GECON200(Non-Honors)-Topic #2 Education, Public, Private, and Free?

Education was a central theme of the recent presidential election, and a major issue for current college students and their parents. As college costs have been on the rise, students have demanded more financial aid and this has pushed much of the burden of paying for higher education on federal and state governments. As state governments have cut spending on community and state colleges since the recession began, “for profit” schools had been on the rise. However, due to the fact that more “for profit” students were going into default these schools have been under increasing pressure regarding their costs and standards. PBS Frontline released an episode called “College Inc.” which looked at “for profit” schools in detail.

There are new “free” education opportunities being pioneered by universities like MIT, which has helped start edX, and Coursera (and here) which has recently added courses from institutions like UVa.  The problem with the “free” model right now, is that there are few degree opportunities attached to these courses. Furthermore, you are essentially free to borrow  the textbook that we use for this course from a local library, where you can read it, take notes on it, and attempt the problems. The same is true for essentially every other course you take in college. So why is it so expensive? What are you paying for? As an economics student, you can assume that the entire package that you’re getting as a benefit is at least worth the cost that you, your parents, and the government is paying for it. That does not mean it is the best deal around.

Questions you might want to answer:
I would like you to think about the rising costs of education, and how they might be contained. How do we get students to further internalize these costs, leading them to maybe make better decisions. DO NOT try to answer all of these questions, just focus on one topic. Also, try to think about your comment from different angles. To write a brief comment, read the previous comments, compose your thought in a Word document, and paste it in the comment box below. The more original and factually supported your comment, the better your grade will be. Finally, your comment will appear ONLY AFTER IT IS APPROVED. Please don’t email me asking where it is, it often takes a while for me to get to it.

  • Do you believe that state schools (community colleges or otherwise) are helpful in containing college costs?
  • Why do so many students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities?
  • Do you believe that the “free” education system can be adopted to a model where students are willing to pay money to attend online courses? Or do you believe that universities like UVa will be happy to provide these courses for free? Why has MIT adopted their OpenCourseware model, and how do edX and Coursera anticipate making money in the future (if they do?).
  • Do you believe that the “for profit” education system is worthwhile, or do you think that their students have been duped somehow? Surely some students must have had decent experiences at these schools, otherwise they would likely be out of business. Look for supporting or contrasting evidence.

42 thoughts on “GECON200(Non-Honors)-Topic #2 Education, Public, Private, and Free?”

  1. My comment relates to the question of why students pay to go to expensive private universities.
    I think the general notion students have is that if they go to expensive private universities they will receive a better job which will out way the cost of the university. An article on ( analyzes a report done by, which lists and ranks the starting average salaries and the average mid-career salary. They found that there was only one state school, California at Berkley, in the top 20 for average salaries. Looking over the list I recognized that just as you might suspect, all the most “prestigious” schools where found in the top of the list. So, when students are looking at universities to go to, they will choose the one that they believe will give them the best job out of college. And it seems as though the expensive “non profit” private universities actually do pay off for the most part.

  2. In regards to the question of why students continue to pay vast amounts of money in order to attend non-profit private universities all relates to name branding. These universities set high standards for the students in order to promote success. Getting a degree from a prestigious university is believed to guarantee that student a higher-paying job than a graduate from a less distinguished college. Although Harvard graduates do earn a large starting salary upon graduation, one doesn’t necessarily have to graduate from a distinguished university to be prosperous. Surprisingly when PayScale looked up colleges whose new graduates earned more than Harvard’s, it didn’t come from Ivy League colleges but from lesser-known schools. Graduates from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda California had higher starting median salaries of $64,600 while Harvard Grads reached $54,100 (ABC News). Considering that Loma Linda University is not a celebrated university and that its tuition is $11,770 cheaper than Harvard’s (ABC News), speaks prominently about how paying more for your tuition doesn’t necessarily guarantee top paying jobs. People also believe that by attending esteemed universities, there will not only be a greater emphasis on learning and will receive an overall better education. A study was released in 2007, however, that found that students in public schools perform just as well as those in private schools (Education Portal). It’s a common misconception that the state-funded public schools are below par just because they are not reputable and costly. Despite the fact that privately funded schools do have higher test scores (Education Portal), this doesn’t necessarily translate into higher paying jobs. Overall, students pay for brand recognition because of the pre-conceived notion that this path will guarantee them success in employment. But paying an immense amount of money on tuition can be counterproductive for those who have to worry about paying off debt later in life.


  3. Regarding the question of whether state schools are helpful in containing college costs, after looking into financial aid statistics on undergraduates, on average at James Madison University, almost 100% (17000 students) of students apply for financial aid, however only 45% (or 7800 students) are deemed worthy of needing financial aid. However only 83% (6400) of that 45% (7800) actually receive that aid. And of that only 11% or 700 students out of all undergraduates, actually get their full needs met. For state schools this does not seem that convincing. Only 11% of students actually receive the aid that they need. In regards to the question of why do students pay so much to attend private universities, according to US news, the colleges who have reported to meet full financial need, almost all of them are private universities. Granted, the schools listed are extremely prestigious and difficult to get into, but perhaps that is why so many students decide to go to private institutions. If there is a certain good name associated with private schools; they are smaller and thus naturally more difficult to get accepted to; is the extra cost worth the name? Considering more private schools offer more financial aid than public schools, maybe the cost is less for students. Are we just basing our thoughts off the sticker price and stating that public school is less than private school and not looking at the statistics that private schools offer more financial aid? The average cost per year of going to a public school is around $16,000 per year, and a private school is $33,000 (National Center for Education Statistics). However, with financial aid are the costs actually closer to one another? It depends on the school and the student. But to say that every student should go to school in state is obviously inaccurate considering their costs might be less to go to a private university, and their benefit might be more if the school is more prestigious.

  4. Pertaining the question about whether or not the “free” education system can be adopted, only a minimal amount of this type of education can be sustained. While Coursera does offer 203 courses from 34 reputable universities in 20 different categories, the amount of money needed to keep this kind of website going will have to come from advertisements or from donations. The donations for this free education system will eventually stop flowing in at the rate they currently are because these donations are just investments to get the program started. Once these sources begin to use advertisements, the reputation of each organization will go down. Universities are currently the ones keeping these sites going because they sign a contract that gives them some of the profits, but the only problem is that they have not found the profits yet. The idea to make money is to eventually have, “Paid human tutoring, grading or other types of personal support.” ( The flaw with this plan is that students will just go back to the actual universities if they have to pay because of the environment that a campus and classroom setting presents. So far only the University of Washington has adopted to use of a fee for their courses. MIT has also presented OpenCourseware as a way to give anyone access to lectures given at their university. This is only sustainable because people are still attending the actual school. If MIT offered their classes online for free, the only reason people would attend their school would be to get an actual degree, and the importance of degrees would not be as important if education was moved towards a free, online system.

