Sunday, April 15, 2012

The cost of higher education

I thought the article in The Times-Dispatch was interesting and slightly alarming. One trillion dollars in debt is considerable. But considering most of the colleges I visited all had huge campuses with several facilities, something tells me that if federal funding was reduced they wouldn't just look around and say, "Welp, guess we'll have to mothball a couple of the departments and slash coaching salaries." Aaaand I think that's a good guess as to why student tuition has increased. But the most interesting point of the article was that the benefit of having an undergrad degree has diminished in that it may not prepare you adequately for a job straight out of college.
I can definitely relate to that. Getting a degree in Biology helped critical thinking skills and problem solving, but working in a lab? Data collection? Statistics that go along with data collection? Designing experiments? Managing a lab budget? Nope. The one thing it did prepare me for, unfortunately, was just going to grad school.
I think it'll be interesting to see if colleges redesign their curriculum or refocus their efforts on better preparation for after college. But the question is, will they do this before or after student debt becomes insurmountable?
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