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View Diary: Obama Administration: Rate Colleges on Earning Capacity of Graduates (51 comments)

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  •  Suggestion... (8+ / 0-)

    Read the article from Bloomberg upon which the Alternet article is based:

    The White House said the new ratings would be based on such measures as access, including the percentage of students receiving Pell grants, reserved for those from lower-income families; affordability, including average tuition, scholarships and loan debt; and outcomes, such as graduation and transfer rates, earnings of graduates and graduates’ advanced degrees.
    What the Alternet article discusses is one possible measurement in a slew of measurements that will determine a college's position in any new government rankings.

    As the Bloomberg piece points out, these are proposed measurements and will be subject to much discussion long before any such rating system is implemented (or ever implemented, given Republican intransigence).

    In addition, these new rules look to be targeting the lucrative and exploitive for-profit college industry which drains billions of dollars from federal student loan and grant programs with horrific outcome numbers. These for-profit colleges typically exploit low-income young people, often trapping them in a horrendous debt cycle.

    As the Bloomberg piece notes:

    The administration already tried to crack down on for-profit colleges by cutting off aid from those whose students take on heavy debts that don’t pay off with higher incomes. The industry lobbied heavily against the plan and successfully fought against the rules in court, saying they were arbitrary and would hurt low-income students. Part of their argument was that the rules targeted for-profit colleges and should apply more broadly, as the new plan would.

    ...

    Obama would also give a financial incentive to enroll students eligible for Pell Grants. To prevent waste, the money would require colleges with high dropout rates to dole out aid over the course of the semester, rather than a lump sum.

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:54:27 AM PDT

    •  and what is "earning capacity"? (3+ / 0-)

      how does one rate that? it would be seriously lame if it rated what people actually make- because it would downgrade people who choose careers that aren't lucrative- but what is "earning capacity."

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:10:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't know. (4+ / 0-)

        There are sites that already do something like this.

        The Bloomberg piece suggests that any such ranking system would primarily be aimed at helping low-income students (those receiving Pell grants or other forms of federal aid) assess potential schools based on outcomes, of which earning potential is one.

        Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

        by Bob Johnson on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:14:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but what would happen (0+ / 0-)

          is that elite schools like Harvard would come out on top because their students are plugged in at birth to elite contacts.

          it wouldn't help low-income students to know this.

          are they meant to choose the 310 college over the 400 college on the list?  i don't think this system could possibly help them in the long run and it will make money for those who develop the system -- once again we look at the wrong element of the picture at the wrong moment.

          college choice is determined by many things including proximity for the lowest income students.  

          the bloomberg article doesn't clarify much at all.

          •  Not true. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kimbeaux, OIL GUY, VClib

            You said you read the Bloomberg article. If you did, then you read that there would be numerous criteria applied, not just earning potential. You and I have no idea what weight would be applied to that one criterion among all the criteria proposed.

            To say that, "but what would happen is that elite schools like Harvard would come out on top because their students are plugged in at birth to elite contacts," suggests that the earning potential criterion would, necessarily, be a determinate criterion. Given that the Bloomberg article lists a number of proposed potential criteria, I don't know how you can make that claim.

            Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

            by Bob Johnson on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:23:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  here are the criteria (0+ / 0-)
              The White House said the new ratings would be based on such measures as access, including the percentage of students receiving Pell grants, reserved for those from lower-income families; affordability, including average tuition, scholarships and loan debt; and outcomes, such as graduation and transfer rates, earnings of graduates and graduates’ advanced degrees.
              1. pell grants
              2. affordability
              3. outcomes

              of the three, the third would propel elite institutions to the top of the list.  elite institutions give more scholarships than other institutions to low income students, so they would score high on affordability also.  

              i'm not sure about pell grants at elite institutions.

              third level institutions -- even public ones -- now cost as much as elite colleges and universities, or nearly so.

              more importantly, i object to spending valuable resources on new ranking systems when we are not examining the fundamentals of what is going on in today's colleges and universities.

              •  Again, you don't know that. (4+ / 0-)

                First of all, do you understand the phrase, "such measures as?"

                In other words, these likely aren't all the criteria. And even these are proposed, not set in stone.

                Second, you write, "of the three, the third would propel elite institutions to the top of the list."

                Again, you have no idea what the weighting would be on any particular criterion in such a rating system.