  5. Many Students ask is college even worthwhile? There are many answers to this question depending on the circumstances or situations of that student. For example, most students have to take out loans just so they can have a brighter future, but is it worth it in the end; sources say “A Senate committee has been focusing on this topic and found results that suggest many for-profit colleges may not be a wise investment for prospective students”. College not being a good investment is because the cost of taking out loans exceeds the total benefit, because in the end a student may not end up with a high paying job after graduating; “96 percent of students at for-profit schools take out loans compared with about 13 percent at a community college and 48 percent at 4 year public universities”. “Many students have found themselves in this very position, with massive debt from student loans and no means to begin paying them off.”
    On the other side, some students don’t mind attending these for-profit universities either because their parents are wealthy, they were drawn in by the marketing and recruitment of the university, they want to just have the experience of college and socialize, or the main reason which are the students who receive full-rides. Therefore, nine times out of ten their cost for attending a for-profit university doesn’t exceed their benefit after graduating. Even if they don’t get out of college with a high paying job, they won’t have any loans or debt to worry about.


  6. I feel that for-profit education systems are the result of the larger problem of the failing American education system. For-profit institutions offer opportunities to people who have not been given the same chances in the non-profit education sector. However, I believe some students have been duped by enrolling in these colleges. The nature of for-profit schools is to maximize their revenue while minimizing their costs. These schools have shareholders, thus they want to boost profit in order to bring in more investment. This leads to heavy spending in recruitment and high tuition costs. According to the Washington Post, “The colleges studied spent 23 percent of their revenue on marketing and recruiting, the report found, and 17 percent on instruction.” The small investment in instruction by for-profit schools highlights one of their main drawbacks; while these schools sell education to students, they are more interested in making money. Their profit is made at the expense of the students. According to the Huffington Post, “for-profit institutions saw the highest jumps in both the percentage of students who borrowed to pay for education, and the number of those borrowers who eventually dropped out of school.” For-profit institutions often lead to debt-ridden students who graduate with a lower level of education than many non-profit schools.
    For-profit schools do have a sizeable market in upper-level education, and they also have generated successful educations for many people. However, their high costs for students and their ultimate goal of maximizing profits undermines their ability as an educational facility. I do not think they are the solution to the large-scale problem of the failure of many American education systems.

  7. My comment is towards the question “Do you believe that the “for profit” education system is worthwhile…”
    In a “for profit” educational system, in order for investors to make a profit they must give a good product. Therefore, it can be beneficial because all though students are paying a lot of money to go to these schools, they are also getting a lot in return because the schools must have a good market value. The money that students pay in tuition goes into making the school look better, more credible, and make them more beneficial to a student whether it be with the way a building looks, or a ranking in the dining facilities, etc. “The schools offer classes at night, online and in weeks-long sessions year-round, making them “much more flexible” than traditional colleges, says Harris Miller, of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. And they focus on job training, which in this economy would seem to offer an edge” (Clark). These are some more benefits to a “for profit” school. This is to create customer satisfaction so they can recruit more customers, to make more money to profit from. However, there are also some negatives in attending a “for profit” college over a “non profit”. “Students at for-profits pay more in tuition and fees than do students at public colleges, and they incur more debt and default on their loans in greater numbers than students in any other sector “ (Clark). Also, because these schools must make a profit, they may cut back on funding for things such as high quality teachers. In this case, it could be more beneficial to attend a non-profit school because all of the money you are paying in tuition is going back into your education. There is not that need to keep some of the money for a profit, so people may feel like they are being duped by going to a “for profit” school over a “non profit” school.


  8. According to CNN Money News, College Board estimates the price of studying and living on campus at the average public university rose 5.4% for in-state students and at the average private college rose 4.3% this fall. In order to offset the increasing tuition, I believe that state schools (community colleges) are helpful in containing college costs. For example, community colleges help students earn General Education credits with a much lower cost than a four-year institution. According to, two year colleges are designed for commuters, so students can find their own housing. This will avoid the high cost of room and board. According to College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees at a two-year school is near $2,963, just one-third of the cost for a four-year public institution. Now that our economy is recovering from a recession, many students are seeking financial aid federal loans, or both. College Board reports, about two-thirds of full time students received some form of Financial Aid, including Federal grants and federal loans. Attending community college will benefit students who have financial struggles. Lower tuition will result in less debt students will have to face after they graduate from college. At the same time, the federal government will spend less money on financial aid. Overall, attending state schools (community colleges) is a great option for students to contain the college costs and will benefit government at the same time.

  9. It had been the belief of people for many centuries that education was suited for the wealthy. Higher education wasn’t even considered unless one was from the noble class and possessed adequate finances. Today, the case is not the same, as we see people of all social classes, and from different financial backgrounds, entering college, taking out loans, and intoxicating themselves in alcohol and debt. And even after the fact that “the jobless rate for younger workers with a college degree has more than doubled since the recession began four years ago — from 3.5 percent in April of 2007 to 6.4 percent in April of this year,” that begs the question as to why people are paying more and more for a degree that’s less and less effective in getting them a job in the workplace today. Private universities charge exorbitantly high tuition fees to compensate for the universities upkeep and employees, and as a result you’re guaranteed a better education and exclusivity into a prestigious university. However, the simpler approach would be to provide education to the masses for free; literally no charge whatsoever. To be educated should be an inherent right of people, because education frees people from ignorance and prepares people to grow, and to be educated freely seems like the most feasible way to do so. Most people tend to be in accordance with the notion that education opens many doors to opportunities and open-mindedness towards others. Free education would be very simple; a compilation of lectures and digital downloads of textbooks and information at a person’s disposal. One’s college career could eventually be replaced by a computer that has well-devised programs and modules to ensure people learn at a proper pace and with understanding. But there lies one problem, out of many, in the entirety of the situation, and it’s how do you verify the credibility of one’s education after completion. Today, we use degrees to do so, depending on the school name at the very top of the degree, you either get a job, or you do not. So, to answer the initial question, a degree from a university is a means of regulating the college system to ensure that you do, in fact, get what you paid for; a name. Along with that name comes a reputation, a location, resources, and eventually money, but not before debt, of course. So people pour money into these schools that they hear from their peers; Virginia Tech, UVA, W&M, etc. But it’s only when you take a step back, ignore how good one school’s football team is over the other, that you actually recognize that a discounted or even free education is all around you, and with possibly the same amount of knowledge being accumulated. And in deciding which school to attend and how much to be, shouldn’t quality of education, not exactly how well the school ranks in food or whether they have four basketball courts, the most important factor?


