Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Don’t skimp out on education

<vernor of Texas Rick Perry has been called upon by his commissioner of higher education to develop, a baccalaureate degree that costs less than $10,000 total. That’s right; Texas is trying to create a degree that costs almost a third of the cost for one year of Carleton tuition (and that doesn’t even consider room and board).

Although this degree hasn’t been created yet, many ideas have been floating around as to how to do so. Some ideas include increasing the use of online courses, creating accelerated course formats, as well as trying to increase the number of students beginning their education at community college, but then finishing their studies as a traditional university.

Yes, cost of higher education is difficult issue in this country and an overwhelming majority of students struggle to pay the full cost of their educations. Even students at Carleton, a school that is known for having generous financial aid packages, sometimes leave students in serious loan debt. Although these financial hardships are sometimes inevitable, students here get an amazing education. For some, financial troubles exist after graduation, but the skills and experiences gained at a small liberal arts school are priceless.

By creating an undergraduate degree for under $10,000 is Texas really helping its citizens, or establishing cut-rate education to nominally say they are providing education to more people? We find it hard to believe that a $10,000 education, split amongst online courses will provide anything near comparable to a baccalaureate degree at accredited institutions.

There are better ways to solve the cost of higher education problem than squeezing out a cheaper version and calling it a baccalaureate degree. Instead of investing in online systems that would offer diminished quality, the focus should to create more opportunities for study at traditional schools, via scholarships and other methods.

It simply is not worth the effort to create a discount degree for the sake of providing degrees to more people. If the student is getting shortchanged with their education, then it doesn’t matter whether they have a degree or not, they will not be productive.

The editorial represents the views of editors of The Carletonian.

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