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The Effects of Raising The Cost of Higher Education.


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#1
Assume Nothing
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Well, in the UK, the bill has passed, and the University Top-up fees are going to be raised from £3,000 per annum to £9,000 per annum from 2012.

I've been wondering; If the same happened in America, what would be the reaction from the public, and what would the effects be on the economy/society? Is there a better way? What would be the better way?

Discuss

#2
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Universities in America, just by googling it cost around $10,000 and upwards just for the tuition fees. So I would say that it's a similar situation.

I do not agree with the rise of tuition fees, and I was at the first protest, but thinking about it recently, It's actually a good idea. With fees starting from £9000, people will actually choose courses at university because they want to do them - it will make people think about what they want to do more. I know a few people who joined a course because they thought it would be fun, not because they thought they would get a career out of it, and this is the kind of thing the tuition fee increase will obliterate.

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There's a fat chance that in America more people will join the army just to let the government pay their degree.

#4
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Universities in America, just by googling it cost around $10,000 and upwards just for the tuition fees. So I would say that it's a similar situation.

I do not agree with the rise of tuition fees, and I was at the first protest, but thinking about it recently, It's actually a good idea. With fees starting from £9000, people will actually choose courses at university because they want to do them - it will make people think about what they want to do more. I know a few people who joined a course because they thought it would be fun, not because they thought they would get a career out of it, and this is the kind of thing the tuition fee increase will obliterate.

I know of a person who's parents wanted him to go to uni (very rightly), but his condition was that he would do whatever he liked. Any degree is good, it shows you can commit to something. From what you're saying it seems like you agree with that sort of thing, so if you are this post is kinda pointless :P

I don't really have enough knowledge about this to make a really concrete argument, but it seems the students oppose the rise because it's a way of filling in government cuts, not a way of improving universities. I have a feeling its a bit of both really, but mainly filling in the gap left by government cuts.

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I know of a person who's parents wanted him to go to uni (very rightly), but his condition was that he would do whatever he liked. Any degree is good, it shows you can commit to something. From what you're saying it seems like you agree with that sort of thing, so if you are this post is kinda pointless :P

I don't really have enough knowledge about this to make a really concrete argument, but it seems the students oppose the rise because it's a way of filling in government cuts, not a way of improving universities. I have a feeling its a bit of both really, but mainly filling in the gap left by government cuts.


If you enjoy it and want to make a career out of it, then I have no problem with that. I don't really have a problem with just doing any degree you want, It's just that at £3290 a year for tuition, it's not really a lot of money, so many people will put themselves in £10,000+ of debt doing a course they don't like and for no reason.

They are cutting university funding. My university for instance is receiving 70% cuts, which is one of the 'medium' levels. Another university is receiving 85% cuts.

It's not improving University quality, it's shutting out and prohibiting entry for those less well off.

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It's not improving University quality, it's shutting out and prohibiting entry for those less well off.


False argument. Higher education will still be free at the point of entry for anyone because the loans will cover the increased tuition fees. The cost of living won't rise except in line with inflation so the maintenance grant will still cover that.

I think the protesting students are taking a very privileged view that taxpayers should be paying for their degrees which are often being studied for the sake of their own interest. Of course degrees like science, medicine and engineering are adding value to the economy but is something like history? If people want to study that then that's fine but I haven't heard a good argument why taxpayers who might not have had the desire to go study their passion for three years should be paying for that.

The deficit is a real and unavoidable problem, other public sectors are all sharing the cost of the cuts, why shouldn't higher education?

