Page 1 of 29 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 284

Thread: Duke University: $60,000/year is a discount

  1. #1
    Member
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    656

    Duke University: $60,000/year is a discount

    On the way to work this morning, I listened to an NPR segment on rising undergraduate tuition costs. Duke University was the main example, where it's at $60,000/year for undergraduate tuition. They interviewed some university officials who defended these costs, saying that they are actually giving students a discount with these rates, and actual costs are closer to $90,000/year. The things they claim go into these astronomical costs? New buildings on the campus. Financial aid for other students (that's right, they fund financial aid by charging other students more money). Administrative costs (the president of Duke is making $1,000,000/year), and finally, faculty costs. Now this was the big one. A place like Duke University invests (and earns) a lot of money through research, and the main argument was that having incredibly expensive researchers working at your university has very little to do with undergraduate education. Which is absolutely true, and it's outrageous to try and dump that cost onto students.

    They way I see it, these are essentially research mills that are trying to finance every one of their expenses by prying money out of middle class/upper-middle class young adults. Meanwhile, they continue to de-emphasize liberal arts and push people into the direction of STEM fields so that the students will come back and make them more money as under-paid post-grad researchers. I realize that research is expensive, and that it's important, but offloading this cost onto your undergraduate population is reprehensible, IMO. And it's not as if people have an acceptable alternative through public education. University of California costs are equally astronomical (UC Berkeley was over the $50k/year mark in 2010), and they're following the same research mill models, too. Public colleges that aren't research mills are being defunded.

    I know there's a few members here with children. What are your expectations about college? If there's any undergrad members, how are you managing?

  2. #2
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
    Type
    ENTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,605
    To be clear, I believe you're referring to "cost of attendance", which includes not only tuition, but room and board, books, fees, etc. Not that college isn't still exorbitant - but the 50K number is not all tuition:

    According to collegedata.com, these are the current costs for UC Berkeley:

    Cost of Attendance In-state: $33,320
    Out-of-state: $56,198

    Tuition and Fees
    In-state: $12,864
    Out-of-state: $35,742

    Room and Board
    $15,180

    Books and Supplies
    $1,226

    Other Expenses
    $4,050

    Costs for Duke (which apparently has no "in-state" option, as it is private):

    Cost of Attendance $62,248

    Tuition and Fees
    $45,376

    Room and Board
    $12,902

    Books and Supplies
    $1,300

    Other Expenses
    $2,670
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  3. #3
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,923
    I go to a public state university where tuition costs just over six grand. It's also the biggest research school in the state. I say if you don't like it, don't go to Duke. I don't know where you're getting your numbers for Berkeley though, I just looked it up and in-state undergrad tuition is about $13k.

    Also if anything is gonna push people back into college it's the liberal arts. STEM fields force people to become underpaid researchers? Seriously? The difference between STEM and liberal arts is that you can get a job that pays well with a STEM BS.

  4. #4
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    New World
    Posts
    3,238
    INTPx Award Winner
    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post

    They way I see it, these are essentially research mills that are trying to finance every one of their expenses by prying money out of middle class/upper-middle class young adults.
    Yes, this has essentially been the fundamental business model for how to run a university since the Middle Ages. They're not supposed to be mass vocational training centers--supporting research is the primary social purpose they are designed to serve, and they're designed to fund themselves in part by having people who want to be initiated as professional researchers pay dues for the privilege.

    They've become an overpriced racket in the US partly due to this stupid idea that everyone, regardless of their intended profession, should borrow money from a bank to go get themselves a bachelor's degree before they enter the workforce. Good for the banks, and good for the universities' research budget, but not such a great deal for most students. I feel this would be common sense were there not such a propaganda campaign to the contrary.

    If it's genuinely the case* that a person in a First World country can no longer be economically productive without more command of math, literacy, writing or what have you than can be taught in 12 years of free public education, then we should be talking about adding a tertiary stage to everyone's free public education. Complaining about how expensive liberal-arts universities are getting (and I'm including purely or mostly academic STEM programs in that category) is a big red herring there, IMHO.

    *And I'm not sure it is. High schools have been repurposed into dedicated college-student factories, often at the expense of programs that prepare kids for entry into skilled technical fields that don't require college degrees. This may well be realistic and necessary, but if it is, that has yet to be proven to my satisfaction.

    I know there's a few members here with children. What are your expectations about college?
    Well, I'm definitely not doing to my son what my parents did to me--aggressively push the idea that "getting into a good school" should be monomaniacally regarded as the entire purpose of childhood and adolescence.

    As far as I've gotten thinking about it, my plan is generically to encourage him to explore and develop his interests, and then if something he specifically wants to do requires a college education (which is likely, I know) do what I can to help him pay for it.

    It will piss me off to no end if he can't pursue what would otherwise be a promising career for him due to me being downwardly mobile compared to my own parents in a stratifying economy, but the thing is I have a lot of confidence in his intelligence and ambition, which makes me think he'll be just fine one way or another in either case. I have no intention of pushing an agenda on him.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by pathogenetic_peripatetic View Post
    STEM fields force people to become underpaid researchers? Seriously?
    Um, now that you mention it this is what happened to the majority of math/science majors I went to college with. (My school didn't have an engineering program, so call it "STM" or something.)

    Several years of gutting it out as an annually rehired 'research fellow' at various universities or corporate quasi-nonprofit research foundations, followed by an eventual realization of "well, fuck it, I might as well go get that PhD if I expect to ever get a real job doing this."

