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While college graduates undoubtedly land in higher-paid jobs (earning almost twice those with only high school degrees), that may be offset by the burden of interest payments on student loans. Colleges, including commuter community colleges, cost money to run and build, and they cost ever more as even third- and fourth-tier institutions try to entice students. Having spent almost a decade as a graduate student and professor, I was always struck by how resistant to change and questioning academic cabals could be. We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. Wow, did you just use the University of Phoenix as an example of an online institution as part of a pro-online article? One of the main vectors by which America is being devoured by the rest of the world is through the American education system, which has sold its very soul to the devil. First consider that Mexicans are flooding across America’s southern border on foot by the millions, literally. H1B Visa workers from India, China, Indonesia, Russia and other countries are moving today, as we speak, by thousands, flying into American airports, to displace American engineers in American companies.
But the most dangerous vector of infection is via the American educational system: high schools, colleges, and universities. The president of Harvard recently announced his retirement and appeared on Charlie Rose show.
If you cannot attend an elite school in this economy, you will not be able to find a job after graduation. And worst of all, there is NO way to avoid paying them, since there is NO way to bankrupt ANY student loan debt for ANY reason. Check out the real facts before you believe this moron and the sales pitch he is handing you. IT IS FAR CHEAPER TO IMPORT JOBS THAN HIRE AMERICAN WORKERS AT VIRTUALLY ANY TYPE OF JOB YOU CAN IMAGINE.
There are plenty of resources out there on the web that you can check out for yourself before you decide. This one, for example, would lead many of our people who are already deeply in debt and desperate to create financial suicide.
What we NEED are our manufacturing jobs back NOW and no more excuses from this POS wealthy-driven government. To such extent as this be true it is easier to understand the fundamental insufficiency of today’s lack of ideals and basic competency when those in charge care nothing for such abstract process. I know from your previous postings that you are retired and living on a farm, but you have never revealed what you did prior to your present status. The worst trend, however, is to assume that the only function of universities is to give out degrees. If a person cannot get a job after graduation, the distinction between training and education matters little. Higher education is NOT expensive because of the the teaching staff, but because of bloated administration and vanity capital projects: stadiums, new admin offices, etc. Teachers are not afraid of internet based courses, they are afraid that their administration and politicians wish to outsource them just like the rest of highly paid American jobs. There is a world of difference between on-line training with the purpose of getting a job and education.
I’m also a teacher and a tutor, which means that I understand the difference between lecturing from a book and actually TEACHING the material. Whether a MOOC or conventional lecture course in college, the primary benefit to the student is in the organization and structuring of the material, and the preparation of thought-provoking problem sets.
Yet students in a conventional course can ask questions, seek guidance, and get extra help from a TA.
Professionally, there will always be a role for somebody who can help a student assimilate novel modes of thought.
The advent of MOOC may ironically make education MORE of a personalized experience, since that is the primary way that colleges can differentiate themselves from the cheap diploma mills. But until then, if you are confused by the problem set or lost in a large lecture, give me a call!
Doesn’t that contradict your opening posit that the students are burdend by tuition debt? They wouldn’t need aid had the Gov stop subsidizing the loans, which drives up the cost of tuitions. I obtained my undergrad degree in accounting from a state university and my MBA from a private institution catering to working adults. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to attend college immediately after high school, and was not able to get my accounting degree until I went back to school full time as a freshman at age 40. During that time I also passed the CPA exam, and studied part time for my MBA, which I obtained in the early 90s. What I learned from first-hand experience was that, unless you come from an elite school, you will only progress just so far up the corporate ladder, but no further. I am not bitter about not being able to pursue either a career as a CPA or as an attorney, since I think both would ultimately have been a mistake.
I consider myself to be the exception, not the rule, mainly because of my strong desire for continuous education, which is why I can understand your viewpoint. However, this is a cautionary tale, not one I would recommend for anyone who does not have a strong desire to succeed regardless of the circumstances.
Their website does not indicate that it is any sort of degree granting institution, nor does it appear to be accredited. If a person is simply interested in learning about something, perhaps this is a good place to find out more about the subject.
