Sunday, September 28, 2014

University of Disenchantment

The skyrocketing cost of college is a well-known phenomenon that, in my opinion, is not discussed enough to offer solutions. I believe college should not cost nearly as much as it does because it does not serve the interests of student learning, and rather it serves the interests of educational institutions. I believe there is a tremendous cost on the national economy by not allowing many students with financial difficulties purse the education they may want. Furthermore, the fact that so many recent college graduates are underemployed seems to only further convince me that a bachelors degree is not worth the investment as much as it was in the past. I plan to pursue a graduate degree immediately after graduation because it is increasingly difficult to find gainful employment without an advanced degree. In my opinion, the rising costs of tuition make the return on investment of an undergraduate degree lower. Paying so much on education does not make sense when so many professors don't teach the way they need to and simply read PowerPoint slides or other lecture notes without actually engaging any of the students. I do not believe students receive the quality of education they pay for. Why are tuition costs rising so fast when the quality of education is arguably not rising and even falling according to some? Why are students forced to pay more for less? I believe the rising costs of education are a market failure and there needs to be a solution that involves addressing the root of the problem. Trying to solve the symptoms of the problem by giving the students more federal or private student loans does not actually solve the problem of high tuition costs. I believe not addressing the problem with sufficient attention is detrimental to the interests of our society because promoting education for everyone and making it accessible should be more important than it currently is to politicians. I believe colleges and universities are abusing the market forces of more demand for education with greater enrollment by charging more while delivering low quality education. I do not understand why students need to pay so much when instructors teach with increasing class sizes when often simply reading a prepared lecture on a projector without even interacting with the students, so many never even bother to show for class because it isn't even worth their time if there is no quiz, assignment, or exam due in class on that day. In my experience, I did not learn any more in a traditional classroom than in my several online courses taken in the past. In online courses the professors often never even respond to emails with adequate help and it often takes several days, if not weeks, for them to respond. Many instructors simply recycle the old homework and course material to not spend nearly any time on teaching students, while still charging a lot for tuition and fees. Many of the professors I had were nearly useless in helping me learn the material, so I do not understand why tuition and fees are so much higher than in the past when I can learn the same material with the internet. I can learn so much from the internet without even showing up to class, so I believe in the future the traditional campus-based colleges  and universities will lose prominence to the face of more high-technological methods of knowledge delivery. Maybe I sound highly critical, but my experience left me with such a disenchantment. In my opinion, I simply pay for a formal qualification of educational attainment and/or expertise.

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