  10. Hunter Breeden
    There are several reasons that can help to justify why students should pay the full amount (nearly $200,000 for a 4 year education) in order to attend a “certain group of non-profit private universities” if given the opportunity. (USA Today). One main reason that high school graduates look to Ivy League schools or other prestigious universities for further education is because of the job opportunities that approach their campuses. (Hopeless to Harvard). Due to their long histories of being able to provide some of the worlds brightest and most creative minds, top companies are able to realize that they can easily go to these types of schools and extend job opportunities to their graduation students with little worry of hiring unknowledgeable employees. Generally, the students who complete their degrees at these schools are very dedicated and interested in what they have studied. However, these schools are only “worth the money” if the students attending are dedicated to learning, as well as highly motivated and focused on getting a very high paying job directly out of college. Also, by attending one of these aforementioned expensive private universities, chances are that your peers will be much more dedicated and focused as well, leading to a much more productive learning experience overall. These types of people are not only usually brilliant on their own, but can help to inspire those around them to reach their full potential. (NY Times). If these few characteristics are not present in said students, it seems much more beneficial and cost effective to attend a state university, or even community college for a fourth of the price or less.
    Most state funded schools’ experiences, which have a history of drinking, partying, and just general hanging out, can be executed anywhere, not just at college. But, as was mentioned earlier, just as with prestigious schools, the students who attend state funded universities can help motivate others in attendance to do what they enjoy and help them find their passions. It all depends on which direction the student wants to move towards with their life and employment. Both offer great networks, but public schools seem to focus more on having an enjoyable leisure and socially oriented life, while certain private schools may focus solely on making money and setting students up with employment at a top company. Yet, none of this is to say that a Harvard graduate may end up earning much less one day than a graduate of a state funded university. In respect to college educations these days, it seems that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

    1. Chang, John. “Why an Ivy League School is Worth $183,000”. From Hopeless to Harvard. Web. 12 November 2012.
    2. Glater, Jonathan D. “Weighing the Costs in Public Vs. Private Colleges”. NewYork Times. 13 December 2006. Web Article. 12 November 2012.
    3. Koba, Mark. “Are Ivy League Diplomas Still Worth the Price of Admission?”. USA Today College. 7 March 2011. Web Article. 12 November 2012.

  11. I am writing in response to the question asking whether state schools are helpful in containing college costs.

    In my opinion I believe that state schools, as well as community colleges, are indeed very helpful when it comes to minimizing the cost of education. Instead of a student paying to attend a private college for four years, they can attend a community college at a lesser price for the first two years. Then, as a junior they can transfer into a private university. This would save the student a lot of money. Based off of, attending a community college for two years and then a private college for two more years would cost you around 73,000 dollars. Compared to attending a private college for all four years costing around 127,000 dollars. Another option to save even more money would be to attend a community college for all four years. This would cost a student around 37,000 dollars. Based off of these averages it is clearly shown that attending a community or public college can lessen the expenses of receiving a college education.

    These expenses are based on average tuition and fees for 2012-2013 as reported by The College Board.

  12. I decided to address the question about why students pay so much more to attend private universities. I think this question has a lot to do with social reputation. Students in high school think that it is general knowledge that private schools such Harvard are much better school than public schools like UVA. Harvard costs roughly twice as much as UVA and a Harvard grad could end up with $250,000 of debt after four years. Students go to Harvard because of the name (I am not saying Harvard is not a good school just making a point). Generally people think a Harvad grad will make much more money than a UVA grad but, according to the average start up salary at Harvard and UVA is about $50,000. Students are choosing these ‘prestigious’ private schools and are making the same amount of money as a top public school.
    Another reason I think as to why students attend these schools is because of the media and social standing. For example on TV Harvard and other Ivy League schools are made to seem great and are idolized. Also in a social setting, if you meet someone who graduated from an Ivy League school a tremendous amount of respect is gained. Kids growing up want this respect and make it their goal to go to one of these schools. There are many reasons students want to attend these private universities but ultimately it comes down to respect.

  13. My comment relates to the question of whether or not state schools are helpful in containing college costs, and I’m going to focus on community colleges. As a fresh transfer from a state community college, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they help to contain college costs, if you use it wisely. Community colleges are extremely cheap and many of their classes (in Virginia at least) are the equivalent of a class at a four-year university. On top of that, state community colleges offer Associate’s Degrees that fulfill the General Education requirements of almost any university in Virginia. Tuition for a full-time student at most common universities lands at around the $5000 range (4,404 at JMU), not counting the costs for books, housing and meal plans. At community colleges, the tuition costs are barely half of that, and since there is a community college near most communities today, the extra costs for college housing and food are nonexistent. It’s also easier to make more money returning books at a community college because, lacking the hundreds of students returning the same book at the same time like in a university, it’s very possible to get almost a full return on your original investment. In a nutshell, state community colleges allow you to purchase the same education as a university at half price or more. This is very handy in terms of minimizing your college debt, if you even have any. Of course, this is only relevant in terms of savings if what you are investing in is an education. Community colleges do not typically grant the same social experiences a four-year or private school will. So if you are going to college for the ‘college experience’, the savings of going to a community college will not seem very appealing.


  14. In regard to the question asking about why college students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities, I believe the answer is simple. The only reason students are paying extra for these schools is so that they can have the name of a prestigious school on their resume that will be enticing to corporate America when looking for a job. It is obvious that some schools have a better reputation than others and in turn can set their students up better for getting a job in the future. According to, the top ten schools with the highest average starting salaries coming out of school are all prestigious, yet expensive private schools. The fact that a school like Loma Linda University has a lower tuition and higher starting salary than a more expensive school like Harvard University doesn’t really pertain to this question because it is still a private school that that is a more expensive option than a less expensive state school. This isn’t to say that students that from less expensive state schools can’t get lucky with a really good job out of school. It is obvious that the only reason students pay more to go to these private universities is just so they can use the name that comes with that education, similar to people buying brand name clothes rather than generic brands.

