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1,500,000 fewer students are going to U.S. colleges and universities than 5 years ago

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Xerobull, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    This is good. The 'American Dream' of all kids going to college (not really sure where it started, but it's reality) is a giant suck on our resources. $100k for a BA degree is ridiculous. The college industrial complex needs a good kick in the nuts.




    College debt crisis drives more students away from four-year schools

    • As college costs continue to rise, interest in more affordable options has spiked during the pandemic.
    • For some students, even a coding boot camp can be an alternative to a four-year degree.


    Before the pandemic, college was a given for many high school students. Now, more are finding there are affordable alternatives that might make sense.

    Kate Lillemoen, 21, recently completed a coding bootcamp instead of finishing her four-year degree.

    Armed with a certification from Tech Elevator, Lillemoen now works as a software engineer in Columbus, Ohio.

    “Price definitely was a factor,” Lillemoen said of her decision to leave school and enroll in the 14-week program.

    “If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have skipped college,” she said.

    [​IMG]

    As college costs continue to skyrocket, interest in these programs spiked during the coronavirus crisis. At the same time, more large employers, including Apple, Bank of America, Google and IBM, stopped requiring college degrees.

    “Pre-pandemic, this was a fairly niche market,” said James Rhyu, CEO of Stride Inc., Tech Elevator’s parent company.


    “Over the past several years, we’ve expanded our offerings,” Rhyu said. “We really believe that the skills necessarily for much of the workforce is not going to be predicated on a four-year degree.

    “College is going to become a less viable alternative, partly because of economics,” he added.

    While some of Stride’s offerings start at $1,000, Tech Elevator’s full-time, 14-week program costs $15,950.

    Tech jobs are among the better-paying positions, even at the entry level, according to data from Glassdoor.

    A recent survey of high school students found that the likelihood of attending a four-year school sank nearly 20% in less than a year — down to 53%, from 71%, according to ECMC Group, a nonprofit aimed at helping student borrowers.

    Almost one-third of high schoolers said the pandemic’s financial impact made it less likely they will attend a four-year college, the report found. Students said they are putting more emphasis on career training and post-college employment.

    More than half said they can achieve professional success with three years or less of college, and just one-fourth believe a four-year degree is the only route to a good job. ECMC Group polled more than 1,000 high school students three times over the last year.

    “There has been a significant change in students choosing the traditional four-year path,” said Katherine Pastor, a school counselor in Flagstaff, Arizona.

    Pastor, who has worked at the Flagstaff High School for 16 years, said about half of students would go on to a four-year institution after graduation. Now, that number is down to 35% to 40%. More are opting for community college, trade school or a certification program.

    “This past year, everything in their world completely shifted,” Pastor said. “Their priorities have changed because of the pandemic.”

    A majority of both high school and current college students said that concerns around college affordability had an impact on their plans after high school and for college enrollment this fall, according to a separate survey by Citizens, which polled roughly 2,000 current or prospective college students and parents.

    There has been a significant change in students choosing the traditional four-year path.

    “There are phenomenal opportunities for people to build great careers that may not be a full four-year degree and you don’t have to borrow $100,000,” said Christine Roberts, head of student lending at Citizens.

    Overall, undergraduate enrollment fell more than 4% last year, according to data from National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, with the fall’s freshmen class accounting for the biggest drop, sinking 13% from a year earlier.

    This year, 63% of parents said their child’s post-high school plans have returned to what they were before the pandemic, according to another report by Discover Student Loans.

    But of those who have changed their college plans, most said they will now go to a school closer to home, attend an online university or go to a less-expensive alternative.
     
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  2. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    The entire secondary education system needs reform.

    Need more technical / 2 year programs for specialists.

    4 year degrees with 100 class hours in history / geology / wellness is just not worth it. That should be learned in K-12 and college should be specialization to prepare you too work.

    There should also be more cooperative programs where you can get on the job training / apprenticeships.

    Student loans should be able to be discharged in bankruptcy, whereby forcing banks to say no, I am not going to lend you 120k to get a philosophy degree, because you will not be able to pay it back and there is actual risk to me.
     
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  3. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    dam... all those years wasted
     
  4. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Pay tucker
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    College was the biggest waste of my time and money, what they’re saying is true unless you’re pursuing some sort of engineering degree etc
     
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  5. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    It took me 20 years to finish my BS in Computer Science, and to be honest, I really didn't need it for what I do now. I did it more for my grandmother than anything else. Degrees are important if you want to climb the management ladder in a company that you haven't started yourself, but in something like IT, which is a trade, you don't need a degree.


    Great post.

    I was discussing the (pointless) redundancy you face when you hit college with my oldest yesterday. He's in AP World History which should translate into college credits after an exam. I told him that he was lucky because I didn't have that option and I had to take American History, again, in college.

    I agree 100% that college should be treated more as a trade program for your specialization. If you're going into medicine, why would you need trig or calculus? It's utterly pointless and a waste of resources.

    I love the German model of school where it's a prep and tailored to your actual career path.

    1. Gymnasium (grammar school) until grade 12 or 13 (with Abitur as exit exam, qualifying for university); and
    2. Fachoberschule admission after grade ten until grade twelve (with Fachhochschulreife (between Abitur and Realschulabschluss) as exit exam). It is also possible to leave after grade thirteen and receive either the fachgebundene Abitur (if one hasn't learned a foreign language other than English) or the Abitur (with a second language at European level B1) ;
    3. Realschule until grade ten (with Mittlere Reife (Realschulabschluss) as exit exam);
    4. Mittelschule (the least academic, much like a modernized Volksschule [elementary school]) until grade nine (with Hauptschulabschluss and in some cases Mittlere Reife = Realschulabschuss as exit exam); in some federal states the Hauptschule does not exist and pupils are mainstreamed into a Mittelschule or Regionale Schule instead.
    5. Gesamtschule (comprehensive school)
    This is also why I offered my oldest the option to just get his GED and start college or a trade school. As a straight-A freshman he was bored and unsatisfied with high school last year. He decided to keep going because he saw that he was missing the in-person HS experience due to the pandemic. He's doing well now but I think he will really thrive in college or trade. He's extremely smart so we hope he goes the college route but he's also not really interested in STEM degrees so I will have to weigh in with reality if he wants an art or cooking degree.
     
