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The University of Chicago recently came under scrutiny for its reputation as an “elite” school. The company announced a $13.5 million settlement related to allegations that it illegally manipulated financial aid programs to reduce the ability of poor students to attend school. The school was one of 16 schools targeted in the lawsuit and the first to issue a resolution.
This black eye, as well as the Operation Varsity Blues bribery scandal, have been met with deserved scorn. But while big schools try to deflect criticism, lesser-known community colleges and four-year schools have an opportunity to cut through the noise and prove their worth to tens of millions of high school students and their parents. There is.
beginning, employers are not fooled by big schools’ claims that they can hold the key to well-paying jobs. For example, I attended Plymouth State University, a small school in the mountains of New Hampshire. My communications career began next door to alumni of prominent schools in Washington, D.C., but no one cared where I went to school. And in my 5 years as a business owner, none of the prospects cared.
This applies even in technical positions. Peraton spokesman Greg Kaufman said the company, a national security government contractor with annual revenues of more than $7 billion, regularly hires from state and local schools in Maryland and Virginia. Told. And federal resource corporation, a government contractor that provides IT services, has a talent pipeline that connects directly to small schools in Erie, Pennsylvania.
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Number 2, Small schools often offer the same learning experience as “elite” schools. PSU sales students placed in the top 1% of the 2021 national sales competition, behind students from Harvard University, Boston College, and Bryant University. And her wife, who earned degrees in history and nursing, started the former at a community college with the same government professor who taught at her more expensive four-year school nearby.
Creating student success may require creativity. A 2021 cybersecurity partnership between Virginia Tech and Northern Virginia Community College provides dual enrollment for Northern Virginia Community College students. Students can save thousands of dollars in room, board, and tuition costs by living at home. And they pay for community college tuition while living next door to top employers like the federal government, Amazon, and government contractors.
West Virginia University approves cuts to academic programs and faculty amid budget crunch
finallyAccording to U.S. News & World Report, students at public schools save about $5,500 in student loans compared to students at “ranked private universities.” However, these numbers may be skewed. This is for the following reasons. Very few students at elite schools take out student loans (because they have a wealthy start). Many students spend their five years in state schools. Other students work hard and creatively by earning an associate’s degree while in high school, attending community college for her two years, or graduating in her third year.
The so-called student debt crisis is actually about poor student (and parent) decision-making. When I asked billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban how students can graduate debt-free, he had this to say: [way]. Please choose a school that you can easily attend. ”
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This simple phrase sums up the best stories. Small schools provide less wealthy people with a quality, affordable education that leads to good jobs. That way, students have the flexibility to seek an employer of their choice in lieu of the job they need to pay off their debt. Students can then use those savings to build a larger retirement account, buy a better car, or make a bigger down payment on a home.
America’s prestigious schools have spent decades promoting themselves as a path to elite status. And for diplomats and electrical engineers, rising debt is no surprise. But for an aspiring teacher, women’s studies major, or social worker, it’s financially irresponsible to rack up debt with only a meager income, regardless of connections or fancy diplomas.
After all, higher education has become primarily a white-collar vocational training program. By that definition, small schools attract large companies by providing superior education, developing deep relationships with relevant employers, and creating low-debt opportunities so students don’t drown on their first day of graduation. You will be kicked out.
Many schools are already doing all three of these things. They just need to tell everyone about it.