  15. Students choose to pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities for one main reason: brand. The name brand of a university almost means more to students today than getting a proper education that actually fits their needs. A student today would rather go to a well-known university than take classes at a community college that teach essentially the same thing, for less than half the cost. According to, the average cost of studying at a four-year (non-profit) university in the US is now $28,500 per year. Even though JMU is not private, the decisions I made about college are the same. I made the decision that I would rather pay out-of-state tuition to attend James Madison University, than attend Delaware County Community College. DCCC is only fifteen minutes away from home, and less than half the cost of JMU. Graduating with a college degree from JMU will look a thousand times better to an employer than a degree from DCCC. It is not students’ faults that employers care more about where a degree was earned, than just the degree itself. This is why students pay so much money to go to these non-profit universities. Students want to give themselves the best chance they can to find a well-paying job after college, even if they are left with thousands of dollars in student loans in the aftermath.
    I believe that the “free” education system can only be adopted if the value of online courses was equal to that of top universities. If employers do not value an online degree as much as a normal university’s, than the system does not really work. I also do not think that universities like UVA would be happy to provide online courses for free when they can make so much money off of students who actually attend the university. I think that edX and Coursera could anticipate making money from adults that want to earn a college degree. In our current economy, it is difficult to find a well-paying job with a college degree, and probably close to impossible to find a decent job without one. Adults who have children or jobs do not have time to go to college full-time, so it is easier for them to take online classes. This still gives them an opportunity to earn a degree and be able to get well-paying jobs, but still have time to live their busy lives.


  16. Why do so many students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities?

    The perception of the pricey, prestigious, private colleges is that many believe that the name tag overrides the price tag. The widespread belief is that right out of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc., a 20-something year old will find a career that will pay for their outrageous loans within a few years. That may be true in some cases, but the more likely truth is that with more and more college graduates spilling out into the world, a high-paying career might possibly be harder to come by. An article on states, “In fact, analysts from Princeton and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation examined the same data and found that students with similar class rank and SAT scores who attend less selective schools (by choice or after being rejected by a top college) earn about the same as graduates from elite schools.” With this information, it might be a better option to attend a cheaper university for an undergraduate degree and move up for a higher degree. This option gives a student the opportunity to first stand out out in a more affordable college and still earn the recognition of a Masters or Ph.D in a higher ranked program. Community college is also an overlooked method of cutting back. Earning an Associate’s degree takes about two years and with certain programs, guaranteed acceptance allows access to great schools (at only two more years at the higher price). This is not to say, however, that it is not worth it to attend a more elite college if it is accessible in terms of payment for certain families. The connections and high recognition that comes along with the name may very well be worth the while. It is, of course, a highly personal decision, but with the right research many students could cut back greatly on the debt they accumulate over the next 4-6 or more years they attend college.

    “Are Top Colleges Worth the Money?” N.p., 11 Nov. 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2012.

  17. My point on “whether free education would be adopted to where student would pay for online education”; is that I don’t see the possibility to make this idea happens very soon. The main argument is people have doubt on “free education” based on its quality and limitations ( Because of the fact that offering free education requires internet access and technology which bring significant cost to college, many institutions are facing the crisis of funding their free education program by commercial advertising or other profits from other research projects (Illinois Online Network). Not mention that government has been cutting budget to eliminate deficit due to the recession. Some people also point out free education is not technically “free” because the cost of access to internet server could be a critical cost to low income users (Illinois Online Network). This difference could be a large inequality to users (Illinois Online Network). Moreover, everyone has a different learning process. Only one teaching method limits student to learn more from professor ( For example, it is very hard to ask question if students watch a recorded lecture. Plus, every student may have different questions or confusions. Just like the dean of the Learning and Teaching Centre at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Mark Bullen, said in Free Online Classes Are Little Help in Job Hunt, that the actual help students can get from professors are unlimited but there are limited information could be included in a lecture ( I think this is mainly why people doubt the credential of a free education system. The truth is companies like Intel, Dell, Apple and Facebook have claimed that they have less desire to hire a candidate who holds an online certification instead of an actual degree (

    Weakness of Online Learning, Illinois Online Network,

    Smialek, Jeanna; Free Online Classes Are Little Help in Job Hunt, posted on Aug. 10, 2012,

  18. Responding to why students attend private universities, I believe that the rising prices give students more “bang for their buck”. Although schools are becoming increasingly less affordable, the average salaries earned with a degree from these schools proves, in most cases, to be greater than the cost of attending. According to Facts on File: Issues and controversies in 2010, tuition for private institutions is growing at a rate of 4.4 percent per year. This number does not have much meaning, until it is compared to the growth rate of CPI which is only 3.8 percent per year (Update). One may argue that the growth rate of these institutions is unnecessary and out of control compared to the average growth rate of CPI, but to be a well-rounded institution, its curriculum must be vast and up to date. According to the president of Princeton, Shirley Tilghman, “knowledge is cumulative, necessitating the addition of new courses, new professors and new departments” (Update). The rising prices are not fabricated; the cost of tuition is directly related to the quality of education the school provides due to new technology, courses and professors. While tuition at private universities may be increasing drastically, the value of the education they provide could arguably be doing the same.
    In 2004, the average adult of 18 or older with a bachelor’s degree earned an average salary of $51,544 (Value). Comparing this to the average tuition price of private universities in 2004, which was 29,189 per year, it seems well worth the cost (Tuition). Students choose to attend private universities to receive the best education they can get, and in doing so, increasing the likelihood of landing a decent-paying job right out of college.
    “Value of a College Degree.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 2 Oct. 2009. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. .
    “Update: College Tuition Costs.” Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. .
    “Tuition costs of colleges and universities” U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Digest of Education Statistics, 2011 (NCES 2012-001), Chapter 3.

  19. I believe that “for-profit” education is worthwhile in the sense that it allows anyone who is willing to pay for an education to achieve higher learning; however, I feel that it is creating more problems than it is worth. Students at these Universities are typically low income already and they are putting their money into a system that does not always guarantee a degree (Rabin-Havt). Originally, the goal was to further education in order to keep up with the changing requirements and skills for jobs, but with the need for a degree to obtain a job in most places today, “for-profit” institutions that do not offer a degree are not worth the cost to the students (Korn). Since the goal is generally to get an education to obtain a job, then the money put into the University is not worth it because without a degree your chances of finding a job are still slim, even if you have been educated (Rabin-Havt).
    Many students who enroll in “for-profit” universities also end up with a lot of debt. Amy Kaplan, a former student at the Art Institute of California-Hollywood, was pursuing a degree in photography. She was interested in eventually pursuing higher education in other schools to become a teacher, but found that none of her credits from the Art Institute transferred. She ended up dropping out of the school because her credits did not transfer and she had a large amount of debt from student loans for an education that “wasn’t getting [her] anywhere” (Kirkham). Kaplan is not the only one who faces the issues of student loan debt. Students who borrow for 4-year “for-profit” schools are 2 times as likely to drop out than those at public institutions and they face a 26 percent unemployment rate when they actually complete all four years. When they drop out that rate is increased to 36 percent (Kirkham). With rates like these, the overall cost of attending a “for-profit” school outweighs the benefits by a lot.
    Ending up without a degree and with mountains of debt does not seem like a good outcome. Instead of paying for a “for-profit” education, the low-income students to whom these universities cater, would be better off paying for classes at a community college where they know the credit would transfer to another University and where they know that they would be able to earn a degree when they graduate.