It's hard to say what the effect will be but if it improves the quality of courses and cuts out all the mickey mouse degrees then that will be a good thing. If it cuts down the number of students taking degrees then that's probably a good thing too, since a lot are essentially unnecessary for their future jobs. I haven't seen any good arguments as to why it will decrease uni access.
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#7
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I thought you meant here in America. I was about to freak out. I already have to get my hands on every scholarship and financial aid I can find - and that doesn't include the fact that universities raise their prices every single year.
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Here in America the price of tuition is ridiculously high, and it's rising far faster than wages. I know it costs something like $500,000 to become a doctor in America, which is partly to blame for our ridiculously high health care costs. Education and health care should both be paid for. Assassin, I completely disagree with your assertion that degrees in "History" shouldn't be subsidized. Going to school is not just about learning things for a job. It's somewhere for people to learn maturity, to find out who they are; in some ways, an education outside of school. The populace as a whole needs to be educated, and not everyone has the ability to handle the hard sciences, math and engineering. So even if they just go for English, they are still contributing far more than if they weren't educated at all. With an educated populace, people learn how to handle money better, they can be more responsible, etc; ie, you subsidize their education, they make better life choices, which essentially reduces government spending in the long run. There's a reason why more education increases a country's GDP, regardless of the degree they're getting. Now I don't think the government should subsidize private university, as this leads to inflating tuition costs (they usually just raise the tuition prices without any need, and pocket the government money). If they want to compete with the public universities and colleges, they'll lower their tuition. I also don't think we should subsidize diploma mills or those "ITT Institute" scams. Also, the US should have more options for their higher education (apprenticeships and such). I think there can be diploma inflation, where cashiers have degrees in English or Philosophy etc.

However, the rise in tuition prices in England with the student protests are just a bunch of spoiled children throwing temper tantrums. Students pay for university in several ways from government cash in the UK. In this case two are the most important: firstly, loans to pay tuition fee at a subsidised rate of interest. Everyone gets these. Secondly, poorer students also get grants. They don't have to pay them back at all. What the NUS were proposing was to slash the grants and other forms of support for the poorer students so that no one would have to pay fees, greatly benefiting them and their posh mates and [bleep]ing everyone else. "Middle class" means a slightly higher class than it does in the US. It doesn't mean "middle percentile of income" at all.

#9
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I wouldn't touch the NUS with a bargepole, if I had one lying around, it's essentially a Labour Youth group, although it's done very well to hide that to a lot of students. My university agrees and has no contact with them. I have a few gripes with what the government is doing, but I agree that parts of it are a step in the right direction.


Firstly, universities must be completely transparent about what they're spending the fees on to the students, and publish everything on the Internet. They have no business keeping their financial details secret, because I can't imagine them trying to be anything other than corrupt as possible regarding this. They are, after all, private businesses.

Secondly, it shouldn't have free market elements at all. By simple supply and demand, the less useful and mass produced courses will have lower prices, and the more useful courses with greater prospects will have higher prices. I, a prospective Chemical Engineer, have made the decision to go on a career path which is frankly much more likely to generate bigger tax revenues than a History or Media Studies student. Will I not pay more for my degree anyway? Or is the way that tax scales with income wrong? If so, why not alter that instead?

I propose that there is still a flat rate, but increased. All universities should be completely transparent with their financial details, and from that information, a value can be set each year to cover it. It's like the original student fees, but linked to whatever costs it's trying to cover, rather than forcing universities to make do with a given kitty. I imagine it would be around the £6000 mark.

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#10
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Here in America the price of tuition is ridiculously high, and it's rising far faster than wages. I know it costs something like $500,000 to become a doctor in America, which is partly to blame for our ridiculously high health care costs. Education and health care should both be paid for. Assassin, I completely disagree with your assertion that degrees in "History" shouldn't be subsidized. Going to school is not just about learning things for a job. It's somewhere for people to learn maturity, to find out who they are; in some ways, an education outside of school. The populace as a whole needs to be educated, and not everyone has the ability to handle the hard sciences, math and engineering. So even if they just go for English, they are still contributing far more than if they weren't educated at all. With an educated populace, people learn how to handle money better, they can be more responsible, etc; ie, you subsidize their education, they make better life choices, which essentially reduces government spending in the long run. There's a reason why more education increases a country's GDP, regardless of the degree they're getting. Now I don't think the government should subsidize private university, as this leads to inflating tuition costs (they usually just raise the tuition prices without any need, and pocket the government money). If they want to compete with the public universities and colleges, they'll lower their tuition. I also don't think we should subsidize diploma mills or those "ITT Institute" scams. Also, the US should have more options for their higher education (apprenticeships and such). I think there can be diploma inflation, where cashiers have degrees in English or Philosophy etc.

