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    #162887 - 07/24/13 01:17 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Quote:

    What if a school sought out students likely to become future government policy makers?


    Hello-- Yale, Harvard, etc. Take a quickie glance at the vitae of the SCOTUS and the Cabinet members.

    Quote:

    What would happen if the statistics of incoming freshman and graduates were used to solicit new customers?


    Done-- seriously, already happening. College Board is allied with the top tier in promoting it. I'm not at all convinced that some of the posts at places like CC aren't deliberate con jobs intended to produce DEMAND in order to inflate the numbers of applicants so as to make a school seem more "prestigious" by virtue of the selectivity, which then lifts the institution in sort metrics at various database sites (like College Board).
    Quote:

    What if they went all modern advertiser and used tricks like markup/markdown? (increase tuiton by 20%, then send out 20% discount coupons.)


    Again-- already happening. IMO, anyway, this is precisely what second tier private schools are doing by offering "Presidential Award/Scholarship" that amounts to a 10% discount on tuition. Some of that $ is for merit and some is for financial need, but they aren't necessarily showing anyone the (proprietary) rubric for deciding who gets them either way. KWIM?

    Quote:

    Or had the idea that giving someone money now signficantly increases the chance that person will give considerably more money later on?



    What do you think drives "make students live on campus" nowadays? Some quants got together and told College Presidents what seems to correlate most strongly with "brand loyalty" and "alumni giving" rates, that's what. Seriously. I know someone in this industry, and that is EXACTLY what they do-- they find the numbers that lead to the greatest amounts of donations in the future.

    Quote:

    What if a school competed and advertised based on reputation? Listed famous graduates, nobel prize winners, diversity statistics, winning sport teams, etc? What if testimonials from former customers helped attract new customers?


    Again-- this IS happening. You know who Reed features in their catalog (which I happen to actually have a copy of)?

    Steve Jobs, that's who.

    Big 10, Pac-12, and SEC schools regularly feature their big-name bowl teams in such literature. They feature alums who are famous... alums who are rich-rich-rich, and alums who may not have even completed a degree before going on to fame and riches.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162889 - 07/24/13 01:24 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma

    Hello-- Yale, Harvard, etc. Take a quickie glance at the vitae of the SCOTUS and the Cabinet members.

    Done-- seriously, already happening.

    Again-- already happening.

    Again-- this IS happening.


    Psst - check your irony meter. I think it may have a clog.

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    #162891 - 07/24/13 01:31 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Yeah, I think Zen Scanner was being sarcastic, and mostly was on the mark. But you can't say that ALL colleges are doing those things -- for example, only a small number (half a dozen) are really sure they are educating future policy makers.

    I would just say that anyone who does not understand that college is big business, and that the colleges treat it as such, is at a big disadvantage in the college selection and admissions process. And I think a LOT of families don't really see it that way. You have to be able to look past the marketing and try to find the "real" school and "real" value for your situation. It takes a lot of time and elbow grease to get there, IMHO.


    Edited by intparent (07/24/13 01:32 PM)

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    #162892 - 07/24/13 01:46 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I agree-- which is why (though I happen to agree with the underlying sentiment behind ZS's post wink ) I wanted to treat those questions literally for a moment. Just in case.

    Like intparent, we've run into a few families of high school students who have a complete and total lack of comprehension of how the concepts of marketing and monetization have corrupted the process from top to bottom. It really is completely about extracting maximized cashflow-- whatever the window dressing might look like at the moment.

    Or as my DH put it--

    "Harvard love you LONG time..." sick

    (yes, not very PC of him, and crass... no doubt. But only about as crass as what some of the colleges themselves are up to behind closed doors. LOL)
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162894 - 07/24/13 02:15 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    We get some interesting insight into that... my oldest kid works for a company that does consulting for higher education. They do studies as requested by the colleges, and often survey several colleges on the topics before putting together a report. If she didn't think it was "big business" before, she sure does now!

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    #162927 - 07/25/13 06:34 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Rather conveniently for the purposes of this discussion, Forbes has their rankings out. Now, ordinarily I pay VERY little attention to these things, but Forbes does use quite different inputs-- they are strictly outcome focused. In part because quite a few schools have been caught actively lying to improve USNWR rankings and related metrics.

    They use a series of factors to determine placement:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinehoward/2013/07/24/ranking-americas-top-colleges-2013/

    The only one of those that I argue fairly vehemently with in terms of basic methodology is the first one; student satisfation via "rate my professor" data. Quite frequently, students rate faculty negatively if they expect to earn a poor grade in the course, which of course makes this one (potentially) a better source of information on grade inflation rates at various institutions or watering down of material than anything else.

    The second thing that makes me a little reluctant to use their results as a personal mandate is that they measure "success" in a way that I'd argue isn't necessarily what my family considers "success" to be. They use career factors, but probably not the ones that I would choose-- they chose earnings, and being a 'mover-and-shaker' of some kind. In other words, they're selecting for assertive/aggressive extraverts.

    Still, all in all, I think this set of rankings has a lot more to do with reality than most of them do. Also interestingly, the Ivies don't do THAT well.



    The complete rankings list from Forbes


    The other thing that I want to point out is what I have (repeatedly) stated in this thread. You essentially have three choices if your child is headed to college in the next few years: a) pay about 50-60K a year for a college which is of highly variable quality, b) pay about 30-45K a year for a college which is not-quite-so-good quality, or c) determine the quality of your in-state college options, which are LIKELY to run in the 18-30K range.

    Now take a look at the sticker prices associated with the top 100 in Forbes' list. Okay, now take a look at 200-300. 400-500 Notice anything? Second tier isn't really much less expensive, right?