    Kirkham, Chris. “For-Profit College Students Most Likely To End
    Up In Debt With No Diploma, Report Shows.” Huffington Post, 4 June 2012. Web. 11
    Nov. 2012. .

    Korn, Melissa. “Boom Times End at For-Profit Colleges.” The Wall Street Journal, 22 Aug. 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. .

    Rabin-Havt, Ari. “An Education in False Promises.” New York Daily News, 20 Aug. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. .

  20. The most important step to obtaining financial stability in your future had always been to attend a university and get a degree. But, are state and community colleges actually helpful in diminishing the, always rising, prices to attend college? As the years passed, the average price to attend a university has been rising exponentially, especially compared to the mid 20th century. It is becoming a burden on the poor college students coming right out of school into a depleted job market with a copious amount of debt on their hands. The ability to limit costs of universities has been at the top of the department of educations list and of the presidents. They see our struggles but it is always very difficult to cut costs while also raising quality. They even call it educations “Mission Impossible.” Overall, in the past couple years the price inflation to attend college has decreased significantly the past few years due to federal help. In fact it even went down, but how long can that last? As the years progress the comparative advantage to attend college over getting a job right out of high school is going to continue to disappear. Something drastic must be done to the tuition prices if universities still want kids to attend. Students are going to start realizes the absurd amount they are paying in tuition is not going to be worth going to school. They come out with way too much debt and lacking job opportunities. Granted there will be plenty of us who come out of school fine, but im thinking in the overall expanse of things. As of right now, yes state schools are trying as best they can to cut costs for students attending college. The leaders of education in our society see how it is a problem and needs to be fixed post haste before it gets any worse.

  21. My response relates to the question asking, “Why do so many students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities?”

    -Non-profit universities and For-profit universities differ in the basic sense that a person can own a part of a for-profit university; however, not in a non-profit private university. I believe that students tend to pay more money in order to attend certain non-profit private universities because they believe that they will be better off receiving an education from a university with a reputation, which most elite non-profit universities tend to have. Universities such as Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford all have reputations for accepting only academically superior students who plan on learning a variety of subjects from some of the best professors in the country. The fact that if a school has a reputation like these schools do may certainly entice a student to pay more money to attend because they believe that they will benefit more by attending. On the contrary, if a large For-profit school such as DeVry University who has over 90 locations throughout the US and a multitude of online degree programs, according to, offers a lower price than that of a school such as Stanford, a student who is qualified for both will most likely choose Stanford based on the reputation that its built throughout history. Both schools may offer a tremendous education and although there may be large differences in price, the reputation of a particular school always has a significant impact.

  22. State schools and community colleges help contain the costs of colleges, while devaluing the worthiness of college degrees due to the current job market. Many researchers for the Wall Street Journal acknowledge that college graduates fare better than those with high school diplomas, yet question the claims and extent of the advantages of the degree. While the Census Bureau (in their 1999 estimates) estimateded over 40 years a college grad will earn on average $780,000 more, economist at the Wall St. point out the fact that this statistic is just one number. The Census Bureau does not take into account the debts , most prevalently the debt caused due to the increasing costs of university. They also don’t account for hours of work input and income tax, both of which water down their bold statistic. The advantage of having a college education isn’t as much as an advantage as once claimed, yet more people keep buying in. As more and more students earn degrees due to the local level colleges, the degrees themselves lose value, as well.

    Pilon, Mary. “What’s a Degree Really Worth?.” Wall Street Journal 2 2 2010, Print.

  23. Why do so many students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities?
    I believe students pay so much more money to attend non-profit private universities rather than going to state schools or community colleges because of the reputation. A community college is known for being the less expensive and shorter college option. Because community colleges are shorter time periods, the curriculum is smaller too. People are more willing to put the money into a school if it has the standards of Harvard, for example. When someone sees a prestigious school on job resumes, it creates an early impression. On the other hand, when someone sees a community college, they can sometimes think less of a person because maybe they are not as qualified even if they learned the same information. Credibility increases more with a prestigious school compared to a school run by the state or a community school. Students think they will receive a better job and higher wages if they have a school like Harvard on their job resume. According to ( community colleges have less of a work load and little to none campus life. To some students campus life plays a major role in determining which school to attend. At the University of Florida, $2,658 in state tuition, $21,107 out of state tition is far less than Princeton University, $35,340 tuition and $46,629 total costs. Despite these differences, students will choose to attend private schools. According to a survey by GALLUP Politics, people maintained that private universities had 78% good/excellent quality and public schools received a score of 37%.

  24. Regarding the question of why individuals pay so much to attend certain private schools is due to the name it holds. People want to graduate from a school that others have actually heard of. Individuals feel as though if they get a marketing degree from a public school many have not heard of, versus a well-known private school, that they will be more successful in life. People feel as though they are receiving a better education as well as being able to obtain a better job in the workforce. The price you pay for school does not give one an ultimatum of where he or she may end up later on in their life, but rather their education. No matter how much one pays to attend school, it’s the education that one gets out of it that truly matters. A Forbes article online states that there are six classes that will make an individual employable. This article does not state six classes from a certain school or from a certain teacher, but rather just the classes. This shows that the student is largely responsible for the education they receive and obtaining a job later, when in the market. The classes that this article deem to be necessary for receiving a job after college include economics, statistics, computer programming, calculus I, communications, and financial planning and management. Overall, statistics show that it is not only the school one attends to receive a great job outside of college, but rather the education one receives and how well one can use it in their later years.