However, the rise in tuition prices in England with the student protests are just a bunch of spoiled children throwing temper tantrums. Students pay for university in several ways from government cash in the UK. In this case two are the most important: firstly, loans to pay tuition fee at a subsidised rate of interest. Everyone gets these. Secondly, poorer students also get grants. They don't have to pay them back at all. What the NUS were proposing was to slash the grants and other forms of support for the poorer students so that no one would have to pay fees, greatly benefiting them and their posh mates and [bleep]ing everyone else. "Middle class" means a slightly higher class than it does in the US. It doesn't mean "middle percentile of income" at all.

In America, it's ridiculously hard to get any of your college tuition paid for. You can apply for scholarships, but unless you have absolutely perfect grades or are of a non-white race, you won't get anything major. Most people pay with a combination of student loans and working to pay through the debt. You can get a government grant, but that's essentially a loan since you have to pay it back. Sure, you can fill out a form for financial aid, but that includes the money that both your parents made and the money that you could make working full time -- thusly, they say that your family can "afford" to pay for much, much, much more than they actually could. If you go to a college aid office at your university, everybody will essentially lie to you in order to make the most money for the college.

I think it's a shame that university in America is turning into just another money-making, strictly-business enterprise. The costs are far higher than necessary, and the schools will do anything to keep them that way or higher.

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#11
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In America, it's ridiculously hard to get any of your college tuition paid for. You can apply for scholarships, but unless you have absolutely perfect grades or are of a non-white race, you won't get anything major. Most people pay with a combination of student loans and working to pay through the debt. You can get a government grant, but that's essentially a loan since you have to pay it back. Sure, you can fill out a form for financial aid, but that includes the money that both your parents made and the money that you could make working full time -- thusly, they say that your family can "afford" to pay for much, much, much more than they actually could. If you go to a college aid office at your university, everybody will essentially lie to you in order to make the most money for the college.

I think it's a shame that university in America is turning into just another money-making, strictly-business enterprise. The costs are far higher than necessary, and the schools will do anything to keep them that way or higher.


Completely agree, and that's partly why I support the current Administration's take on higher education. They're going after the "for profit" universities, such as Kaplan University, that have ridiculously low graduation rates, with only 28% of students paying back their student loans (44 percent of students at the largest for-profit, the University of Phoenix, were repaying their loans). Kaplan is what keeps the WaPo in business, as the newspaper loses money. It's just a scam to take kids' money where they'll eventually drop out or stop going, picking up government money from students they know will not graduate.

Thusly why I oppose government money supporting for-profit colleges and uni's like they currently do. And let's be honest: Ivy League charge as much as they do because they can. People going there can afford it most of the time. They get so much funding from tax-write offs by the wealthy, who contribute donations and then recruit people to work for them and their businesses.

None of this applies to the stuff going on in England, and I approve of what the government has done in this case (can't be said about many other areas, though, with their austerity fever and savage cuts).

#12
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It's not improving University quality, it's shutting out and prohibiting entry for those less well off.


False argument. Higher education will still be free at the point of entry for anyone because the loans will cover the increased tuition fees. The cost of living won't rise except in line with inflation so the maintenance grant will still cover that.

I think the protesting students are taking a very privileged view that taxpayers should be paying for their degrees which are often being studied for the sake of their own interest. Of course degrees like science, medicine and engineering are adding value to the economy but is something like history? If people want to study that then that's fine but I haven't heard a good argument why taxpayers who might not have had the desire to go study their passion for three years should be paying for that.

The deficit is a real and unavoidable problem, other public sectors are all sharing the cost of the cuts, why shouldn't higher education?

It's hard to say what the effect will be but if it improves the quality of courses and cuts out all the mickey mouse degrees then that will be a good thing. If it cuts down the number of students taking degrees then that's probably a good thing too, since a lot are essentially unnecessary for their future jobs. I haven't seen any good arguments as to why it will decrease uni access.

