“Cheaper, Faster & Dumber?” The Huffington Post’s HuffPost Live broadcast asked whether the U.S. is creating “Walmarts of Education” during a 25-minute panel discussion about online ed just a few hours before the start of the CFHE January 2014 gathering in New York.
Making public higher education free – and a CFHE working paper that examines the idea – was highlighted recently in a column featured on The Huffington Post.
The piece takes a look at the student loan debt crisis, and details research by Bob Samuels, lecturer at UCLA and President of University of California’s American Federation of Teachers, which was included in the working paper “Making All Public Higher Education Free.”
CFHE’s working paper “The Promises of Online Higher Education: Reducing Costs” recently was the focus of an article on the Huffington Post.
One of the most widely touted claims in the conversation surrounding online higher education is that it will save students, universities and taxpayers big money.
But what the chatter lacks is the real bottom line — that the true costs can often amount to more, not less, costs for all involved.
Even though rising tuition seems the norm at many colleges and universities in the U.S., the idea of a free college degree is not just a pipe dream. As a recent piece from Consumer Reports points out, there are colleges in the US that charge no tuition and some that even provide free room and board for all students.
A recent from the New America Foundation highlights one important way access to higher education is closing down for low-income students. Even after Pell grants are factored in, the net cost of college for many of these students is still rising at an unacceptable rate.
Factors driving this trend are evident in the recent history of Baylor University, an institution that has “rebranded” itself, improved its ranking in college ratings, and upped the average SAT score of its students.
In “I Used to be a Good Teacher,” Alice Umber contrasts her experiences teaching as a tenure-track professor and then as a contingent, “adjunct” faculty member.
The dramatic increase in college tuition and fees over the past dozen years is justifiably big news. Few doubt that the massive disinvestment of public dollars is responsible for much of the rising cost of higher education, skyrocketing student loan debt, and the massive use of low wage contingent faculty.
What is less well known is that a significant number of states, pushed by broadly based citizen coalitions, have begun bending the cost curve back in the direction of public support for higher ed.
The 2014 annual report of the American Association of University Professors that deals with the economic status of college professors, is tellingly titled “Losing Focus.” It begins with this worrisome statement:
Even as colleges and universities have become the focus of increased attention from the general public and policy makers alike, these institutions themselves seem to have lost their focus on a mission of preparing an informed citizenry for participation in democracy and expanding knowledge for the benefit of all.