College is different than 30 years ago

7 replies
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So here I am at my eldest' college orientation. Hobbled all over creation and now back at the hotel with my ankle elevated.

Things have changed SO MUCH!!! Did you know that kids can now choose their roommates from FB? Didn't have that when I was at college!!! You were given a roommate and that was that!

What have you seen that's different for college-bound kids these days?
  • Profile picture of the author AprilCT
    Hope you feel better soon.

    Lifelong loan payback time with high interest rates. I've always felt there was no good reason for higher ed to cost as much as it does. The bigger the loans your child qualifies for means the university has that much more leeway to charge higher costs. It is just plain wrong.

    KLEP (spelling--?) credits cost, but probably worthwhile if a student can pass the tests. There is also Coursera which can give students a big jump before going to school if they are self-disciplined as well as a big enough idea if that is really their main interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I never went to college although that was my goal way back then.
    Today everything is very different. The Internet has seen to that.
    No more lugging of very heavy books when you have a tablet or laptop.
    Research is easy and contacting others is also easy.

    Cheers, Laurence. Read my Warriors for Hire ad.
    Writer/Editor/Proofreader. Place orders.

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  • Profile picture of the author barbling
    Finally returned home last night. My eldest had an excellent orientation; I spent most of the day putting together a product and hunting down coffee.

    The commuter lounge was great! It was the first time I worked at a student union in 30 years or so. Ah, memories.....
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by barbling View Post

    What have you seen that's different for college-bound kids these days?
    The tuition fees.

    Over the last couple of generations, "educational opportunity" over here was beginning to balance out, from what I hear about what it used to be like. Now, with so many universities charging £9,000 per year in tuition-fees (I think that's the maximum they're allowed to charge UK-resident students, but many do, and overseas students pay far more for exactly the same courses), even with student loans available to some, people from "poorer backgrounds" are understandably reluctant to get into huge debt by the time they graduate. Especially with jobs for graduates being far from a certainty. My guess is that after another decade or two, university education will once again mostly be for people from more affluent backgrounds, just as they say it was up until about 1960, I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author CJLBW
    Originally Posted by barbling View Post

    Things have changed SO MUCH!!! Did you know that kids can now choose their roommates from FB? Didn't have that when I was at college!!! You were given a roommate and that was that!
    So, does this mean incoming freshmen will only choose their junior high and high school buddies?

    Too bad. I was at university, way before FB. First year room assignments were always a big surprise. Although many students changed the next year for Greek housing, off site or just other roommates, there was a first year opportunity to meet people who were very different and who might not have been met otherwise -- all a part of growing up.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ian Jackson
      The whole point of university was to further-educate the cream of those with an academic aptitude.

      The Left Wing, is hell-bent on dumbing down the population to the lowest common denominator, craving Fascist principle of "diversity" "equality" "fairness" for all.

      Sorry, the real world isn't like that.

      It's about as sensible and logical as dictating that all the Internet marketing Gurus should distribute their wealth to all the newbies.

      Equality for all... all except themselves that is; they want to be more equal [and controlliing] than everyone else).

      So... what do we get from (UK) university now?

      Granted, there are one or two very good ones, but generally, graduates who (in my experience of many years in industry & F1 racing), don't know the first thing about much else besides crunching a few numbers - usually on their iPhones/iPads etc.

      Solving practical problems? Forget it. "Well it works/fits on CAD".

      Having a ball at the taxpayer's expense (Left Wing ideology) is not what university should be about, and potential undergrads should not be lured accordingly.

      Why such a drive for uni from 1997? So that Mr. Blair in his infinte wisdom, could massage unemployment figures.
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      • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
        Originally Posted by Ian Jackson View Post

        The whole point of university was to further-educate the cream of those with an academic aptitude. [...]
        I have to say that I can't agree with you enough, though I'd like to state that my reasons for believing such aren't born of political ideology. My view hasn't changed a jot in spite my having done something of a political U-turn over the years since leaving school.

        Anyone with their eyes even half open should be able to see what had been going on over the last few decades.

        The drive in the UK to send as many people as possible to university, and stay on regardless of academic ability or individual preference, virtually through the egregious use of coercion and fear-tactics in our schools, has almost certainly undermined the aspirations and had a net negative effect on the lives of so many people who would have been far better served taking another path, putting in time as apprentices for example.

        I only wonder how this has impacted the economy at large - the decline in manufacturing and the transition to services, and the apparently increasing reliance on foreign skilled labour.

        Of course the value of a higher education can't be measured in purely financial terms, but nor can that value be dictated to people who aren't receptive to it.

        It's ironic that some of the most militant and "influential" proponents of "compulsory" university education - high-school and college teachers - filter their sales spiel through a lens of earnings potential and job prospects. I think about those laughable headline figures drilled into us as impetus for further study: "Graduates earn an average of £100,000 more over their working lives than non-graduates", and so on. What's that, annually, over a 30–40 year career? Big friggin' whoop, that's what, even before the rise in fees. And yet more ironic is that the earnings of many of those peddling this tired propaganda - themselves all graduates, of course - are very often surpassed by the skilled blue-collar parents of the kids they seek to guide.

        I do truly feel for the real academics who must now suffer these higher costs - not just the geniuses and the "swots" (who very often get scholarships to continue their studies anyway), but anyone with a simple passion for learning. University should be accessible and not dependent on affluence, but we need to get real about whom it serves and stop this pious shaming of people who just want to leave school, learn a trade and live comfortably like their parents.
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