I notice that you have simply ignored my question regarding your actual qualifications to express the opinions to so generously share with everyone.
Clearly, you have neither the requisite education nor experience to understand, much less criticize, what I write in my comments.
Inevitably, that leads me to the conclusion that, for reasons known only to yourself, you are desperate for attention, even if that attention is hostile. In the end it is not who I know or who you know that makes what we say worthy of consideration or not.


If the building janitor had come up with the concept of E-MC squared would it be any less relevant? I have invested more than a little time in attempting to understand your thinking, and found little thinking but a lot of mental reflex responses not unlike the knee-jerk from the physician’s hammer. Sorry, OOTS, an advanced education is simply not something you can fake, and I know you have no idea what I am talking about most of the time. Actually, it is YOU that have no idea what you are talking about much of the time, or you are simply incapable of communicating it effectively to anyone else. You are as one easily distracted by the magician so as to be unaware what is actually happening right before your eyes. The “advice” given in this article, from my practical perspective, is little more than an advertisement for the online school industry…is a national disgrace. What I think a lot of us aren’t taking into consideration of online education programs is the state of mind and ethics of our youth today. He was straightforward in stating that “…we are a few years away from online courses providing degrees and credentials that will be seen by the marketplace as adequate.
He was justifiably enthusiastic about the potential for students anywhere to sign up and take instruction from the most effective professors and instructors at nominal cost. When the local High School graduate is incapable of further education online, such is not a failing of online education but of the community’s “educational establishment”. The usual union programs accessible only to “members and families” are too discriminatory to meet this need.
Given that I had failed algebra in high school (due to non-existent study habits), I began to prepare by taking algebra at a local community college.
By sheer coincidence I found that I was able to go back to school by use of work-study, student loans and limited amounts of grants.
After my first semester, with grades of nearly 4.0 for the courses I had taken, the university dropped my probationary staus. I completely changed majors over the course of one summer between my sophomore and junior years. That I am opinionated and obstinate has helped immensely, but the most important factor is persistence in the face of adversity and failure. IF I had been born wealthy instead of poor I would have had a high probabilty of going on to become far more successful than I have without that advantage. I soon learned that a BA would get me nowhere teaching – it would require a MA at least. Back to the topic though…This country has been groaning about the sad state of American education standards for decades. The potential of online education is, obviously, yet to be brought to fruition, but is that any reason not to nurture it sufficiently to full explore said potential? Why scientists think your boss should play music while you work, What happens, for instance, when music starts getting repeated over and over (as it often does in retail settings)? Why scientists think your boss should play music while you work - What happens, for instance, when music starts getting repeated over and over (as it often does in retail settings)?
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According to economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 17 percent of students are in default, compared with 10 percent in 2004. Taking on a modest amount of debt for a degree that dramatically enhances your earnings power makes eminent sense. Most students earn a degree because the credential is required for almost all higher-paying jobs.
That is where the burgeoning world of massively online education presents such an opportunity.
It’s disruptive to the traditional model and profoundly threatening to the current economics of the academic industry.
The costs of obtaining needed credentials will plummet, and the ability to create more tailored, vocational programs aligned with the skills employers need will increase exponentially. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links.
Karabell above is to argue the merit of efficiently conveying the real knowledge and intellectual skills businesses may actually need today over the internet. University research, combined with government sponsored research (DoD,NIH,etc), is the ultimate root of the technologies that have kept the U.S. My education cost me far more in years than it did in dollars — if you count fellowships and stipends, I got more than I paid in. The learning itself happens mostly outside of class, as the student reads (and re-reads) the book, and works through the questions.


I encourage students to view the lessons at Khan Academy, but haven’t found that answers all their questions. As a non-traditional student myself, I sat in class after class watching the 18 – 25 year olds sleeping, texting, emailing and Facebook-ing their friends during lectures. Younger students as a rule lack self-discipline and still need the structure of a butt-in-seat class.
One of my degrees is an ABET comsci degree and I got it by learning technologies that were no longer in use when I graduated. Karabell gave a balanced description of the potential for online education to deliver educational information less expensively than is today possible at physical trade schools, universities and community colleges.
