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Education The Almighty Buck United States

Federal Student Aid Requirements At For-Profit Colleges Overhauled 295

An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Department of Education has released a proposal for new regulations that would hold colleges that receive federal student aid accountable for the employment success of their graduates. The overhaul is prompted by the fact that students from for-profit colleges account for nearly 50% of all loan defaults yet only account for about 13% of the total higher education population. '[O]f the for-profit gainful employment programs the Department could analyze and which could be affected by [the proposed regulations], the majority--72%--produced graduates who on average earned less than high school dropouts.'"
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Federal Student Aid Requirements At For-Profit Colleges Overhauled

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  • Re:Wrong target (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @12:14PM (#46498691)

    Continue to hold the student accountable. They're the ones that were too stupid to go to a college and get a degree for a job good enough to pay it off. And too stupid to figure out debt v/s income ratios. And maybe their parents if they were involved in the stupid decision to send their kids to college without a means to pay for it.

    Your repetition of the phrase "too stupid" seems to imply some sort of innate cognitive dysfunction.

    But I think what you really mean is that they don't have the necessary experience and skills to evaluate basic financial math decisions, right? I mean, except for the small percentage of people with actual cognitive impairments, most people should be able to figure this out, right?

    So, then you have to ask yourself: how is it that we require students generally to take 11-12 years of mathematics in this country, but they somehow graduate without basic financial math skills to survive in the world?

    I taught high school math and science for a few years, so I know the curriculum and debates first-hand. I can tell you about the 140 or so students I was teaching my first year -- mostly high-school juniors and seniors in algebra II (likely the last math class they would ever take in their lives for most). And one day I tried giving them a simple application problem involving compound interest: only 2 out of the 140 students actually knew what compound interest was.

    According to the state-mandated curriculum, I had no time to teach them the basics of math that would help them to survive in the real world, but at that point I decided I needed to carve out a few weeks and do at least a little of that... even if it meant some of the scores on our official testing would be a little lower. I can tell you that most teachers probably don't even have time or initiative to do that.

    So... with situations like this, you have to ask yourself: how can we expect these "too stupid" students to evaluate basic financial situations when they don't even know fundamental ideas like compound interest, let alone how it might apply to loans or investments or whatever?

    Of course, I agree with you that some of the blame should be placed on the students and their parents. But I do think we need to recognize that we require kids to spend over a decade in public schools, and many of them are leaving without fundamental numerical skills to make decisions in the real world.

    So are they really "too stupid" or were they just never taught basic numeracy?

  • by Sarius64 ( 880298 ) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:01PM (#46499045)
    Taking California for an example, the system has been wide open to foreign students capable of paying the extravagant fees but kids from the state have more limited options to enter the programs; necessitating cradle to college programs as their sole means of entry outside of community college programs. As a tax-paying parent, my observation displays a money-hungry group concentrated on taking my tax money and categorically denying access to the majority of California kids in favor of larger fee entrants.
  • by metlin ( 258108 ) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:45PM (#46499423) Journal

    That is because -- get this -- computer science is not about coding.

    It's about math and engineering. Any coding is incidental at best and it's not their job to teach you "programming".

    Judging programs on their employability is myopic. If you are smart and logical, then picking up a programming language is trivial.

    Most top schools have little to no programming education -- you learn discrete math, graph theory, complexity theory, algorithms, data structures, graphics (which is physics and math), AI (lots of stats and probability), linguistics (if you do NLP) etc.

    Even when you learn Operating Systems or Compiler Design, you're learning them from a design point of view. The details of implementation are something you pick up on your own.

    You want to teach skills that are transferable and will survive the next programming language or platform fad. Any good CS program teaches that. Learning to code in Java or *nix sysadmin skills are things you should pick up on your own.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.