    The most professionally successful people I know working "in their field" are almost entirely kids with wealthy parents who majored in philosophy and then went to law school.
    Last edited by Roger Mexico; 02-21-2014 at 05:01 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Tatooine
    Posts
    1,324
    So don't go to Duke or Berkeley. There are lots of other options.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,254
    Schools are spending tons of money on new facilities because that's what students want. When people quit paying for it Duke will stop charging for it. But right now I would wager that Duke's admission rate is somewhere around 15-20%, so obviously it's worth more to people than you think. The upside of a Duke education is that an undergrad could end up working for one of those world-renowned researchers and use his/her connections to get a career started. And having a big-name school on your resume definitely gets it more attention than having gone to Huge State U, not to mention how it compares to Unknown State U. If you don't get your $240,000 worth out of going to Duke, you're hopeless. That shit should set you up for life.

    Could it be done more cheaply? I'm sure it could, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth the cost.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,036
    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    On the way to work this morning, I listened to an NPR segment on rising undergraduate tuition costs. Duke University was the main example, where it's at $60,000/year for undergraduate tuition.
    This is tuition, room and board, just to be fair - but it is freaking insane all the same.

    From Duke website


    But they also say "Over half of our undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance."

    The graph and the statement don't compute, like financial assistance and financial aid might be different. Also, are loans financial aid? Probably, because last time I paid to put a kid through college that's all the aid we got.

    They interviewed some university officials who defended these costs, saying that they are actually giving students a discount with these rates, and actual costs are closer to $90,000/year.
    Yes, I heard this story as well. College A costs X, College B costs 2X but REALLY they are spending 3X on each student, so can't you see B is a better deal? How this feat of levitation is accomplished, I have no idea.

    They way I see it, these are essentially research mills that are trying to finance every one of their expenses by prying money out of middle class/upper-middle class young adults and their families.
    Most kids can't come close, even with loans to financing an undergrad education this expensive. It's like asking your twelve year old to buy a new car with his paper route money. No, when you fill out the FAFSA it is clear 'they' are looking to strip a large chunk of net worth (past income) and current earnings (present income) out of the parents while counting on the students and parents to take out loans for the rest (future income).

    Meanwhile, they continue to de-emphasize liberal arts and push people into the direction of STEM fields so that the students will come back and make them more money as under-paid post-grad researchers. I realize that research is expensive, and that it's important, but offloading this cost onto your undergraduate population is reprehensible, IMO.
    I missed the radio show, if this is part of the reason, okay. What's frustrating is 30 years of college cost inflation way beyond normal inflation and there isn't a coherent 'WHY' out there that makes sense to me. This isn't something that should have a one liner toss off explanation like loan money. It is a national problem right up there with medical (another area where explanations are politicized and obscured).

    And it's not as if people have an acceptable alternative through public education. University of California costs are equally astronomical (UC Berkeley was over the $50k/year mark in 2010), and they're following the same research mill models, too.
    That must be out of state tuition plus room and board, but yea, crazy train expensive. I have friends sending a kid to Berkeley an I think they're footing about 25K a year which is most of the costs, but they're paying in state tuition.

    I know there's a few members here with children. What are your expectations about college? If there's any undergrad members, how are you managing?
    I have kids, one has finished college, two are going next year. My current 'pitch' is go in-state for undergrad to keep costs reasonable. Our state schools are okay, nothing stellar (although New Mexico Tech is a pretty cool little school and UNM and NMSU have nice campuses). All are affordable compared to private schools or out of state tuition. BUT, compared to thirty years ago when I got my BS, they are much more expensive. I bet in state college costs today are comparable to private school costs thirty years ago when I went.

    If they do well and have a field they want to specialize more in, I highly encourage grad school or more specialized schooling later. If they've conserved their money (and my money) as undergrads, this is much more feasible.

    Oldest did go to a private school. That's a long story, I'm glad he went there but I can't afford to do that again.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,036
    Quote Originally Posted by skip View Post
    So don't go to Duke or Berkeley. There are lots of other options.
    I mentioned this in another post - my parents could have sent me to Duke or Berkeley (if I could have gotten in) way back when. It was affordable for middle class. Why does it cost two arms and two left nuts now?

    And the cheaper options are getting more expensive every year, putting them out of reach for more people (or in reach if they give a chunk of their life savings).

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,254
    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    I mentioned this in another post - my parents could have sent me to Duke or Berkeley (if I could have gotten in) way back when. It was affordable for middle class. Why does it cost two arms and two left nuts now?

    And the cheaper options are getting more expensive every year, putting them out of reach for more people (or in reach if they give a chunk of their life savings).
    I think the increase in college costs are a direct result of all the loan money being thrown at students. Which is a result of the fact that student loans can't be discharged through bankruptcy. Lenders have no incentive to quantify the risk on these loans, so they give the money out like candy. If lenders were at risk of default, you'd see the money dry up real quick, especially for shitty colleges where students don't get a return on their investment. I'm not sure that would affect places like Duke or Berkeley though. More and more people are applying, which is why they can charge so much and get away with it. I'm sure they could bring down the costs if they wanted to, but if they can still attract the students they want, there's no incentive. They'll just spend the extra money on more research so they can get more awards and make themselves look better.

  10. #10
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    San Francisco, New California Republic
    Posts
    2,070
    Yeah, college tuition is getting stupidly expensive. The thing is that a ton of that money isn't being spent on anything that's giving the students a return on investment. I hope at some point there will be a decent alternative to college degrees as a signifier that people are worth hiring. Right now there really isn't though for most professions.

    As it is, even at the current costs cited here a college degree is still a worthwhile investment that will pay for itself multiple times over in the course of a typical person's working career.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

Similar Threads

  1. Generational theft, how do you 18-35 year old feel about it?
    By 99Problems in forum News, Culture & History
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 02-03-2014, 08:34 PM
  2. New Year's Eve Party Thread
    By MacGuffin in forum The Pub
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 01-01-2014, 02:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •