Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Something that makes it harder to motivate students 

Just read this story: As State Colleges Trim Classes, Students Struggle to Finish

I'm seeing it on the front lines. The quality of the education at the state universities is going down while the cost is going up. I met a girl today who's a high school senior and trying to figure out how to go to college. Her plan is to join the Navy and hope that she doesn't get killed in Iraq. It was very hard for me to restrain myself in that I see how awful her choices are. She's at best an average student. There's not going to be a top-tier school spot1 for her where financial aid will cover most of the cost of attendence like I had. It'll be quite a bit of distress for her when she gets out, finds out that her GI bill money still won't cover state tuition, and anyway, there's little chance of getting her degree in four years because most of the required classes aren't offered because the budget doesn't allow them to be.

Note 1: I should point out that I don't mean strictly the Ivy-league schools in this characterization, but rather those highly selective private schools who have sufficient endowments to offer sufficient financial aid to completely cover the difference between cost of attendence and the FAFSA-determined EFC.

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