Jordan called me up and we had a nice discussion about the racket known as the higher educational system in the U.S. Jordan had an interesting point about the adverse effects of federally subsidized tuition. Now being the beneficiary of a lavish scholarship, I know the value of “investing in education”. If I didn’t have a scholarship, I probably would’ve gone to USL instead of LSU. There’s no shame in that. In fact, giving someone a scholarship to go to a higher priced school further away from home…may not always be good. Think about it, a 17-18 year old who isn’t extraordinarily smart may be well served to go to the local school for a couple of years while living at home. That way if they flunk out it’s not at such a huge cost to the taxpayer (and the parents, once you consider the costs of a dorm etc.) Moreover they are less likely to flunk out if they live close to or at home (I can think of a very specific example to which this could apply). The two year performance can be the benchmark for scholarships to the better schools. Let’s face it, the first year or two of college, unless it is at a high end school, is taught by grad students like myself. Now, one could learn a lot from Scottie (who is an instructor and not professor), probably more than from a math professor, but let’s not deal with outliers. All the cool classes are only available for juniors and seniors, and at that stage flunkers are already gone. Ohio State has an atrocious attrition rate (like 25%). 1/4 of all freshmen are gone by the end of the year. OSU is fighting that by lowering standards and inflating grades…I think they’re following the ivy league model on that front. How many of that 25% is receiving federal or state aid (my guess is a lot)? I think the whole question of federal and state aid for scholarships needs to be addressed.

Posted at 06:04 pm by Johnny B

True cost of tuition
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