  25. State schools are extremely helpful in containing college costs. Many arguments deem the advantage of paying for a full four years (or more) at a notable and experienced college or university is that you earn a degree from a more prestigious educational system, therefore giving you a benefit in the workforce. One factor that cannot be dismissed, however, is that you earn a degree from where you graduate from, not from all of the places that got you there. This means that after two years of study at a state school and two years of study at one of these prestigious systems, you would still end up with the same degree as someone who would have attended the system for all four years.
    A study was done in Massachusetts that looked at the average savings of people who attend the typical four years of a college or university and compared those savings to savings of people who did the typical two years at a state school and two years at a college or university. This study proved that the people that attended state schools saved nearly twice as much as those who attended the four year colleges and universities. Those attending the state schools still ended up with degrees from prestigious colleges and universities; however they did not pay as much.
    It is evident that state schools are financially beneficial, however is it worth it? It has been said that not all debt is bad debt. Debt that is considered good debt would be education. Attending a four year college or university will benefit in that you will gain the experience, knowledge, and overall understanding in the field you wish to study. State schools do not necessarily offer hands on and skillful exercises you might be looking for. The question arises then; is the experience, knowledge, and understanding of your field of study worth the amount of a four year college or even the cost of graduate school?
    Personally, I believe that state schools are the smart choice for those who are financially deprived. The only thing you could possibly miss out on is the overall college experience, however the savings might mean more to you than the college experience.

  26. I believe that community colleges provide students with a relatively cheaper pathway to obtaining a degree; however, they do not contain the costs of education entirely. According to the Breakthrough White Paper, the average annual tuition of community college for students living in state is about $2,017 and $20,492 for students at private four-year colleges. The difference in cost is pretty significant, but do students get the same benefits from community college as they would get at a private four-year college? From an economic point of view, both community college and university markets are in a state of equilibrium, where the cost equals the benefit. So although community colleges cost less, the benefits are also less than the ones students receive from more expensive schools. At Breakthrough Collaborative research has been done showing that on average graduates from community colleges earn $13,000 less than graduates from private four-year universities and colleges. Looking back at the average annual tuitions there is about an $18,000 difference in cost. These numbers prove that if you invest more money into your education you are more likely to receive more out of it (your income is going to be higher). Essentially students get what they put into their education. This is not “containing” the cost of education. Students are only paying more for more success in the future. In order to “contain” education costs there needs to be a system that allows the same amount of success to students who pay less for their education. Not only is there a gap in benefits but also in how long in takes to graduate. Another study done at Breakthrough Collaborative shows that on average it takes 2 years longer to complete a bachelor’s degree at a community college. That means on average students at community colleges pay two more years worth of tuition, not to mention the opportunity cost of two more years out of the labor force. Although students at community colleges are paying less, they also run the risk of paying for more years at school than those students at private colleges. Community schools, though beneficial to many, do not serve the purpose of containing the costs of education.

    Breakthrough White Paper: Four-year Colleges vs. Community Colleges by Breakthrough Collaborative

  27. In regards to the question asking about why college students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities, there is one straightforward answer: reputation. These universities set high standards to maximize the success of their students upon graduating. The perception is that they have more top-notch professors, smaller class sizes, and a greater amount of involved students than public universities and community colleges. According to a UCLA survey presented by U.S. News, the number one factor that students rated to be “very important” in influencing their final selection was whether the college has a good academic reputation. Students would rather wear a sweatshirt that read, “Harvard University,” than one that read, “Northern Virginia Community College” because they are concerned about what others might think of them and the credibility of their education. The second factor that students rated to be “very important” in influencing their final selection was whether the graduates of the universities and colleges get good jobs. In the 2012-2013 PayScale College Salary Report, it is shown that the top public school (United States Naval Academy at Annapolis) mid-salary potential averages to be $122,000, which the top private school (Princeton University) mid-salary potential averages to be $137,000. This is a difference of $15,000. While non-profit private universities may have a higher reputation and mid-salary potential, it is not proven that students who attend them are happier. Thus, the question of whether these universities are worthwhile is up to the individual.


  28. Today the cost to further your education has skyrocketed. More and more people are deprived of furthering their education due to the high cost. In order to be successful most employers look for a college degree which cause people to become jobless. Not everyone is able to afford paying off tons of debt and people get denied financial aid, making it harder to further their education. In New Jersey, “College officials said tuition continues to climb because of decreases in state funding and increasing costs related to health care, faculty salaries and other areas. They also argue tuition rates are often just a sticker price at a college because the majority of students receive scholarships or other forms of financial aid to help reduce the total bill.” States have made it better and more accessible to afford colleges by creating community colleges, which are significantly cheaper than other universities. The problem is a lot of community colleges only offer a two year program that would earn you an associate’s degree. Even though this is a solution to allow more people to afford college and not be in debt, it also deprives people of earning other degrees. Community colleges are also limited in their majors and courses offered which in the end leads to a deprived education. Students want to earn a degree from a noteworthy university thinking it will help them earn a job in the long run. Community colleges are frowned upon because people think they are deprived from better professors with more in depth classes and materials. Students assume community colleges won’t have high standards to push their limits for success, which isn’t entirely true. The amount of education a person receives depends on how much effort they put into learning, studying, and how they chose to use their education. Community colleges just as universities like James Madison provide the same education but at a more affordable price, making higher education available for more people. I believe certain states are more helpful with cutting down the cost of college than other states. For instance, New Jersey is one of the most expensive states to attend college in even for in-state tuition. “Nearly all of the New Jersey schools raised their tuition and fees faster than the rate of inflation, which has been less than 2 percent since May, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” But, some states offer scholarships and for-profit colleges to help cut down the cost. In today’s world it’s looked down upon to not have a college degree yet college graduates are not able to find jobs and their debt continues to grow. The question is if college is worth the high cost people pay for it?

  29. Like many other thriving businesses today, for-profit schools have become successful over the years largely due to good marketing and advertising. Currently, for-profits spend less than 20% on actual student instruction and focus spending millions more on marketing. In a study of 30 companies, only 17.7% of their revenue when toward instruction while 22.4% went into marketing and recruiting (Huffington Post). FRONTLINE talked to a former staffer from a California-based for-profit university who claimed she was under extreme pressure to sign up unexpectedly large numbers of students; usually from vulnerable populations of low-income students who are eager for a university degree with hopes of moving up in the career ladder. Often times these students are manipulated into thinking that “a college degree is going to solve all their problems”, when in reality many graduates leave these universities without proper certifications and degrees of little worth to prospective employers (PBS).
    But this isn’t the case for all for-profit graduates, as some students who enroll in trade, vocational, or certification degree programs that add to an existing degree end up gaining from their time and money spent at for-profit schools (Yahoo!). But the vast majority of the other students seeking degrees in career fields where employers take their school into consideration are unaware that their degree is viewed as having little worth. This limited job-outlook can also be said about non-profit universities as many recent graduates seeking jobs have had little luck, but this goes across the board due to competition and increasing numbers of students seeking higher educated and lower numbers of workers leaving the labor force. The important difference between the two, is for-profit universities are operated by companies that are expected to make a profit for their shareholders. The reason why they’ve been able to survive is that fact that essentially all their money comes from federal grants and loans, and these schools have been able to persuade students to apply for these loans by keeping them in the dark about the ridiculous amounts of debt they’ll accumulate by doing so. The for-profit education system is definitely not worth the investment as studies have shown that for-profit college graduates are less likely to get a job, but if lucky enough to get one, are often paid less (Yahoo!).