    Elmira College (NY), at number 556 on Forbes' list, has a sticker price of 50K. Princeton (number 3) is 55K.

    One thing which separates a college education from any other consumer purchase (save medical) is that you can't "do it different next time" if you regret that purchase.

    Well, sure-- you can transfer out, I suppose. You can stop attending. But you can't trade one degree in for one at a better institution. You can't get the time back, either.

    It's why it is so important to get it right. There is also not any one "best" school for every student-- not even any one "best" kind of school.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162928 - 07/25/13 07:00 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    One thing which separates a college education from any other consumer purchase (save medical) is that you can't "do it different next time" if you regret that purchase.


    This is true of most life choices.

    You can never unmake your decisions.

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    #162935 - 07/25/13 08:57 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: JonLaw]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    One thing which separates a college education from any other consumer purchase (save medical) is that you can't "do it different next time" if you regret that purchase.


    This is true of most life choices.

    You can never unmake your decisions.


    ITA. and as with all life choices, you learn and we most often do have second chances... I know quite a few people who found ut during their first two years of college that they weren't where they wanted to be for many different reasons (everything from homesick to too hard to too easy to bad cafeteria food -but most often because they changed their mind about what they wanted to study), and they switched to different schools. They have all been successful. I switched my major at least three times and it all turned out ok. I think it's very difficult for anyone at the age most kids typically enter college to know exactly who they are and where they want to go for sure in life - they are typically still growing and learning and finding themselve - so as difficult and stressful as it is to go through the decision of where can my child attend college, where can we affords etc..l I think its important to be accepting of the possibility that it might not be the only choie or only chance. I think its reasonable to put limits on what we as parents can contribute toward our children's education, but I wouldn't want to send my child off to school with them thinking they can't change their minds if it doesn't work out.

    polarbear


    Edited by polarbear (07/25/13 08:58 AM)

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    #162936 - 07/25/13 08:59 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    So this thread has me terrified. I have two sons, 5 and 2. I thought we'd be able to save a lot of money for our kids' college educations but with at least one 2e kid that would be savings is getting shifted towards therapy, pricey assessments and private school with smaller classes.

    We were discussing college tuition at work and someone brought up Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA as a good buy. I thought it was a regular state school here in WA but apparently it is really different in terms of how the curriculum is presented.

    I totally understand that Evergreen has no place in a discussion of elite universities but with rising costs and more than one parent here expressing the "undergrad is the new high school" sentiment, it is nice to see there might be engaging inexpensive options.

    Here is a link:
    http://www.evergreen.edu/admissions/about.html

    Maybe there are other schools in other states with a similar curriculum model. The individual control and interrelated themes seem like they might appeal to some gifted students even if there were a shortage true peers.






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    #162941 - 07/25/13 09:56 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Absolutely agree, CFK. The reason that I posted the Forbes list was two-fold:

    a) Ivies don't actually seem to confer as much benefit as one might imagine based upon their prestige (and cost!)

    b) Price comparisons-- the costs of anything BUT a local public university are downright staggering unless you receive very significant merit/need-based assistance.


    Definitely not doom-and-gloom. Pragmatism. Honestly, when you look at the data, it's hard to argue for the costs of a private "elite" institution. Knowing what we do-- that is, that about 80% of a college experience is what the student themselves brings to it/works for-- it's tough to beat the relative bargain of a local public college/university.

    We are also of the opinion that 12-15K a year for "living expenses" is outrageous to the point of indefensible when the student can live at home while attending undergrad. There are ways to make this a lot cheaper than 40-75K a year, particularly for very high ability students. As CFK notes, merit aid IS generous even now-- there's just a catch. It's most generous at a place where such students are relatively rare. (Non-'elite' colleges, mostly public ones.)

    I also look down that Forbes list of colleges, and I only come up with about four schools in their top 200 that I think are remotely worth the sticker price-- even in light of everything that I've said about my DD needing high-ability peers.

    smile


    Honestly? My priorities and my DH's differ substantially even though we are looking at the same data. He leans toward a ritzy private college "experience" for his princess (sigh-- I guess you can tell already how I feel about this, right?)* and me? I look at the numbers and my frugality kicks in and I just can't justify the expense-- not even remotely.

    I think to myself... I went to a regional directional college, and I got into PLENTY of very fine, tier-one grad programs. Friends went to very illustrious places, including the likes of CalTech, MIT, Penn, Nebraska, etc. So it's not like that kind of undergrad experience limits your future if you're in a merit-based field like STEM. I had no trouble with grantsmanship, landing a teaching job right out of grad school, etc. In spite of my apparent lack of the right pedigree, I mean.

    I just don't see our DD having the kind of ambition that mandates that higher pedigree.

    PERSONALLY, I think that she'd be better off going to a local public university and growing up a little more. Exploring what she actually wants to do-- maybe tripling a major and taking 5y.

    I also worry about the effect of the pressure on her if she knows that we're writing a check for 60K for each additional year. I worry that she won't take risks because of the expense.

    At our local Uni, she could attend for about 6K a year. EASY. I'm not even all that certain that even MIT is actually worth the 50K premium over and above that.

    * Truthfully, I think that he's got some inner hazy mashup of smoking jackets and men discussing their progeny at 'the Club' with fresh-scrubbed girls strolling earnestly through bright fall foliage in cardigans, plaid skirts, and saddle shoes. I think he's dreaming of a world that no longer exists-- if it ever did. I understand the "dream" here in relationship to understanding WHO our daughter is (she's a throwback type "intellectual" who would benefit greatly from that kind of old-school environment)... but I'm less convinced that it is authentically available at ANY price in the contemporary real world.
    _________________________
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