Essay on Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admission?

4197 Words 17 Pages
In the past several years, there has been a growing trend in the number of college-bound individuals getting two-year degrees from community colleges or earning certification for their desired career field at vocational schools. Such schools certainly seem to have some valuable qualities: all boast of having lower costs than other colleges, of their absence of student loans, of allowing people to make more money quicker, of being narrowly focused so students don’t have to take classes they don’t need. They attempt to point out apparent weaknesses in liberal arts colleges as well, claiming that such an education is unnecessary in today’s world. However, for every reason to go to a community or two-year college, a vocational track, or an …show more content…
None of these solutions will work long term, but all of them, with the possible exception of student loans, will hurt colleges, hopefully enough to force them to lower their price tag.
There are simple ways that colleges can lower the cost to students, solutions that may not change the entire higher education system, but changes that certainly will help. In their article, “Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admission?”, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Driefus, professors at Queens College of the City of New York and Columbia University respectively, attempt to lay out several solutions to ‘fix’ college for the benefit of students. One of their first cost-related proposals is to do away with the tenure system. “Professors who possess [tenure] have no reason to improve their teaching, take on introductory courses, or, in fact, accept any tasks not to their liking” (181). With the removal of tenure, longtime professors who are paid astronomical amounts will be subject to the same scrutiny as all other professors, and when professors who are no longer teaching well are removed, professors with smaller payroll and better teaching credentials can take their places, both giving students a better education and lowering its cost. Another of Hacker and Driefus’s proposals is to lower the salaries of the presidents of colleges. “Presidents needn’t take vows of poverty, but do they really need quasicorporate stipends to take the job?” they point out (182). Million or even…

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