  30. My comment relates to the question why numerous students choose going to non-profit private universities. Like previous students mentioned that the obvious reasons are higher standard education and bright future employment opportunity. Actually, going to a non-profit college may not cost that much because this type of college tend to have more money available for grants. For example, when looking at Harvard University’s website, the tuition fees are $36,305 per year. However in realty, the university charge students by accessing each students’ finances year-by-year. Going to non-profit private colleges cost students a lost but Harvard operates a “need-bind” application system which students’ academic ability consider at the first place without consideration of their financial ability. In this approach, numerous students will choose go to a non-profit private college not just because of reputation but also the university will make a contribution to the fees. According to the, university calculated fees based on parents’ combined income. “In 2012-13, Harvard students whose families earn $65,000 or less per year will have their fees covered entirely, and even their flights home.” This method will provide another reason to explain why numerous students choose non-profit private college.

  31. There are a few reasons why so many students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities. The main reason is strictly because of the reputation certain private universities hold. If you think of a school such as Harvard or Yale, you automatically assume that the students who attend that school will be given a high paying job after graduation. In some cases this may be true but in reality a student who attends a public university and graduates with the same degree will still have a good opportunity of receiving an equivalent job. Also, most students want to graduate high school with the ability to say they will be attending one of these high reputation non-profit private schools in the fall. It would be a great achievement to be able to say this but in the long run, it could end up hurting your financial stability. Unless you come from a very wealthy family, these expensive private schools are very difficult to afford and usually are not worth the amount of money that is required. According to College Board, 44 percent of the country’s full-time undergraduates are enrolled at a four-year college with fees of less than $9,000 per year. Because of the high reputation that private schools have, the expense to attend is significantly higher. These students will be more likely to run into problems with dept later on in life after graduation and may turn out to be a financial burden on the individual. In society as a whole, students are paying all of this extra money for the “brand” of a private school thinking that it will lead them to more success and opportunity in the future.

  32. In regards to the question about why people pay so much more for private education, I think the biggest reason would be because they believe that a more prestigious education will lead them a high paying job. Private universities typically have good reputations and high quality educations. Choosing a private university education over a public university would mean that the benefits outweigh the costs. Many people who choose private education have received grants or scholarships. According to, some private universities will provide 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need or change loans into grants or scholarships. Assuming that alumni send a lot of money to these private universities, one could also assume that these alumni are making a lot of money. If someone were to be interested in a private university education and also offered grants or scholarships, they would most likely expect to be making a lot of money as well. According to, 19 out of 20 universities with the top earners in the United States were private universities. Employers typically value those with more prestigious educations and will most likely hire them over someone with a public university education. According to, 53% of college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. If the demand for jobs are so high because college graduates are becoming more and more abundant, employers are most likely weeding out candidates while paying special attention to where they went to college. In conclusion, people pay higher costs for private educations because they assume that they will receive high paying salaries or benefits in the long run.


  33. Many people strive to enroll in prestigious non-profit universities, but for what reason? The average cost of studying at a four-year private university in the US is $28,500. That is already a pretty steep price and that’s just the average. More prestigious universities charge much more per year. Cornell charges an annual undergraduate fee of a total of $57,125; more than the average US annual salary. Despite those ridiculous prices, people are obviously willing to pay them. I find it hard to believe that many students are willing to go into debt purely for the education. Most students want to earn a degree from a prestigious university in order to receive a higher starting salary right out of college and a higher paying job. However, either they fail to realize the costs of enrolling in a prestigious non-profit university or they feel that the benefits outweigh them. I also think a major reason that many students feel the need to go to such prestigious universities is because of the “name”. Many people want to be able to say that they graduated from a prestigious university, on top of a higher starting salary. Whether going to a prestigious university will pay off in the long run isn’t set in stone. It will depend on how fast the graduates will be able to clear their debt once they have a job. I feel like there is a much higher opportunity cost to go to a prestigious university than to save some money and still earn a degree, but it depends on the individual.


  34. The massive open online courses (MOOCs) were created for the purpose of higher education for all. It gives anyone who has set their mind on the goal of education for the sake of knowledge a chance to absorb all the information they want. Students would have the opportunity to be recognized for their work, regardless of socioeconomic status or what country you’re in. In a recent article in the Washington Post, Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, said they are discussing analyzing credibility of courses from edX (nonprofit MOOC led by MIT and Harvard). Coursera already plans to pay a fee to have the credit-worthiness of some of their courses to be evaluated by the council (Washington Post 2). A student would enroll in a course for free, decide at the end to pay a fee to take a proctored exam, secure a passing grade and then obtain credit toward a degree. This would stand by the initial idea of “free” education, but provide the opportunity to pay a fee in order to gain certification and credit. Other ways of making money is to provide job-placement services, as many companies have already shown interest in recruiting help from top students, and selling stocks to investors dedicated to higher-education and research (Washington Post 1).
    Because the long-term implications of MOOC learning haven’t been determined, many experts in higher-education have been paying a lot of attention to the research and development of these courses. The Bill and Melina Gates Foundation recently made a grant to MIT in June 2012 to develop and offer a new, free prototype computer science online course through edX and partner with community colleges to experiment these courses in a flipped classroom manner (Huffington Post). The potential changes in the education system by way of introducing the use of MOOCs is exciting and revolutionary; faculty could end up blending successful components of MOOC attributes into their traditional teaching techniques or devote more time into interacting with students versus preparing for lectures.


  35. My comment is regarding the question why do students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities. Typically, private universities are more focused on having their students learn rather than going by the curriculum. These universities are typically smaller so that they can get more attention from professors. The ratio of teachers to students is usually closer than at public universities. This allows for the students at private schools to attain more attention and help when they need it. The size also allows for there to be a very tight-knit community. This makes it a lot easier to get involved in activities and organizations around campus. This allows for a stronger sense of community among students. From talking to many of my friends that have attended private universities, another benefit is that there is a lot help from alumni when you need to get a job. Due to the tight-knit feel of these schools, the alumni are more than willing to help the new graduates find jobs and make recommendations. Private universities allow for a lot of connections.
    In most cases, private schools are very prestigious. Only the brightest and most involved can get accepted into these schools. Due to this, those who graduate are usually very dedicated and passionate about what they are there for. They believe the education they are receiving is worth the higher prices. Many companies look to these schools when hiring because they know they will be dedicated and hark-working in their fields. This gives them an advantage in finding the jobs with the highest salaries.
    Attending a private school may be very costly at the beginning, but the benefits will pay off later on in life. To many people, the value of a great school with the best professors is priceless.