This is the only argument that makes any sense. The UK is looking at huge economic problems within a few years - this is a smart and proactive move by the government.

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#13
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As a resident of Indiana, I pay about $9070 (plus an "Engineering difference fee", which is about $800) a year to go to Purdue University. If I lived in any other state, I'd pay $26,622 a year.
Purdue University is a public school. Another school I considered going to was Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, which is a private school. Tuition alone for Rose is $36,270 a year. The more expensive schools in America cost upwards of $50,000 a year.

If tuition in America tripled for every school, only people with wealthy parents or people looking to become wealthy would ever attend (we'd see fewer and fewer liberal arts degrees). I don't agree with the idea that everyone deserves a college education, and I feel that some degrees are a waste of time. That said, I do believe that someone with the motivation to complete a degree should not be stopped by factors such as wealth, but part of that also is the guarantee they'd pay back all their debt.


You may view it as your cost of higher education tripling, but I see it as it increasing by $9000 a year, or going from a community college to a state school or a state school to a private school.

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#14
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I know of a person who's parents wanted him to go to uni (very rightly), but his condition was that he would do whatever he liked. Any degree is good, it shows you can commit to something. From what you're saying it seems like you agree with that sort of thing, so if you are this post is kinda pointless :P

I don't really have enough knowledge about this to make a really concrete argument, but it seems the students oppose the rise because it's a way of filling in government cuts, not a way of improving universities. I have a feeling its a bit of both really, but mainly filling in the gap left by government cuts.


If you enjoy it and want to make a career out of it, then I have no problem with that. I don't really have a problem with just doing any degree you want, It's just that at £3290 a year for tuition, it's not really a lot of money, so many people will put themselves in £10,000+ of debt doing a course they don't like and for no reason.

They are cutting university funding. My university for instance is receiving 70% cuts, which is one of the 'medium' levels. Another university is receiving 85% cuts.

It's not improving University quality, it's shutting out and prohibiting entry for those less well off.


The poor still remain protected, with up to 2 years free education for anyone who could receive free school meals (weird Conservative logic).

From the government's perspective, it would solve the Higher Education funding problem, and could also encourage people to make more informed choices of what to study. Courses that could encourage economic growth would be one of the government's objectives, such as Economics, Science and Maths.

Whereas courses like History, Sociology, and Philosophy are quite useless, and is considered a 'waste', for the government. Maybe it isn't such a bad thing..

#15
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From a student at a partially state funded university - it would suck if they did this in the USA, however as a libertarian I agree with privatizing education. So eh, who this really hurts is the people who look for pointless non money making degrees like those who want to go into the ministry or someone getting a philosophy degree

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American colleges are already expensive as hell (at least, big name ones are). There are quite a few ways you can get around that though. Playing a sport / instrument / good enough grades can get you big scholarships at mid-level schools. Some schools have huge "discounts" for lack of a better word for kids from that state, some have discounts for kids from out of state, etc. There are also tons of things like first generation students or people of certain ethnicities will get scholarships too,

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#17
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American colleges are already expensive as hell (at least, big name ones are). There are quite a few ways you can get around that though. Playing a sport / instrument / good enough grades can get you big scholarships at mid-level schools. Some schools have huge "discounts" for lack of a better word for kids from that state, some have discounts for kids from out of state, etc. There are also tons of things like first generation students or people of certain ethnicities will get scholarships too,


its not discounts for in state people, its massive out of state fees if your not

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#18
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Assassin, I completely disagree with your assertion that degrees in "History" shouldn't be subsidized. Going to school is not just about learning things for a job. It's somewhere for people to learn maturity, to find out who they are; in some ways, an education outside of school. The populace as a whole needs to be educated, and not everyone has the ability to handle the hard sciences, math and engineering. So even if they just go for English, they are still contributing far more than if they weren't educated at all. With an educated populace, people learn how to handle money better, they can be more responsible, etc; ie, you subsidize their education, they make better life choices, which essentially reduces government spending in the long run. There's a reason why more education increases a country's GDP, regardless of the degree they're getting. Now I don't think the government should subsidize private university, as this leads to inflating tuition costs (they usually just raise the tuition prices without any need, and pocket the government money). If they want to compete with the public universities and colleges, they'll lower their tuition. I also don't think we should subsidize diploma mills or those "ITT Institute" scams. Also, the US should have more options for their higher education (apprenticeships and such). I think there can be diploma inflation, where cashiers have degrees in English or Philosophy etc.


