The Obvious Solution to Lowering College Costs   Leave a comment

The high cost of college has long been a topic of debate, and many have given their own proposals for solutions to make college more accessible. After these years of debate, the plan proposed by Director of Center for College Affordability and Productivity and Economic professor at Ohio University Dr. Richard Vedder is showing promise, despite its simplicity. Since so much of the costs faced by the universities are the salaries of instructors, Vedder suggests that we cut a portion of these instructors and pass the savings on to the students by lowering tuition. Although this is definitely not a new idea, it still proves to be one of the quickest, most effective plans being considered.
I, however, feel that this plan isn’t extensive enough. If this plan would make such an impact on lowering tuition, why not take it as far as it can go? There’s no reason why a university couldn’t survive on much fewer instructors than even what Vedder suggests. I think the numerous online colleges have proven that professors aren’t necessary in today’s world. These institutions are the model of efficiency, and, frankly, I’m surprised large universities haven’t followed their lead. Better yet, who says universities even have to pay teachers at all? Students can learn just as much from online resources, such as YouTube, as from any know-it-all professor. Even if there aren’t resources available for a certain topic now, it wouldn’t take long since there would be so many newly unemployed former instructors. Each university would only need a computer lab, a library, and a few labs for students to try out do-it-yourself experiments, and you can’t get any cheaper than that. The funds saved from requiring such so little would translate to dramatically lower tuition bills, and that’s something we all would like to see.
Despite the obvious benefits of my plan, some still manage to criticize it. Some may say that there are certain professions that simply cannot be self-taught, but these critics obviously haven’t done their research. I know plenty of successful professionals, such as lawyers and doctors, who admit that they wouldn’t be where they are today without the “For Dummies” books. In addition, others say that it would eliminate the research done by the university faculty, but I disagree. This plan would actually free up those currently doing this vital research to do even more. They just wouldn’t get paid for it.
Although I am glad to see Vedder’s proposal receiving attention as it is a step in the right direction, I am amazed that those seeking a solution continue to ignore the progress made by the brilliant minds responsible for successful online colleges and pretend that this isn’t where the education system is headed anyway.

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Posted November 21, 2011 by sarahgoin in Uncategorized

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