Server and Cashier @ Boston Market, Operation: Prom

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What if college education was free?

Make high school in America extremely difficult like in most countries. This way only the real scholars would continue to University and not waste any one's time or money. The other students should go straight to work.

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    Aug 29 2011: Education is a mindset and lifestyle. I've been educating myself daily for free for years. I don't discount the benefits of "the institute" of education, but I think more emphasis can be placed on education as a way of life
  • Aug 24 2011: It is 'free' already -- it's call THE INTERNET!

    Sitting in a lecture room, scribbling unintelligible notes while trying futilely to stay awake for 4 to 8 years then receiving a piece of paper with some obscure Latin academic honour as a footnote, does not necessarily make one 'intelligent'.

    Just sayin'...
    • Aug 24 2011: I have yet to see a quality education provided only from online classes. It is not impossible but the internet can't provide what real work experience with a professional in the field can. (Neither can a college class)
      • Aug 24 2011: I wasn't referring to online 'classes' per se. I was alluding to the fact that all the information anyone ever needs to educate themselves about virtually anything can be found online.

        I'm not saying books aren't relevant, nor mentors. But information is information, and if one retains it and makes sure of the veracity of what they're absorbing, then the big bucks spent on la-de-da college courses is largely a waste and would be better spent on those more needy. Especially if the student just 'cruises' through his pupillage under the misconception that simply 'being there' is enough.

        The HUNGER to learn is what defines intelligent people (*not talking 'book smarts' necessarily / only), not a fancy university degree on a C.V..
        • Aug 24 2011: I suppose online classes are a good substitute if you don't have the money, time, energy or social skills but I have to agree with Bob. Where's the experience? Plus a degree with Latin on it may not measure intelligence but it looks great when applying for a job.
        • Aug 25 2011: For all I hate about colleges, I have to admit that it is a good test to see if the student can jump through bureaucratic loops.

          Colleges can be great for Doctors or Engineers (if the college has the professionals and equipment) but there are some degrees that are a waste of money and the student would be better off getting a job.
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      Aug 24 2011: To Sablcious Faux

      "Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?"
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        Aug 24 2011: in other peoples words, more often or not. which is on the internet as well.
      • Aug 24 2011: Indeed.

        There is a distinct difference between pedant-like 'intelligence' and wisdom; to be sure.

        Unfortunately, most of our world leaders today know may know all the factual minutiae but haven't the WISDOM to see the forest for the trees.
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          Aug 24 2011: i think you give our world leaders too much credit ;)
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      Aug 27 2011: Sablcious: excellent post. One of my all-time favorite movie quotes (from Good Will Hunting):

      "You just dropped $150 grand on an education you could have gotten for $1.50 in late charges at the public library"

      Education -- especially in the internet age where practically every computer is a library -- is ridiculously low-cost. What you have to pay for at a college is the professional assistance to help you learn faster, and the credential at the end: that piece of paper declaring your completion of an academic program.
      • Aug 28 2011: Good quote.

        In the end, it's up to the individual if they want to use the tools they have at their disposal or merely settle for being a "shepherd"!
  • Aug 24 2011: There is no such thing as free in regards to a public service. A "free" education would mean taxpayers are paying the bill instead of the student.

    Not only have standards slipped in the United States, the way in which subject matter is taught has also contributed to deficiencies in the workforce.
    • Aug 24 2011: What would be a way to increase standards of education in the US?
      • Aug 25 2011: Quick and Easy temporary fixes:

        First off, if students do not pass their tests, do not let them pass the course. I have seen this all to often.

        Second, If a majority of students do poorly on tests, the teachers/professors should revisit the topic.

        Third, have colleges and schools concentrate on quality over quantity. Increase the duration of the classes and lower the unit count for full time students. Teachers are always telling me that they do not have enough time to teach the subject matter. With lowering the unit count for full time student status, students can take these longer college courses without impacting their full time status.

        Finally, it might help if college students got some real industry experience. Colleges should try to work with more businesses to offer more internships (work experience programs). Employers love cheap labor and students get paid in money and experience. Both parties win.

