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First two years of college for free?

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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:17 am

Ned Flanders wrote:Gee, wouldn't want to break any "rules".


Dipshit, these rules are set up by the people who have given money to these endowments. Seriously, you have no clue how they work. A wealthy person(capitalist) gives money to the UW and says it can be used for X. The UW simply CANNOT use the money for anything else. If they started to break those rules, people wouldn't give money to the university and tuition costs may go up even higher.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:19 am

wack wack wrote:No, the cost of tuition should rest entirely and completely on the tax payers.

So someone can get a History of Lesbian Interpretive Dance degree? No thanks.
wack wack wrote: The more you have, the more you pay toward the education of others.
Exactly. Open that $2 billion dollar "lock box"!!! Power to the pee-ple!
Last edited by Ned Flanders on Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:20 am

Stebben84 wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:Gee, wouldn't want to break any "rules".


Dipshit, these rules are set up by the people who have given money to these endowments. Seriously, you have no clue how they work. A wealthy person(capitalist) gives money to the UW and says it can be used for X. The UW simply CANNOT use the money for anything else. If they started to break those rules, people wouldn't give money to the university and tuition costs may go up even higher.

Wait! Greedy Capitalists giving money to a university? Like the evil Koch brothers?????
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:28 am

Ned Flanders wrote:Wait! Greedy Capitalists giving money to a university? Like the evil Koch brothers?????


Yes, and they're the ones dictating how the money is spent. Do you have a problem with that?
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby wack wack » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:30 am

Ned Flanders wrote:So someone can get a History of Lesbian Interpretive Dance degree? No thanks.


I didn't ask for your opinion, I told you how it needs to be.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:41 am

We "need" to bust into those overstuffed endowments and start throwin' that ka$h around.

That should deal with the issue without putting me on the hook.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby rabble » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:42 am

Ned Flanders wrote:We "need" to bust into those overstuffed endowments and start throwin' that ka$h around.

That should deal with the issue without putting me on the hook.

Good point. You should lead with that.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:48 am

Ned Flanders wrote:We "need" to bust into those overstuffed endowments and start throwin' that ka$h around.


An endowment may come with stipulations regarding its usage. In some circumstances an endowment may be required to be spent in a certain way or alternatively invested, with the principal to remain intact in perpetuity or for a defined time period. This allows for the donation to have an impact over a longer period of time than if it were spent all at once.


Endowment revenue can be restricted by donors in numerous ways. Professorships and endowed scholarship/fellowships are the most common restriction on large donations to an endowment. The restricted/unrestricted distinction focuses on the use of the funds; see quasi-endowment below for a distinction about whether principal can be spent.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_endowment

Are you being purposefully stupid?
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Detritus » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:48 am

This is a very complicated question, especially when you consider that most students in "higher education" attend community and technical college, not a four-year university. If a student were efficient, could get into the program they wanted in the school that worked best for them, and didn't need any remedial classes, they might be able to get an AA degree for free. But that assumes that:

1. They attend full-time. Many students--even at the UW-Madison--who are low socio-economic status ("low-SES") cannot afford to attend full-time because they are not just supporting themselves with part-time work. They're also helping support their families. So even students who already have a full-ride at the UW (there are several programs for low-SES, first-generation college goers) work several part-time jobs to be able to send money home for their younger siblings. Are these students going to be left out because they can't attend full-time? Do they only get two years whether they go full-time or not, or do they get some full-time equivalent of years?

2. They don't transfer between schools. A large percentage of students transfer at least once, and twice is not uncommon. Moreover, they tend to transfer in and out of the the university and technical college systems, often for very good reasons. If the money doesn't follow the student, then how will the two years be calculated?

3. They don't have a lot of remedial courses to take. If they have to have remedial math, science, English, etc. such that they use up most or all of their two years of funding, then how do they cover the cost of the "real" coursework for their AA?

4. They don't drop out. In both cases of university and technical college, the burn-out rate in the very first semester for "traditional" students can be surprisingly high, often because of the sudden freedom afforded these quasi-adults. Do they lose that semester? How does it get tracked? When they go into another school, do they start over with the funding?

5. They are "traditional" students (i.e. more or less right out of high school or GED). What about a returning student, such as our beloved Governor--does he get two years free to finish his degree at a UW campus? What about someone in their 50s who never went past high school and wants to do a flexible degree or purely online degree (which many UW System campuses now have). Does that count?

6. And, of course, what happens in years 3+ of a BA degree? Will this kind of program simply encourage even longer time-to-degree? In which case it might make more sense to continue with the current loan program but forgive the first two years on graduation, or some such thing.

I know both authors of the report, and I know that they understand the complexities. But they also tend to assume that all higher ed students are fresh, full-time undergrads at the UW-Madison who will graduate from Madison in the requisite 4-6 years. This is not the bulk of the higher ed student population in this country.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:56 am

Ned Flanders wrote:We "need" to bust into those overstuffed endowments and start throwin' that ka$h around.

That should deal with the issue without putting me on the hook.

Ned, sometimes I really appreciate your opinion and when you can attack an issue with humor wrapped around solid truths.

This is not one of those times.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:18 am

green union terrace chair wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:We "need" to bust into those overstuffed endowments and start throwin' that ka$h around.

That should deal with the issue without putting me on the hook.

Ned, sometimes I really appreciate your opinion and when you can attack an issue with humor wrapped around solid truths.

This is not one of those times.

