Good Essay On Are Colleges Worth The Price Of Admission?

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Education, Students, College, Literature, Higher Education, Society, University, Taxes

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/11/17

Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus’s article entitled “Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admission?” allowed us to examine a timely and very relevant question about education, especially at a crucial time that significantly questions the economic and social benefits of higher education. In this essay, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus highlighted the rising costs of college education and its consequently declining quality, respectively. They questioned the relevance of education amidst criticisms and the losing faith on educational institutions.
1. Engaging the students. This can only be done with excellent teaching and guidance. Professors must not only teach the rigors of their subjects but they must be conscientious, caring, and attentive.
2. Encourage critical thinking. College must produce students who can be critical, analytic and a problem solver. They should be involved in higher learning and not just vocational courses (p. 1).
3. Replace old, fixed contracts with multiyear contracts. The professors of senior standing are actually limiting the system by their tenures.
4. Limit sabbatical leaves. Professors take it every seventh year and they also take it to recharge for research. However, studies show no links between these activities (p. 1).
5. Do not exploit the adjuncts. Titles are very important for collegial institutions and sometimes, it leaves the junior faculty to be exploited. They enjoy few benefits but share the same loads as the senior faculty members.
6. Make presidents serve institutions of higher learning. The educational leaders are often paid too much yet their calling is more of serving the students and not just being administrators.
7. Reform medical institutions, research centers and institutes. These VIP institutions are also a bedrock of bureaucracy and should need a fresh start.
8. Give techno-teaching more priority. This is the best time to introduce professors to teach through digital instruments and equipment.
9. College institutions should donate more. The best thing for the wealthy college institutions to do is to adopt junior and community colleges and support them all the way.
The following schools were considered by the authors as educating college students well: Arizona State University, Berea College, Evergreen State College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Raritan Valley Community College, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art,The University of Mississippi, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, University of Notre Dame, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Western Oregon University.
Generally, this article focuses on the issue that colleges have actually lost touch with their main goal which is to educate students. The point is valid but the way this critical statement was supported was somehow obtuse. Primarily, the authors pointed the problem as the institutions of higher learning not being able to engage students into higher critical level of thinking. However, this was not articulated well. The authors failed to illustrate how this criticism or point of view can be qualified or considered as true or false by the readers.
Corollary to this question is the sharing of insights according to the present college setting. By saying that higher education does not teach student to think higher and they are mostly engaged with vocational courses, specific examples should have been cited. For instance, the authors should have cited specific college scenarios or routines which could validate their statement.
However, the article fast forwarded to the possible solutions and which college educations are ideal for them. For one, the listing of the different higher educational institutes is very subjective. There was no standard criteria by which these schools were considered. Second, the main problem of failing educational standards is pegged to the high tuition fees and the relationship between quality education and higher fees was not also qualified. Sad to say, there is always a correlation between the quality of education and the sky rocketing tuition fees. The authors fail to attack the problem at this angle. In idealizing these institutions, it was not clear whether the authors liked them because they offer quality education at lower costs or if they are more relevant with the courses they provide. It is still a regular trend for the best institutions to be pricey. Other criteria should have been initially justified before they proceeded in terming these schools and universities as the better schools.
I agree with the main theme of the article but I also think that the authors have focused more on the opinions of employees rather than those of the college students. It is absolutely true that the costs of today’s universities are sky rocketing. Hence, students should get the most they can get out of their college fees. They should have more foundation mentally, emotionally and socially.
In retrospect, the question which this article stated reflects the greater challenge of today’s higher education. A general question relating to this article is the universal relevance of sending the children of today to schools or colleges. Some people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were college drop outs yet they became very successful and famous in their later lives. The article reflects a deeper problem not just in the educational institutions but also in the way that people are culturally bound to believe that the four walls of the classrooms are the only way towards knowledge and success. At some point, these challenges and doubts should be further examined. The article has already pointed out several problems and failings of the higher educational institutes. However, it does not end there. A greater point of view should have been echoed in the article should include the opinions and comments of policy makers, administrators, bureaucrats and the likes.
If the amount of investments in tertiary education does not generally compensate the outcomes in terms of what the college students contribute to society and how they have become in their own personal aspect of development and growth, then, college education must be scrutinized. However, this is very difficult to do.
First, there are various standards by which people and societies grade education. Second, the economic returns of education are still very much effective. Even with the staggering tuition fees, parents strive hard to send their children to the best and most expensive universities because they know that society and the industrial world acknowledge educational background as a paramount criterion for selection. This is how the society is built and this must be a number one consideration in reforming higher education. This is why education is institutionalized because it has also generated certain standards, processes and cultural ways which the society holds and values. If society has no value on college education, then, by all means, the demand for higher education would definitely go down. Instantly, their prices would also go down. However, society still looks up to higher education as the best investment. Hence, parents, if they could, still send their children to the best colleges, no matter how expensive they can be. In this case, reforms can only be superficial or structural.

Work Cited:

Hacker, Andrew & Dreifus, Claudia. “Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admission?” July 11, 2010. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Accessed on 13 February 2015 <>.

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Good Essay On Are Colleges Worth The Price Of Admission?. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 17, 2020. Accessed March 02, 2024.

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