Comment Of The Day: “The Ethics Mess That Is US Race Relations, Chapter III: The Martin Luther King Day Essay”

In today’s Comment of the Day, Michael R explores the effects of college costs, student loans and ideological indoctrination on schools’ ability to provide an the valuable education students think they are paying for. Some of the factors he mentions I didn’t know about; I’m not sure  I’ve ever read about them anywhere else.

Here is the veteran Ethics Alarms contributor’s  Comment of the Day on the post, “The Ethics Mess That Is US Race Relations, Chapter III: The Martin Luther King Day Essay.”

I don’t think all universities have become worthless. There are a lot of problems with the universities and much of it has to do with student loans and leftist indoctrination.

Student loans make people forget about how much college actually costs. Students go to colleges with nicer dorms, bigger ‘Wellness Centers’, and more activities because they can ‘afford’ it with loans. This resulted in an ‘arms race’ to ditch traditional dorms for suites, and now full apartments for students. It resulted in big ‘Wellness Centers’ instead of gyms. It resulted in vast Student Activities staff and budgets. It resulted in more and more sports. I would estimate that only about 1/3 of college costs these days go to academics and academic support (academic buildings, utilities, janitorial, etc). The rest is sports, activities, and administration. If you had a lean college with good academics, but old-style dorms, no student life, and no sports, it would go bankrupt quickly. College is expensive these days because the students and the parents DEMAND it be that way.

As for the academic programs, there have some issues there too. We have a classic bait-and-switch going on. People are told by college PR, by the media, and by the government that they need to go to college to get a good job. Once in college, the faculty say “We are here to provide an education, not to prepare you for a job”. Sorry, that is a bait-and-switch.

People pretenthat all degrees have equal employability. That is why there are as many psychology graduates each year as all the physics, chemistry, geology, math, and engineering graduates combined. My graduating class had 11 chemistry graduates and 950 psychology graduates. The country needs more people with technical expertise and we aren’t graduating those because the loans are the same either way, and the GPA’s are better for easier majors.

Do you have an ‘academic scholarship’? You won’t after two semesters as a physics major. That ‘scholarship’ has an outrageously high minimum GPA attached to it. At some schools, education majors have a 3.9 average GPA while physics majors have a 2.5 (because a higher GPA means you are smarter). The federal government should only be issuing student loans in areas of need in the economy. If you want the art history degree, fine, but you need to pay for that yourself.

Lastly, the leftist indoctrination has really driven the standards down in academia. You can’t train people to think critically, have a wide area of knowledge, and believe in that leftist dogma at the same time. Something has to give. As a wise man once said, “Dogma is certainty without knowledge”.

6 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “The Ethics Mess That Is US Race Relations, Chapter III: The Martin Luther King Day Essay”

  1. yeah, I had a lot of trouble in college as every aid but loans dried up one you got past freshman year. My roommates partied their easy majors and I worked or was in all night labs, so it was very clear there was no real encouraging the STEM programs over other ones. My chemistry major friend left chem as a required class got canceled and she’d have to stay an extra two years to get all the required classes. She switched to a paperwork degree she could get out in time but it wasn’t something that had as many jobs as she was told. Last I heard, she was working as a photocopy operator…No matter what you study, you still need some breaks as good grades or references aren’t enough sometimes, you need a marketable starting base and pointers.

    • Or a graduate degree, Marie. I remember a smart college classmate English major registering his outrage at the fact he couldn’t get a job with a BA in English at a really good, fairly elite college. Moral of the story: get a law degree or an MBA. A liberal arts undergrad should teach you how to think. But thinkers are not that in high demand. Get some actual skills and go from there. It’s not that surprising, as I’m sure you realized years ago.

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