Thanks, but you see my point. These institutions sit on billions of dollars in some cases and plead poverty. There is also questionable allocation of available resources. If they or their students are suffering financially, they should examine their priorities before asking for more. When driving through the UW and U of M campuses on a regular basis, I'm not feeling the poverty vibe.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Detritus » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:49 am

Ned Flanders wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:We "need" to bust into those overstuffed endowments and start throwin' that ka$h around.

That should deal with the issue without putting me on the hook.

Ned, sometimes I really appreciate your opinion and when you can attack an issue with humor wrapped around solid truths.

This is not one of those times.

Thanks, but you see my point. These institutions sit on billions of dollars in some cases and plead poverty. There is also questionable allocation of available resources. If they or their students are suffering financially, they should examine their priorities before asking for more. When driving through the UW and U of M campuses on a regular basis, I'm not feeling the poverty vibe.

That's because you don't know how state budgeting works. You see buildings going up the hell all over--the majority of the funding for those is private, and given with specific earmarks such as "a new dorm named after my dearly departed Schnauzer, Twinklesphincter." The gyms are paid for primarily with student fees which the students themselves vote up or down in a crude simulation of a property tax referendum. You may remember that there was a kerfuffle on the Madison campus recently because the Athletic Department was felt (by the Teaching Assistants Association) to be shirking on its own responsibilities to the larger campus, spending millions for tutoring facilities for a handful of varsity athletes without serious debate while nickle-and-dimeing general student facilities. Labs (such as WID, the new Genetic Engineering building, etc.) are paid for with a mix of private donations, industry donations, and federal grants.

On the other hand, the humanities-type programs that you so dismissively labeled as "lesbian" are actually run on a shoestring. Witness the fact that the desired performing arts building is a grass rectangle, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. There is no potential source for funding for that building other than private donations, and musicians and dancers are not exactly rolling in the dough. In terms of instructional cost, again the humanities are very very cheap to pay for--so called "chalk and talk" classes with minimal needs for infrastructure and relatively low instructional salaries. They actually subsidize departments such as Chemistry, a lab class for which costs more per seat than a given student's tuition for that class.

Faculty and instructional salaries primarily come out of the state taxbase, athough at the UW millions of dollars in specific kinds of instructional salaries (foreign languages, for one) come from the US Dept. of Education and, as such, are subject to arbitrary cuts by both Congress and the White House. USED Title VI, which funds almost all non-European languages on the Madison campus, was arbitrarily cut nearly 50% a few years ago--by the White House, incidentally--and will not return to previous levels. Among the languages funded by Title VI: Arabic, Peshto, Ukrainian, Persian, Korean, all South Asian languages, most Southeast Asian languages....

Endowments for faculty salaries, by the rules set by the State and the UW Foundation, have to cover the full cost + benefits of the faculty salary without eating the principal, because endowments aren't sitting somewhere--they are invested. This didn't used to be the case, but with state budget cuts to instructional salaries the last few years, the university can't commit to filling in a contracted salary if an endowment runs out. Do you understand how much money we are talking about? The Foundation only allows an absolute maximum of 8% of an endowment to be used in a given year. Suppose a faculty salary of $60,000 a year plus roughly 40% fringe for a total of $84,000. To provide that amount using no more than 8% of an endowment requires a minimum endowment of a bit more than $1 million. And that assumes that the market is doing well so that the principal is actually growing. The Foundation prefers a hefty pad so that, in bad years, the salary + fringe can continue to be paid without seriously damaging the principal. They like to see an endowment, then, of a good $2-2.5 million. For one faculty line.

This is what you don't see when you drive by campus.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:59 am

That's great background about how the beast works. But don't you think some "out of the box" thinking could help deal with the issue? Instead of the old "we need more money" plea? Clearly there's plenty of cash there. Time to ask the donors to be more flexible in their giving....
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:02 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:We "need" to bust into those overstuffed endowments and start throwin' that ka$h around.

That should deal with the issue without putting me on the hook.

Ned, sometimes I really appreciate your opinion and when you can attack an issue with humor wrapped around solid truths.

This is not one of those times.

Thanks, but you see my point. These institutions sit on billions of dollars in some cases and plead poverty. There is also questionable allocation of available resources. If they or their students are suffering financially, they should examine their priorities before asking for more. When driving through the UW and U of M campuses on a regular basis, I'm not feeling the poverty vibe.

Endowments are legal financial entities. Universities often don't even control them and couldn't illegally drain them if they wanted to (the just receive the disbursements). So your suggestion is completely nonsensical.

Let's suggest the University frack for natural gas under Lake Mendota, under which there is no natural gas and which they don't own even if there was.
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Re: First two years of college for free?

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:12 pm

Couple of thoughts. As an initial idea I like it and wouldn't mind the government finding a way to make getting a full degree free for all students that don't meet a means test. However I do have a few issues:

1) Coming up with needed work that would employ every student for 15 hours a week seems unlikely. It's also 15 hours a week that they wouldn't be spending studying, or working their regular job for non trad students. Having jobs available for those who need living expenses and can't find work elsewhere makes sense. Giving every enrolled student a job 15 hour per week job doesn't.

2) Rather than getting free tuition for all I'd rather tuition be reduced to a more manageable amount for all, and increase grants for those whose family (or personal) incomes fall below a certain threshold.

3) If you are going to call for reducing federal financial aid to private schools, at least have the balls to come out and say it, rather than calling the current system deeply flawed and calling for the revamping of the funding models. Since accepting federal funding also forces private schools to meet certain standards I don't think it's a good idea, but if you want to make that argument, then do so, and justify it.

4) Which brings up my last question, with a higher incentive to go to public schools, would public universities be able to handle the increased enrollment from students who would no longer be able to afford private schools without hurting the quality of the public programs?
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