        For High schools, get rid of the "No child left behind" policy. Does it really make sense to cut funding of struggling schools with poor grades? It is hard for students to pass tests if they can not afford books or do not have a desk to take the dumb tests.
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    Aug 26 2011: In short answer to your question, yes I believe college education and in fact all education should be free or close enough to it. Why? (Here comes the long explanation) Because education of all the classes is a direct investment in a countries economic future, also it is a sound investment in future humanity.
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      Aug 26 2011: As a Turk I really love everything about Argentina except army coups...
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    Aug 25 2011: to answer your question i propose another. why dont we introduce higher learning at a younger age? what makes an 18-25 yearold more responsible and willing to learn than a twelve to 15 yearold? i personally disagree with the education system we have, it enables teachers to become babysittters and parents to neglect education. education is the responsibility of the parent. if a parent cannot properly intsruct his own offspring to physically and intelligently defend oneself, than this weakens our species. shouldering the responsiblity to somoeone who is paid to educate is a recipe for disaster. when you add government regulation and entitlement, what does this add? i wish for a rebirth of the schools like that of socrates. i havent read such eloquence until crito. if a tween learned of serious philosophical and social matters , wouldnt this make him more likely to involve himself?
  • Aug 25 2011: Yeah.... you're right. Just trying to be diplomatic.
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    Aug 24 2011: the only problem is that many if not most of our greatest inventions as well as the building of our greatest project are done by those without a classical education but have great skills and talents--that which many of 'educated' lack. Maybe education should be free-I agree. But there should be education for those who are not inclined to be 'conventional' students. I know people like myself found some education very boring-that is why we start our own companies and create our own ideas--things that the conventional student is unable to do merely due to lack of basic life skills, common sense or sense of adventure---or more importantly imagination and courage.
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      Aug 26 2011: Joe I love your comment. Intelligence can be found and experienced in many, many different ways and places. Even though the subject isn't really on topic with this thread, I firmly believe a degree doesnt automatically equate to intelligence and a poor education doesnt mean the opposite.
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    Aug 28 2011: yeah its happening in India... ! In India girls have free education till Std.10.
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    Aug 28 2011: I live in Switzerland, where college education is more or less free ( we pay a small administration fee). I think it is not just about making high school difficult, but really to have different education paths for different professions. And most important of all: The Non-academic professions have to be valued in the society as much as those professions where you need a college degreee.
  • Aug 27 2011: Cheyenne,
    Interesting question. Would you limit the majors/classes that are available? You could go to college for free (i.e. the taxpayer will provide your education) IF AND ONLY IF you agree to study a given subject - such as engineering or medicine. I don't think allowing someone to get a 'free' cosmetology degree would do anything to help us better the products of our education system, or to see a statistically significant increase in economic output.

  • Aug 26 2011: Too many Americans are too greedy and selfish to consider something like free education, because someone would immediately be out of a source of income. The poisonous idea of wealth has circulated far beyond our power to cure those who are sick with greed, and it's killing this country.
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    Aug 25 2011: Then my dad could have bought me a car 15 years ago... Even though I respect academic education I don't respect diplomas anymore. If you make it harder in high school you may cause students to leave school earlier.
  • Aug 24 2011: Ahhhh... "looks".

    Simultaneously a female's greatest weapon and Achillies heal! ^_-
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    Aug 24 2011: I believe educational loans might be the best solution as in some countries it is happening.

    The student will get his higher education and also learn that nothing is free in the world & will have to strive hard to have good life.
    • Aug 24 2011: Paying back student loans take years.
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        Aug 24 2011: Then are we ready to pay extra taxes? Ofcourse not.
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        Aug 29 2011: Yes student loans maybe the an all-purpose solution to this problem. Not only does it ease financial burdens on students, it also inculcate the value of responsibility and risk-bearing within these young adults when they choose to take up the loan
        However, when put into context of the USA, student loans are simply unworkable. College fees have been sky-rocketing over the years, regardless of the economic situation. Student loans are more of a liability to the students when they graduate, using their paychecks to diligently pay off their exorbitant college fees (that is if they manage to secure a job in this tumultuous economy).

        Perhaps these are the underlying concerns for those "College Conspiracists"

        Unless college fees become more affordable, I stand by my view student loan is an ineffective remedy. More often than not, these student loans which are originally set up to encourage genuine pursuit of knowledge ends up dampening students' passion for learning.
  • Aug 24 2011: difficult according to who's standards? im also curious, which countries are you referring to?
    • Aug 24 2011: European schools (I.e. Belgium, France, and Italy), and Asian schools take 3 maths, 3languages, and more all in one year every year. They immigrate to America because the school system is easier. Many students in Asia drop out of school to work but most obviously want to contuinue to higher education.