuition on average. A far cry from what the comments here would have you believe. “$150k in debt.”
The opaque cost of college is one of the problems. If it cost $12k to go there they should advertise a $12k tuition and maybe wouldn’t be closing.
Most people would prefer to go a 50k school with 38k in scholarships than a 12k school.
Sure. The psychology is completely different. "I went to an average place at an average cost" doesn't have the sizzle of "I went to an elite place, and I got a massive discount!"
Of course, then there is the fact that Americans earn more. To use teachers as an example of a college required job: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/gov_glance-2017-35-e.... Average salary of $27,000 (adjusted for purchasing power) in France versus $40,000 in the US. Before employer taxes is about $36,000 in France. Before employer taxes and health insurance it’s about $49,000 in the US. Applying the tax wedge again, the US teacher is making more than $10,000 per year more to start, and will offset the difference in free college in a bit over 4 years. After 15 years experience, the US teacher will be earning $75,000 before employer side taxes and health insurance, while the French teacher will be at $51,000.
> 92 minutes. That’s the amount of time on average that people in the Paris area spend on public transport each day of their lives.
> And if the figure is only applied to those who work then it rises to 113 minutes each day.
> So basically that’s over an hour and half sitting, or more likely standing, on the Metro, RER trains or buses according to a new study by France’s Urban Development institute.
A typical Houstonian, where the average commute is under an hour, isn’t pining for higher taxes and public transit.
About teacher's pay, if you look into the details, you will find that the french state motto is "Do as I say, not as I do". All the annoying employment law do not apply when the french state is the employer. As such, the brutto/netto salary ratio for teachers is bigger than other employee. But the main perk is not salary, it is the 2 month summer holidays and job for life, and of course free healthcare and pension plan.
> One teacher’s union put it this way. A retiree with a 40 year career in teaching might have finally attained a salary of 3,200 euros a month. Right now, they would retire with 2,281 euros a month, but after the reforms, that would decrease to 1,803 euros.
Here in Anne Arundel county Maryland (which is kind of a middling state in terms of tax and public employee benefits), teachers with a bachelors degree earn $45,000 to start going up to $65,000. Pension benefits from the Maryland state employee retirement system after a 40-year career (to match the calculation above), would be $32,000. But Maryland teachers are also eligible for Social Security. At that salary range, that’s be an additional $25,000 per year.
People have this idea that lower salaries in Europe are made up by the better benefits. That might be true for low income earners, but it's mathematically impossible for that to be true for above-median earners. Europe has more benefits and a flatter income distribution, but one of the costs of that is significantly less economic production.
Even factoring out corporate profits and the income of the top 1%, the U.S. economy amounts to about $47,400 per person. For France, its about $33,600. Given that French taxes rest mainly on the bottom 99%, and provide a more generous safety net for the poor, it's literally impossible for an above-median person like a teacher to be anywhere near as well off, even accounting for benefits, in France as compared to the US.
 This is based on looking at the current accounts for the various countries. I estimate $2 trillion in top 1% income and $1.9 trillion in corporate profits for the U.S., and $188 billion in corporate profits and $139 billion in top 1% income in France. The latter calculation relies on the reported figure that the top 1% earns 10% of all income in France and 20% in the U.S., but assumes that personal income as a share of GDP is similar in the two countries.
 Note that the $5,000 extra that Americans pay for healthcare compared to the French will reduce that gap somewhat for the average worker. But since we excluded corporate profits and top 1% incomes from the calculation, most of that extra money is going to be redistributed to incomes of bottom-99% healthcare workers.
Those are not meaningfully different in the US. Public service unions are great everywhere.
Complete Side note- I think there must be a market selling RVs to remote workers that work well as home offices. I converted a shed to a home office, but I spent almost as much as a similarly sized RV even after doing a lot of the work myself. The RV has the advantage of being easy to deliver, avoids building code restrictions, can come well wired for power and internet, and you get to have an RV.
The rising tide of population growth lifted all boats. High school graduations peaked in 2013. That's total, not rate. Presumably the rate peaked even sooner. There's no more American-born students to victimize. And with the current administration's immigration policies, the US higher education market has had an "opportunity to explore a limited growth marketplace".
> The number of high school seniors is dropping – dramatically in some parts of the country
Are we headed for inverted pyramid like Japan?