It's nice that people can learn maturity and find themselves whilst studying history, but that benefit to society is not as direct as learning applicable skills and you haven't convinced me that with a massive deficit taxpayers should still be paying for people to learn more about themselves. I don't doubt that people do learn skills studying arts and humanities, but the benefit is hard to quantify and the link between GDP and education levels could be correlation not causation.

Even if they don't go to university they'll still have had many years of education and will be still adults. People can learn all the essential life skills that uni might teach them in a job that might be better suited to them in the first place. I don't buy the link between subsidising arts and humanities and government paying less in the long run. I'm not saying all funding to universities should be cut, that's a separate argument. I think the government should subsidise these kind of courses whenever possible for their own sake, but in the current economic argument it's pretty hard to justify. The argument about tuition fees however is separate.
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#19
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Personally I'm not as annoyed as most people seem to be. In my view, it will actually give those who go to university more pressure to actually succeed and work harder at their prospective career than what currently happens which is having many people there not for a career but for the opposite, to hold off on a career. I know too many people at my university who piss their time away and don't put the effort in with their course. They will probably end up wasting their degree if they do succeed in getting it. With higher debt, they will be pushed to actually contribute or won't go to university in the first place.
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Assassin, I completely disagree with your assertion that degrees in "History" shouldn't be subsidized. Going to school is not just about learning things for a job. It's somewhere for people to learn maturity, to find out who they are; in some ways, an education outside of school. The populace as a whole needs to be educated, and not everyone has the ability to handle the hard sciences, math and engineering. So even if they just go for English, they are still contributing far more than if they weren't educated at all. With an educated populace, people learn how to handle money better, they can be more responsible, etc; ie, you subsidize their education, they make better life choices, which essentially reduces government spending in the long run. There's a reason why more education increases a country's GDP, regardless of the degree they're getting. Now I don't think the government should subsidize private university, as this leads to inflating tuition costs (they usually just raise the tuition prices without any need, and pocket the government money). If they want to compete with the public universities and colleges, they'll lower their tuition. I also don't think we should subsidize diploma mills or those "ITT Institute" scams. Also, the US should have more options for their higher education (apprenticeships and such). I think there can be diploma inflation, where cashiers have degrees in English or Philosophy etc.


It's nice that people can learn maturity and find themselves whilst studying history, but that benefit to society is not as direct as learning applicable skills and you haven't convinced me that with a massive deficit taxpayers should still be paying for people to learn more about themselves. I don't doubt that people do learn skills studying arts and humanities, but the benefit is hard to quantify and the link between GDP and education levels could be correlation not causation.

Even if they don't go to university they'll still have had many years of education and will be still adults. People can learn all the essential life skills that uni might teach them in a job that might be better suited to them in the first place. I don't buy the link between subsidising arts and humanities and government paying less in the long run. I'm not saying all funding to universities should be cut, that's a separate argument. I think the government should subsidise these kind of courses whenever possible for their own sake, but in the current economic argument it's pretty hard to justify. The argument about tuition fees however is separate.


You're looking at what I said from a purely economical model yet still, and seeing college as a place where you learn how to be a good worker. That's not its only purpose. So you more or less missed my point, or don't think it's very important; the mere environment gives college a solid advantage over any real life experience. Perhaps I didn't articulate it well enough, implying that you learn how to balance a checkbook or something.

Here's a start on the correlation thing, where the correlation strongly suggests causation:

http://economix.blog...d-to-argentina/

In addition, for the theoretical basis, we have a bunch of endogenous growth models that describe the role education and R&D have in growth.

http://econ.la.psu.e...es/endogrow.pdf

How can you even think it might be only a correlation and not necessarily a causation? It seems so intuitive - why would your parents want you to go to school if it didn't improve your income?




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