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September 15, 2006

Comments

It's fairly evident from the article that the situation is not as dire as it might seem on first glance. Many of the students at these colleges are past traditional college age, with job and family responsibilties. Even if they enter on a full-time basis they often have to switch to part-time, and not surprisingly that's going to lengthen the time until graduation. These colleges also have high transfer rates, and students who transfer elsewhere become classified as ones not completing their degrees even if they end up graduating from their new colleges.
Much ado about (almost) nothing, how typical for the Times.

Seems to me that a four-year degree should not be a 10- or 15-year project, regardless of graduation rate. I wonder how much better the results for those long-term degrees are than not graduating at all.

In previous blog posts, I wrote about how students who attend college but don't graduate don't earn much more than those who never attended at all (it's the degree that matters).

I'm experiencing this first hand, and it's rather depressing to look for work in the $10/hr range that doesn't require a degree. Waving around a piece of paper stating how many credits have been completed is downright useless, and the Associate's degree is slowly reaching that status despite the fact that it's still harder to get than a high school degree.

The disucssion and reasoning behind the article can be used to explain community college situation as well. You're dealing with people from poorer backgounds who in many cases have to fully support themselves in order to go to school. The fact they graduate at all should be considered a good thing.

I'd like to know how do students who transfer to other schools are counted in these schools and at community colleges. I know plenty of people who've transfered into these schools and for some reason or another switch to another public or private school. If they're counted as not graduating, that would inflate the statistics considerably.

If you did look at the chart of of public schools, I'll point out that the top three CUNY schools have a sizeable white population, and have some selective admission procedures that weeds out some of the worst students.

Seems to me that a four-year degree should not be a 10- or 15-year project, regardless of graduation rate. I wonder how much better the results for those long-term degrees are than not graduating at all.

I'd like to know myself since I've always pondered if employers would think non-traditional college students are inferior to those who completed their degrees in four years in traditional 18-22 age range. If they do, it makes getting the degree rather pointless if there's no income increase in getting the degree. The problem is that without the degree, you're stuck in the lowest paying jobs, and even the basic white collar government jobs are out of reach in some cases. In addition, socially, you're deemed lower class (and by default, inferior), and if you're a male, you're relationship material for only the worst of the skanks.

David, not to sound like a mom, but are you sure you've looked into all your financial aid/loan options -- for private as well as public schools? As big a pain as loans are, it seems it would be preferable to not graduating. Sometimes one school will give you a better package than another, so you could actually be better off going to a private school and living away from home, than going to the cheapest, closest public school you can find.

I figured that out too late. I got into better schools than the one I went to, but I got derailed by that "minimum family contribution" set by the federal financial aid people.

Spungen, this is from an earlier post, but yousaid your feminism is inverse to the attractiveness of the guy. Can you elaborate?

Spungen, you actually did sound like my mom when she was suggesting that I go to expensive private school X after leaving community college the first time.

I had thought about doing the whole private school thing, but my experiences at Stevens Institute of Technology had turned me off to the entire process. Plus, I really hated living on campus. To be an academic refugee who's older and poorer than the average member of the student body was just too depressing to deal with. At the public school, I could hide, go to school, and run back home, and do it rather cheaply and comfortably ($2.5K per semester, private school at best had run for $7K per semester). In addition, given my records, my chance for a generous aid package is nuked, and our EFC was deemed to be too high for any chance of financial aid.

The expectation that a dorm in either a private school or public school setting really wouldn't change much. I still wouldn't have the money or social skills (to cover up a lack of money) needed to attract women in the first place.

I had never really given up on the idea of completing college. In fact, somedays, I still think that I'll get a masters in public administration or urban studies. I think it's just fustrating for me as a former high school honour student to be in this predicament where I'm nearly three to four years behind schedule in graduating.

David,

Check out this site http://www.123collegedegree.com/

Apparently it was put up by a sailor who picked up an associates and a bachelors within one calendar year by taking the CLEP exams (which cost roughly $100 a pop) and then being given college credit for his test scores. There are three accredited colleges (Oak State, Thomas Edison and Excelsior) that let you test out of ALL of your college classes so you can graduate without sitting through a single class. The first two are state schools (CT and NJ respectively) and the third, Excelsior, spun off from the New York state system.

The website looks legit, the sailor posts his transcripts and what not. I suspect the company that creates the study guides sponsors the site (he plugs them an awful lot). Worth looking into, really a B.A. from Oak State looks better than say, 70 credit hours from Penn state.

Sorry David, revise that to-- a B.A. from Charter Oak State... (had the school's name wrong.
http://www.123collegedegree.com/bsintro.html

Well, Jack, I did marry a Republican.

David, I don't think they make you live on campus, you can get an apartment off campus. 23's still pretty young, but I can see where you wouldn't want to have to hang around 19-year-olds.

Funny how you always hear vague stuff about how black people have it so much easier with financial aid and admissions, but clearly that's not always the case.

Funny how you always hear vague stuff about how black people have it so much easier with financial aid and admissions, but clearly that's not always the case.

Black people who make above the EFC for financial aid pretty much end up becoming white people with dark skin for financial aid purposes.

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