  36. My comment relates to the question about why students pay more to attend non-profit private universities.
    Students want to attend non-profit universities because many believe that the university will send them off with a better degree than most. Thus, the students think they have a better chance of finding a well-paid job. According to an article by Forbes ( and using a list of private, non-profit universities from the education department (, I found that an overwhelming part of the top universities in the country are private, non-profit organizations. Most of them include prestigious universities such as Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Cornell, and many more Ivy schools. These rankings are mostly based on post-graduate success and student satisfaction but from a highly credible source like Forbes, most people would tend to agree with them regardless. As a parent or a student, and awarded the opportunity, I would want to attend a university that gives me the best chance of being hired right out of college. And it seems that the more expensive, private, non-profit universities are the best bet.

  37. Students pay more to attend certain non-profit private universities because of the higher likelihood of success in the future. In a report ranking universities by their graduates starting and mid-career salary, almost all of the top rankings (excluding the Military Academy West Point and the Naval Academy) are from private universities with the first public/state university appearing at 17 with SUNY – Maritime college. While state universities are also prestigious institutions that will likely produce enlightened and successful citizens, private colleges obviously have a better chance at doing so. Students and families know this when making decisions for their future, and are therefore likely to invest more in private universities and secure a prosperous future.
    “Full List of Schools – PayScale College Salary Report 2012-13.” PayScale. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.

  38. My response relates to the question asking why students pay so much to attend certain non- profit private universities. The most obvious answer to this is that they think that it will pay off in the long run. Because they spend so much money to go to a school where so many of the alumni has been successful, they expect that the same success will happen to them. However, according to the article, “Do Ivy League Schools Still Matter?” on, Blue Carreon suggests that it comes down to the individual, not the school. He states that having a degree from an Ivy League school does not guarantee anyone a well paying job. There have been multiple studies done in which some of them prove that having a degree helps, while others disprove that theory. One reason that it seems that student’s from Ivy League schools receive such high paying jobs after college is because representatives from firms go to those schools to recruit based off of reputations. Because of this, people who have it in their minds that if they want to be successful they need to go to Ivy League schools. They don’t mind spending a ridiculous amount of money to get a degree from a “brand- name” school because in their minds it will pay off in the future.

  39. I believe that the “for profit” education system is not worthwhile for many students. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee performed a two year investigation of these schools, finding that they received $32 billion from federal student aid in the 2009-2010 year. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as many students need the money to be able to pay for their education, but more than half the students that attend these “for profit” colleges do not even graduate. These people are putting themselves into debt for absolutely no reason if they cannot manage to get a degree. About 47 percent of student-loan defaults are the result of students who attend these “for profit” schools, whether they graduate or not. Considering the number of state and private colleges that exist compared to the number of “for profit” schools, 47 percent is a relatively huge number of students. However, not all of these schools are unrewarding, such as the Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. The Senate report stated that most students are finishing the program and finding jobs despite the high cost of attending. The few schools like UTI are part of the reason that “for profit” schools have not gone out of business, but for the most part, these schools are robbing people of their money with little return.


  40. I believe that the “for profit” education system is not worthwhile and the students have been duped. It seems as if all of the poor qualities of these schools greatly outweigh the good. These institutions are overly priced, have high student loan rates, low quality degrees, and poor job placement. Many people don’t even graduate from them. And, after all of this, almost 80 percent of their revenue is taxpayer money. So basically, the students pay about four times the amount they should be paying for a low quality degree that most likely will not land them a job. The only upside to the “for profit” education system is the fact that they accept a wider range of students than traditional education. The kids that struggles in high school and did not get high enough grades to get into traditional colleges are provided with the option of “for profit” schooling. Although, it would probably be a lot more cost effective for them to attend a trade school or try to get into a community college instead. The adults that tend to enroll in “for profit” institutions could also go an alternative route and attend a community college part-time as well. There are also so many online courses offered through other schools that it is not necessary for “for profit” schools to provide them. Then, all of the taxpayer money and government funding allotted to “for profit” education could be used to give more funding to public schooling, which is in great need of it. I do not think “for profit” education will survive, especially when more taxpayers find out their money is being wasted and used for profit instead of instructional costs or something more productive.


  41. Why do so many students pay so much more to attend certain non-profit private universities?
    First of all education benefits society by creating a workforce that creates wealth and it is basically the best investment that you could make. For in-state residents at four-year public schools, tuition and fees are up 25.1% from the 2008-09 academic year; over the same time period, tuition and fees at private universities rose 13.2%. Low-cost online education that requires zero student borrowing may displace a big chunk of today’s establishment. The fact that it hasn’t yet says a lot about the durability of colleges and universities, several of which predate the country’s founding. Rather than places of learning, colleges are turning into expensive screening mechanisms. “It’s not what you learn in four years at Harvard University that impresses potential employers; it’s the fact that you got into Harvard in the first place.” Students today believe that going to a non-profit university such as Harvard can ensure success through the aid and networking associated with attending the university. The riskiest investment is going to a “high-cost liberal-arts college that lacks a strong brand name, but doesn’t offer much aid, says Mr. Schneider. By contrast, a high-cost school with a strong brand and plenty of aid may be a “good buy.”

  42. I do not think for profit schools are worthwhile. Recently, many for profit schools have faced allegations about their quality of education. One reason is because of the percentage of revenue for profit schools are spending on marketing and advertisement versus educational services. On average, most for profit schools spend approximately 20-25% of revenue on marketing and advertising while spending 10-15% on educational services that are being provided to students. According to Ray Campbell, former financial counselor at the University of Phoenix, for profits are pushing students to start classes, whether or not they are financially or academically ready. Since these schools are operating for a profit, they seem to be more interested in getting the students to come to the school than they are about the education they offer. In the College Inc. video, 3 nursing students enrolled at Everest College for nursing degrees. They were promised by the college that they would be offered positions post-graduation because of the connections the school has. However, after paying close to $30,000 for a year of courses, all 3 students are unemployed. According to the students, they were not given proper training like they were promised, which has decreased their job opportunities. Throughout their education, they never set foot in a hospital or had any hands-on experience. Another issue with for profit schools is the amount of debt associated with tuition. For profit schools’ primary target market is working adults who want to continue their education. However, debt associated with for profit schools is almost double that of traditional schools due to interest rates on student loans. Plus, after attending for profit schools, it seems that most students are unable to get jobs in order to pay back the student loans.

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