Obama puts college costs on agenda

Rising college costs was on the agenda this week, when President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan met with college leaders at the White House. Most were chancellors of large state university systems, but Thomas Snyder of Ivy Tech Community College was invited along with the presidents of the three nonprofits, the all-online Western Governors University, Carnegie Mellon and Berea College.

New financial aid policies to encourage completion were discussed, said Jamie P. Merisotis, president of the Lumina Foundation, who also testified before Rep. Virginia Foxx’s committee on streamlining college costs.

. . . there seemed to be some consensus at the White House meeting that the federal government should develop policies on financial aid, its biggest tool, to spur a higher graduation rates, whether by limiting the number of semesters for which students could receive aid, requiring them to attend full-time, or doling out aid bit by bit to discourage students from dropping out mid-semester, or other approaches.

Requiring full-time attendance to qualify for Pell Grants would have a huge impact on community college students.

College leaders also talked about the importance of linking colleges with K-12 education and the potential for technology to cut costs.

“If we’re going to address the 37 million adults with some college and no degree, we can’t just tweak the existing model,” said Robert W. Mendenhall of Western Governors University, an online nonprofit university. “Mostly in higher education, technology is an add-on cost that doesn’t change the model at all. We need to fundamentally change the faculty role, and use technology to do the teaching.”

Larry D. Shinn, the president of Berea College, did not disagree. “We’re structured in a 19th-century model, but I think we all know now that blended learning, combining technology and classroom learning, can let us educate for less cost,” he said. “The question is how we get there from here.”

“Technology can help us educate more students faster and better.”said Jared L. Cohon, the president of Carnegie Mellon, which has developed online classes used at other universities.

No for-profit colleges made the guest list.

Open-access universities and community colleges have the most experience in controlling costs, writes Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State in Maryland.

President Obama plans to continue to talk about the problem of college affordability, which was spotlighted by the Occupy protests.

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Obama: Cut college costs — Joanne Jacobs

[...] President Obama met with college leaders to discuss ways to cut college costs. [...]


Congratulation Obama
You listened to right people.
1.- Carnegie Mellon
A wonderful example of my dream
SHARE your online courses with other colleges.
Carnegie does that. But at small scale.
First thing to be done is ” to support Carnegie Mellon to expend to all USA ”
Simply one ” Introduction to Economics 101 Course ”
can be taken by 20 million college students in USA.
OK . Make more than 1 make 10 courses. But it is enough .
Today there are 1,000 such courses developed by many colleges in the USA good and bad ones . It is waste of money .

2.- Western Governers University
Set up by several universities. They SHARE their courses only among themselves. If I were a dictator I would order them to share their courses with all USA Colleges .
But their existing course portfolio is weak . They need support from other better colleges such as PennState, MIT, Harvard, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin .
My suggestion to them ” why not using academicearth.org ONLINE courses from Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Berkeley, USC, Columbia, Uni of Michigan etc .
Be smart . They are all free and best in the market . Why in the world you do not use them.
Just assign a related instructor to the offerred online course. All material is ready. Why do you insist on reinventing the wheel .

Main idea is SHARING
This is adopted by OBAMA as well .

3.- If Federal Government has a power of sanction ,
ask all 20 million college students take at least 1 online course from his Home college or from other colleges in USA.
Or just say, otherwise you do not provide loans .
( Break the ices between colleges for credit transfers . Look up Europe. Bologno Process. They share all their courses and credits, even among nations and among states . Are you not smart as smart as Europeans. ) They would provide 2 million spaces in colleges . Next year ask them to take 2 online courses. Then that would create another 2 million student spaces at Colleges .
Total college students are now 24 million . 15 % of them graduate every year. That is 3.6 million graduates every year . In 10 years you will have 36 million new college graduates + 37 old college graduates total is 73 million more than Obama asks for .
Federal Government should support good perfect online courses development . Do not forget there are already 200 online courses by ivy league universities Yale, Harvard, MIT , Stanford etc.
Make use of them .

Solution in every problem is INNOVATION
Innovation in education is ONLINE today. Tomorrow online will be even more powerful. Newer technologies will come up .
Let wild capitalists give up their hunger for money for the sake of benefit of the country . Let support online with fair , standard profits,( Not $ 1 billion a year profit ) that is only 10 % of the price .

4.- Then STANDARD Measures .
Save from expenses. Let IRS investigate the expenses of every expense of the state colleges. They will find many unnecessary, luxury, wrong, bad expenses . Then Federal Loans should be available according to real expenses not ballooned expenses .
Then for profits colleges also cannot increase their prices if state colleges do not .

SO simple problems . But biggest federal Government in the world cannot solve it. It is pity .

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