                As for your last point about "spending valuable resources," all this is doing is trying to get useful information into the hands of the kids and their families who are considering taking on debt to attend college. This is no different than Medicare publishing outcome statistics for doctors and hospitals on things like heart valve replacement surgery. It's an attempt to give citizens more information so that they can makes informed decisions.

                Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                by Bob Johnson on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:41:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Harvard says otherwise (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlueDragon, Justanothernyer, Kimbeaux

            Harvard actually did a study maybe 10-15 years ago and found that the students in the top half of the class earn less, over their careers, than the students in the bottom half. (They told parents this on move-in weekend, to reassure us that if our student was in the bottom 50%, not to worry.)

            Probably this reflects career choices, with the better students going on to PhDs and then academia, while the bottom half go back to Omaha and work in daddy's insurance business.

            That's not the distinction the President is trying to make, however. He's trying to help the people who pay thousands of dollars (or take out thousands of dollars in loans) for a course of study that is supposed to lead to full-time employment (say, "medical technician"), but it turns out employers think the certificate or degree is a worthless waste of time, or else don't have any jobs that look like that.

            •  we don't need a national rating (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy

              system for this.

              we could just do a posting of what jobs make what without involving colleges at all.

              but the bottom line is that most degrees aren't leading to secure middle class employment because of the global crisis we are experiencing.

          •  I'm a working class kid with (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            an Ivy League degree -  Columbia, not Harvard. I have many friends who came from poor families.  The Ivies attract the best students and then offer great opportunities to learn from some very smart people - Margaret Meade showed me that a microwave could produce a fabulous elixir of warm milk and Irish whiskey. I don't believe i had ever seen a microwave prior to  that.

            Schools due vary greatly in terms of imparting knowledge and wisdom. They should be evaluated like every other institution. There are too many bad schools and far too many useless majors. Rigor is not a bad thing. Rating academic institutions would not be easy, but it is certainly doable.

            You really should read the Bloomberg article. Bob always gives excellent advice. Trust me, I know. You can follow him to  the promised land.

            Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

            by OIL GUY on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 03:05:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  i've read it (3+ / 0-)

      it doesn't reassure me.

      no one is examining why the cost of college is escalating.

      increased tuition certainly isn't going to the faculty.

      we don't need to target for profit schools with a rating system like this.  we just need to steer students away from them for obvious reasons.  it isn't rocket science to understand that for profit schools are a problem.

      obama doesn't seem to understand or care that the sort of education he got is fast disappearing.

      •  Who is "we?" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlueDragon, worldlotus, Kimbeaux

        Who is going to "steer students away from them?"

        The idea is to give students and their families the information to see what a bad deal these shyster outfits are for themselves.

        I'm glad that you can be so self-assured in your pronouncement that "it isn't rocket science to understand that for profit schools are a problem."

        Are you in a low-income family from an inner city school? Are you being targeted with slick advertising campaigns by these rip-off schools?

        Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

        by Bob Johnson on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:17:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i'm from a low income family (0+ / 0-)

          and i managed to understand the economics of all this at 16 years of age.

          maybe i am not typical and that was a long time ago when schools and everything else was very different, but there a lots of ways help these students out.

          how about free higher education for all -- it happens in lots of industrialized countries.

          how about examining WHY higher education costs so much instead of inventing still another flawed ranking system.

          •  Well, the for-profit college business is much (4+ / 0-)

            ... different from when you were 16. It is sophisticated and exploitive and uses slick marketing and advertising campaigns to lure low-income onto their debt factories with truly shitty outcomes.

            Agreed on figuring out why higher education costs so much. Free education for all sounds great, but we're getting further and further away from it, especially as more state legislatures and governor's offices are controlled by Republicans who gut funding for state junior college and state university programs.

            Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

            by Bob Johnson on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:29:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  all the more reason to shift (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bob Johnson

              the discussion from ranking to why education costs so much.

              my public university costs as much for out of state students as an elite university and delivers far, far less.

              my point it: this is the wrong discussion.

              the average person who is not involved in higher education full time, the way i am, does not realize how much damage has already been done to our formerly world class system, especially on the graduate level.

              we need to be having completely different discussions.  if we stay on the ground that this proposal carves out: we have already lost.

              this is as big an emergency as any other we can identify at the moment, but it is not getting the coverage it needs because the media is obsessed with mass shootings and calls to war while our culture and country go down the drain in many, many different ways.

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