Unfortunately I feel as if we are taking one step forward and two steps back as far as college education. New York just put out its free tuition plan for students coming from households of under $100,00. Only let’s state the obvious it’s not really FREE is it? Talk about tax funded bloated salaries. As you can see, I consider this two steps back. Let me explain.
The old college model as a whole is really outdated. It cannot be fixed especially by throwing more money at it or offering “free” tuition.
One of the huge flaws in the system is that it sets young people up to fail and they not only fail, but get to take home a massive amount of debt.
More than 75% of students required to take remedial classes never graduate. Seventy percent of Americans will study at a 4-year college, but less than 2/3 will graduate. Thirty percent of college freshman dropout after their first year. (Source)
Wow, those are some scary numbers! Nevertheless, it’s reality.
Why the high drop out rate? It’s because children grew up in Elementary, Middle and High School dependent on a teacher. The transition from dependence to independence at college usually without even mom or dad around to keep them accountable, well it’s a recipe for disaster. A student coddled in the system has probably not gained the necessary skills and techniques for mastering new and difficult information on his own.
Third, they are also conformed to a classroom environment. While most parent fight for smaller classroom sizes, it is best to wean the child from the classroom environment as early as possible because it will get taken away. The reason for it, is that classroom education is geared toward multiple students in a room (meaning the lowest common denominator’s speed). If the goal is to maximize the learning experience for every student then self-education is the best form. This is a reason why homeschooling is superior to any other group education system, the student sets his or her own pace.
Top tier Colleges are now providing first rate education online for FREE. When these schools like MIT and Harvard decided to do this, it provided legitimacy for online education. Who can say these schools are not serious? Or who can say using current technology to educate yourself at home is inferior to the classroom model of lectures and note taking? That would be laughable. From now on online education is the arena of higher education, FACT. How can we truly make college more affordable? For starters, we don’t need 10,000 Physics instructors..we only need 1, we only need the best. This person has earned top salary and teachers in every district or state will work hard to be the one with the notoriety and pay check. The day to day task and student interaction can be taken care of by numerous teacher assistants (support level teachers) who would make less. The professor would then strictly focus on producing the best content to be streamed to all the students. It is much cheaper for a school district to post a series of videos online than to bring students into the classroom. The lecture method in a classroom model is outdated and we all realize this to varying degrees. The bottom line is when a new technology is ten times cheaper than an old technology, it is going to replace the old technology. Online Education is no more than 10% the cost of classroom education. Think about it, no campuses, no maintenance, no school buses, no discipline problems etc. Even exams can be software graded, think that is impossible? This is how SAT, ACT and CLEP exams are graded.
Parents if you are planning on sending your child to a college, consider testing out of the first two years with CLEP credits. Colleges want students enrolled as Freshmen because it costs so little to teach freshman and sophomores, yet the tuition is the same as junior and seniors. One course is being taught by the PhD holding professors, the other by graduate assistants who have never had any training in teaching. Students waste time and parents waste money, when they buy into the college pushed lie that the student would benefit from being on campus from year one. The first two years of college can be completed by means of CLEP and DSST exams for a total cost of about $2,000. Compare that $2,000 with tuition and books for the first two years on campus. This way the student can live at home, complete high school through homeschooling/online education, get a part time job and enter college as a junior. Colleges HATE this strategy but it is a real solution.
To date the University of Phoenix is the largest online college and it’s accredited with a solid business model. Honestly any 4 year degree college earned there is worth as much as any bachelor’s degree from the vast majority of American colleges. To take it a step forward, a degree is not worth as much today as you might think. Over half of students with college degrees end up in jobs that do not even require a degree. Many times a graduate will take any hiring job with a low pay thinking they just have to pay their dues. By contrast young adult who started at the same place at age of 18, or went to Trade School instead or better yet started their own business, are at the same level or light years ahead.
It’s no secret that colleges love to accept homeschool students. If the student has scored well on the ACT, SAT and even better completed the first two years with CLEP exams, they will get accepted to most colleges easily. Students who are a product of a homeschool environment, perform above average and are well prepared for college work.
However the catch for the faculty is that these students are not conformists. Unlike their government or classroom style counterparts, they do not fall in line with the left common political party views. They will realize they are not easily persuaded however they are still happy to teach above-average students with opposing views. If a student can get in as a junior, then they will have avoided the worst part of the indoctrination that occurs during the screening of the first two years.
I urge parents to look into CLEP exams. For ninety dollars a high school student can test out of a semester of college, maybe two. They can earn your whole BA from an accredited college on the day you graduate from high school, the total cost being about $15,000. Any part time job can cover that, it’s only about $11 a day. Parent’s YOU do not need to pay for college. Don’t believe me about $11 a day?
What about scholarships you may ask?
These are NOT scholarships. They are price cuts based on how much money that
computer algorithms say parents may be willing to pay.
Colleges think it would look crass to cute prices. So, they cut prices to
parents who may not have enough money. These cuts are not offered to rich
Economists call this practice price discrimination. It exists when a
government limits access to companies that produce a service. Price
discrimination is a feature of government-protected cartels. It
discriminates against people with money.
The way around this is to find a college that offers low prices to everyone.
That means an online college. A good example is Patten University:
www.patten.edu. If a student uses CLEP exams for the first two years of
college, he can earn a business degree for under $12,000, total. Patten
Let bricks-and-mortar colleges compete in the stratosphere. Pay no
attention to them. Instead, pay attention to schools that compete on the
ground where most people live. -Ron Paul
If your child chooses a path where a piece of paper, known as a degree is necessary, then I hope to show you in this series how to make it as pain-free as possible.
In this “College Hacks” series I will cover-
1. More details on CLEP credits and making college as affordable as possible.
2. FREE online educational courses. (Colleges no longer have the monopoly on knowledge!)
3. Introducing a self teaching curriculum into your home as early as possible and the benefits of doing so.
Stay tuned for the next post!
Please SHARE with other parents, and comment below with your thoughts or questions. Feel free to let me know what other topics you would like to explore in this series.
My goal is to start a dialogue for families to think outside of the “outdated (and perhaps even damaging) box, that is our current higher education system.”
If this subject interest you and you would like to learn more on this subject, I highly recommend this book. Click on the book below for more details.