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  6. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    Even in tech, the degree is only worth it if the program is good + school has alumni network + partnered company network that you can utilize. I did enjoy the mountains of free shirts/gear/etc. I got from partnered tech companies, but these days companies are willing to take a shot on you from a bootcamp background and even a self-learning background. I think I did get a head up on CS theory and such over people that didn't attend college, but the debt really sucks.

    I like the shift to lowering the barrier of entry for lower income young people from getting the foot in the door, but this is only true in a few fields. So many others are still very traditional and will throw the resume in the trash.

    I don't see the general stigma of not attending college dying out for a long time though. Especially if its reinforced in those high school social circles that you either go to college or flip burgers -- kids are super impressionable and will latch onto that.
     
  7. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    I slogged through 5 years of college for a BS degree all while avoiding tech only to reset a few years later into the tech industry. What ruined it for me then (aside from pure laziness) was a hs comp sci course for C++. You had to pay for these Borland CDs and the assignments mostly ended up with you debugging your **** over and over again. I prob learned most of my skills on the internet scripting dumb Starcraft mods or AOL progs. And now with the internet, your browser is more or less a compiler and there are online IDEs to learn off of.

    Either I'm getting old and/or Moore's law is minting me all these "shoveling snow" stories.

    What also betrays my age is back then I could "afford" to **** up with the wrong degree. In state tuition for the University of California only cost 5-7k/year. It was around 35k when you totalled it up plus the first year of dorm. I don't know how non doctors or lawyers can pay off 100k in debt with an entry level job. I was already shitting bricks at the thought of attending USC at 35k/year (it's now ~60k/yr). Others here can correct me, but I think in-state at UT Austin for my older sisters was around 5-8k/year.

    Yeah, degrees are a bit of a lie for 80% of the entry level jobs out there. Online education is also tearing walls down before random billionaires can put one up in their name.
     
    #7 Invisible Fan, Sep 21, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy 99ers STAND BY
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    Market regulating itself. College degrees and the prices they charge are not good value. And to clear student debt or further subsidize tuition - you're just giving a for-profit industry that needs to become more consumer-friendly a free pass.
     
  9. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    I have pushed this narrative for a good decade plus and I find it amusing it is finally catching on. That said, this narrative is not the same as those who just simply didn't want to pursue anything meaningful 20 years ago. Big difference.

    I think its also important to setup loose continuing education courses that are affordable, short and to the point. Many fields already have this, however most of them are online classes that nobody really pays attention to and do it to simply check the box, not for the information.

    As I am hitting middle age, I can see a huge difference between Gen Z and Boomers. While boomers often have the wisdom of experience, they often lag far behind on new ways, much less cutting edge tech.
     
  10. VanityHalfBlack

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    Man these guys had a plan all along. Should've taken notes.
     
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  11. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    There are plenty of people out there with more degrees than a thermometer who have $200K in student debt and are making 30K a year working at a nonprofit. Or not using their degrees at all.

    There are also plenty of people out there who never went to college and are making BANK working their particular trade.
     
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  12. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    [​IMG]

    My wife is one of those over-degreed people. She has two masters and doesn't even use one. In public education, she gets $500 a year for the extra degree, which is really a shame because that extra education really does shine in a teaching environment and the kids can benefit from it. She also has a bucket-full of extra graduate level courses for certifications. I ask her why she doesn't just turn it into an extra masters but she isn't interested (first world problems)

    In addition to my day job, my 'side' businesses require no degree at all. What it took from me was hard, smart work and dedication. Any of the IT-related stuff was helped along by my career in IT but I honestly could have learned it all as I went.
     
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  13. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Stuck in the north woods with Rockets audio
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  14. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    This seems like apples to oranges compared to most colleges. Ivy League school families are generally cyclical or scholarship based. These kids tend to come from money where the cost of tuition is a drop in the hat and going to these schools is a networking exercise for future executives.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Juxtaposed Jolt

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    You win the thread just for this line.
     
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  16. Sajan

    Sajan Member

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    Colleges are stupid.
    It's such a disconnected system from the real world. Even targeted degrees like a bachelor of science in nursing is useless when you get a job as a nurse. everything you learn is from your job.

    unfortunately the system is not going to change because employers and the idiots in HR don't know how to evaluate new talent for the positions in their company.
     
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  17. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Stuck in the north woods with Rockets audio
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    good point about apples to oranges versus state universities, but I think you mischaracterize the general student experience in the Ivy League
     
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  18. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    but nothing beats the college experience.
     
  19. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    They also attract rich foreigners that make the natives want to raise quotas for their kind.

    It's like these Ivies deliberately raise the sticker price to see how many rube tourists will take the offer, then slide in a local discount for the secret backdoor.
     
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  20. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    People only say a college degree is important because people say a college degree is important. Getting my masters now only because jobs I want typically have a masters listed as the minimum education requirement.

    My kids are all super young so I have no idea what college will look like in 13 years, but if my oldest were 18 now I would definitely stear her toward doing the first 2 years at a community college at the very least. Hell, Lonestar College actually offers some bachelors degrees now, so maybe go there for 4 years.

    I don't know if someday we will get over our degree snobbiness, but I really hope we do. I think we're worse off for it.
     
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