The main driver of the growth of public education costs is legislative funding cuts. As government has stopped paying for higher education, this cost has been shifted to families, making what once was affordable, increasingly unaffordable. This crisis is is the result of choices we've made.
1. Private non-profit universities are typically exempt from paying property tax. While this may seem like a reasonable idea, do note that many of these universities also own and operate commercial and retail centers, which complicates the tax exempt benefits. The ability to not pay tax is a direct subsidy from the local government to the university. One common and long standing story that illustrates this is the relationship between Yale and New Haven:
Yale does pay some property tax, but really not as much as they should. They do actually make voluntary payments and New Haven is vastly better off that they're there, but they're still subsidized by the city and state.
2. The R&D departments at both public and private universities are heavily funded by the federal government. Note, only a fraction of the business that a university conducts relates to teaching students. One of its primary, central duties also involves research. The federal government funds both public and private universities and many private universities receive hundreds of millions dollars in such grants:
3. Pell grants, the GI Bill, and federal students are allowed to be given to private universities. In fact, for profit universities are supposed to limit their total income to only 90% of federal grants and most push right up against this limit. Without these government funds, they could not exist:
More generally, I'm not sure why the grandparent comment is getting as much grief as they are for laying blame on state legislators. The linked article from CBPP is pretty telling and damning. Candidly, the issue is complicated, but the state legislatures consistently decreasing funding the universities has made tuition raises inevitable. If anyone is interested, Pew has a recent article that has a lot of information that details the source of university funding:
There's a lot in there, but one of things they document is a shift from funding universities primarily through state funds to funding them through federal. Federal dollars are not just transferred to the university in the same way that state funds are. The law requires these funds be transferred through things like the GI bill, or Pell grants, or student loans, or some other vessel. Universities get access to these dollars by raising tuition. So, yes, federal student loans are a problem, but turning off that spigot doesn't magically mean the universities will have the money they need to operate. State legislatures should be held accountable for the problem that they helped facilitate.
Disclaimer: Our World In Data is in non-profit YC19 batch.
This reminds me talks of China buying up land and properties in US. I wonder why they are doing this.
China is like 20% of the world's entire population. It's close to as much of the global economy as the US, or the EU. It's way bigger than Japan.
There's a ton of wealth there, and a ton of rich businesses and people.
As things stand right now, China should account for about 15% of all asset purchases globally. It's not surprising if a lot of land and schools and houses and business in the US are being bought by China. There's similar amounts being bought by the EU and Japan.
A conspiracy theorist would tell you it's because a lot of people inside and outside of China think the RMB is over valued (by as much as 50%). There's probably truth to this, but compared to the above mentioned base rates -- the affects are likely negligible.
If not, then wait until over 25 so that your parent's income isn't considered, assuming they make say more than $50k or so combined family income. (Ie more than the federal poverty line.)
Top standardized test scores are necessary for financial aid and admittance to a top program. Plus a high GPA. The GPA requirement sucks since it's completely arbitrary. Maybe your GPA is low because you are super high IQ and teachers hated your guts. That happens often.
Many of the issues (faculty cuts, etc.) have been discussed here, but something I find interesting is that, in order to stay afloat, they’re changing the demographics they target. Namely, first-gen students (this has been an existing target for sometime) and returning adults:
The challenge is that returning adult students are a lot harder to recruit. For high school students, Orians says, "we know where those people are. High schoolers are a captive audience." But when it comes to adults, she says, "they are everywhere. They are working. They are parents. They are engaged with their community."
That said, they recognize recruitment isn’t always enough. They also plan to explore industry partnerships, further teacher training, and, most importantly, student retention:
Last week, new numbers on graduation rates revealed that 60% of students who start college get their degree in six years. That's the highest its been in nearly a decade.
The old monolithic approach to college, really an extension of the K-12 system, seems increasingly impractical and irrelevant for today's needs. I agree with others here who argue for taking courses on an ad hoc basis, focusing more on growing a career starting from age 18, rather than immersing oneself in higher ed for four years, hoping and assuming there's a nice job waiting at the other end.
Look, if you have $200K or $300K lying around, great, go to a nice liberal arts school and enjoy yourself for a few years. There are few things in life more fun than being a college student, stuffing your mind with knowledge during the day and getting soused at night.
But in the real world... these little liberal arts schools are a luxury our society no longer can afford, nor do they really serve much of a purpose anymore. The only shame is that we potentially will lose some writers, poets, and artists.