An MA would cost upwards of 30K with no teaching jobs in site with teachers being laid off left and right.
As a nation, our descent into inferior status year after year is almost legendary worldwide. We are being sold a bill of goods by Republicans in Congress that we need to protect the corporations’ dollars as a number two priority (the first being to impeach Obama of course) and now suggestions are everywhere that a) privatized online education for middle and high schoolers and b) online education for higher learning, are great ideas. This smartphone has a 5-inch TFT HD IPS touchscreen display with 1280×720 HD resolution. The primary reason for spiraling student debt is the soaring costs of a college education at a physical college.
And a large portion of those defaulting are over 30 years old, which means that the problems with student debt don’t disappear with age.
Yes, interest rates on federal student loans are too high relative to mortgage and market rates, and they are set to go higher this year, possibly to nearly 7 percent.
If the cost is between $25,000 and $75,000, and more than $200,000 at elite schools, then that is the price that must be born. Institutions like the University of Phoenix have been offering online courses since the 1990s, but this new wave is larger in scale and now includes traditional universities.
The elite schools have embraced the online world because it allows them to use the power of their brand to extend everywhere. We’ll hire an adjunct for three thousand dollars a semester, and we’ll have the students watch this TV show.’ Their faculty is going to dwindle very quickly.
Yes, we are a few years away from online courses providing degrees and credentials that will be seen by the marketplace as adequate.
Many are embracing it, and many are resisting it because it represents change to a world that often moves at the pace of medieval guilds.
That will likely lead to some shrinkage in the number of physical institutions offering degrees, but an increase in the number of people obtaining them. However, an education requires a great deal of interaction between students and professors and between students themselves. This could contribute to brick and mortar costs so the price of that education could be more reasonable and enrolment would increase. Moreover, I question the ability to construct and correct meaningful problem sets in that environment. When they get out into the real world of real jobs, they need to have demonstrated they satisfied that commitment. The students lose because they come out with an inferior education, still-crushing student debt and fewer skills to succeed in the real world. My employer asked me to drop out of college because it was wasting their time and money (my school was teaching me things that violated my corporate security policy and I almost lost the job I was in because of it).
He regrets going to college and claims becoming an electrician would have been a better choice.
Why are corporations seeking middle & upper management employees from other countries? Plus, I have no faith in our youth having the discipline to stop using stupid acronyms, to capitalize a sentence, or to pull off a degree with even a 2.5 GPA.
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Online education strips away all of those expenses except for the cost of the professor’s time and experience. But the problem with student debt is not that it has gotten so large so fast; it’s the extent to which a college degree has become so expensive for so many who cannot afford it, yet leaves so many with a credential that is excessively costly relative to the skills it offers. But many community colleges find the prospect more challenging, as it could well undermine their mission and the need for them. Eventually, that dwindling is going to make it to larger and less poverty-stricken universities and colleges. For now, taking courses online may enrich your life, but it will not provide the entree into jobs requiring a degree, whether associate’s or bachelor’s. It will also mean that those taking on debt – especially at elite schools – will be those most likely to be able to bear those debts, while those who need more specific and vocational education for decently paid but not high-paying jobs will not be saddled with loans out of proportion to their earning potential.
Unfortunately, the trend since World War II has been to increase the number of degrees given out for mere training. Multiple-choice testing may suffice to prove understanding, but it is a weak vehicle for learnings.
The average debt burden is $27,000, though that is skewed higher by a small percentage who owe a lot more.
New companies such as Udacity and Coursera have been experimenting with new models, ranging from per fee, limited-enrollment classes with select professors to the so-called MOOCs (“massive, open, online classes”) that attract tens of thousands of students per class. Many fields of graduate study will be untouched, but many others – law, accounting and others – are ripe for online credentializing.
The amount of student debt has doubled since 2007, tripled since 2004, and many economists believe that the effect on the overall economy is negative. Students anywhere in the country and indeed the world can sign up, take a course with skilled professors, meet with other students in their area for study groups and learn the material.
Even more crucial, they assemble a menu of courses that combine pure learning and more-tailored vocational studies based on skills needed for particular jobs.



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